Catch-22s Mounting for Democrats

No matter what U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled in United States vs. Arizona, the Democrats could not have won. If she upheld the law, the Democrats would almost certainly appeal. Given that the law is tremendously popular all across America, the Democrats again would appear arrogant and at odds with the will of the American people. (Remember those town hall meetings over ObamaCare?) In this scenario, Democrats also would have appeared at odds with the courts. Given how often liberals have used the courts to enact their political agenda, the irony would have been rich.

If the judge enjoined the law, as she did with the real meat of it, then the Arizona Republicans would appeal, as has happened. However, the popularity of the law would blunt any political fallout from such a setback. In fact, the judge may have done the GOP another fantastic fall election favor, as if they needed another one.

Many pundits, including Michael Barone, are looking for significant Republican gains in the 2010 midterms. (Barone concludes that "most signs suggest Democrats will take a thumping this year.") This is due to a litany of things, not the least of which are unemployment, the deficit, Obamacare, cap and tax, and gay marriage.

Throw the Arizona ruling in the mix, and the scales are tilting heavily against the Democrats come November. As Dick Morris recently put it, "she [Bolton] has transformed the law into a big campaign issue against Obama. Now the president is standing in the way of a state that wants to enforce the law that he won't."

Interestingly, gay marriage and immigration are very similar yokes for the Democrats to bear in the upcoming elections. In early July, just as with the Arizona law, a federal district judge declared unconstitutional the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Also, as with the Arizona law, DOMA (and, for that matter, traditional marriage) is very popular with Americans.

While he was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2006, Obama supported the repeal of DOMA. He was also opposed to DOMA after his election to the Senate, during his campaign for president, and after his election as president. However, when the federal district judge declared DOMA unconstitutional, Obama's administration found itself in the unenviable position of having to defend a law with which they disagree. Of course, this leaves supporters of gay marriage, a significant portion of the Democrat's political base, outraged. 

DOMA passed Congress by a vote of 85-14 in the Senate and a vote of 342-67 in the House. Also, at an average rate of 67.5%, voters in U.S. states have gone 31-for-31 in their efforts to ban gay marriage. (Thirty states have passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.)

In other words, traditional marriage is about as popular with Americans (if not more so) as the Arizona law. Thus, gay marriage is as toxic an issue for the Democrats as immigration. Once again, Obama and the Democrats face a catch-22.

Cap-and-tax serves Democrats no better. Last year, the House narrowly passed (219-212) a comprehensive energy bill that included a cap-and-tax on carbon emissions. Such a bill failed to garner the necessary support in the Senate, thus the bill appears dead. Of course, the major driving force behind the Democrats' energy bill is anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

Pew's annual Public Priorities poll for 2010 had global warming at the bottom of its list of 21 issues, with only 28% listing it as a "top priority." Pew conducted their poll in early January of 2010, which was several weeks after the "Climategate" scandal broke. There have been several other "gates" which have set back the AGW cause. (For a list, go here.)

Thus, the Democrats find themselves in another quandary: Continue to support a law based on an environmental theory that is becoming more and more unpopular, or abandon the bill and risk alienating more liberals.

Then there are Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters. Since they are both faced with congressional trials this fall over ethics violations, it seems as if Nancy Pelosi's swamp is, once again, filling up. Once more, Democrats are staring at a dilemma: Stand by two longtime and powerful members of the Congressional Black Caucus and run the risk of looking hypocritical and weak on congressional ethics, or go after them and alienate blacks, another significant part of the Democrat's base.

However all this plays out before November, Democrats are likely facing very dire results. This is especially true when they face so many problems that appear to have no positive outcomes for them.

At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason. www.trevorgrantthomas.com
No matter what U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled in United States vs. Arizona, the Democrats could not have won. If she upheld the law, the Democrats would almost certainly appeal. Given that the law is tremendously popular all across America, the Democrats again would appear arrogant and at odds with the will of the American people. (Remember those town hall meetings over ObamaCare?) In this scenario, Democrats also would have appeared at odds with the courts. Given how often liberals have used the courts to enact their political agenda, the irony would have been rich.

If the judge enjoined the law, as she did with the real meat of it, then the Arizona Republicans would appeal, as has happened. However, the popularity of the law would blunt any political fallout from such a setback. In fact, the judge may have done the GOP another fantastic fall election favor, as if they needed another one.

Many pundits, including Michael Barone, are looking for significant Republican gains in the 2010 midterms. (Barone concludes that "most signs suggest Democrats will take a thumping this year.") This is due to a litany of things, not the least of which are unemployment, the deficit, Obamacare, cap and tax, and gay marriage.

Throw the Arizona ruling in the mix, and the scales are tilting heavily against the Democrats come November. As Dick Morris recently put it, "she [Bolton] has transformed the law into a big campaign issue against Obama. Now the president is standing in the way of a state that wants to enforce the law that he won't."

Interestingly, gay marriage and immigration are very similar yokes for the Democrats to bear in the upcoming elections. In early July, just as with the Arizona law, a federal district judge declared unconstitutional the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Also, as with the Arizona law, DOMA (and, for that matter, traditional marriage) is very popular with Americans.

While he was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2006, Obama supported the repeal of DOMA. He was also opposed to DOMA after his election to the Senate, during his campaign for president, and after his election as president. However, when the federal district judge declared DOMA unconstitutional, Obama's administration found itself in the unenviable position of having to defend a law with which they disagree. Of course, this leaves supporters of gay marriage, a significant portion of the Democrat's political base, outraged. 

DOMA passed Congress by a vote of 85-14 in the Senate and a vote of 342-67 in the House. Also, at an average rate of 67.5%, voters in U.S. states have gone 31-for-31 in their efforts to ban gay marriage. (Thirty states have passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.)

In other words, traditional marriage is about as popular with Americans (if not more so) as the Arizona law. Thus, gay marriage is as toxic an issue for the Democrats as immigration. Once again, Obama and the Democrats face a catch-22.

Cap-and-tax serves Democrats no better. Last year, the House narrowly passed (219-212) a comprehensive energy bill that included a cap-and-tax on carbon emissions. Such a bill failed to garner the necessary support in the Senate, thus the bill appears dead. Of course, the major driving force behind the Democrats' energy bill is anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

Pew's annual Public Priorities poll for 2010 had global warming at the bottom of its list of 21 issues, with only 28% listing it as a "top priority." Pew conducted their poll in early January of 2010, which was several weeks after the "Climategate" scandal broke. There have been several other "gates" which have set back the AGW cause. (For a list, go here.)

Thus, the Democrats find themselves in another quandary: Continue to support a law based on an environmental theory that is becoming more and more unpopular, or abandon the bill and risk alienating more liberals.

Then there are Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters. Since they are both faced with congressional trials this fall over ethics violations, it seems as if Nancy Pelosi's swamp is, once again, filling up. Once more, Democrats are staring at a dilemma: Stand by two longtime and powerful members of the Congressional Black Caucus and run the risk of looking hypocritical and weak on congressional ethics, or go after them and alienate blacks, another significant part of the Democrat's base.

However all this plays out before November, Democrats are likely facing very dire results. This is especially true when they face so many problems that appear to have no positive outcomes for them.

At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason. www.trevorgrantthomas.com

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