Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pelosi Blues

It would be wrong not to congratulate our opposition on a good evening. Local lefty blogger Jay Bullock should even take a personal day and contemplate the sublimity of life. God knows he's got them in his contract.

Here at home, I've locked away all the sharp objects so that I can go to work and not have to worry that the Reddess will do something desperate.

What will the Dems do with control of the House (and, maybe, the Senate)? My guess is mostly nothing. An increase in the minimum wage seems in the cards and I doubt that Bush vetoes that. They might roll back the upper end of the Bush tax cuts, but I don't think they have the votes to do more. Their impact on Iraq will be minimal. Its very hard to conduct foreign policy from the Capitol.

They may believe that the thing to do is to launch a bunch of investigations. That would be dangerous. Aimless investigations with little results generally come across as divisive. The impeachment of Clinton backfired on the GOP. As Omar Little once said on the best show on television, if you "come at the king, you best not miss."

More fundamentally, the Dems retook Congress without a program. That's fine but George W. Bush has officially ceased to be a campaign issue. If Pelosi is going to get her money out of redecorating the Speaker's office, she's going to have give people something to vote for rather than against.

As for Bush, he ought to take the offensive domestically by proposing a series of popular conservative initiatives. He ought to propose a big increase in stem cell funding (including funding for alternative sources of pluripotent cells) with a continued cloning restriction. He ought to propose a new initiative on immigration. He should not be afraid to return to social security and medicare reform. The Dems won't pass any of this, but their failure to do so will be destructive. "Dead on arrival" never hurt Reagan and a "do nothing" Congress reelected Harry Truman.

17 comments:

reddess said...

nah...our gal Nancy and her bud Harry aren't worth that. I'll just finish the case that I am looking at, then go to the oh so cool new BayShore and do my part to help the economy. Nothing that a new pair of shoes can't fix.

jimi5150 said...

Not impossible that the Democrats will do the inverse and put forth some initiatives that wouldn't pass normally, but would then make the Republicans look weak on issues such as the environment, healthcare and spending, as well as looking like they are too behind the rich, big business, and the war. It's going to be tough. I expect Bush to stick to core beliefs. But how much of this plays out will certainly have an effect on 2008. I do agree, Bush should put forth his initiatives . . . and do it first.

Anonymous said...

No reason to sing the blues. You all won a great victory by beating down a minority group and putting it in the constitution. You should be very, very proud of yourself today. I am certain that history will judge you folks as courageous and far-sighted. So raise a glass to yourselves. Just check to make sure the gay waiter didn't spit in your drink.

jp said...

I think I can survive 2 years of Pelosi by using the mute button.

At this time, a “do nothing” Congress sounds good to me.

Jay Bullock said...

I don't actually get personal days. It comes out of my sick time.

amazon said...

You're in denial, Shark. Conservatives screwed the pooch these past few years, and Joe voter called them on it. That stupid war of yours in Iraq--you will never live it down.

By the way, nice job saving marriage from love. What form of discrimination will you fight for next?

jimi5150 said...

"By the way, nice job saving marriage from love. What form of discrimination will you fight for next?"

There's no way this passed as it did without many Dems voting for it. Especially in Milwaukee.

Anonymous said...

Pelosi and Reid are too smart to head down the investigation/impeachment path, unlike their Republican predecessors. Someone has to follow the Biblical advice and turn the other cheek.

It's been fun watching the "family values" crowd wither. Many of them are shameless hypocrites. My particular favorite is Indiana Republican Dan Burton, who wailed endlessly about that evil Bill Clinton.

What Big Moral Dan didn't like talking about is the Indiana statehouse staffer who he impregnated while "serving" in the state legislature. Oh, Big Moral Dan has done the right thing by paying child support faithfully for 15+ years, but he refuses to be a father to his child. He simply mails the money and ignores the child, as if the child did not exist.

Disgusting.

Rick Esenberg said...

I have said - again and again - that defining marriage to the type of relationship that it was designed to facilitate and for which it was constructed is not invidious discrimination. It does not "beat down" gays and lesbians who have every legal right today that they did on Monday. I have said that marriage is not just about love (there are lots of people I love that I can't marry).

Anonymous said...

No matter how many times you say it, it still doesn't make it true. The amendment was about hate and bigotry, pure and simple. It will most certainly go down as the most shameful vote in Wisconsin history. The curous thing is that your leader, Appling, has never been married and lives with another adult woman. Just another in a long line of self-loathers who preach hate because they can't deal with the truth.

