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Saturday, February 01, 2014

OTP - Feb 2014: Politics remains a hurdle for immigration reform

Yet Obama might find his best-chance legislative compromise in an issue that lately has seemed to be on life support: an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.

Curiously, immigration was an issue the president barely mentioned in this year’s speech. Maybe he does not want to interfere with those Republicans who actually agree with him on the need to bring the nation’s millions of undocumented workers out of the shadows.

Bitter Mouse Posted: February 01, 2014 at 03:01 PM | 3524 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   801. ASmitty Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4654302)
Flip!
   802. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4654306)
Difficult for a President's party to win where he's too unpopular to campaign.


You forgot about the part where he was totally ####### Beyonce on the side. That's going to be the thing that gets Benghazi back in the news, man!
   803. Shibal Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4654308)
The rhetorical battle in the quotes from Gonfalon's #754 fascinates me. One side is able to bait the other by being sincerely nice and respectful. The other takes the bait by saying (in effect): "How dare you invite us to say we're proud of our proud family member?"


Well the time line is off a bit. The moderator asked a question about gay marriage. Cheney answered, talking policy and how he disagrees with the White House position. Edwards gets his rebuttal and brings up Cheney's daughter, showing the fake sincerity that trial lawyers possess and clearly baiting Cheney.

Gwen Ifill then asked another gay marriage question, this time about Massachusetts law. Edwards answers. Cheney, having already discussed the Massachusetts law, says something like "thanks for the kind words about my family," sounding pretty sarcastic about it. Then stopped talking. Ifill said "that's it?". Cheny says "that's it."
   804. BDC Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4654311)
Difficult for a President's party to win where he's too unpopular to campaign

I'd say that's been true since the first Adams Administration :)

The cited story reveals the ominous truth that Obama is unpopular in Alaska, while it notes he's attending lots of fundraisers in East-Coast blue strongholds. Oddly enough.
   805. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4654313)
I'd say that's been true since the first Adams Administration :)

Yet some here are in denial.
   806. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4654314)
Yet some here are in denial.


Most here have agreed with you, but if you think some are still disagreeing that its a tough road for Dems in the 2014 Senate, maybe you should post a few more polls. That may finally convince them!
   807. Tilden Katz Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4654317)
Yet some here are in denial.


Who in particular? While you're looking for that, maybe also look for the George W Bush death threats.
   808. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4654319)
The rhetorical battle in the quotes from Gonfalon's #754 fascinates me. One side is able to bait the other by being sincerely nice and respectful. The other takes the bait by saying (in effect): "How dare you invite us to say we're proud of our proud family member?"

Oh, I don't think Edwards and Kerry were being the least bit sincere, nice or respectful.

However, it's always a bit astonishing even in the seedy world of politics to see how quickly candidates will sell out their own family for the whiff of 50.1%, whether it's Dick Cheney's daughter and her raisin in the sun, Mitt Romney on stem cell research (his wife has MS), or Barack Obama (a legal bastard in 22 U.S. states on the day he was born) evolllllllllvvvvvvvving like a crippled snail on gay marriage.


Gay marriage is far far down on the list of priorities for most Republicans. It isn't a big deal anymore.

Fox News' Monica Crowley, after President Obama and the Justice Dept. announced it would not defend the DOMA law in federal court:
"That is a form of dictatorship. That is Mubarak Obama."

Newt Gingrich, discussing the same subject with Newsmax:
"He is not a one-person Supreme Court. The idea that we now have the rule of Obama instead of the rule of law should frighten everybody."

Twelve weeks ago, a dozen Republican Congressmen co-sponsored articles of impeachment against Eric Holder, with one of his high crimes and misdemeanors being the refusal to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act.
   809. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4654322)
Fox News' Monica Crowley, after President Obama and the Justice Dept. announced it would not defend the DOMA law in federal court:
"That is a form of dictatorship. That is Mubarak Obama."

Newt Gingrich, discussing the same subject with Newsmax:
"He is not a one-person Supreme Court. The idea that we now have the rule of Obama instead of the rule of law should frighten everybody."

Twelve weeks ago, a dozen Republican Congressmen co-sponsored articles of impeachment against Eric Holder, with one of his high crimes and misdemeanors being the refusal to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act.


It interesting that much of the opposition to gay marriage focuses solely on process (executive action! legislating from the bench! states' rights!) and very little now is actual discussion of gay people, or family, or tradition or the Bible or whatever nonsense arguments you used to hear 8 years ago.
   810. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4654329)
It interesting that much of the opposition to gay marriage focuses solely on process (executive action! legislating from the bench! states' rights!) and very little now is actual discussion of gay people, or family, or tradition or the Bible or whatever nonsense arguments you used to hear 8 years ago.
That's because the executive is a Democrat now.

And GB's point in #808, Obama's "evolving" support for gay marriage was far more cynical and calculated than the faux-outrage over Mary Cheney. As far as LGBT issues were concerned, it was a choice between indifference from the Democratic platform and outright hostility from the Republican one.
   811. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4654330)
Well the time line is off a bit. The moderator asked a question about gay marriage. Cheney answered, talking policy and how he disagrees with the White House position. Edwards gets his rebuttal and brings up Cheney's daughter, showing the fake sincerity that trial lawyers possess and clearly baiting Cheney.

Gwen Ifill then asked another gay marriage question, this time about Massachusetts law. Edwards answers. Cheney, having already discussed the Massachusetts law, says something like "thanks for the kind words about my family," sounding pretty sarcastic about it. Then stopped talking. Ifill said "that's it?". Cheny says "that's it."


All that's fascinating, but how is any of that going to help any Republican candidate trying to navigate between bigoted primary voters and more tolerant general election voters? Maybe you can keep trying to dodge this question, but they won't be able to.
   812. BDC Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4654332)
Oh, I don't think Edwards and Kerry were being the least bit sincere, nice or respectful

Yeah, I phrased that badly. They were actively baiting their opponents. But they could do so without the least slur or reproach: always the most rhetorically devastating type of baiting. Pointing out hypocrisy is nasty when your opponent is bad pretending to be good. It's lethal when they're good pretending to be bad for cynical advantage :)
   813. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4654333)
Who in particular? While you're looking for that, maybe also look for the George W Bush death threats.

After he is done with that, he can help OJ finally track down the real killer.
   814. BDC Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4654336)
Obama's "evolving" support for gay marriage was far more cynical and calculated than the faux-outrage over Mary Cheney. As far as LGBT issues were concerned, it was a choice between indifference from the Democratic platform and outright hostility from the Republican one

Absolutely. If there were ever a case of following public opinion timidly it was Obama's position on gay marriage.

