Got To Let It Show
You knew that Obama would toss his long-suffering liberal fans election-year crumbs, and he did, right on cue.
Naturally, his lib fans went berserk with glee, wetting their fingers to catch every speck. Praise unto Our President! they shouted from the floor. History shifts once again!
I don't recall liberals praising Dick Cheney for taking the exact same position on gay marriage. You'd think they'd be more impressed with a oil-soaked reactionary's pro-queer turn.
But no: Cheney remained an evil war criminal who belonged in prison. Who cared what he personally thought about gay rights? His other positions negated that. Fuck Dick and his weak opportunism.
Now comes Obama, saying precisely what Cheney said, only this time the heavens parted, earth trembled, the cosmos aligned in a more progressive direction. It didn't matter that this was Obama's personal, not political, opinion.
Nor was the fact that Obama leaves gay marriage to the states particularly troubling. Indeed, facts meant relatively nothing to the faithful. It was all about feeling, projection, wishful thinking. In other words, nothing's changed.
As with everything he says, Obama's statement was calculated. He conferred with pollsters, advisers, and handlers before taking the Cheney step, knowing full well that his liberal base would come crawling. (You have to love the bit about consulting his "neighbors," as if he was weeding the backyard and struck up a gay marriage conversation with the woman next door while she hanged her laundry to dry.)
He also knows that younger voters overwhelmingly either approve of gay marriage or maintain no strong opinion about it, and that's where the future lies. Older white reactionaries see Obama as a foreign-born Islamo-commie, so nothing he says pro or con will affect their outlook. Plus, that demographic is fading away, which doubtless accounts for their increasingly crazy views. Overall, Obama played it perfectly.
Now, you might point to Obama's murderous foreign policies, his expansion and strengthening of the surveillance state, his aggressive support for the Drug War, his coddling of corporate power, etc., and wonder how his gay marriage stance mitigates all that. Well, it doesn't.
As recent polls have shown, a large percentage of liberals support many of Obama's horrid positions, particularly his increased use of drones (which are coming to a city near you). Obama's reelection image is Warrior President, tougher than Romney, ballsier than the entire GOP. Mix in some pseudo-populist rhetoric, rail against the very corporate forces that keep him in power, play the gay marriage hand right down the middle, and a second term is all but inevitable.
Romney has a lot of work ahead. I don't see how he lines up with, much less defeats, Obama in November. Anything's possible, but Romney doesn't strike me as a come-from-behind maverick. Then again, that's my personal opinion. I'll leave it to the states to decide.