Reinforces my view of him as a being, first and foremost, another triangulating politician. The decision was undoubtedly that of, or greatly influenced by, political hacks.
Very little - I think it's consistent with the pragmatic, cautious liberalism that has characterized the Obama administration in other policy areas.Fwiw, I find it very tiresome that some liberals seem annoyed that this new position was (at least partially) driven by politics, and not by pure conviction. This has it backwards! If it was just driven by personal conviction, it wouldn't actually be that significant - it would just be one guy changing his mind. The fact that it was driven (at least partially) by politics is much more profound and important - it shows that the incentives now support (at least some) politicians doing the right thing. That's hugely important for any kind of permanent progress.
I would have expected this at some point, that it happens now doesn't change my view of Obama. At any rate, his views on the matter are not important.
Changes my view a little bit to the positive, though I was already an Obama supporter. I believed he supported gay marriage but was declining to say so publicly for political reasons. I felt that the politics had changed, so that supporting gay marriage would be either a wash or moderately helpful politically, so was impatient for him to announce his support. He did, so I'm happy.
Well, Obama was for it before he was against it and then for it again. Since I'm pretty sure he was always for it, this doesn't change what I think about him personally. I'm not sure I understand his reasoning (states' rights?!) and I think it's unlikely he'll push for significant policy change on the federal level... But as GW says, looking at all this with a cynical eye is really going to cause us to miss the important stuff. This IS progress and, for gays themselves, it will help advance the evolution towards greater social acceptance.
It was also a brilliant political move for Obama - he gives civil libertarians "skin in the game" for 2012, without compromising the secrecy-security state that liberals are rightfully concerned about.
After the horror of AIDS, it seems like a lot of gay couples settled down and began to think about the future. Then they started to raise children. That's why my kids find marriage discrimination against gays mind-boggling - because they have friends with gay parents. Who raise their kids exactly like the hetero parents do.When you're on the PTA with two-three gay couples, you rapidly come to the same mindset. So if one child-rearing couple out of thirty is gay, they can change the minds of dozens of people.You can argue that it was a political decision on the President's part, and that's almost certainly true. However, I've argued here before that people cannot be given civil rights. A group must assert their right to equal treatment, or else it can be taken away when the other side comes back to power. Everything President Obama has done for the gay community has been in that spirit. Including this.
I think he's a little bit closer to actually earning that Nobel Peace Prize.
He was trapped into the admission by Biden. He is still a sniveling little coward who has to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into doing the right thing.
Judgmental, aren't we?
Awww. Did the mean ol' president hurt your fee-fees?
Awww. Did the mean ol' commenter hurt your fee-fees?
Umm, didn't Jonathan ask for judgment?Also, doesn't this string of Anonymous postings look kind of funny?
Especially, the big, brave, Anonymous bully......said Anonymous!
In practice, this changes relatively little. Obama already had me on a lot of policy issues regarding LGBT people, many of which have gotten through without congressional involvement. I'm mostly just relieved not to hear contorted explanations about why he wouldn't take that position anymore. Those slippery positions pissed me off.
Doesn't change my view on him much. I think it's consistent with his approach of gradual but firm progress on LGBT equality issues. I'm under no illusions that his announcement is going to instantly persuade anyone, but I do think the way he presented his 'evolution' might resonate with some of the on-the-fencers and soft opposition crowd. I don't know if his particular evolution narrative is authentic, but it is one that has been and will be repeated by many Americans out there.
Wow. This comment thread seems to really be conflating the medium and the message. If you're unhappy with progress unless it comes from a white knight in shining armor, and don't want "another triangulating politician", I'd hate to hear what you have to say about LBJ, FDR or Lincoln. The messenger is always flawed, the progress always incremental and n/m of a loaf. Its the long arc of the moral universe that bends toward justice.
It improves my feelings towards the President alot to see him take a clear, progressive position on an issue where there is some political risk for him and in direct contradiction of the position of the Republican Party. Also it was the right thing for him to do, so doing otherwise would have been to do the wrong thing. Now he needs to show the same forward thinking on climate change.
Addition by subtraction. I disliked the previous position as so transparently ducking the question as to be kinda sickening.
I don't care about Obama's opinion; I care about what he plans to do politically (in this case, nothing). And that doesn't appear to have changed at all, so at least for now nothing significant has changed..
At The Washington Post
At The American Prospect