WaPo and RTD in Rare Alignment: Cataclysms to Follow

By Too Conservative

It doesn’t happen a lot, but it’s worth noting when it happens. Both the Washington Post and the Richmond Times-Dispatch have editorialized against the proposed Marshall-Newman Amendment to Virginia’s Declaration of Rights.


PS: The Post today endorsed Tom Davis (11th), Jim Moran (8th) and reiterated their previous endorsement of Frank Wolf (10th). Incumbents (other than Allen) seem to be doing fairly well over at 15th and L.


  • t says:

    Thankfully, Christians such as t do not look to either the Post or RTD for moral guidance. Even ultra-liberal Oregon passed a marriage amendment; we should, too.

  • t says:

    Let the Liberals squeal. Such is sweet music to the ears of t.

  • Henry Northampton says:

    Marriage means one man and one woman. The homosexuals couldn’t care a rodent’s sphincter about “marriage.” They are conducting a long term, national campaign to use the power of government to compel us to approve of their perverted lifestyle. How does 1% of the population do that? By disguising what their true agenda is. By suckering the usual skulls full of mush into carrying water for them. And by shamelessly judge shopping hoping to win in the court room what they know they’ll rarely win in the ballot box.

  • Rick Sincere says:

    It’s hard to find a newspaper in Virginia that has an editorial position in support of the amendment. From Hampton Roads to Bristol to Staunton to Richmond to Fredericksburg, the papers are urging their readers to reject the amendment.

    This just proves that the Marshall/Newman amendment is not a conservative vs. liberal issue. It’s common sense vs. expansive government.

    As for me, I’m voting against expansive government — as I do in every election.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    It may not be a “conservative vs. liberal” issue, Rick, but I nonetheless do not see how any conservative (as that term is traditionally understood)could support this amendment to the Bill of Rights. It is an inherently radical/leftist effort to despoil a constitutional document with a non-constitutional issue. You look at a comment like No. 3 and see that there is no respect for constitutional government there, just fear and loathing. The writer’s protection against a lifestyle that he does not approve is to refuse to adopt it.

  • Citizen Tom says:

    NoVA Scout, fear and loathing of dishonesty does not preclude respect for constitutional government. The sad thing is that the marriage amendment is needed.

    The reason conservatives support the marriage amendment is that they are tired of seeing constitutional government despoiled. Unfortunately, some people feel that they have right to interpret a constitution (either the federal or a state constitution) as they deem appropriate so as to make that constitution in accord with their notion of prevailing values. Constitutions, they say, are living documents and must be flexible.

    This loose, living document method of interpreting a constitution is dishonorable. Our constitutions have approved methods for amending them. When we use any other method to amend a constitution, we defeat the purpose of a constitution.

    By carefully defining the powers of government, a constitution protects the rights of citizens by limiting the powers of leaders. Loose methods of interpreting a constitution remove these limits and dangerously empower leaders at the expense of citizen rights.

    Consider for example the recent decision on eminent domain by the US Supreme Court. How do you think the court arrived at such an outlandish definition of “public use.” Why it is by the same means that some folks want to define same-sex unions as marriage.

    In frustration with such dishonorable conduct, conservatives want a rigorous definition marriage included in the Virginia constitution. Then if some future Virginia court wants to say that same-sex couples have the right marry under Virginia law, at least it will be more obvious that the members on that court are lying.

  • Fauquier Dan says:

    NoVA Scout,

    I am afraid you are going to be disappointed on this one. You are correct when you say that traditional conservatives are appalled by this amendment. A whole bunch of folks who are anything but conservative have misappropriated the label and are leading the charge on this travesty of an amendment.

    Although I think it will pass, I think we will be surprised that the margin by which it passes will not be as large as one might think. The overreaching of the writers of the amendment have insured this.

    In many quarters this amendment is being refered to as the “Oh please, don’t read the second paragraph!” amendment. Lots of folks who don’t think gay marriage is a good thing are surprised to learn what mischief will be caused by this far reaching and ill advised nonsense.

