Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bush to Back Amendment Banning Gay Marriage


Last time this issue came up, the critics correctly predicted it would die in the Senate. The surprise was that it came a whole lot closer to passing than anyone believed it would. Since that time, we've seen three important developments:

1. The passage (with no successful legal challenges) of numerous state constitutional amendments. This is critical, because the poll numbers show extremely wide support for gay marriage bans, and even when politicians forget principle, they remember polls.

2. Primary challenges to Republican incumbents. This is crucial. Grass roots Republican effort are underway to get moderate Republicans out of office, in favor of more conservative Republicans. Of course, the drive for the primary challenge effort is not gay marriage -- it's actually immigration -- but that could push incumbents fearing insurrection to tighten up their conservative credentials on other issues. Such as gay marriage.

3. We've also seen that the Democrats do not have a monopoly on craven self-interest and political tone-deafness. In other words, while the first two factors listed above might tend to increase the odds of the amendment passing, the willingness of national Republicans to say "screw the voters, I'm the boss around here" might actually create a decline in support for the amendment.