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Jason Holliston
Thursday, February 26, 2004  
Karl Rove's Mistake

After seeing the reaction of the blogosphere over the past couple days following President Bush's announcement of his support for the FMA, the anti-gay marriage amendment, I can't help but see it as a colossal political mistake. The hard-Right was in his pocket before his announcement. Sure, Conservatives were grumbling about his lack of interest in fighting runaway spending. Sure, Conservatives were having strokes across the country about his recently-announced immigration policy. Still, even with all that, a vast majority of the Right had no intention of voting for a Democrat, no matter who won the nomination. They would have slogged to the polls in the end, and done their Party duty, even while muttering under their breath.

The moderates, though, are being pushed off the fence by this. Many people that were uncomfortable with some of his social policies swallowed hard and were ready to vote for him in November. John Kerry is just too much of a risk in these historical times, they told themselves. The President may get some things wrong, but on the important things, he's right on the money, they assured each other. Then this. Doesn't this feel like the 80's again? You can almost see Pat Robertson dancing for joy a few mornings ago, while watching the President's speech.

So from my perspective, he's lost lots of moderates to third-party candidates and the Democrats, and made Conservatives happy that would have voted for him anyway. Where's the gain? I would understand if he really believed in this, and it had a snowball's chance in Hell of passing. But thankfully, it doesn't have a chance. Hardly any Democrats support the new law, there's a group of Republicans, led by John McCain, that feel this would be a huge blow to state's rights, and a solid majority of Americans are against it, as well. So, the only plausible explanation is a political one. Bad move, Karl Rove.

For the record, I have no problem at all with equal gay marriage rights. But then again, I also believe that marriage (with a capital 'M') should be only in the personal domain of churches and/or a private, personal commitment between two people. The State should only be involved with the contract aspects of the binding if that binding fails. This is what happens when you take what was traditionally a religious ritual, and turn it over to the State. Those people that see it as having religious significance, even though it's the State administrating it, began to apply those same religious principles upon the act.

One more thing that's been bothering me, as well. You keep hearing from pols and pundits that this problem only began when "activist judges" began to force things "the majority doesn't want". That's the trick with Democracy, though -- at the same time you try and respect the will of the majority, you must protect the minority from tyranny. And it's the Judicial branch that protects the minority from the majority, not the Executive or the Legislative. Food for thought.

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