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October 07, 2014

Another Open Thread

Hi guys. How you doin'.

I'm very busy. Sometimes I have extraneous work on a deadline and have to see to it.

I am not having fun. I want everyone to know that. I do not want to be falsely accused of having fun and blowin' off work.

That would destroy me. You all know how much I treasure my reputation as a very hard worker.

I'll post some stuff today but it will tend to be open threads or stuff I got from Hot Air or Instapundit, with no commentary.

Apologies. I don't mean to be separated from you guys. But I have other work that must be done.

Here's something. For years (years) I've been making the case that it is a nonstarter to propose a constitutional amendment that defines, for the entire country, marriage as between one man and one woman.

That was never going to pass. I don't know what happened here -- did traditional marriage proponents just demand too much, so they could show their supporters and donors perfect fidelity on the issue, or did the GOP keep pushing this in order to (falsely) appease traditional marriage supporters, while knowing their proposed amendment had zero chance of being passed?

The thing that could be passed is an amendment stating that marriage cannot be redefined by the courts based on their interpretation of caselaw or vague constitutional prescriptives, but can only be redefined by explicit legislative action (or explicit constitutional amendment through the normal constitutional process).

Well now Ted Cruz id proposing just that. I think it may be too late -- closing the barn doors after the horses have already run off to get gay-horse-married on Fire Island -- but who knows.

“Marriage is a question for the States. That is why I have introduced legislation, S. 2024, to protect the authority of state legislatures to define marriage. And that is why, when Congress returns to session, I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to prevent the federal government or the courts from attacking or striking down state marriage laws."

I literally have been urging this for years.

Like I said, I think it's too late. This could have passed in 2002. I don't think that even this lesser amendment can pass now. Before gay marriage was so widely available, people's basic take on it was that it might lead to various bad outcomes. That is, the public was previously more aligned with traditional marriage supporters on the issue.

At this point, I don't think the public is any longer aligned with traditional marriage supporters.

This just seems to me to be a case where people sometimes are so devoted to a principle that they can't see that the particular expression of it they're seeking is not only impossible, but counterproductive, as pushing for that particular expression forecloses other, more achievable expressions.

For years traditional marriage groups, and GOP politicians hoping to curry favor, pushed their constitutional amendment for a definition of marriage. This was obviously not going anywhere, and if it wasn't obvious from the start, it should have been obvious after it failed for years to get any traction.

But the course was never readjusted. No other proposals were offered (such as simply protecting legislatures' rights to define marriage, however way they might choose).

This just happens all the time. Gettable legislation or amendments are ignored in favor of an unachievable ideal, and the net result is that we come away with nothing at all.

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posted by Ace at 02:34 PM

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