Tuesday, February 24, 2004

President proposes a gay marriage amendment

Heavens, what a mess!

We have a handful of judges in Massachusetts who have upheld gay marriage. One state, one handful of judges. We have a situation in Massachusetts where the legislature may overrule the judges, which is what legislatures are allowed to do.

We have a mayor in San Francisco who is doing something. I just heard him on Larry King, and he has a lot in common with George Bush. He thinks the power vested in him is absolute. He thinks that he gets to decide 200 years of discrimination policy. I agree with Ahnold. Mayors don't get to decide who gets married, the State (California, the state legislature, the state courts) gets to decide. The mayor is creating facts on the ground, however, and the State Courts decide that these marriages are unconstitutional (and how are they going to find otherwise, right now), the streets will explode. Will this Mayor be able to legally arrest (arrests are what counties do, not states) the people he just illegally married? And it is illegal, now, no matter whether or not it will be legal next week.

These things could have worked themselves out over time. And not a lot of time either.

But now George has, once again, shown his disrespect for the process of law. Not as much disrespect as the mayor of San Francisco, who thinks that the law is whatever he says it is, but a certain disrespect for the cooling aspect of allowing the law to dissolve the matter before it becomes a crisis. This constitutional amendment is premature. 4 judges and 1 mayor should not amount to a constitutional crisis. Now it does. It is the perfect bookend, at the end of this administration, for short-circuiting the process of the Florida recount.

It is the predictable reaction of a man who would be king.

One of the New Republic bloggers said today (before the Bush announcement), with a certain amount of admiration, that what Bush does is blow everything up into a big problem, and then proposes a big solution.

Those of us who love Shakespeare are always looking at Bush as Prince Hal, perhaps evolving into Henry V.

Bush is going to accuse Kerry of inconsistencies in his record. Kerry, or Edwards for that matter, will have to show that the inconsistencies are the product of mature people running not against Prince Hal, but against Hotspur.