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):