Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a potential GOP presidential candidate, recently shocked social conservatives when he described New York's decision to allow gay marriage as "fine with me." Later, in an interview with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Perry clarified that statement, saying that he meant only that states have the right to set their own policies under the 10th Amendment. But Perry also says he supports a new constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage nationwide. Does his stance make any sense?
Perry is pandering to too many people at once: It makes "no sense" to say you support states' rights AND a constitutional amendment to deny states' rights, says Dan Amira at New York. With his "incomprehensible" one-two punch on gay marriage, Perry is trying "to pander to the social conservative and states' rights wings of his party at the same time, but it simply can't be done. Perry has to stop, or "our heads are going to explode."
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His stance is not really inconsistent: Rick Perry's explanation isn't really that hard to understand, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. He's arguing that the Federal Marriage Amendment "would require ratification by three-fourths of the states, so the process honors the federalist principle of the Tenth Amendment even though the FMA would trump it." But there's little chance the FMA will pass, "so all we're doing is polishing credentials here — and [Perry's] already have plenty of polish."
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This kind of waffling won't help Perry's campaign: If Perry "holds to his principles on the 10th Amendment, eventually he will be at loggerheads with social conservatives," says Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post, and "if he deviates from his 'let states do what they may' position, he'll have a flip-flop problem and potentially lose younger and more libertarian voters." Perry, like any candidate in his first national race, needs to be better prepared for such tricky issues, or he'll stumble.
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