I’m sure there was plenty of number crunching, and probably he waited until today to avoid being accused of interfering with North Carolina’s insanity, but the discussion is now officially altered. Remember that on the eve of the passage of the Civil Rights Act over eighty percent of the public opposed mixed-race marriage. Sometimes the people lead. Sometimes leaders have to lead.
It’ll probably cost Obama a swing state or two, but it puts Romney into a tough spot as to how to respond. He wants to appeal to independents (who don’t see this as a political issue and don’t want it in the national discussion), but he has to worry about the tea party fringe. I’m wondering if it was Lugar’s Waterloo rather than North Carolina which prompted this move. Actually, I suspect it was planned. Biden hinted at it several days ago.
Point is, calculated or not, this is a turning point in history.
The Log Cabin Club is already freaking out, complaining that it’s a dollar late and a day short. They have a point. But are they going to press Romney on the issue? I doubt it.
Addendum: Rick Santorum chimes in, attacking “cultural elites.”
And not all progressives are sanguine about the outcome. This blogger thinks that Obama just handed Romney the Presidency.
And here’s a TPM article posted yesterday explaining why Obama wouldn’t do what he did today.
Third addendum: Barney Frank doesn’t think it’ll cost Obama any votes.
This does not meant that the President’s decision today was entirely without some political risk, but I believe it will be clear in the days ahead that this will cost him no votes, since those opposed to legal equality for LGBT people were already inclined to oppose him, and that it will make it easier for us to mobilize the people in this country who oppose discrimination to help reelect him.
I disagree slightly. Probably it won’t cost him many votes because while some, particularly in the African-American and Hispanic communities, oppose gay marriage, it isn’t a significant voting issue in Presidential choices. Obama did quite well in 2008 when Prop 8 passed. There was obviously some overlap.
Al Franken has some nice words.
Fourth addendum: OBAMA FLIP-FLOPS, DECLARES WAR ON MARRIAGE!
That was of course a Fox Nation headline.
Fifth Addendum: The interview.
Sixth Addendum: Rush chimes in (after the Fox Nation headline was scrubbed) and a TPM poster responds.
” “We’ve arrived at a point where the President of the United States is going to lead a war on traditional marriage,” Rush Limbaugh said on his show Wednesday.” His first, second, third, and fourth wives could not be reached for comment.