It took Joe Biden's public embrace of same-sex marriage to smoke him out.
But after Joe told David Gregory of "Meet the Press" he was "absolutely comfortable" with homosexuals marrying, Barack Obama could not maintain his credibility with the cultural elite if he stuck with the biblical view that God ordained marriage as solely between a man and woman. The biblical view had to go.
Obama had to move, or look like a malingerer in secularism's next great moral advance into post-Christian America.
Consider. Obama had an appearance coming up on "The View," where Whoopi Goldberg would have demanded to know why he lacked the courage of Biden's convictions. He has a $40,000-a-plate fundraiser at George Clooney's, where the Hollywood crowd would want to know why he does not end discrimination against homosexuals.
He has appearances lined up before gay activists raising millions for his campaign. Monday, his press secretary was pilloried for his feeble defense of Obama's now-abandoned position.
His hand was forced. Yet the stand Obama took could cost him his presidency. Same-sex marriage may yet be a bridge too far, even for a dying Christian America.
On the plus side for Obama, his decision is producing hosannas from the elites and an infusion of cash from those who see same-sex marriage as the great moral and civil rights issue of our time.
But Obama may also have just solved Mitt Romney's big problem: How does Mitt get all those evangelical Christians and cultural conservatives not only to vote for him but to work for him?
Obama, by declaring that homosexual marriages should be on the same legal and moral plane as traditional marriage, just took command of the forces of anti-Christian secularism in America's Kulturkampf. And Nov. 6, 2012, is shaping up as the Antietam of the culture war.
Obama's second problem is that he may soon be seen as America's champion of same-sex marriage, but an ineffectual advocate. For Obama can do nothing, as of now, to impose homosexual marriage on the American people.
Thirty-one states have voted to outlaw it. A constitutional amendment supporting same-sex marriage could not win a majority of either house of Congress, let alone the necessary two-thirds of both.
Hence, Obama is going to spend six months winning cheers by calling for same-sex marriage. But the price of those cheers will be the rallying of millions of opponents of homosexual marriage, who will fight this battle where they are winning it, at the state level.