Shouting 'Cross the Potomac

barstool philosopher,
backseat driver
but never a Monday morning quarterback

adrag1 at [until the QP server gets fixed]
willv at


Virginia Pundit Watch Will Vehrs' Weekly Column at Bacon's Rebellion

DC Metro Blog Map

UVA Center for Politics and Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball Predictions 2002


Spinsanity - Countering rhetoric with reason


On the Third Hand
A blog by a proud member of the Bellicose Women's Brigade


Newsrack Blog

Mark A. Kilmer's Political Annotation

A Nickles Worth of Free Advice

Where HipHop and Libertarianism meet

Note To Self
"Crash"'s way kewl blog

The Rallying Point

Mind Over What Matters

MaxSpeak Weblog


Off the Kuff

What She Really Thinks

Unqualified Offerings

Talking Points Memo


Matt Welch


the talking dog

Cornfield Commentary

Cooped Up

The Rittenhouse Review

The Lefty Directory

Sneaking Suspicions

Derek Crane

Common Sense and Wonder

Jim Miller on Politics

Croooow Blog: Rantings and ravings on the news of the day.

Ipse Dixit

The Road to Surfdom

Jason Rylander


Smythe's World

Weblog Central



War Liberal

Andrew Sullivan

The Volokh Conspiracy

Counterspin Central
perfunctory links(We think it's "the Mother of links pages for news and pundit junkies" - eds)

Independent Gay Forum
Independent Gay Forum

Town Hall: Conservative News and Information - The Conservative Movement Starts Here

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Democrats on Discrimination in the Marriage Laws...

Tony Adragna
I've said before that I'm just as bothered by the anti-same-sex-marriage arguments of supposed liberals — even the "unreconstructed" progressive type liberal — but now I've to admit that I'm even more bothered by stuff I hear from Democrats
GRAHAM: I support nondiscrimination for all Americans. I have introduced legislation that would eliminate the current discrimination for domestic partners in relationship to spouses for federal tax policy and health care. That is one of hundreds of examples of discrimination which is in the current law.

I think that march towards the establishment of the concept of equality for all is the route that we should take.

GRAHAM: I do not support marriages of homosexuals because I believe that marriage is an institution established by religion, culture and law for a man and a woman with a principle being the nurturing of children.

As sure as God made little green apples, Sen. Graham makes absolutely no sense here — and the (APPLAUSE) just clues in how clueless the audience be.

At least my rightward leaning friends make a logically consistent argument against extending the benefits of marriage to people who aren't married. Set aside for a moment that we queer folk aren't allowed to marry, the discrimination against unmarried folk in recieving benefits meant for married folk still stands as reasonable.

But the argument Graham makes can mean only one of two things
a) We're going to grant domestic partners the same benefits as married folk, but without making them jump through the same hoops as married folk — i.e. getting married: This seems to me to discriminate against married folk in a way that's impermissible, and just plain wrong,

b) We're going to grant the same benefits to those who jump through the hoops of domestic partnership laws as to those who jump through the hoops of marriage laws: These two groups ought be treated the same, he basically says, only in separate "institutions". Why? Because, he maintains, marriage is something different. Well, if it is different, then doesn't that argue for disparate treatment in favor of marriage?
I think marriage is different, but I don't think it's exclusive of people who can't have children. By the "nurturing of children" logic Graham employs, the exclusion of benefits ought be applied to folk who don't have children, whether or not married.

Our society recognizes the loving, committed, long term relationships between straight folk as "marriages" irrespective of whether they do, or even can, have children. So, the purported "principle" reason for marriage isn't necessary to marriage. Why can't we call same-sex unions "marriage"?

Sen. Graham puts a half-baked lasagna on the table and tells me I oughta eat up & be happy... I think I'm gonna go make sick...

p.s. Read Vermont's Civil Unions Law — the state is recognizing something exactly like a marriage insofar as rights (benefits and protections) & responsibilites, includes parties to a civil union in the definitions of "spouse," "family," "immediate family," "dependent," "next of kin" anywhere they are used in Vermont law, puts jursidiction in the family courts. 'Cept refusing to call it so simply because it's not a "union between a man and a woman" makes it not exactly like a marriage...

Tapped on Trade Unionists...

Tony Adragna
So, it's not just myself and WaPo's editorial board whats got problems with Labor's agenda — the Tapper had this to say
Pandering to unions and the manufacturing sector on the economy won't cut it, either. The fact is that those jobs are gone and they are not coming back. And besides, 91 percent of us out in the private sector are non-union and doubt we'll ever benefit from anything to do with organized labor, other than its electoral interventions and the workplace changes won by unions more than half a century ago.

