I AM NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE WAYS OF YOUR PEOPLE
Does "M.S." of The Economist's Democracy in America blog live in America? Has he or she ever visited our fair nation?
I ask because it beats the hell out of me how you can be a pro blogger on the "democracy in America" beat and write something like this about President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage:
... It's hard to fault him for making the move, on either political or moral grounds.
But it's probably bad for the cause of gay marriage. Until today, the issue had only a moderate partisan cast. Officially, the Republican Party was opposed to gay marriage, and conservatives quickly responded to Mr Obama's declaration by reaffirming their opposition. But the issue didn't have a high profile, and many Republicans of a more libertarian slant on social issues were steadily coming to the conclusion in recent years that there was no reason why gays shouldn't get married just like anybody else can.
As of today, gay marriage is once again a partisan issue at the heart of a presidential election campaign. Many Republicans who might have had flexible opinions as of yesterday are now going to find themselves psychologically inclined to move towards the party line. Mitt Romney will be forced, within the next hours or days, to come out with a full-throated argument against gay marriage. Republican office-holders will have to vocally support that position. Republican media outfits (Fox News, conservative talk radio, RedState and so forth) will have to join the attack. Millions of GOP voters who otherwise might have gradually reconciled themselves to gay marriage within the next few months will be held back by the ideological alignments created in this presidential campaign.
... The move may help re-elect a president who supports gay marriage. But my feeling is that it will delay the moment when support for the right of gays to marry becomes a widespread American consensus.
"Until today, the issue had only a moderate partisan cast"? Seriously? Name me a prominent Republican officeholder not called Ron Paul who's endorsed marriage equality while in office. Name me a state where Democrats have put a gay marriage referendum on the ballot out of the express desire to see marriage rights shot down in their state. Oh, sure -- a lot of Paulbots are cool with gay marriage, but they have no sway in their party yet on issues other than money and the size of government. (And they're going to change their minds now because of what Obama just said? Really? Did they become interventionists when he started withdrawing troops from Iraq?)
And Mitt Romney needs no persuading to be fully opposed to gay marriage -- after all, he made opposition to it a holy crusade from the minute it was legalized by the Massachusetts Supreme Court.
Yes, I know -- four Republican state senators here in New York broke with their party to support gay marriage -- in return for lots of Wall Street cash. That's four out of 32, in one of the most liberal states in the union.
Trust me, M.S., you really don't get how this works. Marriage equality will happen with a push from Democrats, Paulist renegades, and maybe some mainstream Republicans who are safely out of office. The party mainstream will resist it to the death.