Goodbye, Barry Goldwater
January 19 2004
"Bush Plans $1.5
Billion Drive for Promotion of Marriage" ran the headline in the New
The story told of how Bush aides were "planning an extensive
election-year initiative to promote marriage" and debating whether to
float the idea in the State of the Union.
"For months," the Times reported, "administration officials have worked
with conservative groups on the proposal, which would provide at least
$1.5 billion for training to help couples develop interpersonal skills
that sustain 'healthy marriages.'"
Then came this kicker: "'This is a way for the president to address the
concerns of conservatives and to solidify his conservative base,' a
presidential adviser said." Added Ronald Haskins, former White House
aide to Bush, "A lot of conservatives are very pleased with the healthy
Well, Haskins, this conservative is not. And before President Bush
shovels out $1.5 billion in boodle on TV ads and marriage mentors to
help couples develop "interpersonal skills," a few questions:
Where in the Constitution is the U.S. government empowered to take money
from citizens to teach other citizens how to have "healthy marriages"?
Why is the White House dreaming up new social programs when we're
running a $500 billion deficit?
What, exactly, is the difference between the compassionate conservatism
of George W. Bush and the Great Society liberalism of Lyndon Johnson,
against which Mr. Conservative, Barry Goldwater, broke his lance in
1964? What do the Beltway conservatives stand for anymore, other than
getting their snouts in the trough, too?
The genesis of this scheme?
Stunned by a Massachusetts Supreme Court decision ordering the state to
legalize homosexual marriage, the White House has been under pressure to
support a constitutional amendment that declares marriage to be solely
between a man and a woman.
But the White House has been waffling, fearing such an amendment would
ignite a firestorm of protest from Log Cabin Republicans, homosexuals,
Hollywood, the professoriat and Big Media, where gay marriages are the
civil-rights cause du jour.
Taking a stand against homosexual marriage would mean a blazing battle
for Bush in this election year. It would win this battle, but this White
House doesn't want to fight.
Country-club Republicans want to be known for their support of
"diversity," "tolerance" and the Big Tent. They don't want angry gays
ripping them for being "bigots" and "haters." They can't take that kind
What the White House wants is the political benefit of standing up for
traditional marriage, without the political onus of saying that
homosexual marriages are immoral, unnatural and unacceptable in the
A constitutional amendment restricting marriage to a man and a woman is
the kind of blazing social issue from which moderate Republicans recoil
like Dracula from a crucifix. Indeed, the Bully Pulpit was rolled out of
this White House about the same time as that granite monument of the Ten
Commandments was rolled out of the Alabama state courthouse.
The Bush folks like to say what they believe is right. They do not like
saying what and who they believe is morally wrong. And that is at the
heart of America's social crisis today.
Hence, this scheme to buy the silence of the Right with $1.5 billion.
And if Haskins is right, some conservatives are rubbing their hands with
glee in anticipation of the pay-off.
This $1.5 billion is nothing but faith-based pork, cooked up in the
kitchen of Karl Rove to bribe the Religious Right not to scream too loud
if the White House decides to go into the tank on gay marriage in 2004.
But some conservatives are not accepting the booby prize Rove is
offering. Said Sandy Rios of Concerned Women for America, "This is like
throwing a snowball at a forest fire ... This administration is dancing
dangerously around the issue of homosexual marriage."
Adds Gary Bauer, a candidate for the Republican nomination in 2000, "If
the White House puts (gay marriage) on the back burner or doesn't put
capital into it, that would deeply demoralize a large block of voters
that they are expecting to turn out in November."
Two weeks ago, President Bush looked like a man holding four aces
sitting across a table from Howard Dean who was looking at a low pair.
Then Bush launched a pre-emptive strike on his political base by calling
for amnesty for illegal aliens. Now, he is moving crab-wise on the issue
of homosexual marriage. This is how elections get lost. Suddenly, Bush
looks like a bear on ice.
© 2003 Creators
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