Saturday, April 06, 2013

And then there were four

By Richard K. Barry

Now that North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly have voiced their support for same-sex marriage, there are only four Democratic senators who maintain the opposite view.

The hold outs are are Joe Manchin (WV); Mary Landrieu (LA); Mark Pryor (AR); and, Tim Johnson (ND). 

Not to simplify things too much, but Manchin is a right-wing crank and Landrieu and Pryor are both up for re-election next year in states that are strongly opposed to same-sex marriage. 

The most complex of the four is likely Johnson, who is not running again. As The Week reports:
Johnson is unique in that he's retiring at the end of the year, leading some to speculate that, given the minimal personal political risk, he'll be the next senator to change his mind. However, Johnson's son may enter the race to replace him, and "having a parent weigh in would lock him into a position he might not hold or want to hold," says Slate's Dave Weigel. Last week, Johnson's office told The Huffington Post that he remained opposed to gay marriage.

Just the thought that we are down to a few stragglers, at least among Democrats, is quite remarkable.

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