In a giggle-producing moment yesterday, he attempted to associate himself with Abraham Lincoln, John Adams and all manner of folk far superior to him in intellect, civic practice, honesty and vision. His mercifully short and astonishingly disingenuous speech before the State House rally promised two actions:
- Tomorrow, I will send these 109 a copy of the Constitution and of their oath of office.
- And this week, we will file an action before the courts, calling upon the judiciary to protect the constitutional rights of our citizens.
Shame on the man in the magic underwear. He discovered his religion and his worship of the constitution only when they might benefit his political drive. What a fortuitous coincidence.
The Constitutional Convention has used parliamentary moves to avoid other controversial votes, including term limits in 1992. Then, an appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court produced a decision saying that this wasn't the intent of the constitution nor of the derived rules, but that it could not nothing about it.
To their credit this time, the anti-SSM forces apparently finally outnumbered pro-SSM demonstrations (at the rally but not among voter or in the legislature). Even though the largely bused-in folks may be in the minority of public opinion, for two hours yesterday, they had the most feet on the sidewalk.
The bluster seems for naught. We can revel in Romney running to his reviled activist judges at the SJC to force a vote on advancing the anti-SSM amendment. He knows it's not going to work, but in his pique of POTUS envy, he is happy to ignore that in 1992 when the SJC ruled on forcing a vote on term limits at a ConCon --no can do.
Romney's chief spokesman said, apparently straight-faced, "The governor has a constitutional role to play in making sure that the Legislature votes on matters that are brought to them by the people. He is using the bully pulpit of his office to get the Legislature to uphold its constitutional obligation."
You would think that after all the chicanery to advance this amendment so far, that voters would not be so witless and self-deceptive. However, he is playing to Ohio and Iowa and South Carolina. This is a nation that re-elected George the Lesser. They might buy Mitt as a constitutional champion.
Maybe not though...
There is that other problem with the rally's demands. The anti-SSM forces favor a very literal ruling of the commonwealth constitution's Article XLVIII. They like to say it forces the ConCon to vote initiatives up or down. That is moot.
Not only have ConCons not done this numerous times -- those term limits, budget issues, and the previous anti-SSM bid, but there are ways and ways of looking at the article. It does demand consideration and discussion, but not literally an up-or-down vote. More important, the only weapon against recesses or adjournments is the governor's ability to call the ConCon back into session, but not to force a vote.
So, Mitt can and surely will try to let such theatrical displays substitute for his lack of leadership and accomplishment over four years. Hell, he couldn't even engineer returning that symbolic 0.3% of the tax rate back to voters -- a major campaign promise.
Sad it will be though come January 3, 2007, when this monstrous amendment unquestionably dies, the dwindling anti-gay/anti-SSM forces will not get on with their lives and let the rest of us do the same.
Incoming Governor Deval Patrick has a lot of repair and more to develop for us. We could use some pest control for those who want to distract us from the business and hope at hand.
Raybo Babble: As a lamentable sidebar, erstwhile liberal ex-Boston mayor Ray Flynn continued to muddle issues. He is firmly on the side of legislating his religious rituals and beliefs -- and he was an original signer of his amendment drive. At the rally, he said that "he opposes discrimination, but the grandfather of 14 said children are best served 'growing up in a loving environment with a mother and father.'"
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, amendment, same sex marriage, ConCon