EDITORIAL : Let’s get something straight: There will be no happy ending in Trenton today for those hoping state senators will approve same-sex marriage in New Jersey. There’s a metaphor for what lawmakers and the media are doing to these hopefuls, but I’ll respectfully leave that to your imagination.
By putting it to a vote, Senate President Dick Codey wiggles free of being accused of blocking. He already knows what’s not coming.
Codey pulled the measure from consideration last month, after it became clear that a piddling 13 “yes” votes were in the bag, leaving proponents short 8 votes of the 21 required in the upper house.
Media reports say those proponents “face an uphill battle” today.
There’s no hill. There’s no battle, even.
You can convince a lawmaker at any level to change his or her vote on a tunnel, a bridge or a social services program for inner-city kids. But you’re not going to make up an eight-vote shortfall when it comes to a moral issue.
There are elected officials you’re talking about. Publicly flip-flopping on a moral issue is career suicide. Even the lame ducks will stick to their guns; career pols are always looking for a way back into the game, and voters have long memories.
(Side note to the woman out front of the Statehouse with the “Let Me Marry Who I Love” sign: It’s “whom.”)
Two other things to keep in mind:
First of all: The Senate has nearly 60 OTHER bills to consider, ponder, debate and hem and haw over, in the next-to-last day of a lame-duck session. Dozens of nominations are being rammed through, as well.
And secondly: There’s snow in the forecast, either late today or early tomorrow.
How much debate do you think the senators collectively will bear before it’s time to get out of Dodge? I say just enough to show they’ve considered the issue.
Sure, we’d all like to think people’s intentions are genuine. But arms aren’t what’s being twisted in Trenton today.
Even major media is swooning at the sight of the “big” vote, as they tease readers and viewers with talk of a “make or break” situation.
Nothing will be made. Nothing will be broken — except maybe the record for most clicks on a particular story.
There’s another metaphor, one that I abhor using in this circumstance — except that it perfectly characterizes what today’s Senate vote really amounts to.
It involves a dog and a pony.
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