Silent majority holds key in domestic partner vote

Silent majority holds key in domestic partner vote

April 19th, 2014 in Opinion Free Press

The Citizens for Government Accountability and Transparency's effort to overturn the city of Chattanooga's domestic partners ordinance in August could be a precursor to what the November elections will bring across the country.

A vote to overturn the ordinance, which was passed by the Chattanooga City Council last fall and allows benefits to same-sex couples and other unmarried domestic partners, might be an indication the electorate has had it with hearing the definition of marriage is not just between one man and one woman, is tired of lies from a White House that shoved a health-care system down its throats and said members could keep their insurance if they liked it, and is fed up with a government that wants to reserve more and more power for itself and leave less and less for the people it governs.

It could foreshadow a repeat of the 1994 midterm elections, often called the Republican Revolution, when the Republican party captured majorities in the U.S. House, U.S. Senate and governors' mansions. The GOP won 54 House seats, eight Senate seats and 10 governorships.

That election, which gave the Republicans a majority in the House for the first time in 40 years, followed the attempted overreach of the Clinton White House in trying to force a health-care system it didn't want on the public (sound familiar?), tax increases, and incidents like the Democrat-led House Bank and House postal system scandals.

Or it could be a repeat of 2010, when tea party-spurred Republicans gained 63 House seats (the largest seats change since 1938), six Senate seats and 680 seats in state legislative races (breaking the previous 628 mark set by Democrats in the post-Watergate election of 1974).

That election, only four years ago, was a reaction to stubborn high employment, record deficits racked up by the Obama White House and the newly minted Affordable Care Act, which passed without a single Republican vote.

Indeed, this fall could be the revenge of this generation's silent majority, a group President Richard Nixon referred to in a speech in 1969 when he said, "And so tonight -- to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans -- I ask for your support."

The president, at the time, was referring to the typical working man, the middle-class housewife, all those who didn't speak up but were tired of hippies, yippies, race riots and people who were loudly protesting the Vietnam War.

They felt their voices were not heard, the same way many Chattanoogans feel today when the City Council in its vote told residents same-sex couples and other domestic partners should be treated no differently than those who have revered traditional marriage, understood its millenniums of history and believed such was ordained of God.

Councilman Chris Anderson, who sponsored the domestic partners ordinance, misread the electorate in two ways in his comments about CGAT's newly announced effort to Times Free Press reporter Judy Walton.

He comes off sounding like just another out-of-touch Democrat when he says "it looks like the tea party is at it again," confusing Chattanooga Tea Party President Mark West's leadership of CGAT with the millions of people across the country who claimed to be members of an unorganized tea party when they voted against Obama's spending binge in 2010 but have nothing to do with the local CGAT.

And when Anderson says CGAT is "inciting people to action using hate and fear," he insults all those who believe the domestic partners ordinance was just wrong, whether because of the small or large (only time will tell) increase it will cause in the city budget or for moral reasons.

If Chattanooga's silent majority votes to overturn the ordinance, it's not a great leap to think a similarly angry national electorate could overturn the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate and sweep other Republicans into power. And a sustained Republican House and a Republican Senate could -- one hopes -- thwart Obama from additional overreach in his last two years in the White House.

If it doesn't, it may indicate a repeat across the country of 2012, when Obama got more than 3.5 million fewer votes than he did in 2008 but won re-election because many of 2010's silent majority voters stayed home.

Or it could just mean all politics are local.