To borrow a phrase from the poet T.S. Eliot, it's likely that the gay marriage issue will impact the 2012 presidential race not with a bang, but a whimper.
Barack Obama's seven historic words ("same-sex couples should be able to get married") would have been unthinkable just eight years ago, and that's the point. Full equality for gay people is the new normal. It's the majority sentiment in the polls, a trend that will only strengthen with time. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
There has been much commentary, these past few days, about how the president's remarks were politically risky, especially in an election year. I disagree. Obama felt comfortable coming out on gay marriage after calculating that such a stance carried little political risk.