|December 8, 2004|
The Republican's Constitutional Amendment Scam!
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
For many elections now I have watched the Republicans tactic of using constitutional amendments to further their agenda and get across subtle and not so subtle messages to their base. I now see this has been one of their most effective tools for communicating to the voter groups they wish to appeal to.
Constitutional amendments are extremely hard to go all the way with, needing to pass in Congress and two thirds of the statehouses to succeed. But that is also one of their great advantages as a propaganda tool. You can propose things without worrying about them actually becoming the law of the land. And you can keep proposing them every election cycle and make the same cultural point because they never pass. They also give the impression you are for something and have ideas, a problem for the democrats recently.
Take the flag burning amendment. For a long time it has been trotted out every four years to try and show how patriotic republicans are and how unpatriotic democrats are..Until democrats stopped taking the bait that is. Every time a democrat would give a thoughtful answer about preserving our freedom of speech to a question asked about the flag burning amendment he was vilified as unpatriotic. Eventually democrats just started going along with it, surrendering the moral high ground in our ever onward move to the right. Free speech arguments were made to seem somehow unamerican and those against this amendment were called liberal scum.
Of course, when was the last time you saw anyone on the news from this country burning a flag? But the issue isn't important, its' what the issue can make your opponent look like.
This election it was the Gay Marriage Amendment. As far as the republicans were concerned, it was a jackpot. They were looking for something to get the evangelical christians motivated to come out to vote and they knew abortion wouldn't be enough to get the job done. After all, republicans had a Supreme Court majority and a majority in Congress and what had they accomplished?
But, gays getting married was the perfect answer. Democrats being suckers for equality would have to be for it and, as such, would be godless heathens in the eyes of every homophobic evangelical everywhere. This issue became known as the morals issue. We are now told the election was decided on this issue.
So when are the democrats going to get back in the constitutional amendment game?
The last one they had was the equal rights amendment. Remember back when they stood for something? How about a ban on displaying the confederate flag on all federal and state governmental property? Can you imagine the uncomfortable answer Bush would have given to a question in the presidential debates about this amendment? This kind of lose/lose situation for your opponent is what this game is all about.
Democrats do you want to get back your advantage among women? How about an amendment making it unconstitutional to pay men more than women for the same work? Or how about one making it unconstitutional to get a tax refund if you paid NO TAXES that year?
See it's fun.
Come up with your own and send them to the DNC. Remember they don't have to pass to be effective -- they just need to put your republican friends on the defensive explaining their sexist racist homophobic policies to the rest of the country.
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
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