Forget Moe Mentum. Ground rules decide elections.

(Good analysis from a local who knows stuff – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton.

The late quarterback/broadcaster Don Meredith often mused that “Old Moe Mentum is a fickle friend.” If nothing else, the 2016 political season suggests it is time to retire the concept from the ranks of the political chattering class and banish it to the even more hackneyed vocabulary of sportscasters.

Old Moe did put in an early appearance when Bernie Sanders did his “better than expected” photo-finish second place in the Iowa caucus. That validated his campaign and he roared to a big win in New Hampshire. But while the chatterers burbled about “Moe Mentum,” every contest since – beginning with Clinton’s second, and last, caucus victory in Nevada, appears to have followed two basic sets of political predictors: demographics and ground rules.

In terms of ground rules, Hillary has fared poorly in caucuses and open contests — those that allow voters who aren’t registered as Democrats. But she does well in primaries or closed contests.

So far, the New York Times Upshot column estimates she has done about nine percentage points better in primaries than in caucuses, and three points better in closed contests than in open ones. Unfortunately for Bernie Sanders, there is only one state caucus left,  a closed one, in North Dakota on June 7. And Sanders has never beaten Clinton in an closed primary.

Demographics have also been key as African-American voters favor Clinton by wide margins, as do Latinos by somewhat narrower ranges. Affluent voters also lean to Clinton. Sanders has never beaten Clinton in a primary where more than 25 percent of the voters are minorities.

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Give Me Night or Give Me Blucher

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Hard pressed by Napoleon at Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington cried: “Give me night or give me Blucher!” In the end, Blucher’s hard-marching Prussians fell on the French rear and won the day for the allied armies.

Hillary Clinton can be forgiven for voicing similar sentiments as she reels from a string of seven Bernie Sanders victories that have eroded, though far from erased, the lead she ran up in Southern primaries capped by her one-day sweep of Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida, followed by a convincing win in Arizona.

But as the venue shifted to the West. Sanders showed his mastery of the caucus process where, after losing the first pair in Iowa and Nevada, he swept the next ten, including his recent wins in Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Hawaii. This weekend, he also won a symbolic 55-44 percent win in Wyoming, although the two rivals split the 14 pledged delegates 7-7, according to the Washington Post.

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Hey, It Could be Worse

(Promoted by Colorado Pols) 

 — THE BITTER Democratic presidential contest grew even more rancorous Friday as the candidates traded slurs on each other’s spouses.

A superpac backing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders opened the exchange by tweeting a nude photo of former Sen.  Scott Brown that had been photo-shopped to show Bill Clinton’s head.

“Is this the slut you want to be first spouse?” the Bernfeelerpac asked voters.

Later Friday, Hillary Clinton retaliated by retweeting a photo of Jane Sanders eating a felafel next to a beatifically smiling photo of Bill Clinton scarfing a Big Mac.

“No need to spill the Secret Sauce,” the retweet proclaimed.  “We don’t need a radical vegan in the White House.”

A visibly angry Sanders called a press conference to proclaim “It would be a cold day in Sheol” before he would support Clinton if she does win the Democratic nomination against either Republican Front runner Donald Trump or his politically more moderate rival, Attilla the Cruz.

MSNBC columnist Chris Mathews immediately interrupted Sanders to point out that, “Sheol is a place of stillness and darkness cut off from life and from the Hebrew God. It’s supposed to be cold.”

“Oh, shut up and let the candidate talk, Chris,” commentator Rachel Maddow said. “For once in your life, just shut up!” she added to widespread cheering in the press corps.

Clinton quickly replied she would also refuse to support Sanders.

“I’m not in the habit of supporting candidates who distract my husband while he is eating a Big Mac,” the former Secretary of State said. “Besides, Bernie comes from a small state. What else might be small about him?”

Mathews immediately tried to interrupt Mrs. Clinton but his words were lost when Chelsea Clinton sucker-punched him, which triggered widespread high-fiving in the press corps.

