Michael Barone

On gay rights, we also see something in the nature of a truce. Polls suggest majority support for Congress' repeal of the ban on open gays in the military, and the Marine Corps commandant, who opposed the change, promised to work hard to implement it.

Same-sex marriage is accepted in Massachusetts and nearly gained majority support in referenda in Maine and California. But many states have passed constitutional amendments banning it. It is unlikely to pass muster with voters or legislators in most of the South anytime soon, if only because most black voters are opposed (blacks voted 70 percent against it in California). American history is a long chronicle of, among other things, people with different views on religious and cultural issues living in more or less close and amicable proximity with one another. Sometimes that's hard, when government faces binary issues (should abortion be legal?) that must be decided one way or the other.

But on the cultural issues that have been the focus of political contention, we seem to have reached a status quo that, while not acceptable to some with strong views on both sides, is one most Americans can live with. The truce that Mitch Daniels called for and that his critics decry is a fact of life.


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM