Thursday, June 08, 2006


Hey, here's a surprise: The Senate's latest attemp to ban gay marriage failed.

Of course it did. It was just a stunt, designed to inflame the prejudices of the great unwashed, and in that sense, it was a rousing success. It ranks right up there with that plan to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. Neither gay marriage nor undocumented Mexican laborers pose any kind of threat to the members of the senate. They pose no threat to anybody, but boy, it's nice for the Republicans to have convenient boogeymen in their pocket, ready to pop out and say Boo anytime the president's falling poll numbers threaten their own political survival.

The fact that our elected representatives choose to pander to our basest fears and bigotries rather than appealing to the better angels of our nature tells you everything you need to know about America in the new century. The rickety machine of democracy could be fixed, but only if someone's willing to admit it needs to be fixed.

Oh, but nothing's wrong. Our senators are on the job, doing God's own work. Just ask Bill Frist: "Marriage between one man and one woman does a better job protecting children better than any other institution humankind has devised. As such, marriage as an institution should be protected, not redefined."

Aside from that statement's tortured syntax--better at protecting children better?--it is also pure bullshit. What is he claiming? That child abuse doesn't happen within hetero marriages?
That hetero marriages never fail, leaving children abandoned? That gay marriage would automatically put kids at risk by...what? There is no thought behind this statement, and no thought to the actions that it represents.

Republicans are masters at this game, but the Democrats play it, too: Pander on issues that play well to the folks back home, pretend like you're doing something and then at election time, claim that you'll keep fighting the good fight. Meanwhile, the economy stalls, the national debt balloons, wages stagnate, health care becomes less affordable, the war continues and millions of Americans fall through the cracks. These are real world problems. They need real world solutions, not boogeymen and bromides.