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Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Bush’

Same thoughts on Sam-Sex Marriage

I just got off the phone with a morning show here in town. I called into the host to make sure he knew about this morning’s Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. Essentially the court said it would not rule on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.  The ruling doesn’t nationalize it. And it doesn’t signal it will be up to each state to decide what it wants. What it does is allow same-sex couples to marry in states with appeals pending in front of the Supreme Court.  And, according to Anthony Rothert of the ACLU-MO, “it means the decision is binding for for all states within those circuits, so marriage should come very soon to North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.” Rothert also says the ruling may lead to a decrease in states appealing directly to the Supreme Court because they can see the tide of rulings towards same-sex marriage.

Just Friday, the courts here in Missouri ruled in favor of recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples who were legally wed in other states, where gay marriage is legal.

Today’s Supreme Court ruling was like a stone skipping in water. Its tone was quiet but its effect is anything but. Within minutes, the number of states where same-sex marriage will be allowed has jumped from 17 to 30.

The question is, “What’s next?” Will we see an amendment to overturn the State’s ban on gay marriage? And if so, how will it affect the elections overall? Here in Missouri, our Attorney General (who is running for Governor) is charged with defending the law on the books. It is his job. To his credit, he has said he is in favor of same-sex unions personally. And today, the ACLU announced that Attorney General Chris Koster has indicated to them he won’t challenge SCOTUS’ ruling.

The Republican players have taken a different tack. By not talking about same-sex marriage, some may be hoping to usher in a new day in politics, where voters can agree to disagree on social issues.

Asked about a ballot initiative or amendment, Rothert says, “The better course would be to get the anti-gay amendment off the books. Gay men and lesbians do not want gay marriage – they just want marriage, the same marriage that straight couples enjoy.”

This was the crux of my conversation on the radio this morning. Will Missouri step up to reverse course on a decision it made ten years ago to declare marriage for straight men and women only?  “Somebody’s going to do it,” I said. McGraw said, “Maybe you?” I said, “Well, no one has asked me.”

The most likely advocate, Democrat Jolie Justus, the only openly gay State Senator just retired because of term limits.

Why would someone ask someone like me if I am going to get involved? I’m a heterosexual single Mom with two teenagers, two dogs and a cat and a house that is always just beyond the reach of being well maintained. I had to ask myself, “Should I get involved?” A lot of people will be doing the same thing when the issue comes up, as I have no doubt it will. A core question is why is this important to the mainstream Missourian? For me, the answers are clear.

The truth is same sex couples will find each other, live together and raise families whether there is a ban on gay marriage or not. Can Missouri continue to be a state that allows shame to remain on its books? Do we want to be a state that dials down diversity? Can we recognize that stabilizing relationships creates stable neighborhoods and communities?

I have been blogging for years about the fact that the Republican Party needed to ease up on social issues. I am in favor of gay marriage and the Non-Discrimination Employment Act. To me it shouldn’t be hard to reconcile those views with being pro-business. Being tolerant is good business.

I can’t remember who I said it to but when I first got involved in politics, I remember saying a lot of people in my generation would like to vote Republican but feel pushed out of the tent over same-sex marriage. Shortly later, I applauded when George Bush’s daughter told the New York Times, “I am Barbara Bush, and I am a New Yorker for marriage equality. New York is about fairness and equality. And everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love.”

My response today? “Same.” Same thoughts on same-sex, that is. What a compliment to be asked whether I would stand up for an issue that is sweeping this country because of what it says about our values as a tolerant society.

 

 

The Lessons of Super Tuesday

The Lessons of Super Tuesday

This is an article I wrote for my blog on CafeMom.com/the Stir as part of the Moms Matter initiative I am taking part in…

What are the lessons of Super Tuesday? I’m a newcomer to all this myself but it seems to me, it’s a little bit like a pit stop at a race track, where a candidate can see what’s dragging him or her down, tweak and re-launch. And if he does it right, that re-entry might give the candidates exactly the momentum he or she needs to clinch it. 

