MAY 10, 2012 12:56PM

Analysis Of Obama's Hand Being Forced on Gay Marriage

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Some Democrats are complaining already about the President's decision to say that he didn't oppose gay marriage, when you read between the first read lines, even though President Obama's hand pretty much got forced on gay marriage by the North Carolina referendum, in the end.
In a presidential election year, his hemming and hawing on that issue wouldn't survive a vote like that, as to looking indcisive, and Biden made that obvious, probably because that's how he saw it too, if that could be a deal too; who knows these things really at that level.
Why did the Republicans put that issue on the ballot?
Because it brought back fond memories of the same thing in Ohio in 2004, so, what's the percentage in looking waffling at that point really?
At least by making that call now, you can't say that the President doesn't have any willingness to offend people who really don't like him much anyway, something a lot of Democrats have complained about already.
The author by the way hopes that Indian tribes should adopt gay couples so to speak as to Tribal Court jurisdiction, as to the Full Faith and Credit Clause issue going away, but that's a "modest proposal" for another post as to the intrinsic Federal issue raised where there is a convenient and functional anomaly in our legal order as to the Tribes having sovereignty over some matters.
In the final analysis of the President's decision on gay marriage on a more practical level, presumably as to Tribal Court, President Obama has a constituency that cares a lot about that, most of... whom actually are not gay, but just vey socially to the Left on that issue, and in an election year, people like that have to feel like that they aren't being used.

The Republicans have a Base that cares about that too, the latter being why that got put on the ballot where the Democrats are having their convention, and where winning North Carolina seals things for Obama in 2012, just like Ohio in 2004, same strategy.
In the end, the net political effect will obviously be to polarize the electorate, to force people to make choices, which the North Carolina referendum did, which is a good strategy, potentially, unless we need to be ready to crush Iran, North Korea, and then face down Russia and China all at once, because Iran knows Israel is getting ready to strike, and North Korea knows that if Iran goes it's next under the bus, and so, their fates are wedded together.
Then you might want to avoid too much of a food fight, on the theory that atheistic Chinese and non-Orthodox Christians and Idol worshippers per the Kims and crazed Shia Mulsims might be worse enemies than the United States than some homosexuals. 
But as to domestic context, as to Democrat whining and Republican gloating, the net effect will clearly hurt Obama in the Deep South, but which he would lose anyway pretty much, if North Carolina hurts, and maybe in places like Ohio and PA too, and Indianna.
On the other hand, he threw a bone to a base that is the mirror image of the Republicans as to really caring about that issue, and so will be more motivated to donate, vote etc.
Who is more motivated will determine the net impact on winning the general election. In the end, if people probably don't really like you that much anyway, and hell will freeze over before Barrack Obama carries Mississippi or Alabama, if he's sad to see North Carolina go, maybe you just live with that ,and then go with your long-term friends, meaning that there were risks for the Republicans in that strategy too, if net it probably makes this year for a closer race, slightly.
finis

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You make a lot of assumption I don't agree with. You emphasize the political aspect of his decision, ignoring the fact that this is a man with a conscience who was truly wrestling with this decision, though the timing was, of course, affected by events.

The country now favors equal rights on this issue by by a small margin, but the trend is clearly toward acceptance. In the end, I think many will grow in respect for Obama, and this decision will either not hurt much or will help him or it will be a wash. And i believe that NC will remain in play. The braying of pundits on TV can largely be ignored. Or should be.
Patrick, I didn't make an assumption he didn't feel that way, just that literally after the North Carolina vote, zero choice, which was the point of putting that on the ballot in the first place, as a classic wedge issue, if, one with risks for Republicans too.
The NY Times put out a story as to the risk, not me, although that was an obvious fact of life.
Mary, the country has a lot of problems I would agree, starting with the near disintegration of marriage among white working class folks, and in the Red States most, which no one is talking about. It wasn't perfect when I grew up in Alabama, but, there's a lot of stuff out there that's not so great, like meth and crack all over the place for starters, dirty little secret as to crack being lots of white folks hit the pipe, and heroin now too, and die all the time; nothing shocking.
You want to do some good, deal with that stuff it seems to me, but no one will get elected saying that. Nobody.
I had a cousin in rural Georgia, sweet as could be, pretty close until about the age of 10, and we gradually lost touch, like a lot of extended family that was still alive when I was a child, but not by the time I was about 20; She sold the family Bible for rock. There were problems in rural working class America, but not that kind of stuff so much, or ever. The media I think and consumerism aren't very helpful in places like that, as to making people feel increasingly small in rural America, when if nothing else, in wartime, absent the use of nuclear weapons, we will need them.
Act of conscience or not, I applaud it and I think it will have political consequences. Unlike a lot of others, I think those consequences will be positive for the President.

Obama has spent the last four years learning that being conciliatory to Republicans worked about as well as appeasement worked with Hitler - he governed as a moderate but was vilified as a radical anyway. So, he didn't pick up any of the Right but alienated his base; not what he expected, given that he rose to prominence on the basis of a speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention advocating a refusal to demonize the opposition.

If the Right is still buying into anything they can about him, like that he's a Kenyan agent and closet Muslim who was too close to his pastor who's pushing a horribly radical health plan that was actually authored originally by the Heritage Foundation and implimented by his Republican opponent, he might as well energize the base. The gay marriage statement will certainly do that. At this point, I think he has more to gain than to lose.