There are a few things I’d like to catch up on from the last six weeks. I attended some rallies at the Capital and spoke with a number of people during my hiatus. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to continue the blog. Those who were curiously silent make me ponder…
At least at the beginning I don’t intend to spend the amount of time and money I did before. After what happened I have to wonder why I would? Some of my coverage will also vary from before due to some recent events.
First and foremost I’d like to send condolences to Congressman Jim Gerlach who lost his mother recently. I suspect the Roggio campaign learned a difficult lesson about jumping to conclusions that week.
Good friends Beth Hafer and Mike Waltner lost their Congressional races and though we support those Democratic nominees who were successful, we are sad to see these two good people not get to Washington. Stay involved and don’t go away, both of you.
State Committee meets next Friday and Saturday and I have to decide whether to cover the events.
I continue to hear how the Governor isn’t happy with some of my coverage. Let me be clear: I think Ed Rendell has been a very good Governor, one of the best we have ever had. I disagree with him on two issues where he has broken with established Democratic principles: privatization (turnpike)and corporate welfare (mandating health insurance purchasing from that corrupt industry).
I think the healthcare debate is Ed Rendell’s opportunity to establish a legacy as the single greatest Governor in Pennsylvania history. Being the first Governor to sign a single payer system is his chance for greatness. He’s missing the boat here. If he dislikes me because we disagree on only two issues I remind him of all the other issues for which I have supported his efforts.
The Capital rallies I attended were against the repressive “marriage amendment” and for the single payer healthcare system. Watching dozens of medical students lobbying the state lawmakers on behalf of reform was inspiring. Interestingly none of the state media saw fit to cover this event.
The rally against inserting language legalizing discrimination into our state constitution and legalizing the repression of a minority was something to see. Several hundred people, gay and straight, filled the rotunda and chanted loudly and resoundingly against this bill.
Babette Josephs, Connie Williams, Mike O’Brien and Vince Fumo all spoke eloquently. Fumo then attacked the measure by presenting an amendment which would outlaw all divorce in Pennsylvania. This underscored the hypocrisy of the bill’s sponsors: if they are truly concerned about threats to the “institution of marriage” then they should end divorce.
Marriage was, for centuries, a legal matter in which a woman became the property, nee chattel, of their husband. Women had no rights as citizens and the family horse actually had more rights than a wife and mother. This is the system for which the extreme right wing in America is upholding and saying is threatened. Because they maintain nothing about the institution of marriage can be changed or it will destroy their unions (wtf???) they must then mean to revert back to this earlier tradition. What’s to prevent that if we fail to move forward and provide equal rights to every American?
What I’d really like to see is a bill which would then strip all legal protections from married persons. If every American cannot be entitled to the same rights then no one has any. The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees “equal justice under law.”