November 18, 2009
How to Win Fiends and Infuriate Voters
The Washington D.C. City Council is poised to slap same-sex marriage (SSM) on the table in our nation's capital, whether the citizens want it or not. And now, to add insult to penury, the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics [sic] has made its own contribution to democracy... it has rejected a traditional-marriage initiative from the ballot:
The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics on Tuesday denied a petition to put a ballot initiative before city voters that would define marriage as between a man and a woman.
The decision came the same day the D.C. Council scheduled a Dec. 1 initial vote on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
The two-member elections board said it could not accept the Marriage Initiative of 2009, filed by the Stand4MarriageDC coalition, because it "authorizes discrimination prohibited under the District of Columbia Human Rights Act." About 100 people testified during a hearing on the initiative last month.
"We have considered all of the testimony presented to the board and understand the desire to place this question on the ballot," board Chairman Errol R. Arthur said. "However, the laws of the District of Columbia preclude us from allowing this initiative to move forward."
Let's put this in context: The Board has ruled that it cannot allow the citizens of D.C. to decide whether to ban SSM, because if they vote to do so -- which they likely would -- that would "violate" the very law it just replaced!
Now in most jurisdictions, if citizens enact a new law that supercedes an old one, then the superceded law is no longer operative. It is defunct. It has ceased to exist. It is an ex-law. If it wasn't nailed to its perch, it would be pushing up daisies.
But evidently in D.C., laws passed by the Council abide forever and and a day; and they can never be overturned by the people, despite their supposed citizens' initiative. New York is shortly to have "show-trials," but Washington D.C. already has "show-votes."
But of course, when the party in power* is so consistently, relentlessly, belligerently opposed to its own constituents, it's no wonder they fear democracy almost as much as do the mullahs of Iran. As H.L. Mencken is reputed to have said -- or written -- or thought up -- or wished he had thought up -- "If the government can't trust the people, why don't they just dissolve them and elect a new people?"
I would not be shocked to discover the Board and the City Council right now poring over the lawbooks, trying to find some precedent to do exactly that.
* The thirteen-member Council of the District of Columbia comprises 11 Democrats -- and 2 "independents."
Cross-posted on Hot Air's rogues' gallery...
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 18, 2009, at the time of 5:14 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/4062
The following hissed in response by: Geoman
Sometimes...sometiems...the peasants are just so....awkward. Don't you think? Wouldn't it be so much better if they just took the advice of their betters without making such a fuss?
The following hissed in response by: Steven Den Beste
It is deeply ironic that DC has long been the least democratic (note the small 'd') part of the US.
The above hissed in response by: Steven Den Beste at November 18, 2009 6:38 PM
The following hissed in response by: Resolute
Actually, I think you'll find it was Bertolt Brecht who said that (for a long-winded commie, he was occasionally amusing).
[Some wag once suggested that the solution to DC is to respond to the Taxation without representation license plates by removing DC residents from federal taxation. This would have the immediate effect of Washington making Monaco look like, say, Fort Wayne. It would also never be enacted because it would then cease to be a "chocolate city".]
They need not pore over their books. It was already done in 1965 when the immigration laws were changed, and subsequently enforcement was hamstrung if not outright ignored.
The following hissed in response by: Davod
Mein Gott! The EU has arrived.
The following hissed in response by: Davod
"The two-member elections board"
Isn't it a bit presumptuous to call it an elections board? What about elections duo.
Are either of these two gay/lesbian?
What about a referendum to bounce the Human Rights Act.
The following hissed in response by: LarryD
Yet another argument for the retrocession of most of the District back to Maryland, shedding all of the residential areas, indeed most of the land the Federal Government isn't actually using, solves many problems.
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