Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Pelosi Delusion

The legal height limit for a dwarf seems to be 4’11”, which makes Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) certified “diminutive” in both stature and character. I just do not care for people that think folks with different opinions just don’t understand. How, um, arrogant.

What’s got me dressing Nancy in an unbecoming Wizard of Oz motif – one meant entirely to ridicule (nothing against real dwarves)? Well, it certainly started with her floor speech on the credit-crunch legislation – which did not kill the bill because she would not have done that if she felt it was anything other than DOA. It still got my goat because of the sheer arrogance Lil Nancy portrayed. But it wasn’t that.

The more recent issue is her put-down of several million California voters because Prop 8 was defeated. Let’s cut to the tape:

"Unfortunately, I think people thought they were making a statement about what their view of same-sex marriage was," the San Francisco Democrat said. "I don't know if it was clear that this meant that we are amending the Constitution to diminish freedom in our state."
The voters, according to Lil Nancy, did not know they were amending the Constitution. They didn’t understand.

Let’s put Prop 8 into historical perspective and then see what they had the opportunity to understand. Then we’ll see if we can find some statements by voters to gauge their understanding.

In 2000, Prop 22 – Limit on Marriages was placed on the ballot. The intent was to create a new law. Here is the official language:
Proposition 22: Text of Proposed Law

This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the California constitution.

This initiative measure adds a section to the Family Code; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.


SECTION 1. This act may be cited as the "California Defense of Marriage Act."

SECTION 2. Section 308.5 is added to the Family Code, to read: 308.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
The same link above tells us the outcome: Yes: 4,618,673 (61.4%); No: 2,909,370 (38.6%), an overwhelming approval of this new law. Here’s a county map of the voting:

Seems rather wide spread. Seems very clear.

The new California law remained in force until the California Supreme Court found it unconstitutional in May 2008:
The California Supreme Court has overturned a ban on gay marriage, paving the way for California to become the second state where gay and lesbian residents can marry. The ruling reverses a voter-approved law that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The ban was approved by California voters in 2000.

In 2004, the ban was challenged by gay rights activists after California's Supreme Court invalidated the marriage of 4,000 gay couples in San Francisco. The state's high court had ruled that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom had overstepped his authority in issuing marriage licenses to the couples.

The decision issued by the California Supreme Court on Thursday rules that to prevent gay and lesbian couples from marrying is tantamount to granting them second-class status. It was approved by a 4-3 vote.
OK. So the voters passed a law. The law was found to be unconstitutional. What to do? Think, think, think. Got it! Amend the Constitution! Immediately, the move for Prop 8 began. The speed of the movement in California is subsumed by the facts of this article:
The attorneys general of 10 states have joined conservative legal groups in urging the California Supreme Court to delay finalizing its ruling to legalize same-sex marriages.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed late Thursday, the attorneys general said they have an interest in the case because they would have to determine whether their states should recognize the marriages of gay residents who got married in California.

The states involved are Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah. Except for Florida and New Hampshire, all of them have state constitutional provisions banning gay marriage.

The attorneys general asked the California high court to stay its May 15 ruling until after the November election, when California's voters likely will decide whether to adopt a similar amendment, which would overturn the court's decision. The court's decisions normally take effect after 30 days.
Wait until the November election when an amendment to the Constitution can be taken in front of the voters, they were asked. Did they wait? No. Marriages commenced. The Prop 8 movement continued.

Let’s look at the language of Prop 8:

This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the California Constitution.

This initiative measure expressly amends the California Constitution by adding a section thereto; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.

SECTION 1. Title. This measure shall be known and may be cited as the “California Marriage Protection Act.”

SECTION 2. Section 7.5 is added to Article I of the California Constitution, to read:

SEC. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
Seems clear.

Let’s review. Prop 22 read “Proposed Law” as follows: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Prop 8 read “amends the California Constitution” as follows: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Pelosi said, “I don't know if it was clear that this meant that we are amending the Constitution…”

I frankly don’t know how it could have been any clearer. Yet to Pelosi, she just didn’t know. That is just pandering to her locals – in its worst form: Everyone that voted for it just didn’t understand. Read, “They are stupid.”

Was Prop 8 just kinda sorta snuck onto the ballot? From the California Secretary of State: If the initiative proposes to amend the California Constitution, signatures of registered voters gathered must equal in number to 8% of the votes cast for all candidates for Governor in the previous gubernatorial election.

The 2006 Governor’s election was won by Ahh-nold 4,850,157 to 3,376,732. That’s a total of 8,226,889 votes, thus requiring the valid signatures of 658,152 voters. That’s a whole lotta sneaking going on.

Was there any public discourse on the issue? I’ll go to that glory hole of knowledge, Wikipedia, for the marketing monies: The campaigns for and against Proposition 8 raised $35.8 million and $37.6 million, respectively, becoming the highest-funded campaign on any state ballot that day and surpassing every campaign in the country in spending except the presidential contest.

Was the press quiet? A simple “Prop 8” Lexis/Nexis search for articles appearing before November 5, 2008, yields 947 hits for newspaper articles.

Was money spent on polls?

Date of opinion poll (all 2008)

Conducted by

Sample size
(likely voters)

In favor



Margin of Error

29–31 October







18–28 October

The Field Poll






12–19 October

Public Policy Institute of California






15–16 October







With all of this information, how many were fooled, duped, or otherwise simply unclear when they voted “yes”? popular voteYes: 5,661,583 (52.4%); No: 5,154,457 (47.6%)

Here’s the map of stupid Californians:

That’s a lot of information, a lot of money, and a lot of votes for an electorate that, according to Pelosi, did not know that they were amending the Constitution.

Let’s say maybe this entire marriage-constitution thingey was a new concept to the California voter. Maybe they had never heard of anything like it. Maybe it’s a new concept to America!

Seems not:
This week, Arizona, California, and Florida joined the 27 states with existing marriage amendments. The most interesting campaign was in California where voter approval of Proposition 8 reversed a May decision of the California Supreme Court. That decision had purported to discover a previously unknown mandate to redefine marriage as the union of any two people in that state’s constitution.
That makes 30 states that have done this very same thing. That’s anywhere from 53% to 60% of the states, depending on who you voted for in the POTUS race. It’s a rather common issue it seems.

Still – common issue, big money, law then Supreme Court then amendment – through all of it, Lil Nancy swears that the voter just didn’t understand.

Let’s talk to some of the little brains and see if they had a clue. Here’s some:
"I was born black. I can't change that," said Culver City resident Bilson Davis, 57, who voted for Proposition 8. "They weren't born gay; they chose it," he added, reflecting a commonly held belief that many researchers dispute.

Although many of the state's black political leaders spoke out against Proposition 8, an exit poll of California voters showed that black voters favored the measure by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. Not only was the black vote weighted heavily in favor of Proposition 8, but black turnout -- spurred by Barack Obama's historic campaign for president -- was unusually large, with African Americans making up roughly 10% of the state electorate.

Los Angeles resident Christopher Hill, 50, said he was motivated by religion in supporting Proposition 8. Civil rights, he said, "are about getting a job, employment."

Gay marriage, he said, is not: "It's an abomination against God."
They all seem very clear on the concept to me.

So where does that leave us? Nancy Pelosi believes that voters that cast their vote in a manner that disagrees with her position just don’t understand what they are doing.

Gee, thanks, Nancy.

To be direct, dear, I think you’re an idiot, too.

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