President Obama made big news yesterday, through Eric Holder, when the administration announced that they would no longer be defending the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court. This, of course, is great news for those us us who hope for marriage equality in our country. Earlier this month, Bill Maher caused a bit of a kerfluffle by suggesting, on his show, that Obama is not really against gay marriage, and that he is not really a Christian. Instead, Maher said, he suspects that Obama is secular humanist, like his mother was. Guest and outspoken liberal Christian Cornel West wasn’t buying it:
It seems that Maher was right, at least on the issue of same sex marriage. I have long suspected that Obama’s hesitancy on issues of marriage equality was an issue of political pragmatism, at which he seems to be a master. In fact, the timing of this shows Obama’s savvy: buried behind headlines of revolution in the Middle East, protest in Wisconsin, a massive earthquake in New Zealand, and the always simmering economic news, Obama drops the first shoe on same sex marriage. A topic that would, in quieter times, make the front page is now below the fold, and will be subject to little analysis. It won’t be on the cover of TIME next week. It’s just another quiet step on the journey to equality.