Must we really endure the charade of one congressional Democrat after another grandstanding about their phony “evolutions” on gay marriage? No one on either side honestly believes McCaskill suddenly changed her mind on this issue between election day last year, when she defeated Todd Akin, and today. Like her pal Barack, her stance on SSM shifted at some point in the fairly distant past but she kept her mouth shut about it lest it jeopardize her precious Senate seat. At least The One came clean about his beliefs before he faced the voters a second time (thanks in part to inadvertent pressure from Joe Biden). McCaskill lied and lied all the way through, and only now that she doesn’t have to face her reddish state’s voters again for six years has she summoned the courage to speak up. You’re a real hero, Claire.

Modest proposal: Rather than let these cynical careerists reveal their politically calculated awakenings about gay marriage individually, so that they can enjoy their own special day of bouquets from the left, maybe the DNC could issue a statement declaring that all Democrats in Congress are pro-SSM unless they indicate otherwise. That’ll save political media a lot of time, and it’ll also have the advantage of letting red-state Dems who are up for reelection impress the locals back home by standing up in opposition. Imagine how dazzled, say, Arkansas voters would be if Mark Pryor dissented from the new party line in favor of traditional marriage. And how disappointed they’ll be when he “changes his mind” the day after election day 2014.

The question of marriage equality is a great American debate. Many people, some with strong religious faith, believe that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman. Other people, many of whom also have strong religious faith, believe that our country should not limit the commitment of marriage to some, but rather all Americans, gay and straight should be allowed to fully participate in the most basic of family values.

I have come to the conclusion that our government should not limit the right to marry based on who you love. While churches should never be required to conduct marriages outside of their religious beliefs, neither should the government tell people who they have a right to marry.

My views on this subject have changed over time, but as many of my gay and lesbian friends, colleagues and staff embrace long term committed relationships, I find myself unable to look them in the eye without honestly confronting this uncomfortable inequality. Supporting marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is simply the right thing to do for our country, a country founded on the principals of liberty and equality.

Good people disagree with me. On the other hand, my children have a hard time understanding why this is even controversial. I think history will agree with my children.

Obama announced his own phony “evolution” on SSM just 11 months ago. Here’s what Claire McCaskill, profile in courage, said to one Missouri newspaper at the time:

“Claire recognizes this is a very personal issue for many Missourians,” John LaBombard, her spokesman, said in an email to the News-Leader.

LaBombard said McCaskill is opposed to discriminating against gays and lesbians. But she believes that states should “take the lead in determining marriage equality.”

“The state of Missouri’s position on this issue has been clearly established since 2004 and nothing about today’s announcement changes that,” he said.

You would think she’d at least offer a fig leaf of reasoned deliberation, e.g., that she was wary about how SSM might play out in practice but now that she’s seen no ill effects in states like New York where it’s legal, she’s reassured. But no. Rob Portman, who took a much bigger political risk than McCaskill by endorsing gay marriage last week, drew mostly sneers from the left over the fact that he didn’t switch his position until the issue was brought home to him by his own son’s sexuality. Yet here’s one of their own claiming that the reason she flipped is because she couldn’t look her gay friends in the eye anymore as a purported opponent of SSM, and she’ll skate. There’s your daily reminder that the reason so many Democrats engage in this charade about “evolving views” rather than take a stand and state their beliefs forthrightly is because their pro-gay-rights base happily indulges the lying in the name of winning elections.

Here’s your exit question, and for once it’s not rhetorical: Is there any Democrat in Congress who’s re-affirmed his opposition to gay marriage in, say, the past four months and who’s not up for reelection in 2014? I can’t think of anyone offhand but maybe Bob Casey or one of the other few social cons in the caucus has. There’s no reason to treat pro-gay marriage declarations by prominent liberals as news anymore. It’s party-line orthodoxy; announcing that you subscribe to it means little more than that you don’t want progressives in your state to primary you when your seat comes up again.