Nonetheless, once they came round, you have to admire the Obama Administration's actions to support marriage and other gay rights. Can you imagine how tepidly a Romney Administration might have moved to ensure such rights?
   815. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4654337)
It interesting that much of the opposition to gay marriage focuses solely on process (executive action! legislating from the bench! states' rights!) and very little now is actual discussion of gay people, or family, or tradition or the Bible or whatever nonsense arguments you used to hear 8 years ago.

Those are just the two quotes I happened to pull. There were (and are) lots of "family & faith under attack" complaints.

As for "executive action! legislating from the bench! states' rights!," that's been the rhetoric for 175 years against any civil right as it works its way upstream.
   816. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4654342)
Those are just the two quotes I happened to pull. There were (and are) lots of "family & faith under attack" complaints.


Yea, but I think its getting muted, at least from national Republicans. It just seems like you're being a jerk at this point, since these are real humans that nearly everyone knows at least one of. Better to talk about the issue as an abstract term, under the guise of process and federal power. And the new gambit is to make anti-gay marriage people the victim. "The government is forcing us to treat gay people like anyone else, despite my deeply held religious beliefs! GOVERNMENT INTRUSION!" (ironic, no?) You'll still get wackos at the state and local level talking about the Bible and "the natural order of things" (a sports talk caller I heard today), but most national GOPers don't want to seem like big bad meanies to gay people, so the emphasis is on Obama and the feds, not the people that want to keep gay people from marrying.
   817. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4654350)
It just seems like you're being a jerk at this point...

Oh yeah? Well, you stink like stinky eggs to infinity!
   818. Tilden Katz Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4654351)
so the emphasis is on Obama and the feds, not the people that want to keep gay people from marrying.


It's the same argument that they use for abortion. It's not about the women who get abortions, but the government that allows them to. They never talk about what penalties they will impose upon women in their dream no abortion state.
   819. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4654357)
Absolutely. If there were ever a case of following public opinion timidly it was Obama's position on gay marriage.

I don't agree with this. I think Obama had a sense that thinks were already moving in the right direction, and that a strong push from him might galvanize the opposition and make things worse. Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something (see, e.g., trading a prospect for a washed up vet just to show the fans that you're doing something)
   820. bunyon Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4654358)
I actually thought both sides left real people out. I am, weakly, in favor of gay marriage. In that I see no harm to it. I also see no harm to simply having "civil unions" which are recognized throughout the land. I think the gay marriage movement probably could have had that (and could have it now) if they were willing to give a bit on the word "marriage". I get, politically and idealogically, why they wouldn't. But while they're pressing for unconditional surrender, there are real gay couples in bad spots.

Of course, I could easily be wrong that they could get civil unions passed federally and in most states. And I think they really believe the word "marriage" is important.
   821. Lassus Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4654364)
And I think they really believe the word "marriage" is important.

It is. I mean, I get what you're saying, but it boils down to: "We can be married, but you can't. But it's the same, really. But you can't get married. We can."
   822. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4654365)
I think Obama had a sense that thinks were already moving in the right direction, and that a strong push from him might galvanize the opposition and make things worse.


There's probably some truth to this, and some truth to him being a rather timid politician as well. But you are correct to point out that the best way Obama has to get the GOP to oppose an issue is to support it. Whatever he's agin, they're fer.
   823. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4654374)
I actually thought both sides left real people out. I am, weakly, in favor of gay marriage. In that I see no harm to it. I also see no harm to simply having "civil unions" which are recognized throughout the land. I think the gay marriage movement probably could have had that (and could have it now) if they were willing to give a bit on the word "marriage". I get, politically and idealogically, why they wouldn't. But while they're pressing for unconditional surrender, there are real gay couples in bad spots.

And the way you get them - and future gay couples - out of those bad spots, is by forcing an unconditional surrender. The reason they are in that spot to begin with, is because a large segment of society treats gay people as second class citizens (legally and socially). If you compromise short of unconditional surrender, you have validated that definition - it's separate but equal, all over again. If you believe gay people are equal human beings, with equal human rights, that is a completely untenable situation.
   824. formerly dp Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4654377)
I think the gay marriage movement probably could have had that (and could have it now) if they were willing to give a bit on the word "marriage".
I think you're underestimating the slippery slope argument, which got made a lot by the anti-SSM crowd: they often conflated CUs with marriage to try to raise the stakes of the debate. And I think it backfired on them, awesomely.
==

but it boils down to: "We can be married, but you can't. But it's the same, really. But you can't get married. We can."
You left off the "nyah-nyah" part.
   825. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4654381)
Of course, I could easily be wrong that they could get civil unions passed federally and in most states. And I think they really believe the word "marriage" is important.


Well, if the term "marriage" is important, then it's important. If there's something special about that term, you can't turn around and say "but 'civil unions will do for you lot.'" Separate but equal does not have a glorious record in our nation's history.
   826. Tilden Katz Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4654383)
Offering civil unions (totally equal to marriage) would have been a reasonable compromise 10-15 years ago. But since the religious right used their clout to ban any recognition of same sex couples in so many states, I think they should reap what they sowed. When your publicly-position is one that expresses no sympathy or respect for a disfavored group (beyond "stop being gay!!!!"), you can't expect to receive any sympathy and respect in return.
   827. Ron J2 Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4654385)
#823 I'm currently slogging through "The Bully Pulpit". Teddy R. took an awful lot of criticism from the progressives for being willing to settle.

His response (much longer of course) was to contrast what he actually managed to get passed with what an uncompromising reform governor accomplished. Said governor went down to a series of gallant defeats while Roosevelt was able to secure passage of most of what he wanted.

The problem with all or nothing is that you frequently end up with nothing.
   828. Mefisto Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4654386)
I think the gay marriage movement probably could have had that (and could have it now) if they were willing to give a bit on the word "marriage". I get, politically and idealogically, why they wouldn't. But while they're pressing for unconditional surrender, there are real gay couples in bad spots.


As TNC says today (about Marcus Sams):

"The mythology Jonathan Vilma endorses will not fade through vague endorsements of "tolerance," lectures on "acceptance," nor any other species of heartfelt magic. The question which we so often have been offered—is the NFL ready for a gay player?—is backwards. Powerful interests are rarely "ready" for change, so much as they are assaulted by it. We refer to barriers being "broken" for a reason. The reason is not because great powers generally like to unbar the gates and hold a picnic in the honor of the previously excluded. The NFL has no moral right to be "ready" for a gay player, which is to say it has no right to discriminate against gay men at its leisure which anyone is bound to respect."
   829. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4654390)
When your publicly-position is one that expresses no sympathy or respect for a disfavored group (beyond "stop being gay!!!!"), you can't expect to receive any sympathy and respect in return.


