Feingold Is My Hero
"I don't need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I," Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, shouted after Sen. Russ Feingold declared his opposition to the amendment, his affinity for the Constitution and his intention to leave the meeting.
"If you want to leave, good riddance," Specter finished.
"I've enjoyed your lecture, too, Mr. Chairman," replied Feingold, D-Wisconsin, who is considering a run for president in 2008. "See ya."
Amid increasing partisan tension over President Bush's judicial nominees and domestic wiretapping, the panel voted along party lines to send the constitutional amendment -- which would prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages -- to the full Senate, where it stands little chance of passing.
Democrats complained that bringing up the amendment is a purely political move designed to appeal to the GOP's conservative base in this year of midterm elections. Under the domed ceiling of the ornate and historic President's Room off the Senate floor, senators voted 10-8 to send the measure forward.
Specter is such a weasel. He opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment when the full Senate votes, but allows it to get to the floor so James Dobson will let him keep his committee chairmanship. If he were truly a principled ally of gays, he would have blocked it in committee.
Feingold, on the other hand, has come out in favor of gay marriage. And he votes like it. And he talks like it. I'm starting to wonder how I could possibly support anyone else in 2008.