Left: Nothing but upside for Obama in dropping DOMA

Since the anemic economy will probably dominate the national agenda for the foreseeable future, advocates contend there was little political risk for the president in meeting a long-standing demand of the gay community and declaring the 15-year-old law — which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages — unconstitutional. It was telling that House Speaker John Boehner, one of the most powerful Republicans in Washington, criticized the decision as a distraction, but didn’t attack its substance…

Some who’ve been pushing the administration to drop the legal fight to preserve DOMA said the muted Republican response was no shock, particularly in light of last year’s much-heralded legislation to repeal of the ban on gays in the military—a measure that the Senate passed with some GOP support.

“The political potency of resistance to marriage equality for same-sex couples—like the political potency of equality of gay and lesbian service in the military—has diminished considerably. That’s just the reality,” said Winnie Stachelberg of the Center for American Progress…

Republicans “don’t see there is a benefit to have a big fight on a social issue like marriage equality,” Stachelberg said. “I don’t think it should be much of a surprise when people like Ken Mehlman, Barbara Bush and Dick Cheney—compelling scions of the Republican Party—are saying it’s okay to be for marriage equality for gay couples….The issue is still potent in different ways but as a national issue, at the moment it’s not something they want to fight about.”