The case: Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America. The result: the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Well, at least until the Obama Justice Department inevitably appeals Judge Virginia A. Phillips' injunction, that is. What a topsy-turvy world! A Republican group scoring an important victory for gay rights? The Democratic administration fighting to keep the deeply unpopular status quo?
What the hell is going on here? Admittedly, matters more complex than I'm making them sound. The Log Cabins are generally out-of-step with their party. Yet, arch-bogeyman Dick Cheney favors gay marriage. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is bound by precedent to uphold the current law of the land. Yet, liberal-savior President Obama is against gay marriage.
Again, what the hell is going on here? Politics, of course. Regarding gay marriage, the Log Cabins, who have little sway, are hardly the voice of their party. And Dick Cheney has nothing to lose now. Obama, on the other hand, made what is most likely a politically motivated statement while campaigning, to appeal to the center, and now has to stick to it.
I doubt Obama actually believes gay marriage is a bad thing, and I think most Americans, be they for or against gay marriage, agree with me. Obama has already condemned DADT. He even pledged to end it this year. Yet, if Obama holds to a politically expedient position, what does that say about him? Will Democrats applaud his so-called integrity?
This is Obama's moment. I'm no fan of his, but I hope he lives up to his promise to end DADT. Obama has a choice: politics or principles. Now that he has the chance, let's see if, yes, he can make the right decision.
Update: Andrew Sullivan makes the same points, more eloquently of course.
[Mirrored on Cultural Minefield.]