GAY MARRIAGE….Have we been outsmarted by Republicans again?

Republican lawmakers and conservative activists are making plans to turn gay marriage into a major issue in next year’s elections, with some Christian groups saying that banning same-sex unions is a higher immediate priority for them than restricting abortion.

Party strategists said the issue could be a bonanza for mobilizing conservatives to fund campaigns and turn out to vote, particularly in the South….

I’ve been promoting gay rights as a good campaign issue for a long time, with the caveat that there was still one issue that could work against Democrats: gay marriage. So naturally that’s the issue that’s front and center. Sigh.

(As an aside, why are conservatives so damn good at slippery slope arguments? And why can’t we get better at them?)

But back to the issue at hand. Although gay marriage is probably not where Democrats want to wage battle, the fact is that it’s not necessarily good for Bush either, regardless of what his activist compatriots may think. The question for Democrats, then, is how best to address it.

As I wrote a few months ago, I think it’s gong to take some careful framing. At the same time, of course, I’m well aware that careful framing and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee, so after all the careful framing is over we also need a snappy one-liner that makes us look good and makes the Republican activists look like neanderthals.

How about one of those Reaganesque fables about someone who wasn’t allowed to visit his longtime gay partner in the hospital because he wasn’t “related” and then his partner died before anyone could step in?

That’s just to get the ball rolling. One liners, quips, stories, fables, etc., they’re all good, so let’s start collecting them. And remember, bonus points if they’re actually true.