Friday, May 19, 2006

God's Own Party

One of the central principles of American Constitutional government is that the states are independently allowed to pursue domestic policies. This division explicitly restricts federal power and allows a diversity of policies at the state level.

One such area has been marriage law. But the Bushified Republican Party has basically abandoned all such principles of Constitutional government. These were the guys who claimed to want to devolve power from the federal level back to the states but under their leader, chosen by God himself, they are concentrating power in Washington. Not only are they concentrating power in Washington but they are expanding it on a massive scale. And the power in Washington is being further centralised in the hands of one man: the president. America is witnessing the rampant rape of time honoured Constitutional principles and the culprits involved in this gang rape of liberty are the Republican Party.

Every two years the Republicans put into practice a Karl Rove strategy to scapegoat homosexuals and appeal to the bigots who are the core of the fundamentalist movement in the United States. At one level they know that any attempt to tamper with the US Constitution is likely to fail. On another level they don’t care. This has nothing to do with principle, Republicans abandoned those when they nominated George Bush, it has everything to do with power.

They do not particularly care if the measure passes. They just want to rile up the hounds on the Right who will see the election as an opportunity to tree themselves a few faggots. The goal is get the Christianists angry enough to turn out and vote for God’s party --- which, of course, is supposedly the Republicans. And it appears that the Republicans are now the closest thing the West has to a party promoting ideas more befitting the Taliban.

So with elections looming, and with people utterly disgusted by the incompetence and viciousness of the Bush Administration it appears the Republicans are in trouble. Obviously most Democrats want the Republicans out. So do most Independents. And every a hefty section of Republicans want the GOP to lose. What is also important is that the number of people who self-identify as Republican has shrunk considerably under the watch of these president. So while Bush’s support among Republicans remains strong that is because many Republicans, who don’t support him, have ceased identifying themselves as Republicans.

This trend against the Republicans is deep and strong. And the only voters they think they can count on are the Bible-beaters. So they trot out there amendment to nationalise marriage in the United States. An amendment to the Constitution that would do this has just passed a Republican controlled committee on a 10 to 8 vote. All 10 Republicans voted to have the federal government nationalise marriage. All eight Democrats voted against it.

The power-grab and destruction of federalist concepts goes much deeper than it appears. This amendment would also confiscate the right of States to forge their own state constitutions. It says: “Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.” Notice that second phrase. It specifically takes away from the States the right to write their own Constitution as they see fit.

Former Senator John Danforth of Missouri was elected as a Republican. He is also a minister. But he says this latest move is another example of how the Republican Party is being controlled by fundamentalist Christians to the detriment of the party. He said that there may well have been attempts to pass sillier amendments to the Constitution but that he can’t think of any. And he noted this contradicts “basic concept[s] of the Republican Party to interpret the Constitution narrowly, not expansively, so that legislatures, and especially state legislatures, can work out over a period of time the social issues in our country.” Incumbent Republican Representative Chris Shays was quite explicit. He says, “the Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy.”