It’s been an interesting few days. On the one hand, President Obama and the national Democratic Party continue to inch closer and closer to a formal embrace of gay marriage. You can believe that Biden’s comments and Arne’s comments were off-the-cuff and unscripted, ala the New York Times’ take; or you can believe (as I do) that they are part of some very careful political choreography; but in either case, one of our two national parties, at least at the elite level, has now all but made it official in favor of gay marriage.
Meanwhile, in the swing state of North Carolina, apparently most people didn’t get the memo. On Amendement One, which would constitutionally ban not only gay marriage (which is already illegal in NC) but also civil unions and domestic partnerships, the antis were working with a major fundraising advantage (apparently a 2 to 1 advantage, ht to out-of-state liberals) and the support of great numbers of oh-so-impressive-at-least-so-they-think elites and other commentators, both in the state and outside of it (including yours truly and Elizabeth Marquardt), but today the people of North Carolina actually got to vote, and the yeses have won, apparently decisively.
I’m not sure, but my sense is that elites in most places in both parties are now essentially pro-ssm, either because they believe in it, or because they don’t want to fight it anymore. But most grass roots voters, including super-strong majorities in many parts of the Sunbelt, clearly aren’t buying, at least yet, notwithstanding the larger trends in national pubic opinion toward greater support for recognition of gay and lesbian families and for gay rights in general, especially among the young. Are we now headed for a long end-game, blue/red-state culture war that also sharply pits the two parties against one another? (Sigh.) What do you all think?