The Note

We presume, based on several things, that Vice President Cheney agrees with his wife. (We will always remind you of how then private citizen Cheney out pro-gay'ed Senator Lieberman in the 2000 vice presidential debate,)

We wonder why there isn't more pressure on Ari and the president to say whether they agree with the Cheneys are not.

The New York Times ' Sheryl Gay Stolberg suggests that the president is hedging his bets on a related issue: whether to support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. LINK Yes — "'The president believes that marriage is an institution between a man and a woman,' Mr. Bush's spokesman, Ari Fleischer, told reporters today."

"But when Mr. Fleischer was pressed on whether the president supported a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, he did not take a firm stand, instead saying the issue was 'a question in the legal realm.'"

The point of Mr. Fleischer's demurrals may simply be to get the issue off the media's radar screens. While the Ken Connor crowd in Washington can beat their drums until their fingers turn blue, it's very doubtful that church-going conservatives across the country will hear about — or care to parse — the statements of a White House press secretary.

When in doubt, the White House will refer its base to the ''The president believes that marriage is an institution between a man and a woman' statement, which, one would think, is sufficient.

None of that makes it ok for the White House NOT to answer the question, though.


"While gays claim victory with a Supreme Court decision knocking down a ban on sodomy, freshman Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave insists the real battle is over the right of homosexuals to marry," reports the AP's Robert Weller. LINK

California recall:

Has the San Francisco Chronicle now exhausted all the oppo on Congressman Issa?

Shortly after finishing his Army service in the early 1970's, Representative Darrell Issa was twice arrested on illegal weapons charges according Lance Williams and Robert Salladay of the San Francisco Chronicle. LINK

"On the issue of gun incidents, Issa in the past has answered questions when asked but never volunteered information. He has talked in general terms about a gun conviction, but court records reviewed by The Chronicle show that Issa was twice arrested in 1972 on weapons charges — once in Ohio, once in Michigan."

"Issa, speaking with reporters late Monday, implied that the issue of his gun conviction should be off limits in the campaign because it was personal and old. After the Michigan arrest, Issa was fined $100 and put on three months' probation, court records show. Issa did not mention the separate arrest in Ohio."

"'I remember plenty of the details, but I don't think 30-year-old misdemeanors are fair play here,' Issa said. 'Look, I graduated from college, but my grades are nobody's business 30 years later, and I think we need to start looking in those terms. If you are looking at 30-year-old misdemeanors, I think you are missing the point. It's the felonies of Gray Davis that are on trial here today. What the governor has done to California is a felony.'"

Perhaps Congressman Issa knows something we don't, but we thought nothing guarantees further scrutiny more than a "you're missing the point."

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