Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Debate over Democracy
In a “60 Minutes” interview, Russian President Vladimir Putin (search), irritated at President Bush's call for democracy in the region, suggests that Russia is more democratic than the U.S. Putin tells “60 Minutes” that, unlike the U.S., Russians elect their president through a direct vote. What's more, Putin attacked the US courts for getting involved in the 2000 election. But, says Putin, "we're not going to poke our noses into your democratic system because that's up to the American People."
Opposing Gay Marriage
Senator John Kerry (search) is opposing a move by the Democratic Party in Massachusetts to include a plank supporting gay marriage in the state Democratic platform. Kerry told The Boston Globe (search) , "I'm opposed to it being in a platform...I think it's the wrong thing, and I'm not sure it reflects the broad view of the Democratic Party in our state."
State Democratic chairman Philip Johnston says Kerry's opposition will not affect the party's decision to officially support same-sex marriage, saying, "It is important that the state Democratic Party support civil rights. We need to take a stand."
Clinton To Dems: Get Your Own Plan
Bill Clinton (search) says Democrats should quit obstructing the President's Social Security proposal and offer a plan of their own. In an interview with “Good Morning America,” Clinton says, "I think the Democrats should say what they are for on Social Security in the next couple [of]weeks; they've got time to put together a program."
The former president adds, "I think it should include an opportunity for people to participate in savings and ownership. They don’t have to do private accounts... But I think that the Democrats should have a plan, and they should talk to the president and congressional Republicans about it."
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (search), says the Constitution "is a legal document...and like all legal documents it doesn't change." Scalia told an audience at Texas A&M, "You should not use the constitution as a means to enforce your own social views," adding that interpreting the Constitution to fit current social trends "is not a road that has a happy ending." Scalia went on to criticize those who politicize the judiciary, asking, "What in the world is a moderate judge? What is a moderate interpretation of the Constitution? Halfway between what it really says and what you'd like it to say?"
Former Labour Party Parliament Member George Galloway (search), who was removed from the party in 2003 for his strong opposition to the Iraq war, has regained a seat in Britain's House of Commons. Galloway was thrown out after an infamous meeting with Saddam Hussein shortly before the war, in which Galloway told Hussein, "I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability." So he joined the "Respect Party" and ran on an anti-war platform in a largely Muslim district, handing Labour its first defeat in that district since 1945."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report