Obama's Marriage Cowardice, Ctd.

Matt disagrees with me about Obama's incoherent position on marriage equality:

I can't peer into Obama's mind and see what he's thinking, but this looks like a political strategy rather than a logically coherent set of statements. Contra Andrew, I don't think chalking this up to "cowardice" is the most reasonable interpretation. If you want to see the cause of marriage equality advanced, you need sympathetic politicians to win elections. If the sympathetic politicians all say things that are politically toxic, they'll just lose and nothing will be accomplished. But if the sympathetic politicians hew to the more politically tenable line that special anti-gay constitutional amendments are wrong and discriminatory, and also appoint the sort of progressive jurists who are likely to look sympathetically on gay rights causes, then you'll get to equality.

I take the point, except no national politician can or will give us marriage equality. It's a state matter, and in those debates, it's worth holding up the incoherence of politicians' public arguments, if only to make our case better. It's not a huge deal to me because the work is being done outside presidential politics and seems oddly detached from it. Look how much progress we made under Bush: a fiercely Christianist president failed to pass the FMA, presided over California and Massachusetts affirming marriage equality and the abolition of all sodomy laws - laws Bush backed when Texas governor. If we can move this far under a Christianist president and, for much of Bush's term, a Republican Congress, the future is bright.