All-star journalist Kerry Eleveld today published a piece at The Daily Beast in which she dissects and analyzes President Obama's "evolving" stance on marriage equality, and explains why the commander-in-chief should take the lead on an issue he's so far relegated to the states.
Here's but a taste of her lucid and compelling argument:
The president’s posture has roiled some Americans. But others have made the case that far from hamstringing the marriage-equality movement, Obama is helping it by wisely withholding his endorsement as the issue simmers and stews at the state level.
“The genius of federalism is that it allowed us to prove that marriage equality would not lead to catastrophe, that it has in fact coincided with a strengthening of straight marriage, that in many states now, the sky has not fallen,” Andrew Sullivan wrote in a Newsweek/Daily Beast post last week entitled A President, Not a Governor. “Obama's defense of federalism in this instance is not a regressive throw-back; it is a pragmatic strategy.”
This logic is founded on two misguided assumptions: 1) that if Obama came out for same-sex marriage, the debate at the state level would somehow grind to a screeching halt; and 2) that Obama’s position exists outside that deliberation, magically affecting neither the content nor the outcome of the debate.
Eleveld also argues that a more progressive position from the president would both help show the Supreme Court, should it hear a case on California's Proposition 8, that the nation's ready for equality, and would raise the bar for other Democratic candidates around the country.
She concludes, "Here is what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt: making a callous argument to justify a political calculation isn’t advancing equality, it’s delaying it."