Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gay Marriage 24/7

So Grampa Biden wandered off and made a statement that has now commenced to eat the political discourse.

Biden made what appears to be a fairly mundane statement in favor of marriage equality rights.  Reading it, he could be endorsing civil unions as much as gay marriage.

The question has now shifted to what Obama feels about this.  And that gets into the weeds.

First, I think everyone and their dog knows Obama favors marriage equality.  If the repeal of DADT isn't proof then the decision not to argue in favor of DOMA is the clear giveaway.

The problem is that this sort of narrow band social issue is only really going to move votes AWAY from him.  People who support marriage equality are going to vote for Obama this November anyway.  Most of the people who turn purple screaming over marriage equality are going to vote against him.

Those idiots in the mushy center are up in the air on this.  And since his electoral strategy is really dependent on Virginia, there's a reason why his position is "evolving".  He doesn't want to have this fight.

Clinton in '92 pioneered the War Room and the mastery of the 24 hour news cycle.  Republicans soon matched that.

Obama was elected by ignoring the 24 hour news cycle.  He refused to get involved with the howling monkeys flinging poo at each other on the cable nets. 

This is a monkey flinging poo fight.  If Obama comes out in support of marriage equality, then it might lose him a close election.  If he waits until November, maybe he can lead a Justice department that argues against the constitutionality of DOMA. 

On the other hand, and this is where I think it gets tricky for Obama, if he comes out now taking a strong stand on a somewhat controversial issue, it really highlights the differences with Multiple Choice Mitt.  If their basic line of attack is that Mitt is a cypher for the Radical Right, that Mitt believes nothing and is an empty shell to be filled with whatever ideology that will win him support in that particular moment, then wouldn't taking a stand on gay marriage be a perfect way to highlight that?

"I have come to believe that the state should not stand in the way of two people who love each other.  I realize that this is not popular.  But I also realize it is the right thing to do."

Would that win him votes or lose him votes?

I don't know.

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