Thursday, September 08, 2005

Someone Missed His Schoolhouse Rock

More fun with Schwarzenegger's understanding of representative democracy in this LAT article on his further statement promising - or at least indicating - his vetoing Leno's bill. Columnist George Skelton takes Schwarzenegger to task for his ducking the issue repeatedly and calls out the obvious political motivations at work here.

Schwarzenegger's veto announcement, by his press office, said the governor believes there's no more noble cause than civil rights, and "gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law."

But: "The people voted and the issue is now before the courts. The governor believes the matter should be determined not by legislative action — which would be unconstitutional — but by court decision or another vote of the people of our state. We cannot have a system where the people vote and the Legislature derails that vote."

Either way — the court or the people — Schwarzenegger is completely dismissing two branches of government: his own and the legislative. He's sloughing off a hot issue and doesn't care who handles it. . . .

With same-sex marriage, as other issues, Schwarzenegger disregards the republican system of government created by the founders: people's elected representatives exercising power through a legislature.

Yet, he habitually rakes the Legislature for refusing to act. In his same-sex chat with Matthews, Schwarzenegger said: "That's what makes this state interesting. We have different kinds of opinions. And … if the legislators are not willing to solve those problems, I think you should give it to the people and let them make the decision."

In denouncing Mayor Newsom, Schwarzenegger said changing the marriage law is "something that the legislators can do, the people can do or the court can do, but not individual mayors."

OK, the Legislature acted. It sent him a bill.

There are credible reasons to veto it. But he should give a better reason than some vague notion of legislative unconstitutionality.

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