Archive for the ‘Arizona Immigration Law’ Category

Fictional characters in a novel democracy

August 12, 2010

By David Farside

Aug. 9th, 2010

A federal court judge just overturned California’s Proposition 8, which prohibited gay marriages. Although the majority of voters believed the ceremonial unification of marriage was somehow limited to a union between a man and a woman, Chief Judge Vaughn Walkerof the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of our Constitution, claiming the new law was unconstitutional and the states had no lawful right to exclude gays and lesbians from being legally joined in same-sex marriage.

While Republicans, conservatives and the spiritual leaders of the Mormon and Catholic churches were firing salvos of criticism at the rumored gay judge, advocates for gay rights were cheering in the streets from San Francisco to New York City, and why not? This was the first time the issue of gay marriage was heard by a federal judge and the state of California will probably protect the sovereignty of its ballot all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Who knows? Maybe the pope will testify and tell the court that even the Catholic church doesn’t allow its gay priests to marry each other.

The judge wrote an extensive 136-page verdict claiming that the prohibition of same-sex marriage was a violation of individual rights provided for in the 14th Amendment of our Constitution. And he is right! We are all entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as guaranteed by both liberal and conservative authors of our constitution and its 14th Amendment. Now, homophobic conservative senators want to amend the 14th Amendment.

Walker decreed that moral disapproval alone is not a legal basis to deny the personal or equal rights of gay men and lesbians. He said Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples. He added there was no rational basis for singling out same-sex marriage for denial of a marriage license.

This ruling will be the political icing on the rhetorical cake of proverbial campaign deception before the midterm and next presidential election as an increasing number of states are challenging government for states’ rights.

Arizona is challenging the government’s authority to limit protection of its own state border. The Tea Party Express is campaigning on behalf of the state of Arizona. The Democrats are arguing for tolerance and federal help on the border. All the government can do is sue Arizona for attempting to do what the federal government either can’t or won’t do. Arizona Sen. John McCain, demonstrating one of the reasons he wasn’t elected president, is doing his usual hypocritical dance on the fence, dividing the borders until after the election. Maybe Sarah Palin can show him the light.

The state of Nevada is joining 20 other states in a lawsuit filed against the U.S. government in Florida, claiming the government’s newly passed health care bill and its Medicaid costs will skyrocket because the new federal plan excludes services and care for the poor and needy. The states will have to provide the service at no cost to the federal government and increased taxes for the residents of the state. Sen. Harry Reid denied that would ever happen before the bill was passed. He forgot to read the fine print of his own legislation. On that particular issue, Sharron Angle seems to have a little better insight, eyesight and hindsight. But after the elections, she’ll probably be out of sight.

States seem to want it both ways. The U.S. Senate just passed a bill providing more than $10 billion given to the states to keep teachers and staff in classrooms. Nevada will receive more than $85 million. I don’t see Gov. Jim Gibbons, members of the Tea Party or any state suing the central government for giving states money to keep teachers in the classroom, preventing more unemployment and providing education for our children. I wonder why, although, no one really knows what Gibbons might do.

Republicans are arguing the money is a bailout for teachers’ unions and are opposed to it. They would rather see the wealthy earning $250,000 or more keep their tax breaks than pay for our children’s public education.

So the scene is set. Locally, for the next few months, Angle will blame Reid for a high unemployment rate and declining housing market, immigration policies and socialized medicine, even though she says providing jobs in housing and construction is not a senator’s job. Her answer to health care is to eliminate Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Her answer to immigration is, like her political message, clouded and unthinkable.

Nationally, President Barack Obama will be blamed for Supreme Court decisions, lawsuits, the recession, the never-ending war against the Muslims and for being born on foreign soil. In other words, in politics, nothing has changed except the names and faces of new fictional characters in this novel democracy.