Florida Marriage Amendment Another Republican Dirty Trick

Nothing like anti-gay hysteria to get out the vote, said the Daytona News Journal in editorial exposing the real purpose of Florida’s so-called “marriage amendment.”

Florida law already prohibits same-sex couples from marrying. The state doesn’t need a constitutional amendment to do the same — unless, of course, the rationale is to stampede conservatives to the polls.

“The rationale is to stampede conservatives to the polls.”

… the group’s premise: Allowing gay men and lesbians to marry somehow threatens other Floridians. In support of that premise, they offer no data, no factual analysis, no case studies. Just rhetoric, often misleading rhetoric. For example, statements on the site speak to “establishing marriage” as if hundreds of Floridians aren’t already marrying every day.

The proposed amendment doesn’t stop at marriage. It also would prohibit state lawmakers from creating any “substantial equivalent” of marriage. In other words, the state could not pass a law legalizing civil unions…

A wiser, more compassionate move would take the state in the other direction, realizing that gay people — like any other Floridians — deserve the chance to formalize permanent bonds and create their own families.

Floridians may not be ready to go there. But this amendment tricks them, by also banning civil unions…

Unfortunately, it’s likely that Florida voters won’t understand how broad this proposed amendment is unless they realize how cynically they’re being played. Voters — and Florida’s substantial gay population — deserve better.

Katrina the Perfect Political Storm Too

Katrina might have been the perfect storm politically, shattering support for Bush’s key policies and changing, along with New Orleans’ waterfront, the political landscape as well. A.P.:

Population shifts caused by the exodus of hurricane victims from the Gulf Coast could have ripple effects for years to come in Louisiana political races and perhaps beyond…

The early thinking is the evacuees least likely to return to their homes in Louisiana may be the poorest – and thus, Democrats for the most part…

“The stars are aligned,” said one Democratic consultant. “But Democrats need a candidate with a message.”

[Political Consultant Elliott] Stonecipher sees the New Orleans area losing Democratic voters and a political network that was of great benefit to Sen. Mary Landrieu and other Democrats…

Landrieu was elected in a 2002 runoff by a 52-48 margin, a difference of just 42,000 votes. New Orleans was the base of her support…Kathleen Blanco, the Democratic governor, who also won by a 52-48 margin, faces re-election in 2007.

Ray Nagin, the Democratic mayor of New Orleans, is up for re-election in February. No one knows if the city could even hold an election by then…

On the other hand, Texas might make up some of Louisiana’s Democratic losses.

…[L]ocal races – for everything from school boards to legislative seats and perhaps even congressional districts – could be affected.

…With Texas’ Hispanic population surging and its black population growing faster than the white population, demographic shifts already are pushing the state toward the Democrats. Katrina could help hasten the trend.

[…]

Poll: Another New Low for President Bush

The new Washington Post-ABC poll found that President George Bush’s job approval rating is at 45 percent, down seven points since January and the lowest ever recorded for the president in Post-ABC surveys. Fifty-three percent disapproved of the job Bush is doing.

We hate to sound like a broken record but these numbers are still ridiculously high for a failed presidency. The reason Mr. Bush’s poll numbers are not in the low 30’s is because people still give this administration credit for preventing another terrorist attack in the United States. Never mind that the 9/11 attacks took place nine years after the first World Trade Center bombings.

What is new in this poll is the fact that gas prices took a toll on the president’s approval rating. Six in 10 Americans said there are steps the administration could take to reduce gas prices.

Yeah, you’d think a couple of oil men would be able to fix the price of oil. Oh, wait! They did!