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Cowardice delayed is cowardice confirmed

Well, yesterday the Masachusetts legislature met in a Constitutional Convention to discuss various proposed amendments to the state's Constitution. At the bottom of the agenda was the issue of gay marriage. Opponents had drafted an amendment forbidding it, collected more than enough signatures, and submitted it, all according to the law.

Now, this was hardly the first time they had done this. In prior sessions, the legislature had taken a brief look at the matter, then promptly tossed it in the circular file. (That's right, in Massachusetts the people have no direct access to amending their Constitution. Everything has to go through the legislature, and they can freely ignore whatever the people want.) This year, though, with all the heat and fury over the issue, they realized they could not so readily flip the bird to the people to whom they have to pretend are important once every two years, when they stand for election.

So they did the next best thing: they postponed the whole thing until November 9, two days after the election.

Naturally, a lot of people are furious. The Boston Herald let the cowards of Beacon Hill have it with both barrels. Even the Boston Globe (owned by the New York Times, and whose mottos seems to be "all gay marriage, all the time") slammed the move, saying that the learned solons should have just killed it outright. They did give them slight credit for not simply letting the matter die quietly, as they have in the past, but touted the delay as "time for productive debate" and "educating" people on the issue, quietly glossing over the amazingly fortuitous timing of placing the vote two days after the election -- which means those who do vote on it will have almost two years before having to face the voters and explain their actions.

There seem to be a few rules that govern Massachusetts politics: Don't take the high road if the low road is easier. Don't ever espouse principle over expediency. Don't do the right thing if it might annoy someone. Don't do today what you can put off until tomorrow -- unless you can push it off even longer, or scrap it entirely.

And above all, don't bother listening to the people. They'll forget whatever you do today by the time election day rolls around again.

Sadly, these rules seem to hold very, very true.

Massachusetts likes to refer to itself as "the cradle of liberty," citing its key role in the American revolution. It's a fit metaphor. Unfortunately, Liberty has grown up and left the crib, leaving only a smelly, befouled diaper behind.


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Comments (5)

"rules that govern Massachu... (Below threshold)

"rules that govern Massachusetts politics" Why would you confine your comment to only the MA legislature? Why would it not include all state legislatures and mostly our own Federal Congress and Senate.

The only thing that surpris... (Below threshold)

The only thing that surprised me is that they didn't immediately cave in to the shrill gay brownshirts and immediately adjourn, throwing the whole amendment into the dumper right off the bat.

Gutless, stinking cowards, the lot of them. And the worst of it all is knowing that not a single one of these pieces of sewage will lose their seat because of this 'profile in courage.'

Every day I thank God I'm one day closer to getting out of this filthy hellhole of a state.

Yes, Massachusetts is indee... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Yes, Massachusetts is indeed parked on a diaper.

Doesn't this move make the ... (Below threshold)

Doesn't this move make the issue a political football for the elections?

Sounds like you think this ... (Below threshold)

Sounds like you think this should be debated and voted on before the elections so that voters know who/ what they are voting on.

Nice shiny new concept!






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