The nice thing though is once SSM is recognized then the issue is over. There is no ongoing fight, no abortion battle redux, no one is harmed, no jobs lost to "those people" and hetero couples are not marginalized or anything. That is one reason public opinion is changing so fast, it got the OK in a few states and ... nothing bad. It makes the DOOM! chants silly and on some level people see that, shrug and move on with their life.
   830. zonk Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4654391)
The problem with 'compromising' on something like gay marriage is that inevitably, you find yourself face-to-face with the stark reality of what it is you're actually doing: Willing to accept a tiered system of 'separate but equal'. In one of those rare instances where SCOTUS scared a decision perfectly with reality, logic, and the law (3 things that don't always see eye to eye) -- 'separate but equal' is an impossible concept.

Now... one can take the long view and argue that politically such compromises are inevitable.

However, you reach a point when you have to just accept that what gay folks want is that an inherent and natural part of themselves and their lives be accepted as legitimate. Any construct that would fundamentally set aside a special seat of honor for M/F relationships over F/F or M/M will just always run into that problem. Does it ultimately matter whether you're trying to hold 'gay marriage' just a small peg - even a rhetorical peg - below 'straight marriage', or, raise 'straight marriage' to a level above gay marriage?
   831. Tilden Katz Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4654392)
The nice thing though is once SSM is recognized then the issue is over. There is no ongoing fight, no abortion battle redux, no one is harmed, no jobs lost to "those people" and hetero couples are not marginalized or anything. That is one reason public opinion is changing so fast, it got the OK in a few states and ... nothing bad. It makes the DOOM! chants silly and on some level people see that, shrug and move on with their life.


It will be over in actuality, but it's unclear when everyone will see the writing on the wall. It will be interesting to see when the last major politician expresses disapproval of SSM.
   832. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 10, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4654394)
It will be over in actuality, but it's unclear when everyone will see the writing on the wall. It will be interesting to see when the last major politician expresses disapproval of SSM.


There are politicians who openly state that the Earth is 6000 years old. Don't expect complete victory any time soon.
   833. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 10, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4654399)
I feel obligated to pass this on - Obama's Gallup Poll Job Approval Rating Is Down To 39%. Again.

No need to thank me.


Err... thanks anyway, but that link says 42% not 39%, and that 42% s the lowest he's gotten in any poll the last two 2 weeks...
you my need to re-calibrate your 'bot or whatever you use to trawl for Obama polling news.

But, for balance. let's look for Dem favorable polling shall we?
Lastest poll from Arkansas, Ross +3 over Hutchinson

Florida: Crist +7 over Scott
Colorado: Hickenlooper up over everyone by 6-10%
   834. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 10, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4654402)
Sugarless gum for patients who chew gum: 80%
   835. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 10, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4654405)
But, for balance. let's look for Dem favorable polling shall we?
Lastest poll from Arkansas, Ross +3 over Hutchinson

Florida: Crist +7 over Scott
Colorado: Hickenlooper up over everyone by 6-10%


Don't confuse the boy with state level numbers. He has a "wave election" narrative he's invested in and he don't need no details out of the actual electorate gumming up the works.
   836. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 10, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4654408)
Don't confuse the boy with state level numbers. He has a "wave election" narrative he's invested in and he don't need no details out of the actual electorate gumming up the works.


I wasn't trying to confuse him, juts needle him with some counter-cherry picking...

BTW have you heard that the Iranians are allegedly sending some "warships" to the Atlantic to sedn us (the US of A) a "message"

Hold me, I'm soooo scared.
   837. spike Posted: February 10, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4654418)
He has a "wave election" narrative he's invested in

80-100,00 people turned up for the Moral March in Raleigh. Wave elections can happen in places where you least expect them -
   838. spike Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4654422)
Rand Paul "endorsing" Mitch McConnell on Glenn Beck. With friends like these...

In a radio interview posted to YouTube on Saturday, the conservative freshman was asked by an incredulous Glenn Beck why he's endorsing the Senate Republican leader.

After an awkward pause, Paul tried to change the subject.

"Um ... I'm here in Texas today to endorse Don Huffines," he said.

Beck burst into laughter. Paul laughed with him, and then took a stab at answering the question. But he couldn't muster up a single nice thing to say about his fellow Kentuckian and leader of his party.

"Uhh, because he asked me," Paul said. "He asked me when there was nobody else in the race. And I said yes."

"Well, Al Gore has asked me to change my opinion on global warming and I don't do that," Beck responded.


Link goes to video.
   839. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4654423)
BTW have you heard that the Iranians are allegedly sending some "warships" to the Atlantic to sedn us (the US of A) a "message"


Yeah, I saw that. It's all very, very frightening. I suspect I'm supposed to be very concerned about them scary Persians coming to overrun Thermopylae New York City.
   840. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4654428)
. . . but that link says 42% not 39%, and that 42% s the lowest he's gotten in any poll the last two 2 weeks...

You need to keep up on a daily basis, and read more carefully. Gallup uses a 3-day rolling average that changes daily. The entry I linked to was correct when posted, and it is still there. Take a look at the 2/5-2/7 listing - 39%. It's still there, 39%. Obama Job Approval 2/5-2/7, 39%! And people wonder why I have to post polling data on a regular basis.
   841. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4654429)
Yeah, I saw that. It's all very, very frightening. I suspect I'm supposed to be very concerned about them scary Persians coming to overrun Thermopylae


What I don't get is this, if I was part of the Iranian military establishment what would worry me is the possibility of one of these ships breaking down and needing help from the Evil Satan to get back to port, this stunt could blow up in their faces real good.
   842. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4654431)
Iranian decisions don't always make the most sense. Then again, we invaded the wrong damned country in 2003, so we don't really get to point and laugh.
   843. Monty Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4654433)
And people wonder why I have to post polling data on a regular basis.


I do wonder that!
   844. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4654438)
Take a look at the 2/5-2/7 listing - 39%. It's still there, 39%. Obama Job Approval 2/5-2/7, 39%! And people wonder why I have to post polling data on a regular basis.


Don't ever change, your consistency is comforting in an odd kind of way.
   845. spike Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4654439)
I do wonder that!

Really? I would think everyone is patently aware of "why" at this point.
   846. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4654440)
And people wonder why I have to post polling data on a regular basis.


It's a cry for help, right?
   847. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4654443)
Then again, we invaded the wrong damned country in 2003, so we don't really get to point and laugh.


In 1204, during the 4th Crusade, an army that was supposed to re-take Jerusalem instead attacked and sacked Constantinople...
Attacking Iraq wasn't quite as a counterproductive diversion from the main goal as that one was... Of course that required going back 900 years to find such an example.
   848. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4654447)
In 1204, during the 4th Crusade, an army that was supposed to re-take Jerusalem instead attacked and sacked Constantinople...
Attacking Iraq wasn't quite as a counterproductive diversion from the main goal as that one was... Of course that required going back 900 years to find such an example.