What is the new sector that will arise and reinvigorate the American economy again? What are the candidates going to do for those of us who are non-union workers? Anybody have any ideas?
Good questions...

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

A Still Overdue Speech

Tony Adragna
OK, Will, Brooks has grown on me — finally gotten over my Gergen preference, now I'm gonna miss Brooks[must admit to not missing Gigot].

The Dean of the DC Pundit Corps writes of the speech as something "A Long Time Coming". Broder offers up Biden, Lugar, Hagel and McCain as examples of "leading foreign policy spokesmen in both parties" who have been urging that Mr. Bush take the most recently made tack.

While we're talking 'bout speeches-in-waiting & mistakes-not-candidly-admitted, I'll take the opportunity to iterate again that certain presidential candidates — especially the junior senator from Massachusetts — need to add some candid admissions to their perorations. Those knuckleheads didn't hafta vote for the resolution, and many of their collegues — including one of those hopefuls among them — didn't.

Sen. Kerry needs to admit either that he regrets wrongly voting for the resolution, or he's wrong to charge that the president misled...

Brooks Debuts

Will Vehrs
Tony, my favorite pundit, David Brooks, made his debut this morning as a New York Times columnist. The "Grey Lady" needs him.

Brooks, who always enlivened The News Hour while tangling with Mark Shields, is taking a hiatus from the show to concentrate on his new job. Asked on Friday's show if he had written the column that appeared today, Brooks deadpanned, "Six times."

The first Brooks effort demonstrated why I like him. He is willing to offer criticism and analysis free of a personal, partisan agenda. He discussed the President's change of policy on Iraq, with these being his key points:

The leading Bushies almost never admit serious mistakes.

Fortunately, while in public members of the administration emphasize their own incredible foresight, in private they are able to face unpleasant facts and pivot in response.

Presidents tend to be ruthless opportunists, no matter how ideological they appear.

The essential news is that Bush will do whatever it takes to prevail, and senior members of his administration are capable of looking honestly at their mistakes. You will just never be able to get any of them to admit publicly they've ever made any.
Brooks' column will appear on Tuesdays and Saturdays. He'll be an effective counterweight to Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd--a breath of fresh air to an increasingly tedious ideological viewpoint.

Compare Brooks's critique to Krugman's commentary today:

It's now clear that the Iraq war was the mother of all bait-and-switch operations.

Yet in the speech on Sunday he was still up to his usual tricks.

Mr. Bush created this crisis, and if he were a true patriot he would pay a political price to resolve it. Maybe it's time for him [Bush] to do a couple of things he's never done before, like admitting mistakes and standing up to the hard right.
Brooks demonstrated that Bush admitted mistakes, but in his own way. What matters is the policy, not self-flagellation. Anyone who thinks Krugman would have given Bush kudos for saying, "I screwed up" is offering punditry from another planet.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Reviewing Campaign Finance Reform

Tony Adragna
So, the Justices heard argument today on BCRA. CJ Rhenquist is reported to have said, "I don't think Buckley supports the proposition that Congress can regulate willy-nilly any sort of contribution in connection with an election." I think the Chief shouldn't use early 17th century adverbs in such a willy-nilly fashion.

But, Justice Rhenquist's partial dissent in Buckley v. Valeo is something I can get behind
Congress, of course, does have an interest in not "funding hopeless candidacies with large sums of public money," ante at 96 , and may for that purpose legitimately require "some preliminary showing of a significant modicum of support," Jenness v. Fortson, [403 U.S. 431, 442 (1971),] as an eligibility requirement for public funds. Ante at 96 . But Congress, in this legislation, has done a good deal more than that. It has enshrined the Republican and Democratic Parties in a permanently preferred position, and has established requirements for funding minor party and independent candidates to which the two major parties are not subject. Congress would undoubtedly be justified in treating the Presidential candidates of the two major parties differently from minor party or independent Presidential candidates, in view of the long demonstrated public support of the former. But because of the First Amendment overtones of the appellants' Fifth Amendment equal protection claim, something more than a merely rational basis for the difference in treatment must be shown, as the Court apparently recognizes. I find it impossible to subscribe to the Court's reasoning that, because no third party has posed a credible threat to the two major parties in Presidential [p*294] elections since 1860, Congress may by law attempt to assure that this pattern will endure forever.

I would hold that, as to general election financing, Congress has not merely treated the two major parties differently from minor parties and independents, but has discriminated in favor of the former in such a way as to run afoul of the Fifth and First Amendments to the United States Constitution.
You want real reform in American politics, try breaking the two-party chokehold...