Bush radio address on Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA)

Here’s what a furious Andrew Sullivan has to say:

“No understanding of the real Constitutional issues involved – just an hysterical screed against “activist” courts. No mention of the fact that 38 states have already banned equality for gays in marriage. No mention of civil unions. And, again, no actual use of the words “gay”, “lesbian” or “homosexual.” This really is a revealing silence. Think what he could have said: let’s keep marriage for heterosexuals, but let’s find a way to protect the relationships of our gay and lesbian fellow-citizens. That would be a “uniter” not a “divider.” But Bush is a tool of the fundamentalist right – a movement that seeks not simply to keep marriage for straights, but to strip gay people of dignity, rights, protections and equality. If he were to call us by name, he would violate the fundamentalists’ belief: that gay people don’t exist, that we’re sick heterosexuals, that we need to be put in therapy or jail.”

“Yesterday, Bush decided to show he was a moderate by arguing that people should be allowed privacy in their own bedrooms (a policy he opposed when supporting Texas’ disgusting gays-only sodomy law as governor). That’s it. That’s what he thinks the place of gay people is in society. We’re lucky not to be arrested in our own homes.”

Can Sully endorse such a man for president, even if he was once his hero? This post is immediately follwed by a letter from one of Sully’s smarter readers.

“Andrew, like all of us you deserve a national party that represents faithfully at least most of your political philosophy. Right now that may not be either major party, but it could be the GOP after it is forced to engage in a real internal debate about its future and direction. In other words, a Kerry-Edwards win in 2004 might force the GOP to decide what it wants to be–the party of Pat Tillman, Rudy Guiliani, John McCain, and Arnold or the party of Rick Santorum and Ralph Reed. Only faced with a loss in November will the GOP have the opportunity to have this dialogue. Imagine how engaged you will be, and how exhilirating that New Hampshire primary will be in 2008?”

“But if Bush wins there is no chance that anyone will stop to ask the hard questions. The contradictions and the fissures will simply be papered over and the Santorums will continue their triumphal march, smug and unchecked. If nothing else, a Kerry-Edwards win in November does two positive things for this country: first, it gives the GOP a chance to pause and make intelligent choices, a chance to improve itself into something that Sullivan and Kaus and Simon might all feel comfortable in. Second, a Kerry-Edwards win puts a roadblock in front of Hillary Rodham Clinton for good. Win win, I say.”

While I don’t agree with all the points the letter writer makes, his premise is sound: It’s time for the GOP to escape the clutches of far-right Christian Fundamentalism that goes counter to all America is really supposed to stand for. The GOP under Bush has polarized this country to the point of sickness and dysfunctionality

I’d say Sullivan’s on the verge of endorsing the Kerry-Edwards ticket, no doubt with deep reservations. But if you look back at the way Sully was chortling and gloating during the heady days of our march into Baghdad, when he was a certified Bush attack dog, this is a dramatic shift, to say the very least.

NEWSFLASH: I just saw the latest Newsweek poll results on CNN. Unlike the earlier AP poll, this one fully reflects Kerry’s selection of Edwards. 51 percent of Americans now favor Kerry-Edwards, while 45 percent go for Bush-Cheney.

No doubt these numbers will bounce around like ping-pong balls, especially if Bush produces Bin Laden. But only a fool would say Bush isn’t in a precarious position as an incumbent president a mere three and a half months before Election Day.

The Discussion: 9 Comments

Yeah, but Edwards “channeling” a dead child in open court for a million dollars in his pocket hasn’t penetrated into the collective consciousness of the electorate yet.

July 10, 2004 @ 9:25 pm | Comment

News Flash: Either has the fact that the airport security team allows the Edwards team to park their SUVs in front of the terminal while the rest of the people, like my parents picking me up at Raleigh International Airport, have to drive in endless circles.

I’m serious. This huge SUV with an Edwards For President sticker, driven by a guy in a suit, and a Lincoln Continental, or some type of elegant land yacht driven by another guy in a suit just parked their cars in a no-parking sign area and walked into the airport, leaving their cars there.

I’m putting two and two together. My dad says that Edwards was flying in that same morning. When the men came out with kids and put them in the cars, I figured that this was an unjust allowance. What makes them less likely to spawn terrorism than the rest of us?

I just don’t like unfairness like that. Just parked their cars right there and the security detail just let them do it.


