Political Politicians

Kudos to Martha Coakley for challenging the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. I wonder how Justice responds when they’re asked to defend a statute that the Administration has said should be repealed. Perhaps with a tepid defense.

What I don’t understand is those who criticize Coakley by claiming that her motivations are “purely political”. What’s up with that? Aren’t politicians supposed to act politically?

Of course, we do want our elected officials to have some backbone, particularly to resist popular outbursts that might have bad policy consequences. (Obama’s effective neutralization of the “Buy America” stimulus bill provision is a good example). But here we have a politician taking a strong stand for the rights of a long-disenfranchised minority group; if her motivations are “purely political,” then let’s elect more politically-motivated politicians.


  1. M. Grégoire Jul 10

    What do you mean, President Obama has neutralised “Buy America”? From here in Canada, it seems that it’s fully in effect. State and local governments are not bound by NAFTA geographic non-discrimation rules, so they’re following the “Buy America” rule with their stimulus funds. Canadian steel and pipe are being rejected for projects in the US, even though we haven’t imposed a “Buy Canadian” rule in our own stimulus.

    Just words…

    (Not that it’s really your President’s fault; he has more important issues to argue with Congress than trade.)

  2. adam Jul 10

    As I understand it, the measure as passed was substantially watered down from the initial proposal. Not perfect, but he showed some resistance to popular (mostly misguided) outcries.

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