Wherein I Bash Democrats and Praise Republicans (a.k.a. The Bizarro World)
Howard Dean had no business trying this gambit and it hurts the "common good" message, plus he looks like a screw-up:
In a Christian Broadcasting Network interview aired on Wednesday, May 10, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said the following in response to a question about gay marriage:
"[On] gay marriage: the platform said marriage is between a man and a woman. That's what it says. I think where we may take exception with some religious leaders is we believe in inclusion. That everybody deserves to live with dignity and respect and equal rights under the law are important. I'm not saying we'll agree with everything between the more conservative evangelicals and Democrats but I think there's more common ground and we're willing to work with the evangelical community." [CBN, 5/10/06]
Dean today issued the following statement:
"I misstated the Democratic Party's platform, which does not say that marriage should be limited to a man and a woman, but says the Party is committed to full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and leaves the issue to the states to decide. The Democratic Party remains committed to equal protection under the law for all Americans. How we achieve that goal continues to be the subject of a contentious debate, but our Party continues to oppose constitutional amendments that seek to short circuit the debate on how to achieve equality for all Americans."
I don't know why he's trying to reach a group that won't believe him and is likely unreachable for Democrats to begin with. And if he's going to try, he should have his facts straight. This just perpetuates the "say anything to get elected" theme that Republicans use often. Don't move to the mushy middle, Howard: state your beliefs and make sure their consistent with the Democratic brand (once, you know, you come up with what that brand is).
I don't see a mass of Pat Robertson Democrats just itching to show their true colors, either. This is just awful politics.
In addition, while I've been pretty relentless on Bush today, I have to give him credit if he really did have anything to do with breaking the impasse on the immigration bill:
A broad immigration bill that could provide millions of illegal immigrants a chance to become American citizens was revived Thursday when Senate leaders reached a deal.
The lawmakers said they'll try to pass it before Memorial Day [...]
It would be the most comprehensive rewrite of immigration laws since the so-called Simpson-Mazzoli bill some 20 years ago.
Reid acknowledged on the Senate floor Thursday morning that he "didn't get everything that I wanted" in the agreement, but said Frist didn't either. Reaching the agreement is "not easy with the political atmosphere," Reid said [...]
President Bush had helped accelerate progress on the bill after meeting with a bipartisan group of senators last month and stating clearer support for allowing illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
A serious, bipartisan approach to immigration reform is certainly needed, and no matter what the reasons for getting there, anyone willing to engage in compromise in the polarizing atmosphere of Washington deserves some gratitude. Apparently a substantial amount of Democrats will be in the conference committee (many hand-picked by Reid) to help ensure that there won't be any backroom dealing. I'll withhold judgment on the bill until I see the final committee report.
Of course, I can't allow this to be a complete Bizarro world post, as I have to mention the fact that another 70 billion dollars has been taken from future generations today to give to rich people.