Sunday, February 29, 2004

The Process of Governing


This is about process, not gay marriage

The official talking points out of the White House is that the Constitutional Amendment banning Gay Marriage only came about after Activist Judges forced the President to intervene (See, for example, this Op/Ed in todays NYT: How the Judges Forced the President's Hand).

It turns out that's simply a giant lie, according to a GOP aide quoted in the Rocky Mountain News:

"President Bush pledged to Rep. Marilyn Musgrave that he would support her proposed constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage three months before he made Tuesday's public pronouncement, according to Musgrave's top aide.

The White House has said Bush made the decision only after officials in San Francisco and New Mexico presided over same-sex marriages.

Guy Short, Musgrave's chief of staff, said Musgrave discussed her Federal Marriage Amendment with the president during a Nov. 24 trip aboard Air Force One to Fort Carson, where Bush visited troops and met with survivors of military personnel killed in Iraq."

Those confidential assurances by the president encouraged Musgrave and her staff to proceed. "We wanted to respect his timing, but we knew it was coming," Short said.

Forget the politics of this: My concern (I'm an independent) is the process of governance: There is simply a frightening over reliance on deception and falsehoods from this administration. Any scientist understands the obvious dangers of this in research. There is a similar problem with this form of governance. We saw it with Stem Cell Research, with Iraq (and you may recall I was pro Invasion but for reasons other than WMD), with the Medicaid program, with tax cuts (many of which I supported), and on the deficit projections.

And now, the same pattern arises with the proposed Constitutional Amendment prohibiting Gay Marriages.

This should be a concern for every US citizen. This impacts our credibility in the World -- and that's important for a debtor nation who's financial obligations are 46% owned by foreign investors and governments. If they ever decide to stop buying US Treasuries, we would be in some real fiscal trouble. Their purchases are what's keeping interest rates so low. If overseas governments stop buying US Treasuries, interest rates would spike up dramatically. That's why, setting aside the politics of Gay Marriage or Stem Cell Research or whatever -- the process of government needs to be credible and transparent. At present, its neither.

In politics, as in most endeavors, I expect to disagree with people. I frequently engage in enthusiastic debate. Occasionally, I will even have someone change my mind. But I never expect totally disingenuous argument with fabricated facts, timelines, details and data. That is simply and totally unacceptable -- even in Politics.

Yes, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. Soon, we may need to add a 4th category: the "factual" basis for any policy announcement out of this White House.

UPDATE: March 1, 2004 6:54am
A reader points out that this CNN article from July 2003: "White House considers constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage:"

"A day after Bush revealed his staff was looking at ways to "codify" his belief that marriage should be limited to unions between a man and a woman, his spokesman noted a constitutional amendment is being "publicly debated" and acknowledged it is something the White House is considering "in this context."
The article does quote White House spokesman Scott McClellan stating "There is speculation there may be some decisions soon in places like Massachusetts and New Jersey, so it's a question of what may be needed legally to protect and defend the sanctity of marriage." However, given the President's committment to the amendment in November 2003, prior to the court decisions, its apparent that the judicial activisism is merely a convenient excuse for pursuing this amendment, decided upon long before the court decisions.

Bush pledged to back ban in Nov., Musgrave aide says
Bill Straub, Scripps Howard News Service
February 28, 2004,1299,DRMN_21_2690146,00.html

How the Judges Forced the President's Hand
NYTimes, February 29, 2004

White House considers constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage
Bush wants to 'codify' definition of marriage
Dana Bash
CNN Washington Bureau, Thursday, July 31, 2003 Posted: 5:27 PM EDT (2127 GMT)

Posted at 09:25 AM in Politics | Permalink


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» Reflection on Recent Developments in the Gay Marriage Issue from the red weather network
On February 24 I sent an email to a friend that began as follows: "You know what's amazing? A few localish politicians were able to force the president's hand . . . " Behold, I am reading this Tapped entry... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 4, 2004 1:42:22 AM


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