There is a colloquialism that says “talk is cheap.” In politics, you could add that talk is cheap when you don't have the political capital to back up what you say.

President Obama's sudden renewed interest in gay rights is cheap talk. A pander to the left, as useless as a campaign promise, now that Congress is on a fast track to gridlock.

Last Wednesday, Obama reiterated his promise to repeal the military's ban on open gay service during his first State of the Union address. He picked up where he left off the next day, calling on Congress to approve a bill that gives unmarried partners of gay federal employees equal benefits as married spouses.

Speaking in Tampa, he said approval was “the right thing to do.”

Equality is once again in fashion at the White House now that Republicans – with the help of anti-gay groups – have regained their footing.

In Washington, tremors can still be felt over the loss of the late Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts seat. A seat held by an unabashedly liberal and gay ally for 46 years. The Republican Party has social conservatives to thank for that game changer. Senator-elect Scott Brown shot ahead of gay ally Martha Coakley with the help of anti-gay groups. Previous losses built up to the Massachusetts earthquake, including the election of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose accession quashed a gay marriage bill.

The Republican tug to the right also threatens to wipe out a Democratic majority in the House. And right wing-based wins are certain to dampen moderate Republican support for gay rights legislation. Such ideological shifts have a way of steamrolling over objectors.

Early into the president's term, angry gay bloggers accused him of betraying the gay community after the administration defended the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court. Officials said they were bound to defend the laws approved by Congress. But the bloggers sensed a malevolent hand was at work.

Now, the facts are in. And the bloggers were right about one thing: Obama is only a “fierce” gay advocate when talk is cheap. After failing to act on gay rights while his party controlled Congress, Obama is now forced to spend the next two years running a reelection campaign – unfulfilled campaign promises in tow.