A reader vents to the president:

You're the product of a relationship that would have been illegal in parts of the country only a generation ago, you're a liberal activist who grew up in the '70s and '80s, and you're a goddamned Constitutional scholar.  Fifteen years ago you supported our civil rights, so what's changed?  Oh right - you became a national political figure.  Now you say you're going to fight for our rights with one face, while standing idle or even actively opposing us with the other. 

Oh well, I'm sure you'll finish your evolution (or is that devolution?) after you're out of office, like every Democrat before you who could only muster political "courage" once there were no repercussions to fear.  And we'll hear grand moving speeches where you'll proclaim:

I think, what made me change my mind, I looked up and said look at all of this stuff you’re for. I realized that I was over 60 years old, I grew up at a different time, and I was hung up about the word. I had all these gay friends, I had all these gay couple friends, and I was hung up about it. And I decided I was wrong.

Oh wait, that was Bill Clinton - a decade after his presidency and a year after his wife's candidacy ended.

Another writes:

How can you applaud Obama for his pragmatism against Republicans but lambaste him for his strategy on DADT and DOMA?  And I think it is a pragmatic strategy - another example of his long game.  Even now, with congressional Democrats in the majority, he doesn't have the votes to repeal DADT or DOMA.  From that quote, and other things he's said, I believe he wants to do both, but knows he loses Blue Dog Democrats if he tries now or even admits that he wants to. In a better economy, he might be able to twist those arms, but Democrats are too vulnerable right now. 

I think Obama's priorities are:  fix the economy (or at least keep Republican from sending it further into the tank), get re-elected, and fight for the hot-button issues (DADT, DOMA, immigration) when the environment is better for Democrats and he's not trying to ensure another term.  Is it what I, or any of us, would like him to do?  Of course not.  But I don't see how he can play it any other way.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.