It sets the bar for foreign policy "success" so low going forward. "They did what? Oh. Did they launch a ten year invasion into the wrong damned country? Okay. I'm good with whatever then."
   849. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4654455)
All from Gallup:
Among two-term presidents, Harry Truman's all-time low approval rating came in his 70th month. Eisenhower's low came in his 63rd month. Nixon's came in his 66th month. Reagan's came in his 24th month. Clinton's came in his 6th month. Bush Jr.'s came in his 94th month. Obama is currently in his 62nd month; his lowest number came in his 32nd month.

All presidents since WW2 except Kennedy have fallen below 50%.
How long it took to get there: Ford, 3 months. Clinton, 4 months. Reagan, 10 months. Truman, 11 months. Obama, 12 months. Carter, 13 months. Longest wait: Eisenhower at 63 months (he bottomed out at 48% for two months). Gallup notes that Bush Jr. was at 51% and falling at the time of the 9/11 attacks in his 8th month. Oddly, Clinton bopped around between 39% and 60% in his first term (24 months over 50%, 24 months under); in his second term, he never fell beneath 50% once.

Low points: Truman 22%, Nixon 24%, GWBush 25%, Carter 28%, Bush Sr. 29%, LBJ 35%, Reagan 35%, Ford 37%, Clinton 37%, Obama 38%, Eisenhower 48%, JFK 56%
   850. spike Posted: February 10, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4654459)
And look what happened - NONE of those guys got re-elected to a third term. Checkmate, Democrats, checkmate.
   851. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 10, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4654463)
Low points: Truman 22%, Nixon 24%, GWBush 25%, Carter 28%, Bush Sr. 29%, LBJ 35%, Reagan 35%, Ford 37%, Clinton 37%, Obama 38%, Eisenhower 48%, JFK 56%

How did the President's party do when those low points coincided with an election?
   852. Tilden Katz Posted: February 10, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4654466)
How did the President's party do when those low points coincided with an election?


There's an election this month?
   853. bunyon Posted: February 10, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4654473)
And the way you get them - and future gay couples - out of those bad spots, is by forcing an unconditional surrender. The reason they are in that spot to begin with, is because a large segment of society treats gay people as second class citizens (legally and socially). If you compromise short of unconditional surrender, you have validated that definition - it's separate but equal, all over again. If you believe gay people are equal human beings, with equal human rights, that is a completely untenable situation.

But it would have recognized that we already have a two-tiered marriage system. There are church marriages and civil marriages. Generally, in the US, people who do one, do the other. But not all and not necessarily. You have to do both. As all here who are married know, what gets said and done in the church service, if you have one, doesn't matter if you don't sign the government document later. So, me, as a married man, has both a marriage (in a church) and a civil union (that recognized by the state). If "Gay America" had been presented with this option (they weren't, I get that): "a civil union which brings the two parties all the legal status of married couples"* and said no, because they wanted to be able to say (to friends, family, whoever) that they were "married" they would have been consigning lots of folks to bad spots over language.

At this point, they probably could have that. I think given a few more years (5-20), they'll get marriage. In that time there are people suffering. I put the vast majority of the blame on anti-gay people (not anti-gay marriage but anti-gay). As a twice married man, I guess I don't see the allure of the word. The novelty wore off a long time ago. If you told me that people's suffering would be reduced if my wife and I were no longer called "married" but only "civilly united" then, cool, fine, whatever. It also would be much less threatening to churches - which is where most of the opposition is located. I realize not many would want to require a church to perform or recognize gay marriage but some do and those churchgoers are worried. If you split off the probably small group who aren't opposed to gay marriage in principle but for worries of the effect on their church, you get civil unions done yesterday.** And my guess is that we would very soon refer to gay couples joined in civil unions as "married" just as we call straight couples who go to the justice of the peace. When I tell people I'm married, no one asks, "But was it a church wedding?"

Like I say, I'm good with it either way and it's a political decision that doesn't rest in my hands, nor does it really affect me. But the idea that this topic will be over in our lifetime is funny. Forget abortion, there are still busing debates. Issues just don't die that easily.

* Obviously, if civil unions don't bring all the same legal statuses, then it isn't worth the compromise. My point is if the only thing is a word, then you are really only fighting the battle for spite. That word just isn't that big of a deal. This isn't separate but equal. It's equal but for language.

** Of course, my analysis may well fail more in the deep red states that have or are tyring to ban even civil unions. I live in one and it's repugnant.
   854. JE (Jason) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4654477)
There's an election this month?

At the rate Obama's going, Katzy, you'll soon wish the midterm elections had been this month.
   855. Tilden Katz Posted: February 10, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4654479)
At the rate Obama's going, Katzy, you'll soon wish the midterm elections had been this month.


Many of the liberals here have made specific predictions about the November elections, particularly in the Senate. Do you (or any of the other conservatives here) care to do the same?
   856. Lassus Posted: February 10, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4654480)
My point is if the only thing is a word, then you are really only fighting the battle for spite. That word just isn't that big of a deal. This isn't separate but equal. It's equal but for language.

This is going to have to be one of the few (only?) times I think you have it 100% wrong.
   857. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 10, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4654486)
How did the President's party do when those low points coincided with an election?

Go look, if you like. There are so few data points to be cited as "electoral precedent" that carving out a smaller subset of data points that fulfill specific criteria is like trimming a bonsai tree.
   858. spike Posted: February 10, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4654489)
I appreciate the candid and thoughtful post @853, but marriage equality means just that - you don't get both a marriage (in a church) and a civil union (that recognized by the state). You get a marriage license from the state, not a civil union license. And if you tried to change what the state gives you to something else, I can only imagine straight people who don't get or want a church service will not look kindly on being "civilly unioned" instead of "married".
   859. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 10, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4654496)
The root of the problem with regards to the role of churches in the same sex marriage debate is that legal marriage has absolutely nothing to do with religion despite the attempts of people to make it that way.
   860. zonk Posted: February 10, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4654497)
How did the President's party do when those low points coincided with an election?



There's an election this month?


Well, there's a special election for Republican-held vacancy for a Florida House seat next month... It's an R+1 district... seems like a pretty good benchmark...
   861. OCF Posted: February 10, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4654504)
There's an interesting position in California - I think it may be county-by-county as to which counties have it - called "Deputy Commissioner for Civil Marriage." Basically, any adult can apply to the county clerk to be appointed to this position. There's a fee involved, and some instructional materials, and probably the applicant has to watch a video and answer some questions about it to assure that they know what they have to do. The person so deputized may then preside over a marriage ceremony, and then deliver to the county clerk the required documentation. The title is usually only valid for one day or one ceremony. I've been to two weddings presided over by such Deputy Commissioners - in both cases, people who were close friends of both bride and groom.

