Obama votes present

But the LGBT community shouldn’t feel too bad: Gay marriage is hardly the only casualty of the President’s political paralysis. In recent months, he’s made a habit of equivocating on tough issues, preferring to remain either cautious or cowardly, depending on how you want to see it.

On Syria, where nearly 13,000 have been slaughtered under Bashar Assad’s brutal regime, Obama has allowed United Nations observers to oversee a preposterously weak six-point peace plan, which, not surprisingly, Assad has ignored. Unwilling to take military action, our involvement has been relegated to a speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where the President pledged that we’d never again stand for genocide.

On Afghanistan, the President recently announced a new agreement with President Hamid Karzai to keep a major military presence there indefinitely. His confusing address from Bagram Air Base committed to both leaving and staying, spontaneously worrying the anti-war left and the hawkish right — no small feat.

And on the issue of Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese dissident who bravely opposed China’s barbaric one-child policy, the administration managed to cajole his release into U.S. custody (he will be allowed to study at NYU), but missed a valuable opportunity to take a strong stand on forced abortions, continuing a long history of U.S. capitulation to China on human rights.