How Is Obama’s Support Of Same-Sex Marriage A Political Slam Dunk?

Last week President Obama publicly gave his support to same-sex marriage. It’s mostly symbolic since the president maintains that it’s a matter for the states to decide, but it’s important symbolism nonetheless, and immediately and predictably the attacks from the Right began. It’s noteworthy that much of the pushback from the Right has been along the lines of criticizing President Obama on political grounds and not on same-sex marriage itself. In other words, it seems many on the Right, especially Fox News pundits, have been careful in how they are critical of Obama on this issue. Could it be that they are well aware that a majority of the country now supports same-sex marriage?

Much of the critique of Obama’s public support for same-sex marriage from conservative pundits has been that he did it for political gain. Just one problem, it’s not clear this is a political win for the president. While it is true that a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, it’s “just” over the 50% mark. Taking a position that has 51 or 52% support is hardly a slam dunk politically. Sure, Obama got a nice fundraising bump last week, but that doesn’t directly translate into real votes in November. The safest thing politically would have been to remain silent on this issue until after the election, even in light of Vice President Joe Biden’s open support for same-sex marriage. The country has indeed moved a long way in a short time, but nearly half the country still opposes same-sex marriage.

There is no way you can spin this to make it seem as if it’s a slam dunk for President Obama, but those who are looking for any avenue to attack Obama for political gain won’t stop trying.


Election 2012Marriage EqualityPolitics

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