Democrats weren’t the only feuding candidates Friday, however.   The long-decorous Republican contest was rocked when Trump suggested that rival Attilla the Cruz might be unqualified to be president because of their differences on banking legislation.”

“But if Attilla does get the nomination, I’ll support him because he is 100 times better than Clinton or Sanders, ” Trump said.

Cruz fired back in kind, saying he had never suggested Trump was unqualified but believed he had been poorly prepared in an interview where he appeared to mistake the International Monetary Fund for the new quarterback of the NFL champion Denver Broncos.   Trump was widely ridiculed for the blunder because nobody has any idea who the Broncos quarterback is.

“Even so,” Cruz said, “If the unthinkable happens and The Donald is nominated, I will support him because he is 100 times better than either a socialist or, shudder, a woman in the oval office.”

Republican chairman Reince Prius said he was shocked at the bickering in his party.

“Looking at the near total accord on the Democratic side,” I am terrified that this tiny difference on fiscal policy or over the Broncos quarterback, whichever it turns out to be, will cost our party the White House in the fall.’’

 

 

R.I.P. for a little country boy from Princeton

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

      By Bob Ewegen

            Former state rep. and U.S. Rep. Mike Strang – a “Little country boy from Princeton” who helped transform Coloradans attitudes toward their land and its legacy – died Sunday at his home in Carbondale at the age of 84.

            An Associated Press obituary focused on the fact that Strang, a Republican, introduced an unsuccessful bill in the Colorado legislature in the 1970s to legalize marijuana. Four decades later, Colorado voters caught up with him by becoming, along with Washington State, one of just two states legalizing recreational use of the drug.

            But Strang was no mere ahead-of-his-time idealist.   He used his engaging manners and Princeton-honed mind to become part of the “Great Triumvirate “ – along with Republican Rep. Betty Anne Dittemore of Englewood and then Democratic Rep. Dick Lamm of Denver – who revolutionized Colorado’s land-use policies.

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The Constitution doesn’t grant your rights — it protects them

(Because the Constitution is important, I’d like to further this dialog. – promoted by Voyageur)

      A relatively new Polster, ElliotFladen, has distinguished himself among our starboard stalwarts by posting reasoned arguments to support his views, rather than cutting and pasting boilerplate from some right-wing websites.  But while I respect him, I profoundly disagree with some statements he made in a recent exchange, in which I defended the right to martial privacy doctrine established in Griswold vs. Connecticut.

    Griswold, 381 U.S. 479 (1965) for those of you who like to look up such things, established a a right of privacy in the process of striking down a Connecticut law that banned the use of birth control by even married couples.

 

  ElliotFladen attacked that ruling, the precursor to the more famous Roe v. Wade abortion decision, in part because he found it at variance with an obscure labor law ruling upholding minimum wage laws.  I won’t go into that argument except to state that I have a masters degree in labor relations and am quite sure my knowledge of labor law and history far exceeds his.  I do, however, challenge his ending assertion in that discussion:  

“You need to understand two very simple facts of constitutional law.  (1) The constitution does not enshrine your policy preferences or mine.  I like contraception.  My wife and I have used it.  My girlfriends in the past have used it.  But just because I like it and I think it is SMART to use it does not mean that there is a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO IT.  (2) And if you believe that there IS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to contraception, you need to figure out the SOURCE of that right.”

    Let me make a couple of preliminary points.   First, Mr. Fladen, all caps is considered “shouting” on blogs and is also a bit jarring to read.  The portions you capitalized would have been better served by italicizing.

  Secondly, you are quite wrong to say the Constitution does not enshrine policy preferences.   It was written by white men who owned property and displays a decided preference to property and capital over labor – even going so far in its original form as to enshrine the right of white men to own black men and women as slaves.   This background is significant because while right-wingers love to assail “Judicial Activism” as some sort of left-wing heresy, the fact is that judicial activism goes back as far as the birth of the Supreme Court and has usually been right-wing activism aimed at upholding the rights of capital over labor – such as the decisions Fladen cites in which courts prohibited minimum-wage laws or limits on hours of work as unconstitutional limits on the right of contract.  Page Smiths eight-volume “People’s History of the United States” makes this point at length and I commend it to any serious student of American history.

