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February 11, 2004



The "Constitutional Amendment" thing is a ploy.

Recall the issue of "flag burning" a decade ago? The Supreme Court ruled that flag burners were constitutionally protected. (This because Kenneth Starr, solicitor general arguing FOR the federal statute against flag burning, wasn't competent enough to convince judges like Scalia who were practically BEGGING to be convinced. (His track record on this "vital" conservative issue makes one wonder why he was selected to persec-- prosecute Clinton.) )

Anyhow, the fall-out from the USSC decision with Republicans under Bob Dole was to push for a constitutional amendment. The effort failed to amend the constitution, but it sure made Dole popular with the Vast Right Wing.

The gimmick now is to make enough noise about the marriage amendment to pump up heroes of both the left and right -- it's not about actually making a change. Sadly, I don't see any current players able to handle the issue as deftly as Dole. (Again, not because he WON, but because he advanced himself in the effort. Kerry and Bush each seem poised to lose by making any effort in any direction...)

Hmmm. Maybe that's the point? Maybe the whole thing is being arranged by Hillary?

Mark Barton

"Gay marriage by judicial fiat in the absence of popular support strikes me as a terrible idea. "

But judicial fiat is on this and similar issues is what the people voted for when they added the ERA clause to the Massachusetts constitution in 1976. The whole point of an ERA is that some sorts of discrimination are two tempting to be left in the hands of the people and should be renounced wholesale, except for narrow exceptions allowed by the Supreme Judicial Court after "strict judicial scrutiny". And now that a particularly tempting bit of discrimination has been disallowed, they're complaining. We should be as unmoved as by a cigarette addict who's pleading for his matches back after previously begging us to hide them for him.

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