The reactions are pouring in to Obama's decision today to come out in favor of gay marriage after seemingly being put on the spot by Joe Biden.
My first thought was: what does this mean for the black churches? Back in 2008 it was the black Christian vote that defeated gay marriage in California. African Americans voted for Obama, but while they were there, they voted against gay marriage. It’s one of those stories no one wanted to talk about. Now, things become interesting: do African American churches, hearing the president say that “my Christian beliefs” inform this newly declared viewpoint, simply give up their own beliefs to support his or do they stand for their own? And then, who’s Christian beliefs are right? That’s a whole ball of wax I bet no one wanted to deal with in this election.
William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection opines with some wit:
... basically Obama is back at his 1996 position, and back to where Dick Cheney has been for a while.
Insty weighs in, with links as usual:
Is it not patent that he supported it all along, but didn’t think it politically expedient to admit? He needs to scrape together every single vote to win this November; hence the sudden confession.
A friend however sent me something in email that seems to make the most sense to me as to all of this and particularly to its timing:
Why has Obama had his Epiphany on gay marriage the day after it was soundly rejected at NC polls, and not yesterday to support the cause and community?
Even Mark Levin is missing the core political detail.
Pretty simple if you just think like a narcissistic politico.
Why support a cause before it gets predictably whacked? (It never has won a single referendum vote.) Support it in the aftermath. Why?
To support it before makes you a loser on the losing side. By playing the game and feigning thoughtful indecision, you can come in afterwards and appear to be supporting an underdog - a popular position in the traditional eyes of Americans - rather than just another loser.
He's giving voice to yet another minority-status-cluster whom bigots have pushed away again. Heroic. Principled. Noble.
Not a loser.
24 hours makes all the difference.
Ans no one has yet to put the precise point on it.
Of course, most see through the theater, but that doesn't mean its not what the campaign is thinking, calculating.
Makes the most sense to me at this point.
UPDATE: After some gentle cajoling, I can reveal that it was Steve Schippert who sent along the email that I found to be so sensible.
I'm honored to be part of an email distribution list made up of some serious blogging giants. I count Steve amongst them.
Take a bow Mr. Schippert!