As someone who believes the government ought not be telling individuals who they can marry, and churches what sort of marriage ceremonies they can hold, I applaud President Obama for finally seeing the light on gay marriage whatever his motivations.
But can we cut out some of the gushing about the supposedly “historic” nature of Obama’s calculated political move? Let’s admit that Obama was only against gay marriage because certain important constituencies – most notably black voters – tend to skew toward opposition to the practice. And let’s further admit that Obama’s decision to change his position was about politics.
The President needs to keep the debate in this election away from his economic policies and fiscal management, and gay marriage is just the ticket. It’s a sort of variation on “god, guns and gays” political strategy in the past.
Again, I’m happy about the outcome, but let’s not pretend as though this was courage and not glinty-eyed, cynical political calculation intended to distract and divide.