   But let us turn now to Mr. Fladen’s rather irrelevant discussion about his wife and past girlfriends using birth control, which sets up his dual-edged claim:

 

“But just because I like it and I think it is SMART to use it does not mean that there is a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO IT.  (2) And if you believe that there IS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to contraception, you need to figure out the SOURCE of that right.”

Actually, that’s wrong on both points, and suggests a serious misunderstanding of what the Constitution is all about. In point of fact, it is misleading to suggest that the Constitution confers any individual rights.  Most of the rights granted by the Constitution proper are granted to states, not individuals: such as the right of each state to have two senators, regardless of its population.

    Even the so-called Bill of Rights doesn’t actually “grant” individual rights.   It assumes God gave you your rights and that governments will eventually try to take them away.   The Bill of Rights is thus less a grantor of liberties than a set of chains set upon those governments to make it difficult for potential oppressors to take away your God-given rights.

    So, Mr. Fladen, it is not up to me to find a constitutional right to contraception.   It is up to you to find an enumerated power that gives the state or federal government the right to send its Sex Police into my bedroom and pull off my condom or flush our birth control pills down the toilet!   Good luck with that.  

On further review, as they say in the NFL, Bad Luck with that!

   Mr. Fladen does have the grace to recognize that the majority opinion by Justice William O. Douglas found the right to marital privacy in the “penumbras” and “emanations” of other constitutional protections not the precise language of the document himself.  But he is on shakier ground by trying to pin the decision on due process provisions of the 14th Amendment, which are cited only in the concurring opinions of John Marshall Harlan II and Byron White.

This brings us to my favorite part of Griswold — the concurrence by Justice Arthur Goldberg, which uses the Ninth Amendment to strike down the Sex Police.

Ahh, the Ninth Amendment, this cranky conservative’s favorite part of the Bill of Rights, and the one that forms the basis for my notions set above.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

   In both logic and math, the ninth amendment is followed by the 10th:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    So this, Mr. Fladen, is why I don’t waste time looking for a right to privacy, a right to contraception, or a right to abortion in the Constitution.   I don’t have to!  It’s up to you and anybody else who tries to take those rights away from me to find an enumerated power permitting you to do so.

        I’m an avid chess player.  Nowhere does the constitution give me the right to waste my days on the 64 squares.  But I don’t have to seek that right.   You have to find a way to take it away from me!  [And I must admit that, when playing White, the French defense has often robbed me of the pleasure of the game.  But that is the nature of this vicious game, not constitutional law;-)]

  The Constitution doesn’t grant anybody the right to be a Denver Broncos fan.  It doesn’t grant the right to watch Jeopardy.  It doesn’t guarantee the right to prefer Mozart to rap music. You have thousands of rights that aren’t mentioned in the Constitution – because they don’t have to be.

   Remember, whether the right you cherish is to birth control, abortion, chess, or rooting for the Orange Crush, you don’t have to look for a part of the Constitution that gives you that right.  It’s up to those who want to take your God-given rights away to search for the enumerated powers that allow them to take away those rights, and they have to get past the ninth and tenth amendments before they can even try.

  (FPE note:  As I said, I do respect Mr. Fladen.  If he would like to organize his own thoughts on constitutional law into Diary form, I shall happily promote it to further this discussion.)

   

Denver at-large council seats

I have plenty of information for the Denver mayor race.  But I’m pretty much at sea when it comes to the at-large city council races.

I invite polsters to offer their impressions of candidates for that office and why they are worthy of our support — or not, as the case may be.

[poll id=”1329″]

Michael Bender new Chief Justice of Colorado Supreme Court

From the Court.

               DENVER – Justice Michael L. Bender was named as Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court on Wednesday.  Justice Bender’s fellow justices named him to head the court, effective Dec. 1, 2010.

