June 19, 2009

Schizephrenic Schwarzenegger

I don't get it.

First the Governorator says he likes same-sex marriage.

Then, he says that he won't let the City and County of San Francisco issue same-sex marriage licenses because Prop. 22 was the decision of the people of the state, whether he liked the peoples' decision or not.

So far, I can kind of see that. "Yah, I like the gay marriage but that's my personal preference and the people disagreed with me, so I have to do what the people want." I can see that.

But then, the state Supreme Court overruled Prop. 22 and said that gays can get married after all, Prop. 22 be damned. And the Governator says he accepts the Supreme Court's ruling and congratulates gay couples.

And then the people pass Prop. 8, amending the Constitution, and again, Schwarzenegger's attitude is all "okay, that's how they want it after all, so that's what the people said."

But then the latest passive reversal from the Governor's office is this -- he sees that Attorney General Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown supported the plaintiffs in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, urging the overturn of Prop. 8. And yesterday, Schwarzenegger himself elected to not oppose the plaintiffs. This means that there are no state officials who are defending Prop. 8.

I'm not complaining; it pleases me to see moves that make it easier for same-sex marriage to become a reality here again. But the people amending the state constitution is not insignificant, and that's important, too. Attorney General Brown is taking a stand that there are federal rights violated by Prop. 8. At least he's taking a stand, even if he isn't defending the state in his capacity as the state's top lawyer. If Schwarzenegger joined Brown, that would be his position. Or, Schwarzenegger could take a position consistent with his statements that regardless of his personal appearance, his intent as a public servant is to fulfill the desires of the people and seek to uphold the law as written. That makes sense, too.

But the passivity is maddening. To be sure, the Governor's top priority has to be getting the state's finances back on track -- but at the same time, the issue is of great importance to a lot of people, on both sides of the issue. It's disappointing at best to see him ducking the issue completely.

1 comment:

trumwill said...

I remember at Attorney General race in "Delosa" several years back. The subject of the day was affirmative action. A court had struck down the state's AA law and the state's out-going AG had declared that it be applied to all AA. Both the Republican and Democrat candidates said that they disagreed with the out-going AG (the Republican because he felt it was not supported in the court's ruling and the Democrat because he supported AA more broadly). What impressed me, though, was that both said that it was against precedent for one AG to overturn the previous and both said that they would defend the state against pending lawsuits rather than break that precedent.

I am personally ambivalent on the whole affirmative action question (sorta feeling like it's not bad policies but as implemented there are some serious constitutional questions), but I remember being very impressed that both were putting the job they were seeking ahead of their personal views. The Democrat risked alienating his base and the Republican could have taken the easy road and said that AA is wrong, wrong, wrong.

I wish more politicians would behave like that. Unfortunately, the Republican (who won) is now a senator and something of a party hack. Very disappointing.