But yeah, the county clerks who do that do use the word "marriage." The weddings I'm talking about were several years ago, and heterosexual. One of the couples had been living in some kind of registered civil union for several years and still thought it worth their while to change that status to "married." I imagine that in the current legal realm in California, with Prop. 8 struck down, that those same city clerks are perfectly willing to grant the "Deputy Commissioner" title for same-sex marriages as well, under the same rules and procedures.
   862. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 10, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4654518)
Well, there's a special election for Republican-held vacancy for a Florida House seat next month... It's an R+1 district... seems like a pretty good benchmark...


Good lead-in to a post I had planned to make once I was at a computer instead of on my phone. Here's a little mini-preview of the special election for Florida's 13th district (the one I live in, previously held by the late CW Bill Young). The talking points are about what you'd expect, Jolly will try to use Obamacare as a weapon against Sink while Sink will use Jolly's lobbying past to attack him for being a Washington insider. Sink has a massive cash lead on Jolly right now but I would expect more money to start rolling in for Jolly with the primary being over.

For what it's worth Pinellas County (which the district is entirely within but does not cover all of) went 52.2 vs. 46.6 to Obama in 2012 and favored Sink in the 2010 gubernatorial race 50.7 to Scott's 45. Here is a map of the district. The most notable thing about it is the arbitrary chunk of St. Petersburg that is assigned to the 14th district; this removes about 95% of the minority-heavy areas of the county.

Edit: Pinellas County as a whole - 921,319 people, 76.9% white
13th district - 694,899 people, 87.3% white
   863. Morty Causa Posted: February 10, 2014 at 07:35 PM (#4654522)
But it would have recognized that we already have a two-tiered marriage system. There are church marriages and civil marriages.

If I'm understanding you right, I don't think this is correct. Legally, for civil effects to flow, there is only one kind of marriage: a civil one. Now, marriage can have a religious ceremony, but it's still a civil marriage. If you don't have a civil marriage, don't expect civil effects, unless they can be made applicable some other way.

However, it is also wrong to think that religion has played no part the civil institution of marriage. And that probably goes back to tribal times.
   864. JE (Jason) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4654524)
Do you (or any of the other conservatives here) care to do the same?

Not really. I have to be up in a little over four hours. Raincheck?
   865. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 10, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4654532)
Many of the liberals here have made specific predictions about the November elections, particularly in the Senate.

I'm already on record saying that I expect the GOP to take the Senate if Obama remains at (or below) the 43% Job Approval Rating. The map of GOP-winnable races is also likely to expand, if Obama can't make it back to at least the 45% mark.
   866. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: February 10, 2014 at 08:23 PM (#4654538)
the biggest problem with civil unions (as opposed to gay marriage) is that marriage itself is a legally defined and federally recognized concept, whereas civil unions, having been created out of thin air and being defined differently in different jurisdictions, did not (and do not) offer the financial benefits, the legal standing or the general stability that makes marriage desirable in the first place.
   867. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 08:43 PM (#4654545)
Why does there have to be such a thing as marriage?
   868. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4654547)
Why does there have to be such a thing as marriage?

There doesn't have to be, but it's a very efficient mechanism for society, and almost certainly contributes a great deal to social stability.

It greatly enhances male support for children (both time and resources), and reduces resources spent on ongoing sexual competition (which are completely wasted from a societal point of view). Monogamous marriage also has the benefit of reducing the number of women high status males can monopolize, and leaving fewer low status males cut out of the marriage/mating market.
   869. Blackadder Posted: February 10, 2014 at 09:03 PM (#4654549)
Why does there have to be such a thing as marriage?


I can see a case for standardized asset sharing contracts, and obviously you need custody laws, but beyond that I've moved in a libertarian direction on marriage. Private citizens can engage in whatever kind of ceremony they want, but I don't think the government should in general be in the business of prescribing certain conceptions of the good life for its citizens. I could be convinced otherwise if there were some compelling benefit to state sponsored marriage, but I haven't seen much from the Ross Douthat's of the world to convince me that there is.
   870. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 09:08 PM (#4654550)
I can see a case for standardized asset sharing contracts, and obviously you need custody laws, but beyond that I've moved in a libertarian direction on marriage. Private citizens can engage in whatever kind of ceremony they want, but I don't think the government should in general be in the business of prescribing certain conceptions of the good life for its citizens. I could be convinced otherwise if there were some compelling benefit to state sponsored marriage, but I haven't seen much from the Ross Douthat's of the world to convince me that there is.

I come to the same conclusion from a radically different viewpoint. Gov't recognition of marriage should simply be eliminated.
   871. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 09:31 PM (#4654557)
Monogamous marriage also has the benefit of reducing the number of women high status males can monopolize, and leaving fewer low status males cut out of the marriage/mating market.


I'm skeptical that this is true.
   872. Blackadder Posted: February 10, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4654568)
I come to the same conclusion from a radically different viewpoint. Gov't recognition of marriage should simply be eliminated.


Very interesting. I think it would be easier to have a reasonable discussion about the sort of issues you raise if they were decoupled from concerns about equality and discrimination, as privatizing them would likely do.
   873. Morty Causa Posted: February 10, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4654574)
Monogamous marriage also has the benefit of reducing the number of women high status males can monopolize, and leaving fewer low status males cut out of the marriage/mating market.

Reminds of what Steven Pinker wrote some twenty years ago: If Johnny Carson gets to monopolize the prime sexual years of five women, that means some men are going to be left out. And pissed (even if they don't consciously connect their dissatisfaction with that.) Then multiply that....

What does marriage do? It's the first organization unit of society. What are you going to replace it with? How does that affect the larger collective, and then how does the effect on that have an effect back on the individual?
   874. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 10, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4654577)
Looks like there are even more ObamaCare problems, leading to yet another waiver. The Employer Mandate is being pushed back for a second time:
Once again, it’s employers who are getting a break from their Obamacare mandate – and that’s sure to increase the pressure on the Obama administration to delay the mandate for individuals, too. Regulations announced by the Obama administration Monday give two levels of delay to employers who would have had to cover their workers next year. Some businesses will get an extra year – until 2016. And the bigger businesses that do have to worry about the mandate will have it phased in over two years.
. . .
But the optics are still going to cause big headaches. Now that businesses are getting another break, the Obama administration will have to brace for the return of a huge political problem: the demands for regular people to get a break from their own fines if they don’t buy health coverage this year.

Seems to be more than just a website problem. Many are suggesting that the next step will be a delay of the Individual Mandate, but not until just before (or after) the March 31st deadline.
   875. bunyon Posted: February 11, 2014 at 08:17 AM (#4654657)
My point is if the only thing is a word, then you are really only fighting the battle for spite. That word just isn't that big of a deal. This isn't separate but equal. It's equal but for language.

This is going to have to be one of the few (only?) times I think you have it 100% wrong.