You truly appear to have no understanding of what it means to have an amendment to the constitution that singles out a specific class of citizens for unequal protection. So here is my challenge to you Rick: put your money and your time where your mouth is. You have said repeatedly that your favor some legal protections for LGBT families, and that this amendment will not hurt families. I dare you to lead the legal fight against the inevitable lawsuit that is coming from your friends to terminate domestic partner health insurance benefits for public employees. Will you commit right now to doing that?

Rick Esenberg said...

Let's say the constitution prohibited polygamy (in Utah, it does), would you argue that this singles out a class of people for unequal protection?

As far as the legal fight on domestic partner benefits, I doubt that anyone will be asking me to lead that charge - on either side.
But I am on record as saying that the amendment does not prohibit an employer extending benefits to an adult dependent of an unmarried employee. The question is a bit closer when the employer limits those benefits to people in a sexual relationship but, particularly in light of the expressed intent of the authors, I think it that this alone does not create a legal status identical or substantially similar to marriage and can be done.

I said it before the vote and I'm saying it after the vote.

As did Julaine Appling (whom I have spoken to on the phone but never met)and who, while she is apparently one heck of a politico to have won this, I don't really consider to be "my leader."

Anonymous said...

Let's just say this was about aliens from Mars... It wasn't. This was about gay people and you know it.

Are you saying that you truly believe that this will not affect the right of public employees to domestic partner benefits? Have you not read all of the cases? We'll see this first suit by your buddies within weeks, if not days.

Your problem is that you assume gay relationships are about sex. I have completed the documentation necessary to receive insurance for my partner and our child. I had to provide a ridiculous series of documents, not one of which asked about sex. These are the very documents that must be provided to insurers in MI. Guess what! The lawsuit says that is treating us like married folks. As you say repeatedly, marriage ain't just about sex. Well neither are gay and lesbian relationships! They are about mutual commitment, love, protection, and community. It is very sad you do not understand that. For shame.

Rick Esenberg said...

No, I don't assume that they are all about sex. I never said or implied that. However, marriage is limited to sexual relationships. We don't allow loving and mutual relationships that are non-conjugal, e.g., sons with their mothers, sisters living with each other, to become marriages - even if these people are raising children.

The reason for that is that it wouldn't fit the purpose of marriage which is, largely, to create a social norm with respect to the type of relationship that men and women - who can create babies and who experience sexuality differently - should enter into.

It is not necessary to create the same norm for same-sex couples. The tougher question is whether it would affect marriage to permit them access if they so choose. Amendment proponents believe that it might for a variety of reasons, including that it changes the social understanding of what marriage is for, further suggesting that it is plastic, malleable and largely defined by the wishes of the adults who enter into it. If marriage is simply about love, then there is really no good reason to avoid extending it to a variety of other relationships. This, however, is unlikely to expand marriage but lead to its extinction as a civil institution and as a preferred social one. If same-sex marriage is enacted, society can really no longer claim that mothers and fathers are normative or that children have, all else equal, a right to know and be raised by their biological parents.

I could go on, but the point is that these concerns relate to the impact of the redefintion of marriage on heterosexual marriage. They really don't turn on any judgment about homosexuality. You can argue that those who make these arguments are wrong, but you ought not to mischaracterize what they are saying.

Anonymous said...

I know plenty of sexless marriages...

But I digress.

Are you in favor of a constittuional amendment banning people over the age of 55 from marrying? The only legitimate reason for them to marry is that they love each other and want to protect each other. Much like my partner and I would like to do. They can still draft wills, powers of attorney and contracts regarding property (there is that nasty taxation problem, but if we're going ot be coinsistent, have to stick it to the straight people too).

Also, have you been divorced?

Anonymous said...

Anon

I am a Democrat and I voted yes. The amendment passed 60% to 40% so I am certain that there are others like me. It is not just conservatives who believe that the amendment is needed to protect the traditional definition of marriage. I did not vote yes to deny rights to those in same sex relationships. This amendment is not about hatred and bigotry. And I don't believe that supressing the gay community was the intention of the "yes
crowd".

Rick Esenberg said...

I deleted a post at the request of my family. Yes, I was divorced and no I don't think I'm being in the least bit hypocritical. But I'm not going to say more than that because my ex-wife has not volunteered to have her past discussed in public.

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