Who was it that said last week that Bush’s election strategy was pure Nixon?

Spend and regulate like a Democrat, Nixon did. And then bash minorities:

President Bush plans to endorse a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as the union of a man and a woman in response to a Massachusetts court decision requiring legal recognition of gay marriages in that state, key advisers said yesterday.

Bush plans to endorse language introduced by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) that backers contend would ban gay marriage but not prevent state legislatures from allowing the kind of civil unions and same-sex partnership arrangements that exist in Vermont and California.


An amendment like won’t pass, not even Musgrave’s watered-down version. (The previous version went so far as to constitutionally deny any form of legal rights for gay couples, as Andrew Sullivan has explained time and again in recent weeks.)

What Bush is backing is nothing more (and nothing better) than his father’s proposal to constitutionally ban flag burning in 1988. Wedge issues like these might — might — help win elections in the short term, but it puts the Republicans, once again, behind the national curve of cultural progress.

Far better to be in front of it.

UPDATE: More here, on the problematical language of the Musgrave amendment.


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