Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Deep Left/Right Gap in VT House

Until the override vote today, I hadn't tallied the Vermont House. While Gov. Jim Douglas was saying, "This is not a time for congratulations; this is a time for moving on," that's not likely to happen with House Republicans any time soon.

Counting 'em up, there's truly a left wing and right wing up there. I ran a quick-ish count of the party votes in this morning's override. It's damned close to party lines, with offsetting jumpers from Dems and GOPs.

My count has:

Pro Override
Con Override
Democrat — 88 Democrat — 7
Republican — 6 Republican — 42
Progressive — 4 Progressive — 0
Independent — 2 Independent — 0

You can see the play card on this at Vermont Freedom to Marry. Among the small shifts were three Dems switching from their previous no votes. The absent voter was Rep. Sonny Audette, who has been saying he was conflicted and still opposed to the concept of same-sex marriage. He cited his Roman Catholicism as a deciding factor.

The past couple years of public study and hearings, plus the prolonged debates in both houses were supposed to let all sides have their say and then chill. The former certainly occurred ad nauseam. The latter appears between unlikely and impossible.

The my-preacher/conscience-tells-me-how-to-think-on-this folk (like this one) testified in public and voted on the floor. While enough Republicans joined in marriage equality to offset the Democrats who did not, this is damned close to party lines.

The Dems have a super-majority in both houses, but as we saw not a two-thirds veto-proof one in the House. Following this morning's override, the governor was his insipid self, pretending everyone will get on with their lives and turn to other issues. I'm betting these wounds will fester on the Republicans for a long time.

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