Thursday, February 5, 2004
Tipping the scales
As everyone knows, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court has explicitly rejected the concept of "civil unions" as a possible solution to the court's earlier ruling that preventing gays from marrying is against the state constitution; nothing short of full marriage will rectify the situation. Because of the rather arcane way that Massechusetts handles amendments to the state constitution, the earliest date a vote could be held would be 2006, while the court's decision will go into effect as soon as May of this year.
Dean and Rosemary Esmay have a rousing debate on this subject (profanity alert; those with delicate sensibilities will wish to avoid the link). I'm with them; the backlash this latest decision will engender is going to be very ugly. Further, if Bush pushes for a constitutional amendment (such as the odious Federal Marriage Amendment, which would invalidate existing civil unions if passed in its current form), I will not vote for a presidential candidate this year. I cannot support any of the Democratic Party's offerings, and I will not vote Green, Libertarian, or Natural Law, but I also will not vote for anyone who actively supports the FMA.
In the comments at the Dean's World thread, Mrs. Du Toit notes that only one change to the "civil unions" proposal would make it pass muster; eliminate the gender restriction. Sounds kinda familiar, as I have proposed the exact same thing. This is the third post I ever made, and it explains my views pretty thoroughly; this post has even more detail). I still stand by such a proposal. All the people who scream that allowing gays to marry would destroy the concept of marriage would have their rhetorical legs kicked out from under them by such an arrangement, as it puts marriage in houses of worship, and civil unions in a secular environment. It's the best of all possible worlds, since it strengthens and tightens the concept of marriage, while allowing for an alternative for those who do not qualify otherwise.
Bush is not my idea of a dream candidate by any stretch of the imagination, but I currently plan to vote for him because of his views on the WoT. However, my support is rather tenuous, and something like this (coupled with his anti-free trade views, his astonishing expansion of the federal government, his unwillingness to rein in pork-barrel spending, and his lukewarm support of the second amendment) would be enough to push me out of his column, and I doubt that I am the only person who feels this way.
posted at 08:55 AM | permalink | Comments (1)
Monday, February 2, 2004
Another Presidential Selector
Andrew Sullivan (who got it from Daniel Drezner) pointed out this selector, which produced interesting, if somewhat flawed, results for me.
While I believe the test got the candidates right as far as order, I think some of the scores are off. Addtionally, there was essentially no way to express displeasure with out-of-control federal spending (my biggest beef with Bush), and the test lumped environmental issues and economic issues into one category (when rating their importance). They're NOT the same! Nonetheless, the test is interesting. Take a look at it.
posted at 11:35 PM | permalink | Comments (2)
Dean Esmay has an interesting post on memorable first lines of novels, and provides 15 of his favorites. He then invites his readers to guess the novels, and suggest their own favorites. Most of the ones that I can recall immediately were already in the list, but this was not:
Last night I dreamed I went to Manderlay.
The answer can be found in the extended entry.
HINT: Think Hitchcock.
The book is Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier.
Alfred Hitchcock directed the first (and definitive) version of the movie, with Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, and Judith Anderson.
posted at 09:28 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Don't count Dean out
Last night on CNN, Governor Janet Napolitano (D-AZ), noted that while Dean has faded badly (especially since the New Hampshire primary), he may still have a significant number of votes on absentee ballots. Arizona has been receiving absentee ballots since the day of the Iowa caucuses, and there may be a large number of Dean votes from voters who now have second thoughts. Regardless of how those people feel now, the votes have already been cast, and cannot be changed.
FWIW, Napolitano did not imply any support for any candidate; she simply noted that Dean's support (in Arizona, and elsewhere) was much higher 10 days ago.
posted at 05:53 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
a question for John Edwards
John Edwards was on the campaign trail yesterday, seeking Black votes in the Tuesday primary in South Carolina, a state he considers to be a "must win" state. In a speech given in a primarily black church, he assailed drug companies for running advertisements for their products. Does he suggest that they should not be permitted to run ads? Does he suggest the same for lawyers who infest the airwaves with their ads? (He made his fortune as a trial lawyer, suing tobacco companies for damages.) Does he support banning political ads as well? Where does he draw the line?
posted at 05:28 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Agreeing with Al Sharpton
I did something last night which I very rarely doI watched TV. AFN News was broadcasting CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, and one of the people he interviewed was Al Sharpton. I was startled to find myself in agreement with one of Al Sharpton's answers.