               Justice Bender succeeds Chief Justice Mullarkey, who announced her retirement in May, and whose last day on the bench will be Nov. 30, 2010.  Chief Justice Mullarkey joined the Court on June 29, 1987, and was named Chief Justice on Aug. 3, 1998

               

 “I am pleased and honored to be selected by my colleagues to serve in this capacity,” said Justice Bender.  “I look forward to continuing the important initiatives Chief Justice Mullarkey undertook in her remarkable career and working with the other branches of state government to ensure our courts are prepared to face the challenges of the future.”

               Justice Bender joined the court in January 1997.  He was in private practice from 1979 to 1997.  He also served in public defender offices in Denver, Jefferson County and for the State of Colorado and also worked for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1964 and his JD from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1967.  Justice Bender is married to Helen H. Hand, Ph.D., and they have five children and five grandchildren.

               “Justice Bender has been a great colleague and valued member of the Court,” Chief Justice Mullarkey said.  “I am confident Justice Bender will serve Colorado well in his new role.”

               Justice Bender is the 44th member of the Court to be named Chief Justice since Colorado’s statehood in 1876.

0

In his new role, Bender will be responsible for naming the four final members of the 11 member bipartisan commission that will reapportion the Colorado Legislature.  By law, no more than six members may be of the same political party.

Are we pahls or are we polls?

Not exactly an earthshaking issue, but I’m curious as to how our fellow polsters pronounce this blog.

  I refer to Coloradopols as “pahls”. In short, the pronounciation used for politics or politicians.

But a lot of polsters use the pronounciation “polls” as in “We got killed at the polls” or “a polled hereford.” (There is a great story about polled herefords.  A former state rep., Bob Eckelberry, if memory serves, was running for Congress against Ken Kramer in the Republican primary.  He appeared before the Colorado Cattleman’s Assn. prepared to answer a long list of public policy questions.  He didn’t expect the one question he got:


What’s the difference between a Hereford and a polled Hereford?

 He didn’t know.  And he didn’t get the endorsement.

   (For aspiring politicians, a polled Hereford has been dehorned.)

  Anyway, let’s vote on it.  How do you pronounce your favorite blog?

[poll id=”1283″]

Death of an amanuensis

I was 15 years old when John F. Kennedy gave the stirring call that summoned a generation to national service: Ask not what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.”

The man who very probably wrote those words, long-time Kennedy speechwriter Ted Sorensen, died Sunday.  You can read more about him at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T…

 

Faithful to the speechwriter’s/publicist’s code, Sorensen insisted that Kennedy himself wrote those words.  Frankly, I doubt it – Kennedy’s writing skills seemed mostly limited to writing checks.  Sorensen was undoubtedly the principal author of  the 1955 “Profiles in Courage,” another book that stirred my youth and one still in use in college campuses today.  It won a Pulitzer Prize for Kennedy, who acknowledged Sorensen as a research assistant in his forward.  In fact, Kennedy probably did a fair amount of editing and writing on the book.  But scholars who have analyzed it regard the bulk of the writing as displaying Sorensen’s style, not that of the president.

Of course, Profiles in Courage wasn’t the only book that was influential in this era.  In 1960, Barry Goldwater’s “Conscience of a Conservative” was published.  It is generally believed to have been ghost-written by L. Brent Bozell, brother-in-law of the late William F. Buckley Jr. Having served as Goldwater’s speechwriter in the 1950s, Bozell – who died in 1997 – was quite familiar with the senator’s political philosophy.

Goldwater really did believe in individual freedom, unlike the Tea Party of today whose champions – like Ken Buck – want to free giant corporations from public oversight while inserting the bayonet of government into our most private decisions, such as our sexual partners or reproductive choices.  As he aged, Goldwater’s libertarian tendencies led him to champion gays in the military and other instances of  fair treatment for gays, reproductive freedom for women, and oppose efforts to impose a single religious viewpoint on American life.

