Note: Announcement today slightly skews, but does not change, my perspective. If anything, like his late answer on a public option, it reinforces the point.
Gay marriage is becoming this news cycle’s public option debate. The problem Obama now faces is not whether he supports it, or how the political fallout of supporting it might affect him. The problem is that while he dithers, the issue burns, and has already now bypassed him. Lack of resolve quickly becomes lack of relevance.
And now, what he has to face is not the courage of owning up to a position, but the fear of whether he even has the moral authority as a leader for his position to matter. It seems that is the source of hesitation, more than his need for his position to “evolve.” No matter how evolved or un-evolved it is, the time for taking a position is past. Coming out with one now only would only force him to recognize that what he thinks of the issue doesn’t matter, and he does not want to come to terms with that recognition, especially if stating a position is forced on him by circumstances. Once again, his opportunity to lead has been squandered. It’s not “leading from behind” it’s “failing to lead while behind.”