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Considering Why Democrats Are Holding Health Care Vote on Saturday

Unless we get linked by a very high-traffic blog, Saturdays and Sundays tend be our slowest days where we see a huge drop-off in the number of visits we get. It seems most people would rather spend times with their families and friends than follow politics.

Perhaps that’s why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to schedule the health care vote for Saturday, a day when most Americans are paying little attention to events in our nation’s capital.

Oh, and, I wonder how many Congressmen actually read the bill they’re voting on and whether it had been posted for 72 hours online before today’s debate (as Mrs. Pelosi promised).

2009 Elections Show it’s not just House Democrats from McCain Districts who Face Consequences of Vote for PelosiCare

The conventional wisdom is that the 49 Democrats from congressional districts that backed John McCain last fall are those likely to tip the balance in the current debate on health care.  

Given the results of last Tuesday’s elections, however, those Democrats for districts which delivered 45% of their votes (or more) to the Republican should also be concerned.  And maybe even those from districts which delivered fewer than 57% of their votes to Barack Obama last fall.

In his analysis of those elections, Karl Rove observed, “The overall shift away from Democrats was 13 points in Virginia, 12 points in New Jersey, and eight points in Pennsylvania.

Given the growing opposition to PelosiCare, a shift of eight points no longer seems out of the question (should the bill pass), indeed, it now seems increasingly likely in next fall’s elections.  Many Democrats may find themselves in a bind though, knowing that if they vote, “No,” in the interests of appeasing their constituents, they may well incur the ire of the party’s left-wing base, drying up sources of financial support and campaign volunteers.

Even passage of the bill today does not mean Obama/Pelosicare becomes the law of the land.  Remember that while the House may have passed the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill by the narrowest of margins back in June, neither House seems any closer to passing a companion version in the Senate and reconciling the differences so they can send it to President Obama for his signature.

Should Mrs. Pelosi’s bill pass today, many of those Democrats who vote in favor–and not just the 49 from “McCain districts” are going to hear from their constituents.  And I daresay what they hear may cause a few of them to change their votes the next time they have to vote on such legislation.

Is the notion of “marriage equality” at odds with the natural sciences?

As I research the idea of male aggression for the chapter in my dissertation on why men need the goddess Athena, I encounter reams of evidence, from the social as well as the natural sciences, which provide substance to my “gut” suspicion of the term, “marriage equality.”

In their 1989 book, Brain Sex: The Real Difference Between Men and Women, Anne Moir and David Jessel write:

A hundred years ago, the observation that men were different from women, in a whole range of aptitudes, skills, and abilities, would have been a leaden truism, a statement of the yawningly obvious.

Such a remark, uttered today would evoke very different reactions.

But, these differences are real and they go to the very heart of the debate about marriage:

The appreciation, for instance, that sex has different origins, motives and significance in the context of the male and female brains, that marriage is profoundly unnatural to the biology of the male, might make us better and more considerate husbands and wives.

Sex differences are not then a social construct and men and women see marriage in profoundly different terms, at least until their mutual sexual attraction brings them together in a committed relationship.  

We know how real those differences are from even such a zealous advocate of gay marriage as Andrew Sullivan.  He understands how hard monogamy is for men and offers excuses today for men’s failure to realize that ideal, a failure he refused to countenance when he was writing/debating gay marriage in the 1990s.

Does acknowledgement of these differences mean that gay people should abandon the struggle for state recognition of same-sex marriage?  For now, I’ll say, “not necessarily.”  It does mean, particularly given the results in Maine this past week, that we need change the way we approach the debate.