So now, the real authors of the most influential political books of the post World War II era, Sorensen and Bozell, have joined the putative authors of those books, Kennedy and Goldwater, in whatever heavenly reward awaits the ink-stained wretches of this world.  I invite Polsters of whatever persuasion to recall those portions of Profiles in Courage or Conscience of a Conservative – or speeches of Kennedy or Goldwater – that stirred your youth and drew you into the great game of American politics.

 [poll id=”1274″]

Who will Bjwilson83 try to ban next?

UPDATE: We have a winner!  bjwilson83 has now called for the banning of Machiavelli for offending bjwilson83.  Machiavelli, as the tenth person bjwilson83 has attempted to ban, wins the coveted never-used Tom Tancredo campaign promise in which the five-term U.S. Congressman solemnly swore he would serve no more than three terms in the U.S. Congress.

bjwilson83 has two great passions on this blog.

1-Screaming that he is being censored.

2-Demanding that other polsters be banned for disagreeing with bjwilson83.

Beej has now demanded the banning of nine different polsters.   I think we should have some sort of ceremony for the tenth person he demands be banned, which will include the formal presentation of a brand new, never-used, campaign promise from Tom Tancredo.

So, put your nominations here for the polster you believe bjwilson83 will next demand be removed from this board. And say why he will face the wrath of beej.

Sig line of the month — and the winner is

“Never assume “shill” when “idiot” is available as an explanation.”  

 ajb nominated the winning sig line, a maxim originally postulated by Ralphie.  

  The race was tight, with ajb winning by one vote for a total of 14 votes (34.15%)

 Runner up was bjwilson83’s salute to our military history and his own intellectual curiosity,

I don’t know who Guidon is, nor do I care

which won 13 votes.

  I promised the winner a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon from my private stock and will deliver if ajb wants to contact me at the Mile High Law Office.  Meanwhile, I’m giving him a Tom Tancredo campaign promise in mint condition — since it was never used or acted upon.

 

I solemnly pledge to serve no more than three terms in the House of Representatives.

Tom Tancredo, five-term Congressman and third party candidate for governor.

Sig Line of the month — the final five

Due to popular demand — well, DaftPunk asked for it, anyway — the sig line of the month contest is back.  

DaftPunk was the winner of the last contest with his much apprecicated Bill Maher quote about Sarah Palin :”

She wrote tax cuts” on her hand.  A Republican so stupid she had to be reminded about tax cuts.  It’s like you looked at Wile E. Coyote’s paw and it said “Road Runner.”

Nominees can be an actual sig line used by a polster, or a comment by a polster that seems to cry out to be used as a sig line.  The latter can be either one of those occasional outbursts that we all make but don’t look so good on screen or a ray of simple brilliance.  

 

In the latter category, brilliance, I’m nominating ajb’s quote from Ralphie:

“Never assume “shill” when “idiot” is available as an explanation.”  

In the “wish I had that one back” category, the ever prolific bjwilson83 came through in response to an eloquent post from Barron X in which the Barron talked about Tom Tancredo picking up the guidon of the conservative cause and carrying on.  In a burst of pure Beejism, our resident math whiz, who was at that point still backing Dan Maes, parried

I don’t know who Guidon is.  Nor do I care.”

A guidon, of course, is a unit standard.  Carrying it, especially into battle, is a high honor, albeit often a fatal one, because it tends to draw the enemy’s fire.  In the Barron’s metaphor, Tancredo picking up the fallen guidon was a noble and courageous act, rallying the troops.  The beej can be forgiven for not knowing what a guidon is, of course — you probably have to be a veteran or at least know a bit of military history to recognize that.  But the

Nor do I care

portion just seemed to be pure Beejism.

  Needing no explanation, we come to the deft sally from Ardy39.  

There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those that understand binary and those that don’t.

That prompted marc sobel to nominate:

Recursion

In order to understand Recursion, you must first understand Recursion

 And I was enchanted by this line from Gray In Mountains

   

BBQ is a religious experience. Confusing BBQ with grilling is much like confusing showers with baptism.

