This morning, I suggested that the best way for President Obama to get out of the bind on gay marriage was to follow his heart, which I presumed would lead him to support same sex marriages. Today, he did, and whatever the political consequences, he is on the right side of progress.
But since this is a political blog, I will also say that I think that this decision is beneficial for the president's prospects. It restores the view of him as a principled, idealistic leader who is not afraid to do what is right. The alternative— to parse and hem and haw— would have diminished him tremendously. Yes, the president has given more fodder to his opponents, but their stockpiles runneth over already. More importantly, today Obama reminded his supporters why they were so excited about him four years ago.