PRIORITIES….American casualties are mounting daily in Iraq, Afghanistan is close to melting down, and the 9/11 Commission has proposed a total revamp of our intelligence infrastructure. So what do Republicans have in mind for the upcoming legislative session? Let’s listen in:

The pace of legislative action is likely to quicken in the next several weeks, said Patrick Basham, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, but “most of it will be carefully packaged, focus-group-tested, window-dressing stuff designed to appeal to swing voters in closely contested congressional races, such as they exist.”

He predicted that the Republican leadership would bring bills to the floor “for the sole purpose of embarrassing or flushing out the Democrats on emotive or wedge issues. Between now and election day, the action on Capitol Hill will be more symbolic than substantive.”

Already, House Republicans are planning to bring up the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, according to Stuart Roy, spokesman for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas). And one House Republican aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the leadership planned to schedule a bill to keep the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

We’re going to get floor fights over same-sex marriage and the Pledge of Allegiance, and the New York Times reports that abortion, tort reform, and flag burning are on the agenda too.

To paraphrase a famous man, I guess the Republican leadership is more interested in gay bashing and special interest demagoguery and not interested in the security of the American people. Maybe they should start getting their priorities straight.