Yup. That’s not a typo, Save Jerseyans. It’s only the dirtiest little non-secret in Trenton.
You wouldn’t know it from reading their nauseatingly self-righteous press releases, but I assure you New Jersey’s leading Democrats are all-too-happy to sit back and watch Governor Christie veto S1 – the latest gay marriage or “marriage equality” legislation.
How else can you explain the strange, visceral reactions of Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) and Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) to the Governor’s alternative to gay marriage legislative fiat: a statewide ballot question.
It’s likely to pass. I know, because New Jersey Democrats keep telling me it would…
They point to polling results, such as the Quinnipiac University survey released last week, as conclusive evidence of growing support for gay marriage among state voters (52% to 42%). Granted, the prior Q survey just two months earlier found support upside down, with 46% in favor and 49% opposed. What happened over the last two months to affect this dramatic popular reversal is beyond me. I’m skeptical; maybe someone at the university realizes a positive poll for gay marriage activists makes for a sexier story?
What’s more, I’m personally not too keen on a referendum either, Save Jerseyans. Just for radically different reasons than the cowardly Trenton Democrats. It’s a topic for another post. In brief, I don’t believe my government is endowed with the authority to redefine marriage by any means or methodology; New Jersey should get out of the marriage business altogether before it contemplates arbitrarily redefining marriage. I wrote a lot about it the last time gay marriage was up. Check our archives for supplementary reading.
But at least a referendum would produce a consensus result, right? Given the choice, I’d definitely prefer the quasi-organic verdict of my fellow citizens and whatever consequences that decision would engender to the Democrat plan: 120 State House dwellers, most of whom are gerrymandered into election-proofed districts, passing judgment on the essence of an ancient and fundamental social institution!
This is power politics with people’s lives, folks. High stakes poker using human chips. Any analogy will do. Just know that leading Democrats want to score political points in 2012. Badly. And they’re willing to give thousands of gay New Jerseyans false hope to accomplish their ends.
Sinister? Cruel? Disrespectful? They all apply. Just consider the source to gain a deeper understanding.
Senate President Sweeney is hoping to win favor with liberal Democrats; otherwise, his new federal pac will turn out to be an exercise in futility. He had supported Governor Christie’s property tax initiative and pension reform program, managing to incur the anger of traditional liberals and labor unions in a short period of time. No small feat. Keep in mind he was already in the Democrat doghouse after abstaining (which is essentially a no vote) on gay marriage – and alienating legions of lefty voters in the process – back in 2010.
More generally, Sweeney’s caucus members and their Assembly colleagues need a way to rally dispirited grassroots soldiers against a persistently popular governor. The gay marriage issue completely goes away if it succeeds on a ballot initiative. But if Governor Christie is forced to veto the legislation? Oh boy! Democrats will have won a fresh opportunity to villainize the Big Guy heading into his reelection year. The Governor’s appointment of the first openly-gay justice earlier this week was, at the most political basic level, a preemptive countermeasure.
Sweeney and Oliver’s political games are sinister precisely because their tactics invariably result in mass casualties. In this case, New Jersey gays and lesbians looking to marry won’t be any closer to their goal following a Christie veto. They’re more likely to win “equality” at the ballot box. But they won’t get a chance. Trenton Democrats won’t allow it.
The real question: what do Steve Sweeney and Sheila Oliver care? They’ll get exactly what they want when the gay marriage bill crashes and burns on Governor Christie’s desk.