Let the voting begin.[poll id=”1261″]

New, Improved, Sig Line of the month contest

When is the next Sig Line of the Month contest?

DaftPunk

  Your wish is my command, DaftPunk.  Of course, my commands don’t mean anything except to my ever-obedient sockpuppet BJwilson83 (boy do we have you polsters bamboozled on that one.)  But, anyway, DaftPunk’s quote, from Bill Maher, about Sarah Palin

“She wrote tax cuts on her hand.  A Republican so stupid she had to be reminded to talk about tax cuts.  It’s like you looked at Wile E. Coyote’s paw and it said ‘Road Runner.'”  

was the runaway winner of the last contest.  So, give me your nominations and in a few days I’ll post the five best and you can vote for them.  Winner gets a free six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon (I’m trying to cut down.)

My own nomination is the delightful

There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those that understand binary and those that don’t.  Ardy39

Six words that changed the same-sex marriage debate

U.S. District Judge Vaugh Walker’s landmark ruling voiding California’s ban on same-sex marriage has not resulted in a resumption of gay nuptials in the Golden State.  But the judge’s thoughtful, 136-page decision did evoke six words that may finally shift this rancorous debate away from the issue of gay rights and into the far more settled field of family law: The best interests of the child.

Walker’s ruling last month was quickly stayed by a three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which ruled California’s voter-initiated Proposition 8 would remain in effect while the court considers the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.  But, by legal standards, the wait won’t be a long one.  The Court of Appeals ordered briefings on the issue this fall and a hearing the week of December 6.

Ultimately, the issue may land before the U.S. Supreme Court – where the decisive vote is likely to lie with swing Justice Anthony Kennedy.  Anticipating just that audience, Walker peppered his decision with numerous quotes from Kennedy’s majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558.  In that case, the high courted voted 6-3 to overturn Texas’ sodomy law, and explicitly overturned its previous 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick decision.  In the earlier case, the Supremes upheld a similar Georgia anti-sodomy law because the court at that point did not find a constitutional protection of privacy that extended to homosexual acts.

The sixth vote in support of Lawrence was former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who found the Texas anti-sodomy statute a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.  Such laws, including Georgia’s, are often ostensibly written to ban oral or anal sex acts even by married heterosexuals.  In practice, however, they are only enforced against gay people – much as outlandish Old South literacy tests were in practice only used to block black voters.  O’Connor, alas, has since been replaced on the high court by hard-to-starboard Justice Samuel Alito.  That makes Kennedy the all-important fifth vote if the current court is asked to review the California ban on gay marriage in the light of the equal-protection clause.

Judge Walker relied heavily on both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment in ruling that Proposition 8 “fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”

Time – and Justice Kennedy – will ultimately tell if Judge’s Walker’s conclusion stands.  But after reviewing the document in full, I was much more impressed by the opinion’s sedulous documentation of the state of modern family life in California, notably the conclusion by the Williams Institute in August, 2008, based on a close study of Census data: “In many ways,

the more than 107,000 same-sex couples living in California are similar to married couples. According to Census 2000, they live throughout the state, are racially and ethnically diverse, have partners who depend upon one another financially, and actively participate in

California’s economy. Census data also show that 18 percent of same-sex couples in California are raising children.”

That percentage of same-sex couples who are raising children is much higher than generally believed by foes of gay marriage – some of whom base their opposition to gay marriage on the supposed fact that gays can’t reproduce.  In fact, many of them have children from a previous heterosexual marriage.  In addition, as Judge Walker’s opinion notes, “California law permits and encourages gays and lesbians to become parents through adoption, foster parenting or assistive reproductive technology. Approximately eighteen percent of same-sex couples in California are raising children.”

In absolute terms, that translates into “Same-sex couples in California are raising 37,300 children under the age of 18.”  It also translates into 37,300 reasons to afford same-sex unions the same respect afforded to opposite-sex unions and single-parent families.  Yes, those six words: “The best interests of the child.”

