What Kay Hagan tells us about gay marriage

So, NC’s incredibly risk-averse Democratic Senator Kay Hagan finally came out in favor of gay marriage today.  Plenty of speculation about how this might hurt her for the general election, but I’m pretty convinced otherwise.  As much as for any reason because I don’t think Hagan would do this if she thought it might cost her the election.  The initial report I read came from the N&O included this line:

“I’m not interested in playing political pundit,” Hagan said when asked how she thought her stance would affect her re-election prospects. “I’ve never made a decision based on future elections.”

I think I laughed out loud when I read that.  Hagan is a very calculating politician.  Thus, when a very calculating politician makes this move, it tells us that more likely than not, it’s a winning one.   Somewhat to my dismay, gay marriage has become the sine qua non of liberal politics.  I think Hagan realized that she could not afford to further alienate/antagonize the liberal base on this issue and with politics changing so fast her benefit from pleasing the left would likely outweigh lost 2014 voters, as most of those anti gay marriage voters were never available to her anyway.

You can watch me break it down in highly-edited format for the local news here.

I also wanted to share Seth Masket’s comment about a similar call from Virginia Senator Mark Warner:

Hackish centrist, running for reelection statewide in Virginia, not known for taking a strong stance on anything, has just endorsed same sex marriage because he thinks it will help him keep his job. *That’s* what change looks like.

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Photo of the day

From the Telegraph’s photos of the week.  Awesome:

A bolt of lightning flashes in an erupting volcano in Japan in this photo taken by German photographer Martin Rietze at Sakurajima volcano, Japan. Sakurajima had been silent for 100 years when there was a huge eruption in 1914 which swallowed up nearby islands and created an isthmus to the mainland, ending its life as an island.  Sakurajima's rumbled into life again in 1955 and has been erupting almost constantly ever since.

A bolt of lightning flashes in an erupting volcano in Japan in this photo taken by German photographer Martin Rietze at Sakurajima volcano, Japan. Sakurajima had been silent for 100 years when there was a huge eruption in 1914 which swallowed up nearby islands and created an isthmus to the mainland, ending its life as an island. Sakurajima’s rumbled into life again in 1955 and has been erupting almost constantly ever since.Picture: Martin Rietze/National

Top 10 reasons to oppose gay marriage

As seen on FB. This is really, really good:

The Supreme Court and gay marriage

Honestly, don’t have a whole lot to say on the subject.  Is it wrong of me to be a little bothered on all the red equals signs in my FB feed today.  Supporting gays– hooray?  Conformity– boo?  Just too much a Members Only jacket for my tastes.  Also, I’ve used this caveat before and surely will again, but I know it’s easy for me to say “be patient” but same-sex marriage is so, just a matter of time.   Honestly, the on-line headline for Dana Milbank’s column pretty much says it all, “Equality is Inevitable  the Supreme Court can only slow the march to gay marriage.”  Yep, that’s pretty much the case.  As for what the Court will decide, I really don’t expect any sort of Roe v. Wade moment where the court simply declares there’s a nation-wide right to gay marriage.  I do, however, expect that they will strike down DOMA and that this will just accelerate what is already an amazingly rapid change in public opinion.   I’m not going to hazard a time-line on when two gay people can get married to each other in Alabama or Mississippi, but where once I thought that was surely many decades away, I don’t really think that’s the case anymore.

Meanwhile, Wonkblog put together 9 charts that make the same point.  I like this one because it shows the change across all age groups:

pew1

I also think these two related charts a very big part of the story (i.e,. hooray to those who came out when it really wasn’t easy):

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