I get a kick out of how an increasing number of pundits, and politicians, are finding support of gay rights a net positive for Democrats.
[T]he politics of that issue may actually be on Obama’s side. Taking a moral stance on an issue of civil rights reanimated liberal voters who had drifted into disaffection, especially young voters who were crucial to his 2008 victory. Mitt Romney, who didn’t expect the move, found himself in awkward position. With his radical Republican challengers dispatched, conservative positions on social issues were the last thing Romney wanted to emphasize. At a press conference, he called his own opposition to gay marriage “my preference” and declined to criticize Obama for changing his position or pandering to a Democratic special interest group. Romney’s response was essentially a tactical surrender that underscored the inevitably of liberal victory on the issue.
This same dynamic was at play last week when Obama issued an executive order that allows illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to remain in the country. Obama’s unanticipated move aligned sound policy with good politics, reawakening Latino supporters who had lost heart over his failure to get a more comprehensive reform of immigration laws through Congress. The decision will play particularly well in swing states such as Florida, Colorado, and New Mexico, where Hispanic turnout can be decisive.