Andrew Sullivan asks "where's the fierce urgency of now?" with regards to Barack Obama and gay marriage, the movement towards which he describes as "The Civil Rights Movement of our time".
I think it's useful to remember that the Civil Rights Movement was not lead by elected officials, but actually by community leaders who engaged in very serious and prolonged arm-twisting of elected officials and pressure government institutions in their quest for equality under the law. I think criticism of Obama is warranted on this front, but I also think it's silly to expect politicians to play roles they've not historically been known to play. Obama is no MLK, and he's not even really a leader in the traditional civil rights mold. Those kinds of leaders need to not be able to care what voters think.
-- A. Serwer