The Note

Seth Colter Walls writes in Salon that, contrary to 2000 when the Gore team said they were "not losing any sleep" over a Nader run, this year the Dems need to take the Nader threat seriously. LINK

One "lesson of 2000 is that the Democrats can't prevent Nader's candidacy from becoming a story by pretending it doesn't exist," he writes.

But more importantly, "Kerry should also move beyond the "spoiler" argument if and when he addresses the Nader threat. That Nader refuses to concede his candidacy's impact on the 2000 election is frustrating, as it's a settled issue among nearly everyone else. But the Democrats still need to get substantive."

Walls lays out a simple strategy for taking on Nader directly: co-opting his message when and where possible, reaching out to Greens and Nader-leaning liberal Democrats directly, and, in a "final confrontation," offering to participate in a single debate with Nader in the fall.

Slate's Chatterbox continues pushing its "Draft Moore" movement, urging the conservative judge to run for President. Roy Moore is of course the Alabama chief justice who got fired for refusing to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom. Slate suggests Moore could be the Ralph Nader of the conservative movement, peeling away ultra-religious voters from Bush. But so far the judge doesn't seem to be biting. LINK

The politics of same-sex marriage:

The Washington Post's Evelyn Nieves reports on the California Supreme Court's decision to halt same-sex marriages, Noting that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said he has issued only a temporary stay on issuing the marriage licenses to same-sex couples. LINK

The New York Times' Dean Murphy reports that California's highest court has ordered San Francisco to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses, but "left open the possibility that the city could issue the licenses again after further review of two lawsuits on the matter" as the court did not rule on the legality of the matter. LINK

The Los Angeles Times reports the court will "rule on the legality of the city's actions within the next few months" and says "now in limbo are 2,688 more couples who had booked appointments to wed under the city's ornate rotunda through the end of May." The Governator applauded the court's move in a statement. LINK

In Massachusetts, the Washington Post's Jonathan Finer reports, the state legislature moved one step closer to banning same-sex marriage, approving a state constitutional amendment that still allows civil unions. LINK

The New York Times reports that Massachusetts Thursday came closer "to amending the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriages and establish civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, by passing three preliminary votes on the amendment." The Times' Belluck reports it remains unclear if this "compromise amendment . . . would ultimately pass the next legislative hurdle, an opportunity for the amendment to be revised before coming to a final vote." Next time this measure comes up: March 29. LINK

The Boston Globe's Rick Klein writes, "The Massachusetts Legislature voted three times yesterday to ban gay marriage and establish civil unions, but maneuvers by both opponents and supporters of gay marriage left it unclear whether the constitutional amendment would ever get to the voters." LINK

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