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Just because he's gay doesn't mean he's got the votes

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People are ticked at the openly gay Rhode Island House Speaker for saying he'll try for civil unions instead of marriage this year in the state.  Some local advocates think it's a cop out.  Though, if he's telling the truth, and doesn't have the votes, and can't get the votes, then it's likely not a cop out at all. I'm a big fan of picking on Dems who are too afraid to try anything they promised, especially when they say they don't have the votes, but could potentially get the votes by simply trying.  It all depends on whether a fair-minded read of the local political landscape leads you to conclude that you could get the votes by trying.

Though it's possible there's another problem the Speaker is facing. In some states, some people have gotten upset when the local powers that be went for civil unions as an interim step to marriage.  Why get angry?  Because it's not marriage, and anything less is a cop out, they argue.

Except it's not.  Anything less is a cop out when you can get more.  It's the same argument we had over health care reform.  Simply saying you don't have the votes isn't enough.  You need to also conclude, show, that you can't get the votes either.  But if truly can't get the votes for the the big thing, and can get the votes for something less, and still good, then settling for less is perfectly fine.

Just don't settle when you can better.

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