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Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Democrats on Discrimination in the Marriage Laws...
Tony AdragnaI'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.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,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 AdragnaSo, 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.Good questions...
Tuesday, September 09, 2003
A Still Overdue Speech
Tony AdragnaOK, 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...
Will VehrsTony, 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.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.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 AdragnaSo, 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.You want real reform in American politics, try breaking the two-party chokehold...