`Doubling down'

November 15th, 2013
By

Hawaii Republicans are using the special session on marriage equality as an organizing tool for the 2014 elections.

A message Thursday from Kayla Berube, the state GOP's executive director, described the special session as a "broken process that ignores the voices of our local residents."

Six of the seven state House Republicans and the lone state Senate Republican voted against the marriage equality bill.

From Berube:

Yesterday the Governor signed SB1 into law and the Democrat-controlled legislature wrapped up the special session, leaving many of our members are wondering, "What's next?"

What Hawaii witnessed at the Capitol over the past two weeks - a broken process that ignores the voices of our local residents - was a direct result of a Democrat super majority. Like this issue, there will be other issues in the future that the legislature will decide regardless of the will of the people. We deserve better from our government.

Regardless of where you stood on this issue, we all agree on one thing: we need to restore balance to our government. We need to bring the power back to the people. We need to make our voices heard.

That's why the Hawaii Republican Party is doubling down on establishing a permanent grassroots infrastructure, to respond to legislative issues with effective action and to support our Republican candidates across the state so we can win. The HRP will be hosting a series of training and informational meetings over the next several weeks for activists like yourself who are looking to make a difference here in Hawaii.

But the extraordinary special session on marriage equality has privately forced lawmakers from both political parties to confront some of their rhetoric about what exactly constitutes "public opinion" and a "fair process."

The thousands of people who turned out to oppose gay marriage only represented a fraction of Hawaii's voters. Yet the protestors at the state Capitol were far larger in number -- and far more demographically representative of Hawaii -- than the activists who showed up to demand GMO-labeling or the coalition that killed the state Public Land Development Corp. Many Democratic  lawmakers, however, had claimed that the "public" had clearly spoken on GMOs and the PLDC.

On the other side, Republican lawmakers did not complain about a rushed or broken process in 2007 when then-Gov. Linda Lingle and state House and Senate leaders called a special session to try to save the Hawaii Superferry. At that time, many of the people who came to the state Capitol appealed to lawmakers not to undermine the environmental review process by giving Superferry a break. The law that was passed in that special session -- with no Republican in opposition -- was later overturned by the state Supreme Court as unconstitutional because it was unfairly tailored for a single company.

14 Responses to “`Doubling down'”

  1. Especially Incognito:

    lingle supported the superferry and
    did not help Aloha Airlines when they closed.
    she was not in Hawaii and aiona was home on watch.
    Either way she was not on Island.
    she was away with her dying mother.


  2. ohiaforest3400:

    Too-shay, Derrick. Can't have it both ways, unless you're a politician in the Capitol echo chamber.

    As for the GOP, they can't have it ANY way, just too completely clueless, except the RINO-deemed Cynthia Thielen.


  3. Rubbah Slippah:

    Berube used the phrase, "our government" twice despite not being registered to vote in Hawaii.


  4. ohiaforest3400:

    If Mary George was still with us, she would seriously kick some GOP butt!


  5. Especially Incognito:

    Give them a hissy wrist slap.


  6. Kolea:

    I am an advocate for a strong two-party system. Heck, I sometimes yearn for a parliamentary style of government where we can have a panoply of parties, each articulating their alternative viewpoints so the debate will become broader than the simple, binary, Yes-No, R-D debate provided by a real two-party system.

    But the GOP is caught in a quandary. The low-hanging fruit for easy recruitment are the Tea Party and religious right networks. If they open their doors to the Christian fundamentalist churches which mobilized to oppose the marriage equality bill, they could greatly expand their active membership and, perhaps, win a few extra seats in the House. But that way madness lies.

    Duke Aiona and the GOP tried that route to "power" in the waning days of the moderate, "RINO," Lingle administration, hoping to gain enough support to grab the Governor's Office for another eight years. But radicalism of that sort repels more voters than it attracts. Rightwing political operatives may find some sense of accomplishment in the mass mobilization of the angry mob at the Capitol, but if so, I think they are missing how off-putting it was to the broader population, who saw intolerant, bible-thumping religious zealots, at the edge of both riot and unreason.

    In some districts, especially those with very low turnout, the GOP may be able to ride this issue to victory for a couple of extra seats. If so, say Goodbye to the current moderate House minority leadership of Aaron Johanson and Hello to the return of Gene Ward, who recently compared the impact of marriage equality to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

    Newspaper editors and other Official Voices may sing the praises of the Two-Party System and of Bi-partisanship. But the current circumstances suggest we will not be able to have both at the same time. If the GOP lurches to the right in order to gain a few more votes in the Legislature, they will undoubtedly find more pleasure in radical reactionary partisan posturing than in cooperating to get the job done. The recent experiment in limited legislative power-sharing under the Souki-Dissident-Republican alliance was an exercise in "trust-building." But the McDermott-Fale wing of the local GOP is frightened by the prospect of bearing some responsibility for actually GOVERNING the state. Much easier to maintain the freedom to criticize and speechify than to do any actual, you know, WORK.