Come now. I love beer. I know how you feel about that.

If I'm understanding you right, I don't think this is correct. Legally, for civil effects to flow, there is only one kind of marriage: a civil one. Now, marriage can have a religious ceremony, but it's still a civil marriage. If you don't have a civil marriage, don't expect civil effects, unless they can be made applicable some other way.

This is what I'm saying. We already only have "civil unions" for straight couples. It's called "marriage", yes. But it's from the state and is a legal, civil concept. If I take my girlfriend to church and have the priest bless us with holy water and tell us we can ####, I can still, legally, leave her in the morning. If I get a marriage license, sign it, with my girl, in front of a judge who also signs it, I'm stuck (in a good way, honey!) regardless of what a church says.

That is, churches have no legal power, on their own, to bestow marriage.

If the gay marriage advocates were to seize a truly equal civil union law that was applied across the land (this is obviously a hypothetical - I insist on equal union and federal), then you can keep fighting for gay marriage (just as your opponents will keep fighting to get the law(s) repealed). It's just that while you're fighting actual gay couples who face legal problems with joint custody, visitation in hospitals, inheritance, etc. would have some legal protection.

Basically, take the land that is open in front of you before trying to take the enemy capital.

I know it seems like great progress has been made. And it has. But it is awfully tenuous and the enemy of gay marriage is going to fight a bloody holding action. I think estimates of how soon gay marriage will be the general law of the land are very optimistic.

As I say, it isn't really my fight* and I wish gay marriage advocates well. I'm probably in a minority that doesn't think that word, or how it is used in the United States is all that important. At least not compared to the actual reality people face in their day to day lives. The rights that come with it, obviously, are very important. And these should be absolutely equal.

* By "not my fight", I don't mean that I don't have an opinion on which side is in the right, or that I hope to see win. I simply mean the law does not affect me and I have no legal ties to any gay individuals who the law does affect. I'm using the term in a legal sense, not a moral one.
   876. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 08:31 AM (#4654660)
If the gay marriage advocates were to seize a truly equal civil union law that was applied across the land (this is obviously a hypothetical - I insist on equal union and federal), then you can keep fighting for gay marriage (just as your opponents will keep fighting to get the law(s) repealed). It's just that while you're fighting actual gay couples who face legal problems with joint custody, visitation in hospitals, inheritance, etc. would have some legal protection.


But there is no window for such a thing. 100% of the people who oppose gay marriage would also oppose civil unions (or close enough). The civil unions proposal is just a Potemkin village. It's a wedge tactic used against the gay rights movement, not a weapon available to it.
   877. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 11, 2014 at 08:33 AM (#4654661)
Basically, take the land that is open in front of you before trying to take the enemy capital.


So what you are saying is, those people - many of whom have been fighting for this cause their entire adult life and have made huge progress - are doing it wrong. Because hypothetically if an offer had been made that wasn't made then they could be further ahead now, but they are not further ahead, so bad on them?

I honestly have no idea where you are going with this. First of all the gay rights movement is not a monolith, many were working for civil unions while some wanted to go all the way to full marriage right away. There was a fair amount of squabbling about it in the community (heck I heard about it and I am straight and most of my gay friends are either distant or apolitical).

The movement reacted to what they wanted (full recognition), what the opposition was doing, and what was happening in the court of public opinion. And as a group the movement has been extremely successful over the past ten years. They are winning, and decisively so. I guess I am wondering why you are not deploying your monday morning QB skills and 20/20 hindsight towards the other side - which again is losing and badly - and putting forth hypotheticals on how screwed up their strategy and goals are and how they really should have taken a different tact.

It looks easy from the peanut gallery, but movements are hard. Many people, each with their opinion on what to do, and an opposition that is full of people as desperate to win as you are. It is like the Super Bowl, but right now you seem to be critiquing the Seahawks, because after all they did not capitalize fully early in the game and could have put it away sooner. You might be right, but it seems a bit gratuitous.
   878. bunyon Posted: February 11, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4654674)
As I said, Mouse, I'm not in the fight. I don't actually care much, honestly. It doesn't affect me. Should gay people have equal rights? Yes, of course. Is changing the definition of marriage necessary for that? No, in my opinion not. I'm not against it. It just simply does not animate me.

Am I saying they're doing it wrong or that they're really screwed up? No, I don't think so. They do seem to be winning. But it's slow and in the mean time there are people that could use a faster, lesser victory. And I freely and completely admit that I'm not that engaged so I could be wildly off base.

As for it being purely hypothetical, I first heard of civil unions. The (very few) gay people I knew were for that. They didn't want to be "married" - that was a straight thing. They wanted to be able to legally own a house together. They wanted their partner to be the emergency contact (and not their parents or next of kin who hated the partner).

And, again this is from my little circle of the world which may have little bearing on the larger world (just as is the case for all of us), there are many who have no opposition to civil unions but do for gay marriage. From where I sit, there is a chance gay marriage doesn't win the day and I think there is a chance civil unions would.

Am I certain of this? No. Am I expert? No. That is why I'm sharing it on a baseball board's OTP rather than being a paid consultant for a gay rights organization. It's a point of view, take it or leave it.

I guess I am wondering why you are not deploying your monday morning QB skills and 20/20 hindsight towards the other side - which again is losing and badly - and putting forth hypotheticals on how screwed up their strategy and goals are and how they really should have taken a different tact.


Are you kidding? They're losing badly in places. A Republican wins the White House and appoints an AG and a couple of justices and they could be losing pretty quick too. I think you overestimate how lopsided the game is at this point. And, in any case, I've argued with my many conservative friends on this issue ad nauseum. I think they not only have a poor strategy but are, morally, in the wrong. That's a lot worse, IMO, than having a suboptimal strategy and being in the right. Like I say, these are people who would commit to gay civil unions but are uncomfortable with using the word marriage. Like it or not, most of us grew up with the idea that marriage was for straight couples. Need it be so? Of course not. But I'm not talking about "old" people. I'm talking people in their 30s and 40s. They'll be hanging around a long while yet. Most will come around - as I've come around. But in the mean time, as I've said over and over, there are people who need help faster than "there will come a day". I don't know if you can get them that help sooner, but if you can, you should (you being all of us).

Again, if you're working for gay marriage, cool. Good luck (sincerely, I mean that). If you think I'm wrong, that's fine, too. You're in control, do what you like.
   879. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4654681)

Go look, if you like. There are so few data points to be cited as "electoral precedent" that carving out a smaller subset of data points that fulfill specific criteria is like trimming a bonsai tree.


Thank you. Its like concluding anything off Enrique Wilson going 5-8 against Pedro Martinez. Its a trend! Til its not a trend anymore.

I come to the same conclusion from a radically different viewpoint. Gov't recognition of marriage should simply be eliminated.