    The fact that its proponents fought so hard to limit what portion of the amendment appeared on the actual ballot speaks volumes about their lack of integrity.

    I hope I am wrong and that it will lose. If it passes we will all pay for it. There will be a cost to Virginia’s economy and to the security of many of its citizens both homosexual and heterosexual.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    I have no illusions, Dan. I think it will pass. But I view it as an essentially leftist assault on a hallowed constitutional document by lawmakers who have no sense of history or respect for the Founders. Opposition to this thing should be a rallying cry for conservatives across the Commonwealth.

  • Citizen Tom says:

    NoVA Scout and Fauquier Dan,

    Consider the substance of your comments.

    One of you faults the amendment as an essentially leftist assault on a hallowed constitutional document with a trivial amendment. The family unit is the bedrock foundation of our society. Yet the definition this unit is too trivial to be included in the constitution? Protecting marriage from trivialization is leftist? What do you consider a conservative activity?

    The other attacks the amendment for its horrible unintended consequences. Yet the wording of the amendment is quite clear, and the amendment’s sponsors have spared no effort to explain their intent. Moreover, Virginia is not the first state to so protect its marriage laws.

    What horrible unintended consequences could a trivial amendment cause? What unintended consequences have there been elsewhere? Can either of you cite an example?

  • NoVA Scout says:

    Tom: In Virginia we know exactly what a civil marriage is. We have a long-standing statute that tells us. There’s no evidence that “marriage” in Virginia, civil or religious, is threatened in any way, shape or form (at least not in ways that laws or constitutions can affect). Quite frankly, I view constitutional limitations on the power of government to be the “bedrock foundation of our society”, not marriage. Marriage is a robust relgious sacrament that has a very good track record of taking care of itself. I don’t view the amendment as “trivial” and did not use that term. To the contrary, I view it as a significant, gross affront to the Bill of Rights, both because of its incongruity with a document that states basic protections of the citizens against their government, and because of its redundant legislative content. I have not voiced an “unintended consequences” objection to the Amendment. I don’t have to reach that issue, given my concern that it is an assault on fundamnetal constitutional structures. I do have a gnawing worry that it is an indirectly anti-religious initiative in its aggressive use of constitutional language to tread in an area well and properly under control of the churches, but this is a secondary or tertiary concern for me.

  • AWCheney says:

    During this entire debate, I found Alton Foley’s (Im Not Emeril blog) reasoning in opposition to the proposed amendment to be the most compelling that I have read from a known conservative. It’s very much worth a read and you’ll find it here:


  • A Moderate Voice says:

    Why can’t the Dems find a better candidate then Jim Moran?

    The Post has now endorsed the two GOP candidates who have a serious opponent.

    All of you should remember that before criticizing the paper the next time it endorses a Democrat.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    AMV: He’s an embarrassment, but he keeps winning. I never have figured out why the people of the 8th put up with him. Thye could do better. In the past few years, he has calmed down considerably, but there are enough lapses in the past to last forever, in my opinion.

  • Fauquier Dan says:

    Citizen Tom,

    I voiced the concerns over the unintended consequences because that is the focus of many people who oppose gay marriage but also oppose poorly written law being enshrined in our State’s constitution. And the proponents reassurances do not alter the fact that it is not clearly worded at all. In addition it is worded very similarly to Ohio’s which has caused much grief and litigation.

    In as much as there is no need whatsoever for this amendment, why in heaven’s name should we pass the darned thing.

    I have been married to the same woman for thirty one years and no one has yet explained to me how homosexuals are a threat to my marriage. That is because they are no threat to my marriage or anyone else’s.

    Where I come from we call a spade a shovel. And if we use that shovel to clear away all the bullstuff we can see what this is all about. There is a great deal of bigotry directed at homosexuals. It isn’t very nice, but it exists. And there will always be politicians who will pander to the fears and hatreds of voters rather than their better instincts.

    If we pass this thing we will regret it. No good, and much that is undesirable, will come of it.

