My [first?] 2006 Republican Rant

Republicans, as a group, aren’t a homogeneous population, nor are they controlled via mind control by the RNC. Basically, their message is bound to vary, depending on who is delivering it.

That said, they’re seemingly back on message when it comes to same-sex unions, after a minor slip-up last year in the Golden State.

The Washington Supreme Court is currently considering a challenge to the state’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a challenge that could result in one of three possible outcomes, according to the Advocate.

The options: first, the court could uphold the law, and nothing would change; second, the court could delcare the law unconstitutional and grant same-sex marriages on the spot (we’ll call that the “Massachusetts Plan”); third, they could declare the law unconstitutional and demand the legisltuare find a way to grant same-sex couples marriage-type rights (we’ll call that the “Vermont Plan.”)

What, you may ask, do Washington state Republicans have to say about this? They’re harping on the courts again, saying that marriage should be defined by the legislature, not those pesky activist judges.

That’s been the party line, but most recently, it required a little retooling by some folks down the coast. Which brings us back in time; while DA has been undeniably on hiatus for nearly a year, the one story that nearly brought it back to life was, not surprisingly, this one.

Anti-gay marriage Republicans, perhaps thinking short-sightedly, have always worked under the assumption that no legislature would ever have the chutzpah to legalize same-sex marriage. Under that assumption, their tirade on the court system always sounded good: the people (via the legislative branch) should decide this issue, not the courts. Then, along came California, and everything changed.

As everyone knows, this past September – facing the prospect of being the first Governor to sign a bill legalizing gay marriage – moderate Governor Arnold Swarzenegger balked.

If he had said that he just doesn’t believe in it, fine. That’s his prerogative.

If he had said that constituent calls into his office were overwhelmingly unsupportive of the bill, fine. It’s blatant followership, not leadership, but fine. There are plenty of leaders who value polls over their gut.

The Governator used neither of these justifications for his veto. Instead, he went where no Republican had gone before: he said that gay marriage in California was an issue that should be decided by the courts. Was the Governor grasping at straws to find a reason to oppose this bill? Was he following the GOP party line of “say no to happy gays?” I’m not sure.

Last night, however, the Governor went out on a political limb by making what is probably one of the most self-effacing State of the State speeches in California’s 155-year history. The Governor indicated he heard the voters’ message to “cut the warfare, cool the rhetoric,” and “find common ground.”

Maybe he’ll put down the RNC talking points and rediscover himself. Wait for it.

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