    Remind me again, which is" the party of personal responsibility"?


  7. Auto de Fe:

    Logic?

    Inventing a never-before-created family structure is a civil right in which the people have no say.
    But rioting against science and agriculture is a democratic right which the law has no say in.
    And the anti-Superferry protesters are the same morons who are protesting GMOs today.

    They think they are gods -- but it is a drug-induced hallucination.


  8. Kolea:

    Auto de Fe has difficulty finding a path through the maze. Being a hard rightwinger by instinct, but a Republican Party officer, he embodies the conflict I spoke of between the pragmatic and reactionary wings of the GOP.

    If he moves right, with his gut, he is stuck with the Eric Ryans, Bob McDermotts, with the Hawaii Republican Assembly he despises. But without Lingle as a counterweight, his party lists far to the right, almost capsizing.

    So he projects HIS hallucinations onto the liberals, insisting it is they who are drug-addled. Good luck finding a positive path, a positive vision to present to the voters, rather than just fanning fears and prejudice against "hippies" and "homos."


  9. Auto de Fe:

    According to this article, my 'hallucinations' are 'privately' shared by 'lawmakers from both political parties.'


  10. Especially Incognito:

    There should be gay lawyers.
    Business will pickup when many
    want to get divorced.

    Contrary Mary is an advocate. PERIOD.
    Advocate of a two party. One straight and the other Gay.


  11. Especially Incognito:

    Actually just one party. The one not straight.


  12. Kolea:

    Auto, can you quote where in the article you see confirmation for your view that "lawmakers from both political parties" support your "hallucinations"?

    Your original comment in #7 was a rambling mashup of different images rather than a rational argument. But sifting through it, you seem to be lumping together supporters of marriage equality, opponents of GMO agro-chemical companies and opponents of the Super-Ferry, to attribute their views, which you oppose, to a delusion "they are gods -- but it is a drug-induced hallucination."

    I don't see where, in the article, you find support from "lawmakers from both political parties."

    What I did see was this sentence, into which you project your biases. But they are not actually in the quote itself:

    "...the extraordinary special session on marriage equality has privately forced lawmakers from both political parties to confront some of their rhetoric about what exactly constitutes 'public opinion' and a 'fair process.'"

    DePledge can speak for himself, but I think it is posing a question, rather than trying to impose an answer, which is what you are doing. The question is one of the nature of "democracy," the relationship between a legislators role as a "representative" of their district versus their responsible to exercise their own, best judgment to legislation, the risks of offending a highly visible, well-organized demonstration from a SEGMENT of the public and whether the new technologies of email, websites and social media like Facebook, have made it even more difficult to read actual "public opinion."

    There was clearly a difference in approach how the two chambers treated public testimony. The Senate, under Hee's leadership, see themselves as having run an efficient operation and many were amused by the suffering of the House members, under Karl Rhoads leadership, who may have erred on the side of taking a too "loosey-goosey" approach, under the belief it was important to allow members of the public to vent, even if the testimony was repetitive and generally off-topic. I can be argued the House helped create false expectations. Once thousands of "Christian" fundamentalists expressed how "icky" gay people were, and how they deserved to be treated second class, didn't that create the impression the "democratic" thing to do would be to count up the irrational testimonies from the fearful and phobic, and, if thee were more of them, then vote according to the majority of the testimonies received?

    In addition, Capitol security loosened their rules regarding assemblies, noise and intentionally disruptive behavior. That allowed the rightwing, anti-gay crowd to take on mob-like behavior, to the point they surrounded, shouted down and jostled the gay-friendly clergy on Wednesday.

    All of which has stimulated a lot of talk about democracy, free speech, the role of religion and the responsibilities of legislators. As it should.


  13. Auto de Fe:

    But the extraordinary special session on marriage equality has privately forced lawmakers from both political parties to confront some of their rhetoric about what exactly constitutes "public opinion" and a "fair process."

    The thousands of people who turned out to oppose gay marriage only represented a fraction of Hawaii's voters. Yet the protestors at the state Capitol were far larger in number -- and far more demographically representative of Hawaii -- than the activists who showed up to demand GMO-labeling or the coalition that killed the state Public Land Development Corp. Many Democratic lawmakers, however, had claimed that the "public" had clearly spoken on GMOs and the PLDC.


  14. Especially Incognito:

    it wanted to a lawyer contradicts itself.
    Doesn't know the answer but asks the question.
    Feel free to debate gay talk.


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