Even if you favor making gay marriage a central, non-negotiable Democratic plank, the fact remains that this greatly complicates any Democrat-led struggle against Islamic extremists (because, as my emailer notes, it alienates even Islamic moderates). That's another reality Beinart doesn't seem to want to confront. (Better to talk about 1947!) How exactly would a Dem president who declares gay marriage a "morally momentous" principle convince civilized, non-terrorist, observant Muslims that their religion and culture is compatible with Western-style economics and democracy?Look, there are a whole slew of things that have been going on in the United States for decades that run counter to even moderate Islam. Pornography. Raunchy sex in big multi-million dollar Hollywood movies. Homosexuals in big multi-million dollar Hollywood movies. Successful and widely-watched TV shows about homosexuals. And yet, somehow, millions of moderate Muslims have admired the West for decades, and continue to do so to this day. Why? Because they're not utter fucking morons. Freedom and the manifestations of freedom are two distinct things, and if liberal Muslims can grasp that distinction now, why would gay marriage change things?