Constitutional Amendments?

What happens in the Congressional mid-term elections can potentially impact how the market plays out over the next few years. So as distasteful as it may be, we must occasionally look at issues affecting the body polity. 

The White House is now playing the Gay Marriage card again, only this time to what appears to be a totally indifferent electorate. I suspect it is working against them and will backfire. Why? It makes them appear to have no conception of what is actually important to the nation. If the governing party cannot prioritize what matters most, how can they effectively govern? 

How has the GOP become so tone deaf? Gay marraige is not in the top 10 issues, and may not even be in the top 25. It looks like a mere election ploy. High gas prices, Terrorism, The Iraq war, the Federal Deficits, rising interest rates, employment concerns, Eavesdropping/Privacy concerns, Inflation, Iran getting the bomb, torture allegations, the stock market, bird flu, increased hurricaine activity, rebuilding New Orleans, social security, Tax reform, health insurance, corporate scandals, outsourcing, national security, trade deficit, our global reputation — these are the priorities of most Americans.

Incidentally, whatever happened to that guy Osama bin Laden? Have we given up on him? Maybe if he married a dude, we would really go after him.

But I digress. What I wanted to do was show the WSJ’s survey of Constitutional Amendment priorities:



Over half the respondents don’t thonk we need any new amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Flag burning gets 1%, and "something else" gets 4%.   

Gay marriage gets all of 12% — it is a hard core base issue, but nothing more.

A balanced budget amendment gets 21% — significantly higher than Gay Marriage. A Privacy Rights amendment, at 11%, is neck and neck with Gay Marriage.


Which issue most needs to be addressed with a constitutional amendment?
WSJ Poll, June 6, 2006

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  1. trader75 commented on Jun 7

    “Maybe if he married a dude, we would really go after him.”

    Great line :-)

    But maybe what really matters to Repubs is a Fox News poll, not a WSJ one.

    Check this quote courtesy CNN:

    “I don’t believe there’s any issue that’s more important than this one,” said Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican.

    You’d think Katrina cleanup, among other things mentioned, would have crossed his mind…

    As far as the White House goes, here is an H.L. Mencken quote truly suited to the times:

    “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

  2. ilsm commented on Jun 7

    I do not want them touching my constitution.

    They are not supporting and defending it what would I want them to do other than obey it!

  3. Lowell commented on Jun 7

    “allegations of torture”

    Allegations? It’s torture. We’ve tortured innocents to death in Gitmo & Abu Ghraib. There are photos to prove it.

    Allegations of torture? I know you need to pretend to not be a Democrat when you show up Golem & Company but c’mon who are you fooling?

    Not a flame. Just my $.02.

  4. eightnine2718281828mu5 commented on Jun 7

    How about a bumper sticker?

    “They will pry my constitution from my cold, dead fingers”

  5. Jl commented on Jun 7

    Estate tax and the Heritage Foundation. Just now on PBS the Heritage Foundation spokesman mentioned that Little League would be endangered if the Estate Tax was not repealed. Does that mean that Paris Hilton supports Little League. How about the Walton family, no health care, but Little League. Did anyone else see News Hour??

  6. dumbfounded commented on Jun 7

    These Heritage, AEI and the rest of the conservative “think tanks” are so dishonest it’s beyond shocking. What’s worse is that no one in the media has the cojones to stand up and smack them down. How about some facts for a change? I dunno — maybe that Little league plays on a family farm.

  7. JL commented on Jun 7

    Alot of donations to younger sports team are tax deductible. Would that still apply with an Estate Tax repeal?? Desperation sinks to new lows.

  8. drey commented on Jun 7

    Clearly, Bush is pandering to the base in a desperate effort to turn out the conservative – strike that, evangelical vote in November (he’s already lost true conservatives with reckless fiscal/foreign policies and an utter disdain for civil liberties).

    The Mencken quote is a good one. My personal favorite is courtesy of Jefferson: “the blessing and the curse of democracy is that ultimately the people will get exactly the govt they deserve”.

  9. muckdog commented on Jun 7

    Barry, you don’t understand organized religion. Er, politics.

    The first goal is to reconvince the masses. For the GOP, that’s the right-wing. Gay marriage, flag burning, right to life, , support the troops, national security, tax cuts, etc. For the Democrats, it’s the left wing and evil corporations and rich folks, right to choose, living wage, environment, health care, etc. Each side has to get their true believers to the voting booth.

    The next goal is to try to convince the indifferent that they should even bother to vote. But as we saw in CA yesterday, only 28% of the electorate bothered to vote! That means 72% just didn’t care. So have both parties realized that it’s worthless to even address the issues that concern the majority of folks? If they don’t vote?

  10. Ralph commented on Jun 7

    Most TV commentators see the gay marriage amendment (which was shelved by the Senate) as red meat bait for the Christian crazies. Some commentators say that Bush needs to be the president for all the people not just his base at this point or else he is heading for early lame duck status. Iraq is clearly the most important issue for the mid-term elections but Bush seems to have no new ideas about what to do. Looks like Karl Rove is back in the saddle again in the West Wing.

  11. emd commented on Jun 7

    Lou Dobbs had some good commentary on this….

    “We’re fighting a war against radical Islamist terrorists with ongoing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’re drowning in debt from our growing record trade and budget deficits and we’re watching our public education system fail a generation of students. Congress has yet to act on an effective solution to our illegal immigration crisis as millions of illegal aliens flood our borders every year, and our nation’s borders and ports are still woefully insecure, four and a half years after the September 11 attacks.

    I believe most Americans are far more concerned about their declining real wages and the lack of real creation of quality jobs than the insulting insertion of wedge issues into the national dialogue and political agenda.

