Now that Senate Democrats have passed their first budget in four years, Washington is turning its attention away from fiscal issues this week and towards social ones.

President Obama devoted his weekly radio and internet address Saturday to pushing for more gun control in response to the mass killing in Newton, Connecticut last year. “As a nation, the last three months have changed us,” Obama said. “You – the American people – have spoken. You’ve made it clear that it’s time to do something.” Specifically, Obama called for more background checks and an assault weapon ban. Aides told the Associated Press Obama will make additional trips outside Washington to make his case on the issue.

Back in Washington, the Supreme Court is set to here oral arguments on two same-sex marriage cases. On Tuesday the Court will hear Hollingsworth v Perry, which challenges California Proposition 8 which prohibits the state from recognizing same-sex marriage. On Wednesday the Court will hear United States v Windsor, a challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defines marriage as only a union of a man and a woman. Activists from both sides have been waiting outside the Supreme Court since last week for seats at the proceedings (although there is no word on whether or not today’s snowfall dislodged them).

This upsurge in social issues that fire up his base could not come at a better time for Obama. As The New York Times reported this weekend, Obama’s advantage over Republicans on economic issues has completely evaporated in the first three months of his second term. Obama’s approval ratings have also steadily declined and, according Pew, Obama’s second term trajectory is currently much closer to that of President Bush than that of President Clinton.

Unless the economy becomes much stronger, expect many more social-issue themed speeches and campaigns like this one from the White House.


From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Feds begin lowering expectations on Obamacare
Tim Carney: U.S. and China waste billions on solar panel race
Michael Barone: Who wants to immigrate to the USA?
Byron York: House chairman vows to force Obama administration to measure border security

In Other News
The Washington Post, Signing cuts, Obama lets priorities slip: With his signature this week, President Obama will lock into place deep spending cuts that threaten to undermine his second-term economic vision just four months after he won reelection.
The Huffington Post, Claire McCaskill Backs Gay Marriage: Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., announced her support for same-sex marriage in a Tumblr post Sunday night.
The Wall Street Journal, Cyprus Gets New Bailout Deal: Cyprus secured a bailout from its international creditors early Monday, ending a week of financial panic that threatened to see the small island nation become the first government to leave the euro zone.
The New York Times, Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With C.I.A. Aid: Military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters from Arab governments and Turkey has increased in recent months, and the C.I.A.’s role has shown an American willingness to help support lethal aid.

Lefty Playbook
Mother Jones reports that Mayor Mike Bloomberg Will Spend $12 Million to Push Gun Control Through Congress.
Think Progress warns Democrats not to let Rand Paul beat them on decriminalizing marijuana.
Talking Points Memo previews the left’s talking points on same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court this week.

Righty Playbook
Patrick Brennan notes that Obama’s manufacturing plan is failing.
Yuval Levin on the Republican opportunity to offer real health care, education, energy, and tax reform.
Andrew Ferguson on the “science” of same-sex marriage.