Friday, May 11, 2012

Bright Line for the Dark Side

Mitt Romney clearly does not need training to raise his self-esteem; he obviously believes he is damned smart...despite his constant spoken boners. If he has enough brain cells to fire up, he should be sure to reject the opinion of his senior adviser Ed Gillespie. Yesterday, that squeaking bozo said that Romney would make marriage equality a big deal, "'bright-line difference in this campaign.' He said Romney would campaign on the issue and also actively push for a federal constitutional ban on gay marriage."

Addled Eddie must remember fondly when most Americans were terrified by civil unions in Vermont and full marriage equality in Massachusetts. Political lore holds that the 2004 election of G.W. Bush greatly benefited from social conservatives rushing to the polls based on that issue in various states. Don't re-count your chickens after their grown and already served for dinner.

That is not about to happen this time. Most obviously, voter sentiment either favors equality or is indifferent to the issue. Also,the 31 states that have restricted marriage to a heterosexual pairing have done so — no local plebiscites to draw the fearful.

Even the most befuddled of us have to notice as well. The states, federal district and Indian tribe allowing same-sex marriage, a.k.a. gay marriage, have zero problems and only pluses as a result. The same is true for Canada and the numerous overseas nations more socially advanced than we are.

Instead this time, Romney's risk is very real. In stumping on a national restriction of marriage he commits many fouls. The amusing one is that unlike the accusations tossed for so long at pro-equality sorts, he actually would be redefining marriage, even more so than Pres. Clinton in signing DOMA.

By calling for a national ban, he makes several blunders. First there's that federalism/states-rights thingummy. Our Constitution reserves powers not specifically granted the feds to the states. Marriage is one of those and as such that alone is a good basis for junking DOMA and returning to the key principle of comity. We have that for almost all areas of states' laws and regulations.

Far worse is that window that let in the swarms of the fearful and hateful, those who would strip rights they enjoy from others just because they can, shut pretty quickly. Even though it's a slim majority, most Americans favor marriage equality and a much larger percentage have no problem with homosexuals, interracial marriage and other former winger rallying cries. The let-the-people-vote groups have blown their wad.

The POTUS has sensibly said he'll add this issue to his campaign. His party is now certain to include a pro-marriage-equality plank in its platform come September. He'll come off as decisive, in tune with the nation, and civil-rights oriented.

If Romney truly expects the aged anti-gay voters to crank their Model-T passions again on gay marriage, that will figuratively backfire. There's been a lethargy among college and 20-something voters. This issue will far more likely inspire them to trot to the polls than their parents and grandparents. This is something where they can make a difference.

Gillespie calls for a bright line. This issue certainly is. His side would decidedly be the loser.


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