The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

5 August 2004

Pushing the warmer buttons

Laura at Oddly Normal describes the process by which she came off the fence:

I was still leaning Bushward until he started seriously pushing the FMA — and, as he continues to push it, it's clear that he wasn't just doing a minimum amount of lip service required to placate certain quarters until 2 November — he appears willing to expend some political capital in support of this atrocious amendment. It's hard for me to even describe how much this angers me — pushing for a jurisdiction-stripping measure or an amendment explictly leaving it to individual states I could buy — I'm enough of a federalist to be willing to let Alabama not recognize same-sex marriage if they don't want to — those I could forgive and possibly, if worded correctly, or as part of the right package deal, support. But pushing to everywhere and for all time disallow same-sex marriage (and civil unions, as language as written almost certainly would have) — that's pretty much unforgivable in my eyes. Kerry's certainly no great crusader for gay rights, his own opinions are cloudy, but he appears willing to keep the issue in stasis during his term, and if that's what I can get, I'll take it.

Conventional wisdom holds that there are relatively few voters still undecided, that most of the electorate has already thrown in with Mr Kerry or with Mr Bush. For Laura, Bush's ongoing opposition to same-sex marriage pushed her into the Kerry camp. If she's at all typical, and I have no reason to think she isn't, it will be a single issue, though not necessarily this issue, that eventually pushes the remaining fence-sitters to one side or the other.

The candidates, of course, will do their best to complicate this process by harping on their plans for the future. It would be well to remember that their actions in the past tend to be a more specific indicator of their actual positions, and a more reliable predictor of the actions they would take once inaugurated. In our Bizarro World political environment, though, the candidates don't really run on their records; they run against the other guy's. The plight of the undecided voter in the so-called "battleground" states — I'm officially still wavering, but I don't think it matters, since the President will almost certainly carry Oklahoma — will be more difficult than usual this year, I think.

(Update, 9:15 am: Ralph Nader is on the Diane Rehm Show, saying, among other things, that it's necessary to look at what a candidate has done, not at what he has promised. Hmmm.)

Posted at 8:21 AM to Political Science Fiction


TrackBack: 11:55 AM, 5 August 2004
» When will undecideds decide? from Dan and Angi Have Something to Say
Well, Laura from Oddly Normal has decided to go for Kerry because of the President's support of the Federal Marriage Amendment. While I think the amendment itself is egregious, his support doesn't bother me so much because the amendment has......[read more]

Civil unions? Yes!
Marriage? HELL NO!

Posted by: paulsmos at 9:52 AM on 5 August 2004