July 10, 2004 @ 9:38 pm | Comment

Interesting point, HK, and one that’s bothered me in the past — the VIP who is more important than us lowly squires on the ground. But it’s just the way it is — money and power bring special privileges, like GWB getting into the National Guard with the help of his dad while guys likes us, had we been eligible for the draft back then, would have had no such luck. You never see movie stars or politicians waiting on the endless lines at Motor Vehicles, do you? It’s an unfair world, and all we can do is accept it. When I see something that’s spectacularly, outrageously unfair — like CCP members having their own fancy beaches that are off-limits to ordinary Chinese people — I speak out. But by now, I’m pretty resigned to the fact that there’s no such thing as fairness, and if you dwell on it you’ll go insane, since the system isn’t changing anytime soon.

July 10, 2004 @ 10:09 pm | Comment

David, I haven’t heard about that yet. I’m sure Edwards has some skeletons in his closet, just like the rest of them. But he’s been through the vetting process already and come out reasonably clean. We’ll see — if there’s enough dirt there, Karl and Karen will certainly not keep it a secret for long.

July 10, 2004 @ 10:12 pm | Comment

The Federal Marriage Amendment is interesting. New Zealand currently has two bills before parliament- one allowing for civil unions and one removing all forms of legal discrimination (i.e. differences in legal rights and responsibilities) between marriages, de facto relationships and the new civil unions. Predictably, what gets the right, and the fundamentalists in particular, upset is the fact that civil unions would be available to gay couples, too. Apparently all heterosexual relationships will instantly disintegrate if such things are allowed…. Never mind that that second bill would actually see gay couples losing money in such areas as welfare entitlements… kinda interesting how equality sees gay couples actually losing a few rights that were previously allowed through legal loopholes.

Anyway, my point is that it puts us all in an interesting position where what should be a relatively benign issue could suddenly decide the types of governments we have: governments that legally define morality, or governments that put in place the infrastructure necessary to allow us to get on with our lives in relative peace and security. I would prefer the second type, and in my opinion, such a government would stike a compromise deal where the word ‘marriage’ would be reserved for straight couples, but a civil union open to couples gay and straight and conferring the same rights, responsiblities and privileges would be available too. This way nobody’s forced to do anything they consider morally unacceptable, but there’s no real discrimination either, therefore we can all get on with our lives in relative peace and security…..

….but in the real world it’s not so easy.

July 11, 2004 @ 1:55 am | Comment

point taken, richard, but i don’t like it.

anyway, here’s how it turned out.

edwards and kerry had landed just as I was getting picked up at the airport.

I had seen a guy walk by with sunglasses and a very big camera. I thought, “Is he a reporter?” Turns out I was right. My spidey senses were tingling. I looked at the cars. Turns out at that point Edwards’s two kids were waiting for him to disembark the plane. The plane had just turned onto the tarmac.

My mom and dad roll up just as Edwards’s wife and kids get into their SUV. IF there was ever a time I wished I had my voice recorder and camera ready. Talk about a “Doh!” moment. I didn’t say anything to them, they were being bundled into the truck by their handlers.

I don’t know where Edwards and Kerry were. Probably getting into another car away from sight to go to their NC State rally.

That’s also when my dad goes, “Oh, yeah, Edwards just flew in.” My mother said, “That asshole!” She doesn’t like that after becoming Senator for NC he started campaigning for president. She thinks he’s wasting her tax dollars.

July 11, 2004 @ 4:48 am | Comment

The whole FMA issue is just the GOP cementing its fundamentalist sector. After the election it will simply fade away. From what I have read on several legal blogs, this thing has serious constitutional problems. The GOP always does this during elections. Its fundamentalist sector comes out in force whenever anyone hits its hot buttons. The Dems play the same way to their extreme left sector. This is just a lot of posturing from both sides.

hk – it is really maddening when the VIP get all the gravy, but I think there is a security issue here. Would you really want to see Kerry/Edwards standing in the open?

July 12, 2004 @ 12:28 pm | Comment

It may be posturing, but it’s ugly posturing and has proven deeply offense to the smart conservatives who corresctly describe it as threatning to stick grafitti onto the Constitution. Libertwarians as well find it offensive, so hopefully it will create something of a backlash. People like Kaus and InstaPuppy, not to mention Andrew Sullivan (of course) have all expressed serious disappointment in Bush for banging the drum for the FMA. Oh, and the Log Cabin Republicans aren’t too happy about it, either.

July 12, 2004 @ 12:58 pm | Comment

Chris, I’ll buy your solution. The sheer hypocrisy of an administration that is allegedly devoted to less government (ha!) and state’s rights creating a huge issue out of an unnecessary and discriminatory constitutional amendment is obscene.

July 12, 2004 @ 1:00 pm | Comment

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