    The president and the Senate’s Republican leadership are now claiming that an amendment to our Constitution is necessary to save the American family. No matter how you feel about the issue, and many of us feel deeply, a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage is utter and complete nonsense. It’s an insult to the intelligence of every voter, Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative.”


  12. Paul commented on Jun 7

    Good one,
    I think you’re right, if Osama bin Laden was married to another man he’d already be in Guantanamo.


  13. Thijs commented on Jun 7

    Brilliand article Barry, I couldn’t agree more. In the Netherlands gay marriage has been legal for a long time now. I guess we all go to hell here. But oh look, actually we live happily here. Christian people and non-Christians alike. Poor simpleminded people that fall prey to those ultra-conservatist-right-winged-Christian-fundamentalists. Those are the real terrorists.

  14. Alaskan Pete commented on Jun 7

    This GOP isn’t a “conservative” party. They are radical christian authoritarian cultists . Led around by the wallet by radical clerics Dobson, Falwell, Robertson and their ilk.

    Kinda funny that the Republican party, all about hating on teh gay, are actually led by a flaming gay man, Kenny “Sweet Lips” Mehlman, Republican Party Chairman. And you gotta wonder who in the White House was playing hide the salami with ol Jeff Gannon, gay prostitute and erstwhile “reporter” for Talon News, a right wing funded psuedo “news” agency, when he spent those several nights at the Whitehouse. Or maybe Chimpy is really “Limpy” and needed someone to give Laura a good rogerin’…you know what they say about those bicycle seats, and the Chimperor sure does spend alot of time on that bike…almost as much time as he spends “clearin’ brush”. WTF, is he a president or a illegal on a landscaping crew? Clown spent more time moving yard debris around than governing. And what kinda ignornant asshole goes out in the summer Texas sun, midday, to “clear brush”.

    How many days has this shitheel been on vacation, btw? I don’t think he’s ever worked a real day in his entire priviledged life. Once an arrogant no talent rich asshole, always one.

    Someone should hook up a generator to Goldwater’s grave. I’m sure he’s spinning fast enough to power the greater Phoenix area all by his ownself.

  15. Detroit Dan commented on Jun 7

    How much lower can the Republican party go before it disintegrates? The Bush Administration and the current Republican leadership in Congress have been a Godsend to the Democrats. Layer after layer of the GOP facade is being stripped off, exposing an amazing lack of principle and competence.

    The first to go was international relations. The Republicans had been riding high since Reagan’s victory in the Cold War. The Iraq War is now a mature policy — and completely discredited.

    Next was reputation and integrity. From Terry Schiavo to Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff to Valerie Plame and Scooter Libby, the Republican power structure has been revealed to be thoroughly corrupt. The examples are too many to cite.

    Next was civil liberties. With the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping, whatever cred the Republicans had with the Libertarian crowd is shot.

    Finally, there is economics. Serious conservative Republicans recognized the vacuity of the Bush Administration’s fiscal profligacy early on. While the Bush Administration is not directly to blame for high gas prices and the trade deficit, their lack of urgency in addressing these problems must be clear to the average voter by now. The Bush Administration wants the voter to appreciate economic growth, even though said growth has somehow passed by without bestowing its blessings on the great middle class. A downturn is underway, and it appears that the Bush reaction will be Katrina-like.

    War, integrity, civil liberties, economics — the Bush Administration has trashed the Republican reputation in each of these categories. How much more can the Grand Old Party take?

  16. jim commented on Jun 7

    I’ve voted solid Republican for almost forty years. In November I will go straight Democrat as a screw you vote and then I will choose either the Liberterian or Constitution party. I know some say you are wasting your vote with a 3rd party but I feel as if I have already wasted a lifetime of votes so what are a few more.

  17. algernon commented on Jun 7

    Why bother amending the Constiturion? It is a “living document” & has been interpreted to be void where prohibited by law.

  18. trader75 commented on Jun 7

    If McCain has the stones, he could go independent in ’08 and bust this sucker wide open. Let the right and left wing demagogues rip each other to shreds like a pack of wild dogs on PCP, then take the spoils. Wasn’t that little wacko Ross Perot pushing double digits in the polls at one point? Surely a third party window is rolling round once again.

  19. drey commented on Jun 8

    Perot didn’t just poll in double digits, Trader, he drew 19% in the election itself which netted him a big fat zero electoral votes – great system, huh?

    I agree there’s a big opportunity there for the right 3rd party candidate but McCain has made his intentions clear. I was a huge supporter in 2000 but the sight of him smooching GWB’s butt the last couple of years to ingratiate himself with GOP power brokers has made me sick and it’s not likely I’ll vote for him again…that said I think he’s got a great shot at the GOP nomination given his record as a reformer and the public perception that he has more integrity (well deserved) than your average pol…

    Hey Pete, you’re in pretty good form tonight. Have another drink.

  20. dumbfounded commented on Jun 8

    McCain has already sold his soul to the wingnuts. He spoke at Bob Jones U, he’s reconciled with Pat Robertson and has repudiated past positions. He’s as sick as the rest of them. Mayor Bloomberg for Pres.

  21. DED commented on Jun 8

    Line Item Veto. Then Bush would have no excuse left to explain why he allowed pork like “The Bridge To Nowhere” to be permitted.

  22. Rohit commented on Jun 8

    We need a constitutional amendment that removes birthright citizenship (it was included in the 14th amendment in order to make slaves citizens). The “anchor baby” phenomenon makes any “compromise” guest worker solution unworkable as guest workers will bring over their pregnant wives and give birth to US citizens once they cross the Rio.

  23. Zack commented on Jun 9

    I dont understand why anyone would be against gay marriage. I see it as less competition for me. Maybe if more men were gay Charlize Therone would have no choice but to go for me?

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