  • Citizen Tom says:

    NoVA Scout, please separate in your mind marriage as a religious sacrament and as a legal instrument. These are two distinctly different things, and I will only address the first.

    What is the business of government? That depends upon the government. If we want to know the purpose of our government, we should consider how the Declaration of Independence begins:

    “We hold these Truths to be self-evident: that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

    That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    The Founders established our government to protect the rights of citizens; they did not establish government to accord anyone special privileges. So why do we need the legal institution of marriage? As a legal institution, marriage protects the rights of children, our most vulnerable citizens.

    Marriage establishes the parentage of children, and marriage provides children guardians. Before they begin sexual relations, marriage establishes the responsibilities and the privileges of a man and a woman in their role as parents.

    Because it would protect marriage as a legal instrument that protects the rights of children, we should all vote for Amendment 1.

    Fauquier Dan, the portion of Amendment 1 you find so disturbing is intended to keep our government from endorsing same-sex relationships and other relationships that have nothing to do with protecting anyone’s rights. Providing such endorsements is not the business of government.

    I do not share your concern that Amendment 1 might result in litigation. We already have considerable litigation. As I explain on my own blog, “How did we get into this mess? The Marriage Amendment,” I believe that is how we got into this mess.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    Tom: I certainly agree that “marriage” serves the constructive purposes you mention. I simply reject the premise that “marriage”, as you and I and most others think of it, is in any danger whatsoever in ways that are remedied by this amendment.

    We have a popular culture that is corrosive of traditional moral values. We have families subject to economic pressures that were unknown in previous generations. We have a degree of mobility that diminishes the cohesive force of extended families. Despite a resurgence of church attendance, my subjective impression is that a diminishing percentage of our population really sees the Church as a central focus of their daily lives. We can probably think of other concerns. None of these are ameliorated or affected by this base nonsense on the ballot. Children are protected by laws now on the books and their status is in no way strengthened or modified by this amendment. It’s essentially a lot of hooey intended to play on a nearly universal support for the concept of one-man/one-woman marriage. (It’ll help turn out the base in the upcoming election also – you and I both know that campaign technicians at the national, state and local levels have promoted these amendments on that basis. They’re probably right that it does bring out some voters who would not otherwise vote, but that’s not a good enough reason for me to endorse messing around with important constitutional documents).

    A lot of people will fall for the hype (including some of our elected officials) but most thinking conservatives in Virginia will stand up for their Bill of Rights. I’m beginning to think that their number may run to the 10s or 20s. A week ago I wasn’t that optimistic.

  • Citizen Tom says:

    NoVA Scout, your reply goes way beyond the limited scope of Amendment 1, but then, of course, that is also what the amendment’s opponents have done.

    The opponents of Amendment 1 have borrowed an old naval tactic. When outgunned, throw up a smoke screen and hope the other guy will miss.

  • t says:

    t urges all to vote for the marriage amendment.

    Tinkering with traditional marriage is wrong.

    t speaks

  • NoVA Scout says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Tom, it’s plenty direct. This juvenile, shoddily drafted, unnecessary, borrowed import from Ohio (according to Bob Mc Donnell) is a direct attack on the Virginia Bill of Rights, Virginia’s greatest contribution to this Nation and to the World. Full Stop. It may be good enough for Ohioans (who don’t share Virginia’s history as the font of Liberty) but it shouldn’t be tolerated by traditionalists in Virginia for one second. I’m voting NO. That’s my conclusion as a conservative. It will pass as easily as a self-styled Defense of Puppy Dogs Amendment would pass, but the people who love the Constitution will have to work like hell to get it stripped out of the document in the coming years. What a waste.

  • Citizen Tom says:

    Puppy Dogs Amendment! That is funny.

    NoVA Scout, you have got lots of feeling, but where is the beef?

    I agree people who love freedom need to be busy. We need replace politicians and judges who promise to support and defend the Constitution but do not with people who keep their oath of office.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    The beef is this amendment to the Bill of Rights.

    On the separate issue of whether elected officials and judges should fufill their obligations of office, I assume you’ll find universal agreement.

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