GAY MARRIAGE….I agree with both Nick Confessore and Matt Yglesias: Senate Democrats should go ahead and allow a vote on George Bush’s gay marriage amendment. Reasons:

  • As long as the Dems can keep their own troops in line, it will probably fail on a straight up-or-down vote. My guess is that there are 5-10 Republicans who won’t vote to mess with the constitution over gay marriage.

  • There’s political danger for both parties in this, but I continue to think that this is actually a bigger wedge issue for Republicans than Democrats. Based on the polls I’ve seen, independent voters mostly oppose the amendement, and among partisan voters I suspect there are more Republicans against it than there are Democrats in favor of it.

  • It’s the right thing to do. Let’s put it on the table and see where everyone stands.

I think Rove and Bush have screwed the pooch on this one (um, so to speak). In the end, it hasn’t really energized their evangelical base all that much, but as it takes center stage during a vote it will turn off a lot of live-and-let-live moderates. And when it loses, it will also expose Bush as a weak leader who can’t even keep his own party in line.

And a note to John Kerry: people like strong leadership even if they don’t always agree with the particulars. Opposing FMA is fine ? but people will only truly respond if you take a strong stand against it without waffling or straddling. You could start by actually mentioning it on the LGBT page of your website. It’s not going to win the election or anything, but it will make a difference.

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