Thursday, May 10, 2012

Good Politics or Courageous Moral Stand?

Rachel Maddow laid it out that Obama has been kicking ass on LGBT issues for most of his term, and that his comments about marriage equality yesterday are the "icing on the cake" of his record as the most LGBT-friendly president in history.

Maddow makes some great points, and I highly recommend the video.  Meanwhile, over at The Nation, John Nichols argues that this actually was a brilliant political move. I hadn't considered that. His point is that this move will not hurt Obama, because the anti-gay rights vote is concentrated in states that Obama was not going to win anyway, and that this stance will energize the youth vote, who overwhelmingly support gay rights, and which was one of his key constituencies from the 2008 election.

Not only does Nichols contend that this doesn't hurt Obama and probably helps him, he also argues that it effectively baits his likely opponent into a more staunchly anti-gay position, one that will have an overwhelmingly negative impact on Romney's ability to connect with young voters. I can't really argue with that. So what I thought was a pretty courageous moral stand looks more and more like it might be superb politics as well. Well played, Mr. President.

Shorter Nichols: (Obama made the) bad guy fall in poop (H/T to Zandar at Balloon-Juice):

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