That’s enough singing for now, lads… looks like there’s dirty work afoot.

Just when I hoped our elected leaders Representatives could focus on something important, I found this article in The Washington Times. Since many Republicans in Congress seem to forget that we’re in an international war with guns and bullets and bombs, we’re also in a culture war with words and breasts and weddings. Trying to perpetuate the Federal Marriage Amendment, the House of Representatives is voting on the FMA today.

The Republican leadership wants us to ignore this logic:

“This amendment has zero chance of passage,” said House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat. “Even if it did, it wouldn’t pass in the Senate. It is another waste of time while the budget is not attended to … the highway bill is not attended to, the energy bill is not attended to.”

And focus on this instead:

“For too long, Congress has stood idly by … and the time has come for Congress to reassert itself,” Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Texas Republican, said Tuesday. “It’s unfortunate that this step is being forced on us by the courts, but that is exactly what is happening. … The only way to protect marriage is with a constitutional amendment.”

“The time has come for Congress to reassert itself.” I know Rep. DeLay uses that as an indication that Congress needs to wrestle the Constitution (and the culture) from the Judiciary, but I also read the “daddy complex” that possesses the Bush Administration and the overall Republican leadership. The next new hit sitcom, probably airing on Fox News Infotainment, will be Congress Knows Best.

Of course, I don’t mean to paint everyone who supports the Republican Party as an evil person who hates anyone who falls into the “Not Like Me” category of “Those People”. There are rational conservatives who understand that conservative beliefs don’t require being a minion for the party line. Consider:

Rep. Christopher Shays, a Connecticut Republican facing a re-election challenge, plans to vote against the measure. He feels it unnecessary to amend the Constitution to protect marriage but says his district is closely divided on the issue.

“I don’t win votes either way on this issue,” he said. “I just find it hard to understand why we are doing this so late [in the year]. It seems so political to me, and so divisive.”

Also, consider this argument by California Republican Rep. Christopher Cox (it’s from an opinion piece from The Wall Street Journal):

“For Republicans, who believe in federalism, the [amendment] is an uncomfortable fit,” he wrote. “Republicans have not shied from even the unpopular exercise of federal power over the states when it has been warranted. … But when it is not warranted, neither should we succumb to the temptation to federalize what the states have handled well for centuries.”

That’s the most spot on argument against the FMA and what Congress is attempting right now. Believe whatever you want about same-sex marriage, but understand that a constitutional amendment is not the conservative response. Not only does the FMA seek to ingratiate discrimination into our most important document, it seeks to further extend the federal government’s power over Americans. We need to move on as a nation. There are legitimate issues facing us and this isn’t one of them.

My final thought on this (for now):

“This week the House will begin the process to protect marriage in America,” Mr. DeLay said. “The American people … need to know where their representatives stand.”

On your last point, Rep. DeLay, we’ve never been more in agreement. It’s a shame you won’t appreciate that I will cast my vote against my Representative if when he votes for the FMA.