CONNECTIONS/ Marriage Legislation - 1/04
Smart Marriages ®
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Thu Jan 22 09:03:33 EST 2004
subject: CONNECTIONS/ Marriage Legislation - 1/04
from: Smart Marriages [R]
I'm off to Dallas and hope to meet with the locals at 5pm at the Dallas
Hyatt Regency in the Cumberland Room. Back to DC Saturday. - diane
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The study is being conducted by Dr. Scott Gardner at South Dakota State
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- MARRIAGE LEGISLATION
Posted by David Blankenhorn on the Family Scholars Blog:
> Wednesday, January 21, 2004
> THE PRESIDENT'S MARRIAGE INITIATIVE: I spent yesterday in Washington, where
> I met with aids to two Senators who support the marriage initiative and
> several other people who've had a strong hand in shaping and guiding the
> initiative ($300 million per year for five years in federal funding, to be
> administered through HHS, for marriage education and promotion, especially
> aiming at low-income fragile families).
> Unless something changes, I think the plan is in danger, for two main
> reasons. First, there is currently little or no political momentum.
> Legislatively, the thing has been dragging along for months, with no
> Congressional action. At this point, it strikes me that the longer that
> nothing happens, the more likely it is that nothing will happen at all. At
> present there seems to be little sense of urgency, little sense in the
> Congress or elsewhere of "we have to do this." Therefore the whole thing
> could just fizzle out, with a whimper not a bang. Plus, there's a big
> deficit, which argues against new spending. Plus, it's an election year,
> which suggests that substance will take a back seat until after November.
> Plus, the press response to the marriage plan has so far been mixed,
> bordering on hostile. All of this argues for doing nothing instead of doing
> Second is the issue of SSM. Notice that the president last night spent a
> good piece of the SOTU discussing marriage, but his only topic was SSM and a
> federal marriage amendment. Not a word about his own Administration's
> marriage initiative that has been three years in the making. This is not a
> good sign. There's a sense in which, despite all that lot of people like me
> and others are trying to argue to the contrary, marriage today means SSM and
> that's that -- the issue is just going to overwhelm and eat up any other
> attempt to bring up a marriage topic for the foreseeable future. Or at least
> that's my concern.
> Regarding last week's flurry of NYT stories, the people I talked to (social
> conservatives, Republicans) were not concerned, as I am, that the NYT
> onslaught will politicize the issue and alienate moderates and liberals.
> They don't care much about that problem. For them, the danger is that
> Congress and the Washington blob will come to view the marriage initiative
> as something that is internally dividing conservatives and Republicans --
> that they are fighting over how the issue relates to SSM, and which of the
> two is the bigger priority. They think that portraying the issue this way
> was the goal of the NYT stories, and that the stories have in some respects
> succeeded, in part (they say) due to one gullible big-name anti-SSM
> right-winger (who's not in the White House) blabbing this way to the NYT,
> whose reporters smelled blood and knew what to do. (Of course, what actually
> happened, I haven't a clue.)
> To me, the big question seems to be: Can anything be done to create a sense
> of urgency about this issue in the Congress? Look for a press conference or
> two in the next couple of weeks, but I think more will be needed. Anyone got
> any ideas? If the Congress decides to do nothing, after this kind of
> build-up, I'm afraid that it will set back for quite some time any effort to
> make the point that strengthening marriage is a legitimate goal of public
> policy. And that will be a set-back for the marriage movement as a whole.
> Plus, at the level of on-the-ground programming, I think these marriage
> education and promotion efforts deserve a shot. They are no panacea, and
> they have weaknesses, but I think it's to everyone's advantage to give them
> shot at making a real difference.
> posted by David Blankenhorn
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