The Conservatives’ Bill of Wrongs

June 7th, 2006

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In a heartening show of common sense, the Senate voted today to fend off a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
And a number of Republicans deserve praise for their sensible – and in some cases courageous – vote against this idiotic amendment. So we’ll give out a shout out to Senators Chafee, Collins, Gregg, McCain, Snowe, Specter and Sununu.

But alas, the Senate vote doesn’t end the conservative movement’s attempt to amend the Constitution with what you might call a “Bill of Wrongs” – a series of bans on conduct that conservatives don’t like. Next up on the Senate docket: the constitutional ban on flag burning. After that, we can expect to see proposals for constitutional bans on latte sipping, Volvos driving, and listening to Bruce Springsteen (he endorsed Kerry).

You can think of the progenitors of the Federal Marriage Amerndment as modern-day Hamiltons, Jays and Alexanders, the “Publius” of the Federalist Papers. Like their forefathers, the FMA’s backers think deep thoughts about the philosophy and implications of their attempt to shape the core of American governance. As the Washington Post reported, Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) provided searing insight at a press conference: “Marriage is under attack!” And Katherine Harris, that political absurdity from Florida, responded with equal thoughtfulness: “we can have anarchy!”

Thankfully, cooler heads in the Senate prevailed. Of course, House conservatives are not to be outdone by their Senate brethren in utter senselessness. Leader John Boehner has promised a vote on the amendment for later in June.

As our Talking Points on the Federal Marriage Amendment point out, this ridiculous episode shows why we need change in Washington. The FMA is completely unnecessary, an intrusion into the private lives of all families, and is designed to distract America from the serious challenges that Washington is ignoring.