Here's a breakdown of the vote; note the two senators who did not cast a ballot.


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  1. Even better–despite Kerry’s and Edward’s cowardice, FMA supporters couldn’t get a majority of senators to vote for the comtemptible piece of legislation.

  2. And three cheers for the handful of naysaying Republicans….

  3. What was this a vote on? Cloture? A motion to do what?

    Good thing the Senate didn’t just vote on the actual idiotic proposition, rather than some obscure procedural maneuver, so that everyone can say they voted right. Hell, even Kedwards can say they didn’t miss the vote on the amendment, only some procedural technicality no common person understands anyway.

  4. It pains me to defend Kerry/Edwards but the vote was to invoke cloture, which was considered doomed without their votes. Both said they would be there to vote if FMA came the floor.

    “And three cheers for the handful of naysaying Republicans….” Hip Hip…..

  5. Isaac: Not voting on cloture was still weasely thing to do.

  6. “Not voting on cloture was still weasely thing to do.”

    I suspect they were kinda busy. Were they even in Washington?

  7. An extra cheer for the Lebanese American community: Sununu was one of the Republican Nays.

  8. How any self-respecting gay can vote for Kerry/Edwards now is totally beyond me.

    Then again, I could never understand why gays supported Clinton either, after DOMA and DA/DT

  9. Sununu’s a Lebby, huh? Actually, is there any good derogatory shorthand for Ralph Nader’s tribe?

  10. “How any self-respecting gay can vote for Kerry/Edwards now is totally beyond me.”

    What, you think they’re going to vote for Bush? This is the perfect example of why Bush’s pandering to his base is a really dumb idea in the long run. Maybe it’s true that no self-respecting gay person would vote for Kerry now. But the fact that Bush himself was the one who tried to push the bill through shouldn’t make the Dems too concerned about a run across the isle.

  11. gays are caught in the same political trap lots of other groups with “special interests” (as opposed to general interests, like breathing or eating?) in that there’s no one else to turn to. third parties are still a “vote waster” and as spineless as kerry and edwards may be by not saying “hey, defending marriage from invisible enemies is fucked, yo,” the alternative is obviously much, much worse.

    gay republicans, now that’s a phenomenon which puzzles the fuck out of me. not gay conservatives, mind you, but gay republicans.

  12. Actually, is there any good derogatory shorthand for Ralph Nader’s tribe?

    I think we should call them “Klingers.” It has a certain poetry to it.

  13. Matt Welch: Unfortunately, there was never an authoritative national subclassification of derogatory middle eastern nicknames by 20th century bigots.

    I was interested in finding a new way to grumble about Nader’s wacky-ass platform myself, so I checked some white power websites and they were pretty much stuck on “camel jockey” and “towel head,” among other boring slurs.

    Sorry not to be of some help.

  14. So can anyone explain in plain language what this vote was for? Is it safe to assume that the “Yea” and “Nay” votes would be the same if the vote were on the actual FMA?

  15. Call me snake — I was thinking more along the lines of “Frog” or “Hunkie,” but thanks for trying.

  16. Eric

    The vote was to end debate (cloture) and bring the measure to the floor for a vote.

    A member’s vote on cloture is not necessarily an indicator of their position on the measure. It is usually moved if the “right” side has enough votes to pass the measure in the hope that no minds will be changed and no more amendments will be introduced.

    Last I heard the actual FMA would probably have lost on the floor.

  17. The GOP should just pass the Defense of Marriage act again with one addition, “The Courts will have no say on this issue.” The idea that unelected elitist judges can impose their values on the rest of society is comtemptible, Bailey.

    We are for the most part living in a judicial dictatorship. I suggest you pay more attention to Walter Olsen. Didn’t he write for Reason at one time or another.

  18. ” Kerry’s and Edward’s cowardice”

    They both repeatedly said they opposed the amendment, and Kerry released a statement saying he would vote against the amendment if it came up. So they didn’t feel like showing up for some stupid procedural vote that was only scheduled so Republicans could grandstand about “protecting families”- they probably weren’t even in town (Edwards definitely was in Iowa.)

  19. What’s a hunkie?

  20. Cut Bailey some slack. After the past couple days, he needs to take a couple of cheap shots at Kerry for his column expressing disappointment in Bush. Pretending Kerry and Edwards were supposed to waste a day of campaigning so they could make a 50-48 vote into a 52-48 vote, and ignoring the fact that both candidates have been quite vocal in their opposition to the amendment every time they’ve been asked about it, is the only way to head off the “cancelling my subscription” huffiness.

    I’m going with that, because the alternative – Bailey doesn’t know anything about how the Senate operates – would really bum me out.

