After Vice President Joe Biden said that he thinks gay marriage is just fine and dandy and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan agreed that he didn't have a problem with it, either, the President's been in a bit of a No Homo mode. I mean, he's sort of okay with the idea of gay marriage, as long as the gay marriage doesn't hit on him or anything.
The Washington Post reports that Biden and company's glittery pronouncements have caused some tension in the White House. In one corner: those who believe that the President has an obligation to the progressive public (and his gay donors) to support equal rights. But in the other corner: those who worry that Obama's expressed support of same-sex marriage could alienate the black community or people in swing states like North Carolina, which is considering adding an anti-same sex marriage amendment to its constitution in a vote that will occur today.
The White House's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding the President's real thoughts on the issue of same-sex marriage is a naked political cop out, but it may be necessary for Obama's reelection. The Post explains that after a primary season that left Republican voters fractured like a smashed disco ball, gay panic may be just the issue the staunchly anti-gay marriage Mitt Romney needs to get disillusioned Santorumites back on his team.
Critics point out that the President's stance has been "evolving" for the last two years, and that excuse doesn't fly anymore. He can't regress and pretend that he never even entertained the idea of legalizing same-sex marriage; that would be flip-flopping, and he can't come right out and endorses same-sex marriage, because in the eyes of some swing state voters, he may as well be officiating at gay weddings himself. But is Obama's reticence to lend public support even warranted? Did he even have a ghost of a chance of getting the votes of people who would be swayed by the marriage issue? At least half of Americans now support the legalization of same-sex marriage, including many small government Republicans. Even social conservatives have stopped pretending they can win the battle against modernity; last year, when New York passed gay marriage, Republican party leaders gave members the go ahead to vote however they wished. She's not the first beauty queen to wade into the issue of same-sex marriage, but Miss North Carolina has taken a stand against her state's same sex marriage ban. The Tarheel State's Governor has announced that supporting Amendment 1 will make her stomping grounds basically look like a bunch of backward open mouth-chewers.
When Miss North Carolina is more socially progressive than a Democratic president, it's maybe time for the President to reassess whether or not he's really talking like a Democrat. Gay marriage is a wildly popular cause to support because people like to support things that win, and at this point, it's not a matter of if it will be made legal, it's a matter of when. And it would be a shame for the President to find himself on the wrong side of history on this issue.