priorities in the face of panderpalooza

A week or so ago, I posted something here about a comment made by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. The Senator, if you’ll recall, was claiming that the two most pressing priorities facing our country were flag burning and gay marriage. (Since then, Frist has gone on to say that marriage (like Christmas) is “under attack.”)

Well, on Wednesday, the Senate will be voting on an amendment to the Constitution of the United States that would, if passed – and then ratified by 38 state legislatures – outlaw gay marriage. And, Bush has, in the last few days, stressed that he very much supported such an amendment. While it looks as though the administration doesn’t have the 2/3 majority necessary to make it happen, that doesn’t mean there isn’t cause for concern. (They tried in 2004 and failed, but that didn’t stop them from pursuing it.) Bush, as most failing politicians do, is trying to galvanize his (delusional and hate-filled) base, and this is symptomatic of that. My concern is that we might see more lunacy in the coming months, as his desperation grow. Gays, after all, make attractive scapegoats. (I wouldn’t want to be either gay or Iranian right now.)

And why not play to the fears of the feebleminded? It’s worked so well in the past… There’s little doubt that including the issue of gay marriage on several state ballots in 2004 helped deliver the evangelical fundamentalists to their polling places, where they voted Bush back into office. (I don’t have a link handy, but I’m told that Republican operatives in several states are working feverishly to get anti-gay adoption initiatives on their 2006 ballots, hoping that it, again, will force homophobes to the polls in droves…. But what else are good, God-fearing people to do? As we all know, gays adopt children to molest them, after all.)

And, as if that weren’t enough, this week our Senators will also be deciding whether or not to permanently repeal the Estate Tax (also known at the Death Tax, the Inheritance Tax, and the Paris Hilton Tax). My belief, and I realize that it’s naive, is that a country at war shouldn’t actively seek to reduce its revenues. But, then again, I don’t have wealthy constituents to appease. I just have common sense (and a soul)… Sure, the PR assholes will tell you that it has to be recalled because it’s destroying family farms, but that’s bullshit, and we all know it. The truth is, it’s another give-away to the wealthiest Americans. (The existence of an aristocracy, by the way, is un-American.)

The poor are sending their kids to die in Iraq. And, I don’t think it’s out of the question for us to suggest that those worth several million dollars give a percentage to the federal government when their wealth is transferred to their well-healed heirs. (If you agree with me, you can send a letter to your Senators through the good folks at True Majority.)

My priorities, in case you’re interested, are more aligned with the folks at MoveOn, who have just polled their members and accordingly changed their strategic direction to address issues like: healthcare for all, sustainable energy independence, and the restoration of democracy here at home (with accurate elections and a renewed dedication to the Bill of Rights). My top three might be a little different, but I sure as hell wouldn’t be concentrating on things like gay marriage and the permanent repeal of the Estate Tax.

OK, I need to go and do some work for the Shadow Art Fair now, but I just had to get that off of my chest first.

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  1. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted June 5, 2006 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if it should make us feel any better, but, according to a friend of Bush’s, he “doesn’t give a shit” whether or not gay couples marry.

    So, he’s not attacking gays because he believes they deserve it, but because he finds it politically expedient. I didn’t think it was possible for me to think any less of the man, and yet…

  2. mark
    Posted June 5, 2006 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    And, contrary to what the Republicans would have you believe, apparently only 3% of those polled think homosexuality is the most pressing problem facing America.

  3. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted June 6, 2006 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Every time a gay couple kisses it makes my marriage worth less.

    That’s doubly true if one or both of them are hot.

  4. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted June 8, 2006 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    As expected, the Constitutional ban on gay marriage failed.

    …Supporters went into yesterday’s showdown knowing they could not muster the two-thirds majority needed to pass a constitutional amendment, much less the 60 votes needed to cut off debate and bring the measure to a final vote. But they had at least hoped to gain a simple majority of the Senate, or 51 votes. Instead, they fell short, 49 to 48.

    The Washington Post:

  5. mark
    Posted June 8, 2006 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I heard that the initiative to repeal the Estate Tax failed too.

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