In 2004, the conventional wisdom was that John Kerry lost in part because Republicans supercharged evangelical turnout using gay marriage ballot initiatives and in part because Democrats needed candidates who seemed, in some hard-to-define way, more tough and “American.” No more French-speaking windsurfers.

Four years later, Democrats won with an African-American candidate named Barack Hussein Obama who opposed the Iraq War, and eight years later that candidate endorsed gay marriage in an election year.

So much for the conventional wisdom, I guess. Chris Cillizza has more on the politics. Adam Serwer notes that, in policy terms, Obama’s position is identical to that of...Dick Cheney. Still, for the President of the United States to say that he personally supports gay marriage is, as Joe Biden would put it, a big you-know-what deal.