Blitzer questioned Sharpton about this New York Times editorial on the primaries, which contained this paragraph:
Representative Dennis Kucinich has every right to keep campaigning despite his minuscule vote tallies, but he should not be allowed to take up time in future candidate debates. Neither should the Rev. Al Sharpton, who is running to continue running, not to win. Sponsors should also consider whether Senator Joseph Lieberman will continue to be a credible candidate. Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Clark both skipped Iowa to concentrate on New Hampshire, without making much of a dent. But Mr. Clark's supporters have a right to hope that his candidacy will improve with experience. Since Senator Lieberman has already run for vice president, he appears to have hit his ceiling.
Sharpton was justifiably upset by the editorial. He took the Times to task for assuming to know his mind (which is excusable), but really laid in to them by pointing out that neither Iowa nor New Hampshire is demographically representative of the rest of the country. Both states are overwhelmingly white (Iowa 94% white, New Hampshire 97% white) and have a large proportion of rural votes (Iowa's capital and largest city, Des Moines, has fewer than 200,000 people). Sharpton is relying on urban blacks to give his campaign momentum, and by excluding him from debates based on the results of only two states, the NYT is in effect advocating the disenfranchisement of his supporters before their candidate even gets a chance to start.
While I don't think that the bottom tier of candidates have a chance (and I wouldn't ever consider voting for either of them), I do not think they should be blocked from the debates. They should be allowed to air their views, just as minor party candidates should be allowed to participate in the debates later this year. Barring them from the debates (especially the primaries, which may be used to shape the [party's platform) is in effect dictating who is and who is not an acceptable candidate. It's fundamentally un-democratic, and it's wrong.
posted at 02:40 AM | permalink | Comments (2)
Sunday, February 1, 2004
More doublespeak from Kerry
Via Yahoo! News, we learn this:
Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), who has made a fight against corporate special interests a centerpiece of his front-running campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, has raised more money from paid lobbyists than any other senator over the past 15 years, federal records show.
Kerry has been a vociferous critic of Bush's contributions from lobbyists, especially those in the energy industry and pharmaceuticals, implying that Bush's policies are being dictated by those companies. Of his own collections from lobbyists, however, the Kerry campaign says:
"Senator Kerry has taken individual contributions from lobbyists, but that has not stopped him from fighting against special interests on behalf of average Americans," said Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter. "If anyone thinks a contribution can buy Kerry's vote, then they are wasting their money."
Cutter said her boss would have no problem fighting Bush on the issue because "Kerry has spent his career fighting against special interests, while Bush has never met a special interest he doesn't like. While Kerry was fighting to keep oil companies from drilling in ANWR [the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge], the White House was inviting them in to tea."
Because, you know, Democrats are so much more honest than Republicans. </sarcasm>
Kerry's rivals are given ample time to pound him in the article; both the Dean and Clark campaigns were asked for statements, and two watchdog groups get their jabs in as well.
In any case, it's ridiculous to bash "special interest groups", because all groups are special interest groups. Groups are founded for some reason or another, and (presumably) give money to a candidate because his or her views are congruent with the ideology of the group. Money can influence someone, but most of the more famous political waffles have nothing to do with campaign contributions.
posted at 02:50 AM | permalink | Comments (1)
Speech Police at college
Read this, and understand why universities and colleges are becoming the least likely places for open and informed debate, unless you are debating degrees of a liberal pet issue. When it comes to conservative voices on ant topic, those that are not suppressed by the faculty are silenced by militant students who are even more intolent of dissent than their professors.
Later in the same post, the writer (a college student, assisted by her father) explains why she supports the war, and why she believes that Islamofascism is holding back an entire region of the world, AND does so in a way that is neither racist or fascist, despite what her detractors have claimed.
Go read it now.
(Link courtesy of VodkaPundit, where there is an interesting discussion about Joe McCarthy in the comments.)
posted at 02:23 AM | permalink | Comments (0)