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Posted by aaron at 08:00AM, Thursday, December 09th, 2004

Breaking News! Republican contradicts self, party!

So, the Fuehrer of California has pledged that he'll veto the landmark legislative decision, the first in the nation, granting marriage rights to all Californians. I'm having trouble figuring out just what the consistent Republican message is on the relationship between judicial activism, the legislature, and the "will of the people."

'"The governor believes the matter should be determined not by legislative action -- which would be unconstitutional -- but by a court decision or another vote of the people,'' said Margita Thompson, Schwarzenegger's press secretary,' according to this sfgate.com article. The only problems are, first: that's not what Republicans were saying when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling there determined that denying marriage rights was unconstitutional. Second, the latest polls indicate (according to the above sfgate article) that the much-vaunted "will of the people" these days is very different from what it was when Proposition 22, the ballot initiative denying marriage rights, passed. Now, it's an even split between pro- and anti-marriage voters. Third: Schwarzenegger said, just last year, that he'd support gay marriage, were the marriage law in California changed. I guess he was for gay marriage, before he was against it.

How's a busy Republican to keep track of what the Party's message is on voters vs. state's rights vs. court rulings vs. legislation?

I guess, "activist" courts are bad, when they rule for equality, or against big business, in which case you should leave decisions to the legislature, but they're good, when they rule to unconstitutionally appoint your guy as President. Legislatures making laws are good, when they try to change the Constitution to strip rights away from a group of people, for the first time in U.S. history, but they're bad, when they vote to extend rights. And the will of the people, directly expressed through ballot decisions, is good, when it limits rights, but bad, when it extends them, easing pain and suffering (or when the will of the people is to elect the other guy).

So the only consistent message (aside from, "Republicans missed eighth-grade social studies and didn't learn the theory of how our system of government works") is that they're for whatever process results in the decision they want. But they're not allowed to say that -- they have to say they fully support the process of the day, whatever that might be.

It's so hard to keep up. Maybe they all have little Ambient Stock Orbs linked directly to the cerebral cortex of master Rove, telling them what the meme of the day is.

All I know is, Schwarzenegger was for gay marriage, before he was against it; we used to live in a Democratic Republic (before Bush v. Gore), before we didn't any more; Republicans were for changing marriage laws via legislation, before they were against it; and their poll numbers were okay, before they started sucking.
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