Laughing All the Way to the White House
Barack Obama is in favor of gay marriage. He's in favor of it in the same way he supports closing Gitmo: It's a nice thing to be in favor of, he's just not going to do anything about it.
And that's fine, really, in the case of gay marriage. His opinion of what to do about it (nearly) matches my own. Gay marriage is a totally new thing whose time may be coming, but let the states -- let the people -- come to grips with it at their own rates. Thirty years from now everyone, even folks in North Carolina, will wonder what all the fuss was about. And that's as it should be.
However, this is not a case a progressive Democrat may reasonably make. Progressives believe the crushing power of the state is theirs to wield to get their way on everything from what health insurance people must buy, to which light bulbs they may not. And now we're supposed to buy, "except for letting the gays marry?" Hell, if the progs thought they could get away with it -- and give them four more years on Pennsylvania Avenue and they will -- they'd mandate that the Catholic Church perform the ceremonies. And in drag.
So Joe Biden put his boss in a difficult position. Biden said straight out (no pun intended) that he's all in favor of gay marriage. It wasn't a big deal when Dick Cheney said the same thing, because he's known to have respect for federalism, and because his boss was known for at least paying the notion some lip service. But when a progressive Veep says it, prog expectations are raised that his boss will wield the mighty power of state to do something. It's what they do.
But this is in an election year, with the president losing his grip -- has lost his grip? -- on the independents who will choose November's winner. And this election isn't 30 years from now. It's six months from now, and gay marriage is still very much a fussy issue, especially in swing states the Democrats need.
First, David Axelrod came out (again, no pun intended) to walk it back, and insist that the White House was not, in fact, going to push for gay marriage. But then the next day Arne Duncan walked back the walk back, and said that, yes, he's in favor. Obama was faced with a Veep and a cabinet officer making an issue out of an issue he'd been happy to "evolve" on, flexibly, until after the election. So then finally on Tuesday Obama settled on a Modified Limited Gitmo: Say some nice things while sitting on his hands.
Needless to say, the progressive Left is all up in arms over Obama's "bullshit" maneuver. They know and understand the Modified Limited Gitmo, and they don't like it one bit. Over the course of two days, Obama managed to appear like a vacillating weakling while annoying the middle and seriously pissing off his base.
The word you're looking for here is "SCoaMF." But it gets worse. Happily, wonderfully, gigglingly worse.