Wednesday morning, Mitt Romney, who won the largest number of delegates by a pretty good margin, was probably wishing that delegates were still awarded on a winner take all basis. Because they’re not, Rick Santorum is actually going to get a big chunk of the delegates even in states he didn’t win. What he didn’t get was a big chunk of Catholic votes. Catholic voters, one of the biggest groups of swing voters, have consistently voted for Romney in state after state. According to CNN’s exit polls, Romney took 43% of Ohio Catholics on Super Tuesday, compared to 31% for Rick Santorum. (www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2012/03/analyst-catholics-may-account-for-romney-win-in-ohio/) Why is this? Because Catholics, not unlike Republicans, have more depth and individualism than many people assume. And Santorum’s reaching out to social conservatives may be turning some Catholics off who care more about job creation than rewriting creation.  

 Super Tuesday is like a snap shot that shows a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses with different kinds of voters in different parts of the country. While Romney’s loss in some southern states is a concern, the good news is by winning Ohio, he proved he could win another big industrial state. Michigan was the first. 

 For sure, it’s time for Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul to bow out gracefully. Yes, Newt, Georgia thinks you’re a peach. Now, would you please step aside and help stop the creeping rot that is hurting the whole crop!  As for Rick Santorum, somebody needs to get a bucket of water and douse the religious fire. An admirable crusader, he is unfortunately leading the troops straight towards a cliff. There’s no doubt that Romney stands head and shoulders above Santorum when it comes to all matters related to the economy. And when voters say their biggest concern is job creation or taming the deficit, Santorum’s religious sanitizing of the Republican party seems a little, well, off-topic.

 I just read a great article by Major Garrett in the National Journal  about the division in the Republican party and the split between what the writer calls, “The Rationals” and “The Notionals.” (nationaljournal.com/2012/03/two-sets-of-gop-voters-rationa.php) It has nothing to do with rational versus irrational thinking. Instead the Notionals are the Republicans who have a notion that there is someone out there who is better than Romney. And they have been flipping back and forth for a year and a half about who that may be.

To build on this thought, I would say I guess it is Rick Santorum’s good fortune that the Notionals have discovered him at this stage of the game. But does someone, who soundly lost a re-election bid as Senator in his home state, have what it takes to defeat President Barack Obama in what is going to be a tough general election driven in large part by voters concerns about the economy? 

According to Garrett, the Notionals are the grass roots activists who are trying to effect change by staying longer and talking louder. They are the Tea Party-ers, the Bachmann and Palin fans, the Donald Trump fans, the Rush Limbaughs, who get a lot of attention but do not speak for most Republicans I know.  The Notionals are the ones who said in polls that it is important that a candidate share their religion. 

 I would add that the Rationals are the people who recognize the range of social opinions within the party when they hear George Bush’s daughter advocating gay marriage. They care when someone they trust, like Barbara Bush, says they’ve known the Romneys for years and they really are good people. The  Rationals are the same people who can take an objective look at Mitt Romney’s resume and see a pretty compelling match between his skills and our country’s most pressing needs right now.   

 One obvious target Romney could reach out to to bolster himself in the final months leading up to the nomination is moderate Republican women. According to CNN, half of Republican voters are women and two-thirds of new small businesses are started by women. We’re here and we tend to vote Republican. And we really like Barbara Bush. In fact, we’re waiting for her to come up with another zinger like, “It rhymes with rich.”

What would she say about this current hard right/then hard left/now hard right turn into the bedroom and the ensuing flap on birth control? Hmmm.  If anyone can put it in perspective, she can! And God knows, Republican women could use a good laugh right now! 

By the way, Romney took Vermont, too. According to CNN’s Super Tuesday polls, Vermont is the only state where the majority of Republican voters heading to the polls on Super Tuesday identified themselves as Moderates. I believe the majority of Republicans are moderates who view the social conservatives with suspicion. They’re just waiting for the reasonable Republican to be revered the way the social conservative is now feared.  That is what it is going to take to re-engage them and get them to the polls!  I guess it’s clear who I am voting for – the Rational! Or Mitt Romney.