Tuesday, June 06, 2006

9/11! 9/11! Oh, Wait. Gay Marriage! Gay Marriage!

OK, here's the deal. We'd be winning in Iraq...if it wasn't for gays. The economy? Be bursting at the seams...if it weren't for gays. Why don't 45 million people have health insurance? Gays. Twelve million children go to bed hungry in this country every night. Why? Gays. Illegal immigrants? Mostly gay.

With his renewed call for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, President Bush reasserted his allegiance to a conservative constituency whose support for him has eroded significantly in the face of soaring government spending and a controversial immigration proposal. "Somebody's got to pay for my poll numbers," the president told reporters. "And that someone is gays."

Bush urged Congress to approve the Marriage Protection Amendment, which is likely to fall short of the required two-thirds support in the Senate. "The president loves an underdog," said White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob. "And no, underdog doesn't have more than one meaning."

Bush insisted Monday that same-sex marriage is a matter requiring "a national solution. Unlike health care, the deficit and the war in Iraq," he said. "I think we can handle those with a referendum or something. I got Karl looking into it."

"On an issue of such profound importance, that solution should come not from the courts but from the people of the United States," Bush said in a statement on the eve of the Senate debate on the amendment. "As long as they're the 'right' people, huh Dobby boy?"

In pressing for a vote this week, for instance, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is burnishing his conservative credentials for an expected 2008 presidential campaign. "If those folks are stupid enough to believe we actually care about this crap, I'm going to take advantage of that," Frist told a group of supporters.

"Given [Bush's] low popularity ratings, I think he has a lot to risk in that this could be seen by some people like, `There he goes again,"' said Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in Maryland. "Yeah, well what else have we got," countered Press Secretary Snowjob. "It's not like we got a boatload of Einsteins making policy here you know. "

Yet for Bush, the amendment's expected defeat in the Senate could serve as a reminder for advocates that the president has only halfheartedly promoted the cause. "So what's your point," Snowjob asked. "The only thing this president wholeheartedly supports is vacations. Well, that and riding his bicycle. Ok he like driving his truck too. With the radio loud. And chocolate milk. He really likes chocolate milk."

The president's failure to more aggressively promote the proposal "definitely disappoints conservative activists," said Matt Daniels, founder and president of the Alliance for Marriage. "But the guy's not the shiniest tool in the box, so we cut him some slack."

The president actually is courting two crucial audiences this week. As Bush sets out for a two-day cross-country tour on immigration reform--promoting a plan that would enable millions of illegal immigrants in the U.S. to remain and work legally--he is reaching out to moderates and angering the most conservative members of his party. But in promoting a marriage amendment, he is appealing to conservatives.

When asked to comment on the chances of success for such a delicate political task before the president, Press Secretary Snowjob said, "Yeah. This guy can't even ride a bicycle and chew gum. What do you think is going to happen?"

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