Sunday, April 16, 2006

Priorities, People! Priorities!

So here I sit on Easter Sunday, wondering if Jesus is looking down and frowning, muttering something like, "I spent three hours suffering on the cross for this sorry lot? Whatever was I thinking?"

But wait, it gets better, say I.

Look closer: both Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be battle zones, with innocent civilians caught in the cross-fire. All signs point to a coming attack on Iran. The Katrina refugees still have no place to call home. Thousands more Americans will be thrown out of jobs as Ford tries to restructure. Gas prices have breached the mystical $3 per gallon mark and many people will not be able to afford getting to work shortly. Soon they won't be able to afford milk and bread as the fuel costs raise the price of staples.

But it's an election year, that time in the cycle when the politicians suddenly remember they have constituents. They decide to start paying attention. And then they come up with a plan. Here's the GOP's plan for the rest of this year's Congressional Calendar, courtesy of the AP's Laurie Kellman:

Protection of marriage amendment? Check. Anti-flag burning legislation? Check. New abortion limits? Check.

Between now and the November elections, Republicans are penciling in plans to take action on social issues important to religious conservatives, the foundation of the GOP base, as they defend their congressional majority.

In a year where an unpopular war in Iraq has helped drive President Bush's approval ratings below 40 percent, core conservatives whose turnout in November is vital to the party want assurances that they are not being taken for granted.

..."The marriage amendment is in a class by itself because of what's at stake," [Gary] Bauer [head of Americans United to Preserve Marriage] said.

House Republican officials close to the scheduling process said the marriage amendment is headed for a House vote in July.

Sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., also a possible presidential candidate, the measure would have the Constitution define marriage as the union between a man and a woman - in effect rescinding a 2004 Massachusetts law that made gay marriage legal.

Sending the proposed amendment to the states for ratification may not win the two-thirds majority required in the House and Senate. But committing to a vote in June is a gesture of good faith that would resonate with social conservatives, Bauer said.

So now we see what is really important: depriving gays of the civil rights heterosexual couples enjoy, protecting the sacred cloth that waves over government buildings, and making certain that women can't just assume they have control over their own bodies.

Yeah, that's the ticket: that'll make Jesus happy, make everything worth it.

Won't it?


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