Wednesday, June 7th, 2006
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The Senate has voted not to move forward with a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. On the face of it, this seems like a defeat for President Bush and his right-wing strategists.
But is it?
An amendment to the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority in both houses in order to be presented to the legislatures of the various States where it then requires a three-quarters majority. It takes a long time for all 50 States to ratify or reject an amendment.
So there’s no chance that this amendment would come anywhere near ratification (much less effectiveness) until long after the next congressional and presidential elections. Maybe not even for the elections after those. The proposed Equal Rights Amendment expired after 7 years before it could be ratified.
So what was behind this late-term push? Did the White House expect this to fail? Could it be possible that the White House and the Senate GOP leadership agreed for it to fail before the the amendment was even presented? That senators whose upcoming re-election was expected to be close could engineer their votes to appeal to the swing voters in their constituencies? That the White House (as chief fundraiser for the next GOP elections) could go back to the right-wing Christians who provided significant funding over the last few elections and say “Hey, we did what we could!. You need to support us even more strongly now. See how the evil influences of the Left and the Democrats are affecting even loyal GOP senators!”?
No way. They couldn’t be that duplicitous, could they?