Opening Act: House Divided

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 10 2012 8:15 AM

Opening Act: House Divided

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Patrons walk by the Stonewall Inn, a historic gay bar in Greenwich Village, after President Barack Obama announced today that same sex couples should be able to get married on May 9, 2012 in New York City. The president made the comments in an interview with ABC television following comments by Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday where he stated that he was 'absolutely comfortable' with couples of the same gender marrying. President Obama is the first American president to come out in favor of gay marriage. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Time to Newsweek: Oh yeah? Try and top this.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

ThinkProgress, like Alec McGillis before it, catches Richard Mourdock in a Civil War mood.

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Nathaniel Frank on why Obama's opinion matters to gays.

John Dickerson on why Obama should thank Biden.

The administration policy on marriage equality was a jerky spasm of winks and nods. It was the domestic equivalent of the "One China Policy," the strategic ambiguity that allows the United States to support Taiwan but not support its bid for independence, which angers China. It’s policy by omission, not commission. It's not a policy that makes sense entirely, but it's a nonpolicy that everyone has agreed to simply treat like it makes sense. (The agreement that Starbucks makes good coffee is the consumer product equivalent.)

And Democrats raise money off of it.

Meanwhile, Pema Levy talks to legislators, putting together the first piece that really explains why a presidential musing that changes nothing legally has an effect politically.

Maureen Walsh, a Republican state representative in Washington, which legalized gay marriage earlier this year, became an internet sensation in February when she broke ranks with her Republican colleagues and made an impassioned speech in favor of a gay marriage bill in her state. “It is kind of an evolutionary process,” Walsh, who is straight and has a daughter who is gay, told TPM. “And I can relate to that because I recall being of the belief that it’s all semantics, why do you need the word marriage?” she said. “But then you really learn that it goes beyond the issue of semantics, right to the core of the issue.”

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.