One Battle Won, One Battle Lost on the Way to V-Gay Day:
No shit that it was a political calculation. In one of the most ignorant, backwards-ass editorials you'll read on the subject, the conservative roach swatter known as the National Review (motto: "Consistently against civil rights since before the Mulatto president was born") opined against President Barack Obama's statement that "I think same-sex couples should be able to get married." Said "the Editors" (which really just means an intern being flogged by Jonah Goldberg before he jacks off at his desk to pictures of his mom, or, as it's called at their office, "Firing a Derbyshire"), Obama's "dishonesty is not merely a matter of pretending that he has truly changed his mind about marriage, rather than about the politics of marriage."
Of course it was political. The nation, as whole, has shifted towards supporting gay marriage. Actually, let's be a little more cynical about this. The Rude Pundit believes that when you see a poll that says, as a recent Pew one does, "65 percent of college-educated white women and 68 percent of whites under 30 backed the idea," what you're really seeing is that large swaths of the population just don't give a jolly rat shit about who's marrying who. The Rude Pundit talks on a regular basis to voters under 30 and to college-educated white women. You know what most of them say about gay marriage? "I don't care. If you wanna get married, get married. Now, pass the bowl."
What happened in North Carolina and has happened in 30 other states to their constitutions is less about a national feeling against allowing gays and lesbians to fuck connubially than a feeling among most straight Americans of "who the fuck cares?"
In North Carolina, where Amendment 1 passed, saying that no way, no how are gays gonna be able to be happy and, oh, all of you living in sin can go fuck yourselves, too, the turnout was 34% of registered voters (for comparison, 70% voted in the presidential election in 2008). So that's 61% of 34%, which, by the Rude Pundit's awesome ability to use a calculator, means about 21% of registered voters in North Carolina voted to ban everything but man-on-woman marriage. (Suck it, Nate Silver.)
And when you break it down by county, the ones with the highest turnout are the dirt-poor rural ones where, you can bet, every Jesus-licking church was busing the seniors and mountain inbreds to the polls. Mitchell County in far western NC, where the county seat is the town of Analrape, the turnout was over 50%. In Mecklenburg County, where Charlotte is, the turnout was 28%. Because for the most part, straight people don't give a fuck if gays get married.
So what are the lessons of the last 36 hours or so in the unstoppable march of rights?
1. The next step for gay marriage activists is to figure out a way to harness the power of the apathy of large swaths of the straight population. Get them to the polls. The best way to do this? Ask: Who do you wanna stand with? Americans who just want the same rights as everyone else who happen to be the people who create a lot of the entertainment you love? Or this guy:
However it happened, though, it's pretty crazy cool to have the President say, "Okay, fine, get married, mazel tov."
As a political calculation, it diminishes Mitt Romney in ways that make him seem nearly microscopic in moral stature. It drives a wedge between Romney and moderates. And, whatever differences we have with the President, and there are many, it energizes progressives enough to be willing to get in the game again.
As a message, it is a seismic shift in American identity. No, it doesn't change anything in the short term. But as a symbolic gesture, it's like the first time a dude you're crushing on invites you back to his place for a beer and a blow job. Ah, refreshing and satisfying, with real, genuine hope for the future.