Marriage Equality: Time to Look Beyond Obama
In a blog entry at the Huffington Post, David Kaufman tackles critics of President Barack Obama who hold him responsible for the fate of marriage equality. Kaufman says that the debate obscures a larger issue, which is that the battle will ultimately involve the Senate or Supreme Court.
Like a pesky hurricane season or annual allergy affliction, self-appointed marriage-equality machers are once again commanding our commander-in-chief to "evolve already" in his support for same-sex marriage. This time it's Joe Sudbay, the AMERICAblog editor who originally elicited President Obama's now famous "attitudes evolve, including mine" retort just over 500 days ago. Writing for this site, Sudbay scolds the president for holding tight on the marriage question while issuing a litany of doomsy prognostics if he fails to evolve immediately.
Trading original thinking for boilerplate bombast, Sudbay regurgitates the same-same set of facts, stats, and figures employed by his boredom-inducing brethren in the quest to attack Obama's inaction: that the president is behind popular "progressive" sentiment; that he risks alienating his LGBT/leftist base; and that anti-equality types will vote against him regardless of how he evolves. As Sudbay sees it, with marriage equality a likely anchor of this summer's Democratic Party platform and a given in 2016's election cycle, the president's evolution is essential for party cohesion, effective media messaging, and all-around progressive good cheer.
The problem with Sudbay's calculus, beyond its painful banality, is that it's all theory and little action. Deadened by demands and laden with soulless simplicity, Sudbay's self-serving missive fails to account for the very real, and still very uncertain, political pathway ahead. Sure, he acknowledges that "rhetorical gay-bashing will be a regular element of [the GOP] nominee's campaign." But his lack of critical, and certainly intellectual, analysis renders this statement both hollow and hapless. By minimizing the Republican threat, Sudbay hopes to maximize the president's own personal shortcomings while insinuating the (false) existence of political parity on the marriage debate.
Read David Kaufman's entire blog entry at the Huffington Post.