Wednesday, June 07, 2006
The US Senate rejected an amendment that would have banned all marriages except between a man and a woman, if it had gone through the entire process. The Senate fell short of the needed 60 votes to require an up-or-down vote which would then require 67 votes for passage.
That it fell short of the 67 is not news; few expected passage. That it fell short of the 60 to require the up-or-down vote is not surprising, but it is telling. What can we glean from our elected officials on this vote?
- Perennial Presidential candidate, John McCain, stated, "Most Americans are not yet convinced that their elected representatives or the judiciary are likely to expand decisively the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples." McCain also stated on Tuesday, 6/6/06, that he is not a supporter of the amendment. Sen. McCain is a candidate for the Republican nomination for the presidency. Does he believe that such statements will endear himself to the conservative base of the Republican Party? Did he not learn anything from his comments in 2000 about the religious conservatives after it cost him momentum in that election? This will be heavy fodder for McCain opponents in 2008.
- Sen. Edward "Teddy" Kennedy stated, "The Republican leadership is asking us to spend time writing bigotry into the Constitution." No surprise there. This coming from the resident sink-or-swim Senator. The surprise is the response from Sen. Orrin Hatch who replied, "Does he really want to suggest that over half of the United States Senate is a crew of bigots?" Well, yes. That is exactly what Sen. Kennedy is implying and the sooner the senate Republicans learn this game the better they will do in the coming election.
- Republican Senators voting against this amendment: Sens. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, John McCain of Arizona, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and John Sununu of New Hampshire. No real surprise there with the possible exception of Sununu. Where the surprise comes in is in the Democrats that voted for the amendment: Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Imagine that, Senator Robert "Grand Dragon" Byrd on the side of Republicans and the American majority.
- It would be nice to see where the three Senators that did not vote stood on the issue. Then again, by not voting they sort of tipped their hands. These Senators were Democrats Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and John Rockefeller of West Virginia, and Republican Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.
How many of you contacted your Senators on this issue? Even though it was a losing cause, the Sniper contacted Sen. Blanche Lincoln to urge her to vote for the amendment. The contact e-mail contained references to her statement that Arkansas did not need an amendment for same-sex marriage. It went on to remind her that the election on that amendment showed how overwhelmingly out of touch she was with her constituents.
One has to wonder where our current crop of candidates, Democrat and Republican alike, stand on this issue. We know from the last Senate campaign where Jim Holt stands.
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