Saturday, July 17, 2004

My thoughts on the FMA

The big news out of Washington this week was the debate over the FMA.  I have submitted a letter to the local "Palm Beach Post". I have not yet received word on whether it has been accepted for print. In my letter, I focused primarily on how the issue of gay marriage has been politicized. There are many good reasons against the FMA, although I did not touch on them in this letter. I wanted the reader to basically understand that the issue is not nearly as important as the war and economy. Of course, I had to keep it brief in order to have a chance to make it into the paper. It is approximately 400 words in length. Enjoy. Hopefully I will explore the issue in more detail later.
 
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It is unfortunate, but all too predictable, that the Republicans trumpeted out another divisive wedge issue last week. On Wednesday, the Senate had the good sense to end debate on this ridiculous Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA). The Amendment, introduced Tuesday evening on the Senate floor, never had a realistic chance of passing. A Constitutional Amendment requires the approval of 2/3 of the Congress, along with ¾ of the states. With the Senate and House both evenly divided, it was implausible that this amendment would come close to passage anytime soon. The Republicans were not even able to achieve full unity within their caucus, evidenced by six GOP Senators voting with Democrats to end debate on the Amendment. Even though the majority of Americans are hesitant about allowing gay marriage, most are not in favor of a Constitutional amendment banning it.
 
Knowing full well that this had no chance of passage, it becomes clear that this was a spectacle created for political purposes. The right wing has come out full force with its hyperbole and rhetoric. Texas Senator John Cornyn won the Rick Santorum Award for obtuseness by equating gay marriage to a man marrying his neighbor’s box turtle. This issue has been injected into the public debate, only four months before a national election, in order to further divide and distract the public. Bush cannot find the elusive weapons of mass destruction, but he is magnificent at introducing weapons of mass distraction. On the issues that affect people’s lives the most, Republicans have been largely unsuccessful over the last four years. Since the Bush Administration took office, nary a single net job has been created. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a Republican, noted that job creation numbers fell far short of those promised by Bush after passage of his tax cuts. The Iraq War, once seen as a significant Republican asset, is increasingly becoming a political liability. During the same week as the Senate debated the FMA, we continue to learn more about the flawed intelligence leading up to war in Iraq.
 
The bottom line is that the FMA was nothing more than an attempt by George W. Bush to further cement and pander to his culturally conservative base. It’s painfully obvious that the Republicans are seeking to divide groups of Americans against one another. It’s the old tactic of “divide and conquer”. I am optimistic that voters will cast their ballots based on issues that matter and not succumb to the politics of division being practiced by this Administration.

1 Comments:

Blogger Eric Cioffoletti said...

The FMA is an indication that there is much that is wrong from this country. Evidently, the Civil Rights Act goes out the window whenever the GOP feels uncomfortable with it.

July 18, 2004 at 2:33 AM  

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