TRIUMPH OF HOPE OVER EXPERIENCE. I'm really eager to be convinced that Jacob Weisberg is right and that the gay marriage issue won't work for the GOP this time around. But man oh man am I not convinced by his reasoning:

A second reason the issue won't work again is that Democrats have by now figured out how to handle the issue. It is reasonable to assume that a great many of them would, in their heart of hearts, like to see gay marriage legalized. But they recognize that pressing the case nationally is likely to set back the cause as well as their prospects for retaking Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008. So, Democrats have honed their talking points on the subject: Marriage should be an issue for states (the federalist position usually espoused by Republicans); the amendment is discriminatory and would also ban civil unions, which most people favor (this is an unsettled question); and why tinker unnecessarily with the Constitution, especially while the Defense of Marriage Act is in force?

The problem here is that's exactly what they said last time. John Kerry didn't run on a gay marriage-for-all platform and neither did anyone else in a close race. They tried precisely this nuanced take, and it didn't work very well.

--Matthew Yglesias

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