Where's the Strategy on Gay Issues for 2006?

2006 should be a blowout for Democrats.  Given Republican failures, we should easily take back the House and Senate.  Yet Democratic Party leaders are still allowing the Republicans to define the terrain, which means that our chances are totally up in the air.  The GOP is quite public about their election plan, they are going to run on gay adoption and gay marriage, again. They are already taking ethics off the table by suggesting both parties are corrupt, as I said they would, and they are moving to blur the differences on foreign policy.  Democrats are reduced to the 'competence' line, and the Republicans are going to rev up their base with fearful moral values language.  What this means is that while we have huge leads in generic polls, voters may simply pull the lever for their local incumbent.

I asked Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer on a conference call what they are going to do about wedge issues, and their answer was basically 'the Dubai port deal'.  That sounds great, if you can get Bush to try to sell our ports to foreigners in October, 2006.  If you can't, start making another plan.

And let me just point something out.  The immigration rallies should have taught us something - sticking up for your friends and allies is good politics.  I got this email from Paul Yandura recently to this effect.

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Rep. Mollohan Steps Down from Ethics Committee, Temporarily

Represenatative Mollohan steps down from the Ethics Committee, temporarily.  This is from Melanie Sloan at CREW, who called for Mollohan to step aside while there was a perception of ethical problems.

We commend Rep. Mollohan on doing the right thing by stepping down temporarily pending the outcome of the investigation.

When it comes to ethics, perception matters. Other congressional members with similar ethical improprieties should follow Rep. Mollohan's example and step aside from their leadership positions as well.

I think it's important to commend Congressmen when they do the right thing.  Mollohan did that today.  I know the press is going to report that a Democrat is under investigation, but that's not the real story.  The real story is that faced with the perception of an ethics problem, Democrats chose to confront it directly and honorably even though they knew it would cost them politically.

Update: Georgia10 has a must-read post.

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Bush. It Depends How You Define The Word "Leak" ©

In July 2003, there was no investigation. Republicans postured this was not an issue of national importance.  Journalist and bloggist David Corn of The Nation postulated it just might be.  This essayist compared the cries for an investigation of Clinton and the possible misuse of files to those not heard when the Bush administration was the charge.  In 2003, the public was assured this was not a significant occurrence.  However, its prominence grew.  Bloggers made sure of this.

There was talk; Valerie Plame did not fit the definition of a covert agent. After all, she was working in the States at the time her name was revealed.  Ah, the diversion.  Yet, many were not sidetracked.  They were focused.  Bush and his boys had baited the hook; yet, the blog-fish did not bite.  Traditional journalist wavered. The media waters were choppy.

Bush barely bothered to enter the discussion. Actually, he avoided it.  Initially, the President said that did not think much of the situation.  He was quite blasé.  However, that too changed.  By February 11, 2004, the President was adamant. He said, "I want to know the truth. "If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is." 

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Mollohan: WV-1/House control fallout?

Filing closed in January, apparently.

Facing Mollohan in November will be GOP vet Chris Wakim.

According to Chris Cillizza, Mollohan's fundraising hasn't been going so good.

His official fundraising, that is!

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Mollohan: 'WV Project' or Megacrook?

[Following up yesterday's diary.]

Jodi Rudoren (née Wilgoren) weighs in with a piece in the Times today.

She identifies five nonprofits which have benefited from Mollohan earmarks to the total sum of $250m:

The first and largest is the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation, which is absorbing the troubled Institute for Scientific Research. Another, the Canaan Valley Institute, works on stream restoration and wastewater treatment. The Vandalia Heritage Foundation redevelops dilapidated buildings, and the MountainMade Foundation helps artisans market wares.

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