The politics of the court caseTerry Frank had a number of points in her comment yesterday on the proposed amendment to the Tennessee Constitution that I think deserve a thorough review. Terry first states the obvious:
I don't think Bredesen wants it on the ballot just IN CASE he has an opponent.
Ladies and Gentlemen, on this point I think that Terry is right on the money. Homosexual "marriage" proved to be a winning issue for the President in 2004 in this respect: This same issue was on the ballot in 11 States and, if I recall the math correctly, the President won 10 of those 11, with only Oregon going for John Kerry.
Bredesen is doing a fine job maintaining his popularity by playing Mr. Conservative. As we all know, this is nothing more than an act. Real conservatives don't take money from Emily's List and from various gay "rights" groups, but Phil Bredesen has. Since aborticide or gay marriage did not come up in the last campaign for Governor (the primary focus was TennCare and the incompetence of the outgoing Sundquist administration) Bredesen was able to be ambiguous about social issues in this socially conservative State. If this amendment makes it to the ballot, Bredesen has to take a position in order to insure the money keeps coming from the people that Bredesen gets his money from. If Bredesen has to do this, he loses a huge number of votes and could gain an opponent who could beat him by simply saying "I am more conservative than Phil Bredesen."
The Democrats don't want this on the ballot because the GOP could possibly take over the house.
I agree that having this on the ballot will not hurt the Republicans in the least, and it could help them. However, in the wake of Tennessee Waltz, the GOP is in a pretty good position to take over the House anyway, regardless of whether the gay marriage issue appears on the ballot or not.
It may be that the Other Side is concerned about anything that could help the GOP, but I think there is something larger at work here, that Terry addresses in her next point:
The ACLU just wants to hold it off so gay marriage can possibly get a foothold in other states, in other words, they want to slow down the momentum of those who defend the definition of marriage as one man and one woman.
I agree that this is very likely the ACLU's strategy, they have a larger agenda than the homosexual groups that they are representing. These groups, however, want the amendment off the ballot for another reason: They know that if they can get the Supreme Court to agree that they did not have enough time to prepare a counter-campaign, that the entire process of passing this amendment will have to be repeated. That means that under the Constitution, the public will not get a vote on the question until 2010.
They can't stop people from voting, they can only put if off.
The so-called "gay rights" groups know that the people at-large are not on their side in this matter. Knowing this, "putting it off" is their strategy. They are hoping that if the Supreme Court decides in their favor, the four years we have to wait to bring this to a conclusion will derail the momentum in its favor. I am hoping that the Court sees this for what it is: a stall tactic designed to prevent the people of Tennessee from exercising their constitutional prerogative.