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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Looking for a silver lining

It's hard to find anything good to say when legislators decide to take a step toward allowing voters to take away civil rights from fellow people. But let me try.

The fact is that after all the sturm und drang and threats about withholding pay raises and suing recalcitrant legislators, more than 130 legislators found the courage to stand up to the pressure and cast a vote against the tyranny of the minority. The bad news is that 62 legislators approved the idea of letting the voters decide what rights other voters should have.

The silver lining -- if there is one -- is the fact that backers of the Romney presidential campaign issue express came up with only 12 votes to spare. And by my very rough estimate, at least half of those yes votes (subscription required) were cast by lame ducks leaving the Legislature at midnight tonight.

There will be a very different playing field when and if this question comes up again in the new legislative session.

Mitt Romney will be a bad memory in the rear view mirror. Sadly, he won what may be his only victory in courting the right wind nuts who vote in presidential primaries. But his victory will be short lived when as conservative voters discover just how squishy his principles really are.

Soon-to-be Gov. Deval Patrick took a hit after his call for rejection of the amendment -- but having a change in the Corner Office will ultimately be valuable to supporters of same sex marriage.

There is also the change in the membership of the bodies. Many of the new members will take the seats of those who supported placing the amendment on the ballot today. It will likely prove easier to peel away what now appears to be a very narrow margin.

Process liberals may have also learned a very hard lesson
-- particularly with the Legislature's refusal to vote on the health care amendment. Next time there may be a better understanding that principle of the question is more important than the principle of the process.

Hopefully supporters of same sex marriage are already hard at work converting enough votes to convince legislative leaders that this question should not see the light of day in the 2007-08 session.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't work up a lot of sympathy for the process liberals. They're shocked, shocked, that their erstwhile allies never actually cared about the process but only wanted to persecute the gays.

Who could have predicted such a stunning turn of events?

I thought it was all about the principles, that after having used the process to their advantage hundreds of times, they suddenly wok up and realized doing so was morally wrong. Conveniently, their road to damascus coincided with their opponents actually having the opportunity to use their own tactics against them.

January 02, 2007 10:02 PM  

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