2018年4月26日 星期四

RCP Morning Note, 04/26/2018: Cyber Adversaries; GOP Concerns in Ariz.; Kelly and Pelosi; Same-Sex Breakthrough


Carl Cannon's Morning Note

Cyber Adversaries; GOP Concerns in Ariz.; Kelly and Pelosi; Same-Sex Breakthrough

By Carl M. Cannon on Apr 26, 2018 09:25 am

Good morning, it's Thursday, April 26, 2018. RealClearPolitics turns 18 this year. That's a blink of the eye among the old legacy media I came from, but an epoch in the Digital Age. So much has happened in the press and politics in that time. If you doubt it, consider this: 18 years ago today, Vermont Gov. Howard Dean signed into law a bill allowing same-sex couples to form "civil unions" that conferred on them the same rights as heterosexuals who marry.

Vermont's social experiment was considered radical at the time. It's the law of the land today, as is gay marriage itself. I'll have a word on the legislative fight that preceded Dean's bill-signing in a moment.

First, I'd first point you to RealClearPolitics' front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion columns spanning the political spectrum. We also offer original material from our own reporters and contributors, including the following:

* * *

Cyber Adversaries: It's Not Just Russia. In Part 4 of our cybersecurity series, Joel Weickgenant explores the multi-headed monster that is the cyberspace arms race.

GOP Concerns Mount in Arizona Despite 8th District Win. Caitlin Huey-Burns has the story.

Non-Supporter of Pelosi Benefits From Her Fundraising. James Arkin reports on Illinois congressional candidate Brendan Kelly's delicate situation.

A Senate Trend That's Getting Old. Bill Whalen writes that the chamber should consider starting a conversation about forced retirement.

California's Sanctuary Law Breeds Backlash. Steve Cortes applauds cities and counties that are acting to thwart the state law protecting illegal immigrant criminals.

Unpacking the Other Clinton-Linked Russia Dossier. In RealClearInvestigations, Lee Smith examines the little-publicized second dossier in the Trump-Russia affair, which raises new questions about Clinton partisans' role in triggering government probes.

The Constitution v. Court Precedent. In RealClearPolicy, Gary M. Galles provides the legal background and stakes of the Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME, which involves union expenditures.

Deregulating the Individual Market Will Not Lower Overall Health Costs. In RealClearHealth, James C. Capretta urges Republicans not confuse insurance deregulation with a broader free-market approach to health care.

Ban the "Pharmacist Gag Rule." Also in RCH, Kenneth E. Thorpe calls on states to ban a rule limiting what pharmacists can tell patients about drug prices.

100 Years of Brassieres. In RealClearLife, Diana Crandall looks back at the undergarment's illustrious history.

* * *

He ran for president in 2004 as a grassroots populist when that description was less fraught than it is today; served as the Democratic Party's chairman for four years; migrated to the cable TV circuit; and emerged as a kind of progressive firebrand.

But in April 2000 all that was in Howard Dean's future. At the time he was a rather conventional Democrat who was not only uneasy about gay marriage, he was -- in his own words -- "uncomfortable with gay people."

"This was a world," Dean told Vermont Public Television's Christopher Graff in 2011, "that was completely foreign to me."

Gov. Dean was hardly alone among politicians of his generation, especially in rural Vermont. In 1999, the state's Supreme Court had directed the legislature to eliminate the disparity in benefits between gay and straight couples. Reading about the high court's ruling in the morning newspaper, Republican legislator Robert Edwards, a former state trooper who represented a conservative Catholic district, thought to himself, "Oh, my God, what have we done?"

In truth, the legislature hadn't done anything yet, but it was about to, albeit under legal pressure. Edwards emerged as one of the key members of Vermont's House Judiciary Committee tasked with fashioning the new statutory language.

Dean let it be known that he'd veto any bill that had the word "marriage" in it, which was just as well with the members of the committee. After much discussion, they settled on "civil unions." But as partisans on both sides descended on the tiny capital city of Montpelier, the loud and raucous discourse over the measure was often anything but "civil." Dean was so unnerved by the tenor of the debate that he briefly took to wearing a bullet-proof vest.

Amid the din emerged two lawmakers known for quiet and reasoned argument. They were Republican Rep. Thomas Little, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and the ranking Democratic member, William Lippert.

Bill Lippert, as his colleagues on both sides of the aisle knew, was gay, with a longtime partner. The night the full chamber voted on the legislation produced by the committee, Lippert stood on the House floor and spoke from the heart.

"I have been called names in this chamber, in this building, the likes of which I have never experienced in my life," he said quietly, fighting back tears. "And I've watched come true what I have always known to be true -- that those who stand beside gay and lesbian people as their allies ... get targeted, too."

When the roll was called, civil unions passed on a vote of 76-69. There was a price to pay for some: Of the 14 Republicans who voted in favor of the bill, 13 were gone from the legislature by the next election, including Tom Little and Bob Edwards. Another trend emerged, however, one that has continued to this day among officeholders in both political parties.

During the House debate in Vermont, a Democratic lawmaker named Mary Mazzariello stood to tell her colleagues that she had two lesbian daughters, and that for her the issue was this basic: She wanted them to be treated by society no differently than her straight son.

"They did not choose to be different," Mazzariello said that day. "Their pain and their inability to fit the mold has been our pain, too."

Over time, many lawmakers in state capitals across the country -- it happened only recently in Annapolis, Md. -- and in Washington, D.C., as well, would utter or hear similar pleas. Some of them were Republicans, and some of those Republicans (Vice President Dick Cheney, Sen. Rob Portman, to name two) were quite conservative.

It's too pat to say that all this happened in only 18 years, because brave people had been battling society's sexual heterodoxy for a long time. But the amount of ground that has been covered since April 26, 2000 is truly historic.

Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter)

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