This would be ideal in a world in which everyone always had a will and an advanced directive and generally wrote out or made known who they wanted to receive all the legal rights and benefits we currently associate with marriage. But this doesn't happen, so its nice to have a shorthand way of conferring benefits to that special person in our lives.
   880. formerly dp Posted: February 11, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4654684)
Bunyon, if you're interested in learning more about how the debate played out, this is one take on it (warning: book!), informed by interviews with gay rights' activists.
   881. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 11, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4654685)
A Republican wins the White House and appoints an AG and a couple of justices and they could be losing pretty quick too. I think you overestimate how lopsided the game is at this point.


Hey I have been wrong plenty of times before, so I could be now, but ... I think it is basically over and "teh gay" won. Have a look at the polling trend lines and then look at the demographic breakdowns. Those seeking one man/one woman marriages are fighting a losing rearguard action.

Not everyone has the rights they deserve, and I fully expect them (both sides) to keep fighting, but the course of history is really obvious on this one. I think people are (in their mind) likening this fight to abortion rights, and thinking there will be an ebb and a flow, with the outcome in doubt even after significant victory, but I really doubt it. A better analogy would be interracial marriage, which went from taboo (and illegal most places) to not even worth a second thought (and no sign of a backlash or reverse).

Personally I don't have a dog in the fight (Well I was sort of in a gay marriage for a while, but only sort of), but I certainly support those fighting for equal rights. I also strongly doubt they could have gotten farther along through an alternate strategy. And if you want to point fingers at those suffering, personally I reserve my scorn for those fighting that rear guard action which is obviously pointless (Yeah I know, God's will, sin, blah blah blah).

And by the way I am not at all suggesting you are in the wrong or hating or anything, I just think you are wrong :)
   882. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 11, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4654686)
(warning: book!)


OK this made me laugh. The recurring inside joke is often the best.
   883. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 09:20 AM (#4654689)
I think they not only have a poor strategy but are, morally, in the wrong. That's a lot worse, IMO, than having a suboptimal strategy and being in the right. Like I say, these are people who would commit to gay civil unions but are uncomfortable with using the word marriage.


An arrangement of two institutions, each separate but equal? That could work.
   884. bunyon Posted: February 11, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4654692)
Indeed, most of the scorn goes to those who don't recognize long time couples as the equivalent of married. I've seen this play out in families where a couple chose not to get married (mostly to thumb their noses at their parents and because they view marriage as anachronistic) only to find that one partner ends up in an ICU and the family refuses visitation to the other partner. I've seen this twice in hetero couples and once in a gay couple (car accidents, man). It's heart-rending and, yes, I mostly blame the families and the law that treats long term partners differently. But that is a real, tangible thing I think we could have changed years ago. Maybe we couldn't.

It looks like I have to read a ####### book to find out. Sheesh. :)


I hope it goes more like interracial marriage than abortion. I can see good reasons why it would go either way, though. Hope you're right.
   885. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4654695)
Nice move by Chuck Schumer:

When Boehner dismissed the possibility of passing an immigration bill of any kind last week, he explained that Republicans simply do not trust President Obama to enforce the laws of the land with regard to border security. After Obama announced in his State of the Union that he would attempt, wherever possible, to govern without the consent of Congress via executive orders, conservatives who were never very enthusiastic about dealing with immigration in the first place saw an excuse to oppose any effort, even one favored by Boehner and most of the GOP leadership. Worried that rebellious Tea Partiers might threaten his speakership as well as by the possibility that the issue would divert Republicans and the voters from the Democrats’ ObamaCare woes, Boehner waved the white flag on immigration reform.

In response to this, Schumer said yesterday that he would agree to an immigration bill that wouldn’t go into effect until 2017. In doing so, he’s calling the Republicans’ bluff. Since President Obama would not have the opportunity to gum up the works on border security after he left office, Schumer has answered what we were told was the chief Republican concern about addressing immigration this year.

...by giving in to Republicans on this point and putting off implementation of the law until after Obama leaves the White House, all Schumer has done is to expose something that was already obvious: Republicans won’t vote for an immigration reform bill under virtually any circumstances.


OTOH:


After all, why should Republicans pass a law now that won't take effect for three years? If Republicans win the presidency in 2016, then they'll have a chance to enact immigration legislation based on conservative principles. So it's better to wait until 2017—which is when Schumer is willing to put off implementation until anyway.

   886. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 09:34 AM (#4654697)
Why Obama Shouldn't Fear an GOP Senate Takeover

Things may actually improve slightly under a unified GOP Congress. Look at it this way: if Republicans win the Senate, their next prize, obviously, will be the White House. That’s a different ballgame altogether—a bigger, browner electorate. Suddenly the imperative to obstruct the Obama agenda begins to recede. A different incentive structure will take shape: the party will have to govern, or at least appear as though it’s trying.


I'm skeptical. They're not being punished for being obsctructionists now, they've been rewarded. Why stop now? Its quite possible that obstructionism in 2014-2015 will cost them in 2016, but I don't see them thinking that. A GOP Senate in 2014 means tons of hearings on Bengazi and any other made up scandal they get on the Obama administration, blocking appointments, and lots of meaningless legislation for Obama to veto. It will be a symbolic two years in which nothing will get done.
   887. The Good Face Posted: February 11, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4654703)
Monogamous marriage also has the benefit of reducing the number of women high status males can monopolize, and leaving fewer low status males cut out of the marriage/mating market.


I'm skeptical that this is true.


No, it's pretty much dead on. Women are, generally speaking, hypergamous. They want to be attached to the highest status males they're capable of getting their hands on, and we can even tie this to baseball. Derek Jeter is unquestionably a high status male; he's rich, famous, respected, athletic, etc. And there is an endless supply of women with high sexual marketplace value who'd much rather have 10% of Derek Jeter than 100% of some low status schlub; the gift baskets don't lie. Again, these are the women who have high value; young, beautiful ones. Derek Jeter ain't picking up the uggos in the club.

Reminds of what Steven Pinker wrote some twenty years ago: If Johnny Carson gets to monopolize the prime sexual years of five women, that means some men are going to be left out. And pissed (even if they don't consciously connect their dissatisfaction with that.) Then multiply that....


Yep. Monogamy helps give lower status males a greater stake in society. Generally a worthwhile thing.
   888. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4654734)
If Republicans win the presidency in 2016, then they'll have a chance to enact immigration legislation based on conservative principles.


Deport them all and build a taller wall? Other than that what principles are we talking about here?

I'm skeptical.


Me too.*

Monogamy helps give lower status males a greater stake in society.


I need more than a bland assertion, but really much of the discussion is besides the point. Marriage is an institution with a long and varied history and is present in most cultures and in our present one is a civil institution which is very often accompanied by a religious component. The religious component is the lesser of the two in nearly all instances, but very important to many people.

