Elrond wrote: I think Obama had to pull something like this to prove his liberal bona fides.
Hardly. The last thing Obama needs is to appear more liberal in the contested states of Florida, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, Nevada.
Elrond wrote:I don't doubt that he supported this all along, but was too cautious. Better late than never.
No, better later than never, better later than now.
By what measure has Obama suffered politically from a cautious position? You are not viewing this with a cold, calculating eye, you are projecting your personal satisfaction at Obama's public stance.
This premature announcement could easily set-back the cause of gay rights. Imagine if conservatives capture the white house, and add two more conservative supreme court justices.
On the other hand, there are plausible scenerio's where this could help Obama, for instance the Republicans could overplay their hand, change subject to social issues instead of economy. But I think most analysts see more potential downside for Obama.
Obama made announcement because he was cornered.
Elrond wrote:Ross Douthat is great at sideways apologetics for the Republican party line, and nothing he says should be taken in any other way.
I largely agree about the first part, but that doesn't mean he isn't insightful, or is always wrong. Dems don't have complete monopoly on wisdom. Blinders are for the tea party.
Elrond wrote:I see this as a sign of confidence that Romney has no serious 'culture war' ammunition, and that the Obama campaign is less worried than they might be.
State-by-state voting patterns suggest that you are mistaken, gay marriage is not yet a winning issue. The 50-50 national polling split does not hold in swing states. And I heard today that actual voting is about 7 percent more anti-gay marriage than people admit in polls. Anti-gay state referendums have a 30-0 record.
I hope the announcement will have negligible effect.