Letter from the Editor 

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I'll get on my knees and pray

We don't get fooled again ...

-- Pete Townshend, The Who

By pushing for a constitutional amendment prohibiting gays from getting married, President Bush and Senate majority leader Bill Frist are betting you will get fooled again, just like last November, when so many states had anti-gay-marriage laws on the presidential ballot -- all of which passed. Of course, the real payoff was the fact that all those riled-up moralists also voted for Bush and helped give him the presidency for a second time.

I'm not fooled, and I hope you aren't either. How stupid do these guys think we are? At a time when 46 million Americans have no health insurance, when gas prices are through the roof, when Americans live under tarps and in trailers on our Gulf Coast as hurricane season approaches, when most cargo containers enter our ports uninspected, when our soldiers and Iraqi citizens die every day in a senseless and unending civil war, these two leaders of the free world are pretending that the issue we really care about is keeping gays from getting married.

It doesn't matter that gays can't get married anyway, due to 45 state laws prohibiting it and the passage in 1996 of the national "defense of marriage" act, or that the Constitution is supposed to be reserved for issues of critical national import. It doesn't matter that this amendment -- which has to win two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate and then be ratified by 38 state legislatures -- hasn't a chance of passing. What matters to these two bozos is that this "wedge" issue might fire up their right-wing base enough to pull the Republicans back from the cliff they're headed over in the fall elections.

It's divisive and it's pandering and they ought to be ashamed of themselves. This "Marriage Protection" amendment is an affront to the intelligence of the American people. And if we don't wake up and figure out we're being played for suckers, the name of the new boss will be the same as the old boss.

Bruce VanWyngarden, Editor

brucev@MemphisFlyer.com

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