You don't need to defend the existence marriage, it is not going anywhere. It is a valued thing. Not universally, but by a plurality (if not an outright majority). And unless someone has a compelling case why on earth get rid of it. That said it will likely evolve and honestly I think it should.

As to monogamy, whatever. I think people should engage in whatever practices (between consenting adults) they want, and I think society should make it reasonably easy to formalize those arrangements and then as needed sunder them. There is no configuration, monogamy, polygamy, polyandry, or whatever that universally benefits everyone and doing things to benefit this group or that group because of the obsolete definition of a word, historical artifacts, or peoples fears is just silly.

Society needs to unclench a bit, fortunately it is, but it is just taking too darn long.

* Note: I am agreeing with both 871 and 886. Originally it was written for 886, but also fits with 871. Double duty agreement!
   889. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4654738)
Facing a rebellion over his latest debt ceiling proposal, Speaker John A. Boehner has told House Republicans that he will bring legislation to a vote on Wednesday that would raise the government’s borrowing authority with no strings attached.


Good government, correct tactic, acknowledgement of defeat, or cowardly RINOism? Heck it could be more than one (personally I think it is 1, 2 and 3).
   890. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4654741)
Indeed, most of the scorn goes to those who don't recognize long time couples as the equivalent of married. I've seen this play out in families where a couple chose not to get married (mostly to thumb their noses at their parents and because they view marriage as anachronistic) only to find that one partner ends up in an ICU and the family refuses visitation to the other partner.


This is just very stupid and there's no reason it should still be the case. The obvious natural thing that should be and can easily be codified into law is that every individual has the right to file (and re-file as desired) a document at your county courthouse, for a nominal fee like $10, stating who gets visitation and decisionmaking rights in the event of your indisposal. It really isn't germane to gay rights; it's just an obvious thing that should have happened a long time ago (though now the anti-gays would probably work to prevent it from happening).

No, it's pretty much dead on. Women are, generally speaking, hypergamous. They want to be attached to the highest status males they're capable of getting their hands on, and we can even tie this to baseball. Derek Jeter is unquestionably a high status male; he's rich, famous, respected, athletic, etc. And there is an endless supply of women with high sexual marketplace value who'd much rather have 10% of Derek Jeter than 100% of some low status schlub; the gift baskets don't lie. Again, these are the women who have high value; young, beautiful ones. Derek Jeter ain't picking up the uggos in the club.


This is true but you are dramatically overestimating its societal effect. Derek Jeter is a 10-out-of-10 status man; any woman beneath 9-out-of-10 status is completely beneath his notice (and social status is a steep bell curve, so that comprises a good 98% of women that Derek Jeter will never notice, no matter how much they want him.) The same is true further down the scale. Average-value people don't mate with low-value people.

The only big losers here are, well, losers, the men at the very bottom of society.

I would also remind you that the context of this discussion is marriage, not monogamy. Contrary to popular modern belief, most humans are fundamentally monogamous. They aren't fundamentally inclined to mate for life, but they are inclined to mate with one other person at a time. The exceptions are prominent to the point of being celebrated in modern society, but they remain in the exceptions category.
   891. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4654742)
Good government, correct tactic, acknowledgement of defeat, or cowardly RINOism? Heck it could be more than one (personally I think it is 1, 2 and 3).


It's acknowledgement of being in a defeated position and corresponding surrender.

I am surprised by the hand-wringing Democrats sometimes engage in and the denial Republicans sometimes engage in, because it looks very much to me like the Republican Party, at least in its present form, is circling the drain. It has no central identity, no charismatic leadership, and has spent the last five-plus years methodically fracturing into at least three distinct groups that dislike each other (the centrists, the neo-libertarians and the religious right).
   892. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4654746)
I come to the same conclusion from a radically different viewpoint. Gov't recognition of marriage should simply be eliminated.


Somehow I doubt you would have come around to this position prior to having the gay rights side win the argument over civil marriage. Call me cynical.
   893. tshipman Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4654747)
Facing a rebellion over his latest debt ceiling proposal, Speaker John A. Boehner has told House Republicans that he will bring legislation to a vote on Wednesday that would raise the government’s borrowing authority with no strings attached.


The amount of Poker that Boehner plays without a hand is truly remarkable. He keeps trying to bluff without any cards. Personally, I view that as dangerous and irresponsible, but if I were trying to be charitable, I would note that he is a decent tactician.

Terrible strategist, but decent tactician.
   894. Greg K Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4654748)
The only big losers here are, well, losers, the men at the very bottom of society.

But I was assured that 95% of the population is undateable!
   895. The Good Face Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4654749)
I need more than a bland assertion,


Just math really. If you assume rough parity in numbers between the genders, and if the top 10% of males are each monopolizing the sexual access to multiple women as wives/concubines/etc., then that means a significant number of lower status men are going to have to go without. Men with no possibility of a wife or children typically have less stake in society; the world dies with them. So why work harder than your society absolutely demands of you? Why go fight and die in its wars? A society that doesn't serve the needs of its people can't last; people will refuse to do the work necessary to maintain it, seek to leave it, or attempt to tear it down.

This doesn't mean polygamy is necessarily the kiss of death, plenty of societies have managed to function with polygamy, but their track records compared to monogamous societies aren't all that great.
   896. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4654750)
Deport them all and build a taller wall? Other than that what principles are we talking about here?


It involves making Coke speak English in all of their commercials.
   897. Greg K Posted: February 11, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4654751)
Why go fight and die in its wars?

Multiple wives for some.

Celibate warrior monkdom for others.

Win-win!
   898. The Good Face Posted: February 11, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4654756)
This is true but you are dramatically overestimating its societal effect. Derek Jeter is a 10-out-of-10 status man; any woman beneath 9-out-of-10 status is completely beneath his notice (and social status is a steep bell curve, so that comprises a good 98% of women that Derek Jeter will never notice, no matter how much they want him.)


I can't speak for Derek Jeter, but that's not really the case. Males with very high SMV attract attention from all over the female spectrum, and while women who are downright ugly are usually invisible to them, they're often not above a roll in the hay with average or moderately attractive women. Especially if it requires very little work or effort on their part. Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger producing a love child with his average looking (at best) house cleaner. Guys who are SMV 10s will generally only settle down with a woman who's SMV is a 9 or 10 herself, but they're not above having their fun with the sixes, sevens and eights of the world.
   899. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4654759)
Somehow I doubt you would have come around to this position prior to having the gay rights side win the argument over civil marriage. Call me cynical.

Of course not. Once you've managed to have your error enshrined in civil law, the best I can do is try to prevent you from imposing it on all the people who won't accept it as right.
   900. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 11, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4654760)
Of course not.


Then your position is simply sour grapes.
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