Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Political Courage

President Obama showed real courage in coming out in favor of same-sex marriage in an election year.  There are those who have said that the President's hand was forced by Joe Biden's declaration that he is comfortable with same-sex marriage.  And those who say that the President should have spoken up sooner.  Even those, like the Log Cabin Rebuplicans who fault the President for speaking up the day after the voters of North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment to make sure that such marriages are impossible in that state.  (Proving that even a gay Rebuplican is still a Rebuplican.)

Don't believe it.  The fact is that the President's position will cost him votes.  It will cost him among groups that supported him heavily in 2008--blacks, Hispanics, even Orthodox Jews.  Some of those voters are in swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.  Mr. Obama's declaration will not help him in the aforesaid North Carolina, either, which he won last time by only 14,000 votes.

True, had Mr. Obama maintained his former Delphic position, he would have looked awkward.  Increasingly so.  But he could have lived with that.

Political courage is rare at any time.  And especially so less than six months before an election.

Let's be clear:  this writer still believes that the stories about how tight the race is owe more to the press' need to write something than to reality, and that in the end the results will not be close.  But it will be closer than it looked before the President made his declaration.    

1 comment:

Michael A. Burstein said...

What I'm wondering is if the Obama campaign had a spike in donations yesterday after his announcement. (I know that we made a donation.)