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February 27, 2004

Give'Em Enough Rope

One piece of advice I got in my mock trial competition last weekend was to play nice with uncooperative witnesses. Don't press them on their evasiveness or implausible answers. Instead, give them a couple of chances to come clean, and if they don't, just keep moving. The idea is that if you just give some people enough rope, they'll hang themselves.

The same may be true of the Bush administration. Since day one, beginning around the time of its abrupt withdrawal from the Kyoto Treaty, I've been thinking/hoping the Bush administration would press its perceived advantages too far, doing things so outrageous that even its staunchest supporters would be forced to withdraw their support. So far, it hasn't happened. No matter what awful new outrage the administration propounds, it still seems to maintain support from around half the country. However, in just the last few days it's been piling outrage on outrage:

Secretary of Education Rod Paige called the National Education Association (NEA) -- the teacher's union -- "a terrorist organization."

Bush''s chief economic advisor thinks jobs at McDonald's should be reclassified as "manufacturing jobs":

In [Bush's annual economic] report last week, Bush's chief economic adviser N. Gregory Mankiw called the definition "somewhat blurry" and asked whether it should be changed. "When a fast-food restaurant sells a hamburger, for example, is it providing a 'service' or is it combining inputs to 'manufacture' a product?"

Yeah, right.

And now Bush is backing a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Of course this is a political ploy. One of the best things I've heard from John Kerry is that Bush is "playing politics with the Constitution." But why Bush is taking this position is not as important as the simple fact that he's taking it. The POTUS is asking that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation be written into the Constitution.

Again I say: Yeah, right.

All of this has caused L's dad to write to our dear POTUS to complain. The last line of his letter pretty much says it all:

President Bush, even if you personally shot Osama bin Laden tomorrow, I still would not vote for you in November.

And this from a man who voted Bush/Cheney in 2000. You gotta love that.

Posted February 27, 2004 06:55 AM | election 2004

I do love it! Yay, L's dad! :)

Posted by: raquel at February 27, 2004 08:01 AM

Now that is a great line!

Posted by: Luke Francl at March 1, 2004 10:18 AM

Yeah, I think I might have to make that an election-year tagline somehow. Maybe I'll feature it prominently over in the right column... I just hope more people start feeling that way by Nov.

Posted by: ambimb at March 2, 2004 05:16 AM

I think it's good that the President takes a stand on behavior. WE decide as a society what behavior we will recognize and what behavior we will not.

Posted by: 'Isi Mataele at October 15, 2004 08:42 PM

Yes, we decide as a society what kind of behavior should be legal, but generally the Constitution places a limit on that. In this case, the limit is that the Constitution says nothing about marriage, and it would have to be changed to say something about marriage. Are you saying you think that's a good idea?

I'm also curious. Under what rationale is it ok to deprive homosexuals the rights enjoyed by heterosexuals? And don't come back at me w/Scalia's "history and tradition" arguments because they simply don't hold water. We had a tradition of depriving black people of all their rights for a long time; that didn't make it morally right.

Posted by: ambimb at October 16, 2004 06:38 PM

The constitution does not say all behavior needs to be treated equally, hence the penal code.

Homosexuals are not deprived any right. it's like saying we are depriving drug pushers and prostiutes from having a job they enjoy.

What would be illegal that I do today if I were gay?

Would my marriage be invalidated if I were gay?

If a gay partner turned straight would that make his marriage legal?

So there is no difference of treatment just difference of preferences.

Posted by: 'Isi Mataele at March 10, 2005 01:15 AM

Hmm. It doesn't seem very helpful to compare homosexuals with "drug pushers and prostitutes," but that does confirm we see this issue very differently.

Although it's looking highly unlikely that anyone is going to try to pass a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage (as noted in the above post, Bush was manipulating this issue to get votes; he's flip-flopped on it at least three times), there's little doubt such an amendment would produce different treatment. For example, today getting married confers all kinds of rights and privileges on the parties involved -- hospital visitation rights, rights of survivorship if one member of the couple dies, and something like 1,000 other things (according to the Human Rights Campaign). A constitutional amendment would ensure that gay people would be treated differently in the eyes of the law than their heterosexual analogs. It's a bad idea.

Posted by: ambimb at March 10, 2005 08:25 AM

Those rights of marriage are given as a benefit to promote a state interest of families. It's like they give tax deductions for donations to charity to promote charities.

There is no benefit to homosexuality. In fact there appears to be the opposite, since many they can't donate blood.

Also my experience with gastrinal intestinal and colon specialists have some very interesting information.

Posted by: 'Isi Mataele at March 11, 2005 02:03 AM

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