The Answer is "D" None of the Above
With intense local and national interest in New Hampshire’s gay marriage debate, and genuine suspense over how Gov. Lynch would respond to the relevant legislation, I have spent the past week telling lots of folks in the media and elsewhere that the governor has three options with the pending legislation. He could sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.
Well, it turns out I didn’t quite cover all of the bases on this one. As a journalist commented to me this afternoon shortly after Lynch asked the legislature for revisions, who knew there was a fourth option? I actually should have seen this coming. In recent days, Gov. Lynch has reacted to the intense lobbying campaign from both the left and right only by saying he would study the legislation carefully for any potential unintended consequences that might reflect negatively on the final law.
In a way, this is in keeping with Lynch’s style of executive decision-making. As I have noted before, he really can’t split the difference on gay marriage; he can either allow it in the state, or not. But it nonetheless seems like he has approached his task by considering the legislation’s impact on the state’s competing constituencies and interests, rather than by recourse to a fixed ideological position (as is often the case with lawmakers on this issue). So, I should have foreseen that Lynch would want to “tweak” the bill’s language, in order to ensure a better fit between the various constituent interests. That is very much in keeping with his approach to consensus-building, even in a situation where there are limits to how much consensus can actually be built.
Posted On: 05-15-2009 07:27:08 by Jim Splaine
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