Monday, May 09, 2005

Kerry Fallout

Here's a roundup of reaction to Senator Kerry's recent comments regarding the presence of language supporting equal marriage rights in the Massachusetts Democratic party's platform.

Eileen McNamara in Sunday's Globe:

It is a shame Kerry could not fit a stop at the Tsongas Arena on his cross-country tour. He would discover what the 3,000 delegates to the convention already know. He could bring the news to the rest of the nation. The earth did not tilt off its axis one year ago when same-sex marriages were legalized in Massachusetts. The demonstrations are over. Massachusetts has moved on.
Kristen from The Fray:
And while I could be convinced this is what Kerry believes -- that civil unions are preferable to same-sex marriages -- it just reads like politics to me.
From Noho Missives:
I've not heard one sound policy reason to not allow gays to marry. Even Kerry does not give a reason -- just that it doesn't "reflect the broad view" of others -- that's not a reason. The default view should be freedom to marry -- the burden to provide a reason to stop a marriage falls on the government.
Charley from Blue Mass Group:
[S]ometimes you have to stand on principle, and make the most eloquent, compassionate, and dignified case you can in defense of a minority position. I'm sure that we're right in insisting on civilized attitudes towards gays and lesbians. I'm not going to give up on my gay friends, colleagues, and neighbors because it's politically inconvenient for John Kerry in the short term.
Continued...From Cape Cod Works:
Look here, John ... [Y]ou've got about as much chance of being nominated for president in 2008 as I do to be abducted by aliens. So, how 'bout you settle back and just be Senator from Massachusetts? How 'bout being John Kerry, reporting for duty, in Massachusetts? Be one of us.
From Jamaica Plain Confidential:
I still find it hard to believe that [Kerry] is against gay marriage. It’s the same problem he has always had. He doesn’t know if he is against it or not, really. He knows that nationally it doesn’t play well, so maybe if we curl ourselves up into the fetal position a little more the Republicans will stop nipping at us—but he's wrong about that. The tighter we curl, the more vicious their attacks will grow. We have to stand up and fight the right, and yet again, Kerry is not the man to do it. Step back Senator Kerry. Let real liberals with real convictions take the helm.
Marry in Massachusetts offers up these bullet points:
  • The Dems here are differentiating themselves from rightwingers and reactionaries.
  • What may not play in Oklahoma works here.
  • The state Democrats are committed to diversity and inclusion, and they'll support same-sex marriage even if the national party does not.
  • Kerry is cowardly, again and still.
  • Republicans profit when Democrats waffle.
From what I've read of the right-wing blogs, responses generally fall into two camps. The first don't believe Kerry and accuse him of trying to camouflage his liberal leanings by taking a more conservative stand. The second take him at his word and see this as evidence that Massachusetts Democrats (and by extention anyone who favors gay marriage) are so far out of the mainstream that even liberal John Kerry thinks they're nuts. Notice how neither response helps either Senator Kerry's political prospects or Kerry's gay constituents (who, after all, are legally allowed to marry at present).

Kerry could have learned from Rep. Colleen Garry (D-Dracut) who also disagrees with equal marriage rights. While she did criticize the state party leadership, she also had This to say:
“To be honest, I don't go by the Democratic party platform. I go by the people of my district,” Garry said. “I'm a Democrat, but I look at each issue and how the people of my district would like me to vote.”
Though I disagree with Garry on this particular issue, I believe that she has the right perspective on the party platform. If Senator Kerry was not too busy playing in front of a national audience, maybe he would spend some time trying to figure out how his constituency would like him to vote.