In case you missed it:
First, background info, prior to Sunday…
- In 2004 then State Sen. Obama said, “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman,” and “I don’t think marriage is a civil right.”
- When campaigning in 2008, Obama and VP Biden opposed same-sex marriage.
- Gay marriage is legal in D.C. and in 6 states, while Maryland and Washington have referendums pending in November.
- With the ongoing state marriage debates, gay rights activists have pushed Obama to vocally advocate for same-sex marriage.
- Obama has said his position is “evolving.”
- Historically, a majority of Hispanic, African-American, and Catholic voters don’t support gay marriage.
Then, beginning Sunday…
- Biden appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” saying he is now “absolutely comfortable” with gay marriage; his office immediately began clarifying the VP’s comments, saying they reflected no change in policy.
- Both left and right leaning news outlets believed Biden’s latest verbosity was intentional, with the President wanting to “have it both ways.”
- On Monday, White House Press Sec. Jay Carney attempted to clarify Obama’s position, saying, “Marriage is a state issue, and the states have the right to take action on it.” Carney added that Obama’s “views on LGBT rights are crystal clear.”
- Left and right leaning commentators continued debating Obama’s views, with CNN’s Anderson Cooper saying, “The president’s position on gay marriage is anything but precise.”
- On Tuesday, swing state North Carolina voted 61% to 39% to ban gay marriage in their state constitution.
- On Wednesday morning, Obama said he was “disappointed” in North Carolina’s vote.
- On Wednesday afternoon, Obama said his position on gay marriage has now evolved, saying, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” He also stated that the states have the right to decide.
Shew. Sorry; that’s a lot to follow. Know, though, that all of the above is fact.
The Intramuralist understands that this is a sensitive issue; it is hard to discuss well. Almost all conversations end up with someone on both sides spewing scorn in the name of passion (as in the Colorado state legislature Tuesday, where one civil union supporter yelled, “I hope you f***ing die!”). I was amazed, too, for example, at the number of persons who boldly identified the North Carolina vote as the manifestation of bigotry. Hold fast to your opinion, but is one automatically a bigot if they oppose same-sex marriage? Is that what Pres. Obama was considered the first 3 years of his term?
Allow me not to digress, friends. The point of this post is not to debate the legality nor morality of same-sex marriage. We have addressed both advocacy and opposition in previous, respectful posts.
The concern I have this day is the factual timeline shared above: the supposed “evolution.” The entire transpiration of how the administration is approaching gay marriage looks like, feels like, smells like, quacks like…
Politics… the motivation for this policy feels like it is completely political. There is no cultural conversation — led by the federal government — as to what is wise and what is foolish. What is good. What is moral. What is the long term impact. What evolution of the policy will be good. What evolution of the policy will be destructive. How the Constitution supports government’s involvement. The primary motivator is what makes for good politics. Egad.
Now don’t let me act as if politics serving as the primary motivation is indigenous to Pres. Obama. The Intramuralist believes this happens all over the place, across all party lines, transcending all issues, and most of the time, we’re all oblivious. Issues and advocacy is passed off as prudent policy, when the reality is that the motivation for the policy is purely political.
Truth? I can’t tell how Obama feels about gay marriage. Does he really support it now — or does he feel he needs it to please and thus shore up his so-called “base”? Did he really oppose it before — or did he feel as if he couldn’t be honest because it might negatively impact the Hispanic, African-American, and Catholic vote?
Change the issue. Change the politician. Are they being honest with us? Or is their support or dissension based most upon what they believe to be good politics?
I said it before; I’ll say it once more…