Sunday, May 27, 2007

Katie cuts another one

Doggone it! That post has to be in here somewhere.

What are you looking for, Spotty? Maybe we can help you find it.

It was a post about Katie taunting Democrats about not wanting the gay marriage ban amendment to be put to a vote of the public.

I remember it Spotty, it was when the Legislature was considering a bill to put the amendment on the ballot during the session before the one just concluded. So it must have been in the winter or spring of 2006. Let me look. Is this it: Two Trick Thursday:

Katie's first trick was her column in the Strib today taunting Democrats with what are you afraid of? Let us vote on the gay marriage ban amendment. The Democrats who have kept this bottled up are not afraid of anything, you twit; they are the most courageous people in the Legislature, as Lori Sturdevant (you know Lori, don't you Katie?) said in a recent column. Even Lori thinks you're trying to give the state a wedgie, in spite of your protestation to the contrary.

Boys and girls, did you know that Katie gave over $1,800 to George Bush and the Minnesota Republicans in the 2004 election cycle? Yup; just go to to check it out. Spotty says you have to take what a partisan hack like Katie says about wedge issues with a grain, nay a shaker, of salt. Actually, it is a good idea to take anything Katie says with a shaker of salt - and everything else that Jimmy Buffet says ought to go with it.

We don't vote on a gay marriage amendment, dear Katie, for the same reason we don't vote on racial discrimination or discrimination against, say, Catholics. It's the civil rights, stupid. One of the enduring, Spot hopes, and maybe the most prominent, features of the legal system in these United States is the enshrinement of equal protection under law. The principal genius of the Constitution is the promotion of democratic principles, in a republican form of government, with protections afforded to unpopular minorities against the prejudices of the majority, especially as fanned by whatever demagogue (think Katie here, boys and girls) that might come along.

The notion of equal protection evolves as we learn things, like the fact that homosexuality is something you are born with. Just like civil rights are things you are born with, not subject to Mother Katie Knows Best. Spot doesn't claim to understand homosexuality, but then he doesn't understand being black or a woman, either. But he's prepared to believe they are viable options.

Last week at pre-session meeting with constituents, Minnesota Senator Geoff Michel, a supporter of the gay marriage amendment ban, said he thought that Minnesotans were ready to accept civil unions for gays, but not marriage. But Michele Bachmann's bill last year – and which passed the Minnesota House - would ban civil unions, too.

That's the one Spot was looking for.

Spotty, that doesn't seem so out of character for Katie, trying to get a law on the ballot to vote for a gay marriage ban. Katie apparently thinks it's downright democratic.

Yes, but today Katie argues exactly the opposite point. Writing in favor of the action Governor NO's vetoes this past session, she writes with approval:

Turn back to the scene just after the Revolutionary War. The American people were not about to give significant power to state governors. They had just thrown off one king - with his often-hated colonial governors - and the last thing they wanted was another. Instead, they placed their trust in "the people." In the new nation, the law would be whatever 51 percent of the people's elected representatives decided it was.

But "the people" can be despots too, as Americans quickly discovered. State legislatures across the country began confiscating property, enacting wild paper money schemes and adopting various schemes to suspend the ordinary means for recovering debts. When the people exercise unchecked power, a new kind of tyranny is born. John Adams labeled it "democratic despotism." A popular assembly "under the bias of anger, malice or a thirst for revenge, will commit more excess than an arbitrary monarch," a frustrated legislator wrote in 1783.

What it comes down to is if Katie thinks that democratic power should be restrained on some issue (tax policy, for example), then by all means, restrain it! But when the shoe's on the other foot (gay marriage, for example), then submitting the issue to the popular will of the people must be inviolate.

The key is whether Katie thinks the public would go along with what she believes is the better alternative. How many of you think that's a good rule for employing democratic principles?

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