Those six words aren’t actually found in Judge Walker’s ruling.  But their spirit infuses his opinion ruling, especially when he dissects California’s domestic partnership law: “Social epidemiologist Ilan Meyer testified about the harm gays and lesbians have experienced because of Proposition 8. Meyer explained that Proposition 8 stigmatizes gays and lesbians because it informs gays and lesbians that the State of California rejects their relationships as less valuable than opposite-sex relationships. Proposition 8 also provides state endorsement of

private discrimination. According to Meyer, Proposition 8 increases the likelihood of negative mental and physical health outcomes for gays and lesbians.

    The Judge also noted that Psychologist Michael Lamb testified that all available evidence shows that children raised by gay or lesbian parents are just as likely to be well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents and that the gender of a parent is immaterial to whether an adult is a good parent.”

    Yet another finding of Walker’s opinion is “A survey of same-sex couples who married in Massachusetts shows that 95 percent of same-sex couples raising children reported that their children had benefitted from the fact that their parents were able to marry.)

Continuing to explore the point, Judge Walker cited an American Psychiatric

Association paper, Support of Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Civil  issued in 2005: “The children of unmarried gay and lesbian parents do not have the same protection that civil marriage affords the children of heterosexual couples.” And, likewise, “The children of unmarried gay and lesbian parents do not have the same protection that civil marriage affords the children of heterosexual couples.”

The Judge goes on to observe that, “To the extent proponents seek to encourage a norm that sexual activity occur within marriage to ensure that reproduction occur within stable households, Proposition 8 discourages that norm because it requires some sexual

activity and child-bearing and child-rearing to occur outside marriage.

  [Because]  Proponents failed to put forth any credible evidence that married

opposite-sex households are made more stable through Proposition 8… The only rational conclusion in light of the evidence is that Proposition 8 makes it less likely that California children will be raised in stable households.

Most adults are not psychiatrists or social scientists.  But we were all children once, and we all remember how cruel children can be to those they perceive as being different.  Stigmatizing same-sex couples by outlawing their unions or relegating them to an inferior “domestic partnership” status does nothing to help the thousands of children being raised in such families and open encourages taunting and bullying them.

The time has come to stop discussing the same-sex marriage issue in terms of the rights and proclivities of the adults involved and consider it in terms of the best interests of the children in such families.  The Ninth Circuit Court should uphold Judge Walker’s ruling and the U.S. Supreme Court should do likewise.

Reprinted with permission from Bob Ewegen’s column in the Blackacre Journal, published by the Mile High Law Office.

http://www.milehighlawoffice.c…

And the Sig Line of the Month winner is … DaftPunk

(As promised, the Sig Line of the Month winners. – promoted by Voyageur)

The sig line of the month contest was a runaway.  Twenty six Polsters, 42 percent of the total, picked DaftPunk’s love note to Sarin Palin, quoted from Bill Maher:

She wrote “tax cuts” on her hand.  A Republican so stupid she had to be reminded of the one thing: “tax cuts.”  It’s like if you saw Wile E. Coyote’s paw and it said “road runner.”

Runner-up was our soft-spoken MOTR’s low-key motto:

For the love of fuck!

Which gathered 14 votes, or 22.6 percent.

Ralphie’s

Tancredo/Marceaux 2010

– placed third with ten votes, edging out Aristotle’s

You Inattentive Doofus!

With seven votes.

Ironically, JO’s

It’s the nature of politics to sling shit one minute and kiss-‘n’-make up the next.

, which inspired me to create the contest in the first place, came in last with five votes.  I still think it was a great line, but this was tough competition.

Unfortunately, I closed nominations before several polsters nominated Wendy Norris’s classic

Disclaimer: No relation to Wade Norris.

But surely, Wendy rates an honorable mention — on condition that Ralphie doesn’t respond with Don’t call me “Shirley.”  

  The winner gets a free beer at my expense if you want to contact me at the Mile High Law Office or via this blog.  Let’s do this again soon, it was fun.