Huckabee Strongly Courting the Far Right

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has generally been flying under the radar in his bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, trying to position himslef as the alternative for Southern conservatives within the party. As a part of this effort, Huckabee is jumping in front of an issue near and dear to his heart: gay-bashing.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Friday he hopes the Legislature considers reimposing a ban on gay foster parents, struck down a day earlier by the state Supreme Court.

"I'm very disappointed that the court seems more interested in what's good for gay couples than what's good for children needing foster care," Huckabee said through his spokeswoman Alice Stewart.

With John McCain and Rudy Giuliani having seemingly sown up the self-proclaimed moderates within the party as a result of having held some moderate views in the past (even though they have eschewed many such views as of late), the battle for the GOP nomination in 2008 will be played out among the most conservative segments of the base.

And now, as George Allen -- who at one time seemed poised to become conservatives' favorite -- is embroiled in a very rough Senate contest, there is a real opening in the contest to court conservatives. Among the participants in this quasi-primary are Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Sam Brownback, Giuliani, and McCain, but there are real questions as to whether any of these candidates can actually carry culturally, socially and politically conservative Southerners.

Enter Mike Huckabee, a man from Hope. With Huckabee showing his willingness to bash the judiciary (check) and bash gays (check) while standing up for family values (check), he is quickly positioning himself as a palatable alternative to the cadre above.

As he does this, we as progressives must not underestimate the potential appeal of this conservative Southern Governor and overlook his bid for the White House, because if we don't pay attention to his machinations today, we will be unable to out them for what they really are in the future.

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Is Frist Actually Serious?

During his three plus years as Republican Leader, Senator Bill Frist has shown a level of ineptitude unmatched in recent memory. The Senate, which while never a well-lubricated machine at least functioned moderately well in past years, now seems to be the place where bills go to die. On a number of symbolic votes, particularly as of late, Frist has been unable to muster victory, sometimes not even getting close (the Federal Marriage Amendment failed by nearly 20 votes).

As if Frist's record as Majority Leader were not sufficiently abysmal, Frist continues to be under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for potentially engaging in insider trading.

With such an impressive resume, it's no wonder Frist is moving ahead with his nascent Presidential campaign.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's political action committee yesterday announced the hiring of an Iowa field director, a move certain to be viewed as a step toward a 2008 presidential bid.

Marcus Branstad, son of former Iowa Gov. Jim Branstad, will represent the Tennessee Republican's Volunteer Political Action Committee (VOLPAC) in the state that holds the nation's first presidential contest every four years.

The only person Bill Frist is kidding with this hiring is himself. It is nearly impossible to forsee a set of occurrences leading to his nomination for President by the Republican Party in 2008, let alone the American people electing him to four years in the White House.

Frist has done a miserable job as Majority Leader, offending progressives and moderates alike with his overt pandering to regressive elements within the GOP and losing the support of the conservative base for failing to pass many of the bills they deem as imperative.

Even in Frist's area of expertise -- medicine, which should set him out from the large pack interested in running in '08 -- Frist has made a fool of himself. From the Terri Schiavo spectacle, during which Frist diagnosed the patient via video on the floor of the United States Senate, to discussions of family planning, during which Frist claimed that AIDS could be contracted through tears and sweat, Frist has shown time and time again that ambition -- not facts or reality -- drive his politics and actions.

So Bill Frist can go ahead with a Presidential campaign, siphoning money and attention away from other Republican candidates. But if he believes that he has a shot at winning the general election in 2008, he is just deluding himself.

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Why NYC Dems always lose

Two words: Al Sharpton. Now he wants to have all 3 black candidates unite against David Yassky for NY's 11th Congressional District.  

I explain why and why we should ignore Sharpton on the flipside

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Democracy for America's Open Letter to Beltway Democrats

Joe Lieberman hasn't confirmed that he's planning to run as an Independent, but everybody's been talking, from the blogosphere to the DSCC. The DSCC's mission is to elect Democrats to the Senate. Yet in this case, they would prefer to back an incumbent who leaves the party, instead of a principled progressive who's proud to be a Democrat.

Primaries are healthy for the party, and Democrats in Connecticut will decide their nominee on August 8. The winner should receive the full support of all Democrats. We need to stand together in November. Please join me and ask the Beltway Democrats, including Joe Lieberman and Chuck Schumer, to do the same:

www.democracyforamerica.com/standtogethe r

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Results Thread

This is my version of Kos' thread, used for spillover. Put in the results you find interesting from tonight's primaries.

A recap so far:

Alabama - The Republicans look set to easily renominate Gov. Bob Riley over wingnut Roy Moore by at least a 2-1 margin. Democrats are more split, but Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley has been leading indicted former Gov. Don Siegelman all night.

Mississippi - Nothing really interesting, although Rep. Bennie Thompson is cruising over primary challenger Chuck Espy, who is more conservative.

New Jersey - Kean and Menendez won their Senate primaries (I know, big surprise), and Albio Sires won the primary for Menendez's old district.

Of course, one of the big stories of the night, Montana, has just started counting...results to follow.

Well, start the talking.

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Diaries

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