  21. J — It’s a 100-year-old derogatory term for “Hungarian,” probably coined in Cleveland and/or Chicago, where the Hunkies gravitated to blue-collar jobs. Term evolved into “Honky,” as far as I’m aware.

  22. I’m disappointed to see that all of my local guys were yeas. There should be more dissent among conservatives about this.

    I just had an interesting meeting. Wait until you see what happens to employee benefit plans for same sex couples in Mass. Whoo, nelly.

    If you want to make a bagillion dollars, become a CPA and move to Boston. No same sex couple will be able to file their own taxes, or even get HR Block to do it for them. DOMA made explicit that for all Federal considerations, same sex marraiges don’t exist. Mass has indicated that they MUST be considered valid for all state benefits, survivor rights, and so forth.

    Just an example: The extension of coverage from an employer insurance plan to a same sex spouse is required to be an option if the person works in Bean Town, but Federal guidelines indicate that the coverage for the spouse is not to be tax advantaged as it would be for a DOMA certified spouse, and so the coverage must be declared as additional income on the part of the employee. Wheee!

  23. Gotcha. Thanks. This kraut is signing off.

  24. Isaac,

    I suspect that the Dems’ decision not to vote in favor of cloture is an attempt to avoid putting moderate Republicans like Snowe in a bind. This would indicate confidence that they are going to pick up enough seats that moderate GOPers will work with the Democratic half to form a majority coalition.

  25. How about Miserable Fat Little Lebanese Bastards?

  26. “…is there any good derogatory shorthand for Ralph Nader’s tribe?”

    Pita peddlers?

  27. “…is there any good derogatory shorthand for Ralph Nader’s tribe?”


    OK, how ’bout Killjoys? (c.f. Corvair)

  28. Hmmmm… it seems that only two senators didn’t vote, but over thirty are currently campaigning…

  29. gay republicans, now that’s a phenomenon which puzzles the fuck out of me. not gay conservatives, mind you, but gay republicans.

    How are gay Republicans any stranger than rich Democrats? Or Catholic Democrats, for that matter.

    Neither party is a good fit for a gay conservative. The Republican Party will hate him for being gay, and the Democratic Party will hate him for everything else. So a gay conservative (or gay libertarian) has to decide — which party offends him less?

    Well, the place to look for conservatives who care about gay rights is the Republican Party — they’re a minority, to be sure, but they’re there (as the voting record shows). There are no pro-gay conservatives among the Democrats; the handful of conservative Democrats are also homophobes. Furthermore, the Republican party seems to be slowly becoming less homophobic, while the Democratic party seems to be growing less conservative. So if a gay conservative wanted a party to invest his time, money, and votes in, the Republican Party would seem to be the better option.

  30. The most important lesson to be learned today is that Robert Byrd and Arlen Specter suck.

  31. The Kerry-Edwards cowardice caravan rolls on.
    After both of them said that the Iraq war was wrong, both were reminded that they voted for it and asked how they would have voted if they could do it over. Each answered that he did not think that it was useful to contemplate “hypothetical situations”…..Well rehearsed weasels.

  32. This amendment represents the wrong approach. It tries to dictate to the states, as if the problem were *insufficient* federal dictation to the states.

    Instead, we need an amendment specifying that each state has the power to decide for itself whether to recognize same-sex or polyamorous unions. Without such an amendment, people who get a same-sex union (“Marriage” or “Civil Union”) in one state would demand that other states recognize the union under the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

    I notice that Jonathan Rauch prefers the state-by state approach in seeking to attain government-recognized “gay marriage.” Rauch says that it would be wrong for the federal government to force the states one way or the other. Rauch also says that an amendment to the U. S. Constitution isn’t necessary, because of course the federal courts *always* respect states’ rights.

  33. It tries to dictate to the states, as if the problem were *insufficient* federal dictation to the states.

    How about those state-level lumber petitions, Torq? Your federal government is getting stronger and stronger and stronger…

  34. My god, this was just a procedural vote with the burden resting on the yeas. There was no reason for Kerry or Edwards to have to vote. And it’s not like their views on the issue are hard for us to figure out.

    Just in case:

  35. FYI Torq,

    There is a “public policy” exemption to the full faith and credit clause. If the recognition of another State A’s actions would violate the expressed public policy of State B, State B does not have to recognize those actions. There is actually quite a bit of history of states refusing to recognize other states’ marriages (Mormons, inter-racial unions), and the federal courts recognizing their right to do so. In order to get an unwilling state to recognize Massachusetts’ gay marriages, the plaintiffs would have to make an equal rights or due process case, not just a “full faith and credit” case, and that’s much higher bar to clear.

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