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NY Times: Obama’s Gay Marriage Stance was Purely Political

A New York Times Sunday Magazine article that went up on the website Wednesday makes clear what everyone suspected – that President Obama’s opposition to gay marriage was wholly political and that he made the decision to change it only after Vice President Biden accidentally smoked him out.

Obama’s gay marriage stance is one of the best items in evidence that a man who presented himself to the public as some kind of un-politician who would change the way things work was really just a new type of political animal – born of the Chicago machine, no less – who was using authenticity as salable brand to get himself into the White House.

It’s clear from the piece that Obama, who has somehow moved in no time from an opponent of same-sex marriage to someone who sees the cause as a branch of civil rights movement, never really opposed gay marriage and tried to fool the public with a charade suggesting he was “evolving” on the issue.

From the piece:

Despite the president’s stated opposition, even his top advisers didn’t believe that he truly opposed allowing gay couples to marry. “He has never been comfortable with his position,” David Axelrod, then one of his closest aides, told me.

Long before Obama publicly stated that he was against same-sex marriage, he was on the record supporting it. As an Illinois State Senate candidate from Chicago’s liberal Hyde Park enclave, Obama signed a questionnaire in 1996 saying, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” But as his ambitions grew, and with them the need to appeal to a more politically diverse electorate, his position shifted.

In the course of an unsuccessful run for a House seat in 2000, he said he was “undecided” on the question. By the time he campaigned for the presidency, he had staked out an even safer political position: Citing his Christian faith, he said he believed marriage to be the sacred union of a man and a woman.

Obama hid his support of gay marriage during the 2008, and while there was some argument made within the White House that coming out in support during his reelection campaign could help drive the youth vote, it doesn’t seem he was going to reveal himself in 2012 either.

In mid-2011, Michelle Obama counseled gay rights activist Chad Griffin to be patient.

At a fund-raiser in Los Angeles, Griffin had a private conversation with Michelle Obama, in which she indicated that her husband had given as much support as he could at the time.

Her message, he told his team, was clear: “Hang in there with us, and we’ll be with you after the election.”

Michelle wanted Obama to state his true position, though:

Inside the White House, the first lady urged her husband to declare his support for same-sex marriage. The Obamas had a number of gay friends, and though the White House kept it quiet, the first lady attended a wedding celebration for her hairdresser when he married his husband . . .

But other advisors were more cautious, and indecision reigned:

The assumption going into the 2012 campaign was that there was little to be gained politically from the president’s coming down firmly in favor of same-sex marriage. In particular, his political advisers were worried that his endorsement could splinter the coalition needed to win a second term, depressing turnout among socially conservative African-Americans, Latinos and white working-class Catholics in battleground states.

Obama’s political advisers remained worried that the costs outweighed the benefits — a fear that intensified as it became clear that North Carolina, a battleground state that Obama narrowly won in 2008, was poised to easily pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage . . .

By spring 2012, there still was no move to come out in favor of gay marriage. The Times piece makes the point that if he were going to do it, he would have wanted to do so as early as possible in order to let the dust settle. So it seemed he was on track to play it safe until Biden made perhaps his greatest gaffe yet, during an May 6 appearance with David Gregory on Meet the Press.

“And you’re comfortable with same-sex marriage now?” Gregory pressed.

“I, I — look — I am vice president of the United States. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying one another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.”

The White House was not pleased.

When the White House press team received a transcript of the interview, tempers flared. Jarrett, who was still hoping that Obama might make a groundbreaking pre-election announcement, accused Biden through an intermediary of disloyalty. Campaign officials were also agitated. “They felt they already were vulnerable,” one White House official told me, “and they had not fully resolved yet what they wanted to do.”

The White House quickly tried to walk back Biden’s comments. “What VP said — that all married couples should have exactly the same legal rights — is precisely POTUS’s position,” Axelrod tweeted on Sunday, May 6, the day Biden’s interview aired. Biden’s office was told to put out a “clarification” echoing that sentiment: “The vice president was expressing that he too is evolving on the issue,” it said . . .

But this was obviously transparent nonsense.

Obama and his team knew that he had to take a stand, soon, or risk looking as if he were “leading from behind,” a portrayal the White House hated.

On Tuesday, the White House hastily offered Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America” an exclusive interview with the president the next day. She was a woman . . . and the White House liked her conversational style. She was also African-American, which provided a chance to reach out to black voters.

And so he said it.

I know, you’re deeply disillusioned. At least it was the only time he deceived us. Well, wait a second . . .

Obama Administration Recognizes Utah Gay Marriages

Well, we’ve come a long way in our “evolution” on this issue. President Obama is now overruling a state’s wishes on gay marriage.

Attorney General Eric Holder today announced that the federal government would recognize gay marriages performed in Utah – unions the state has refused to recognize while the courts decide whether to allow further same-sex marriages.

In a video posted on the Justice Department’s website, Holder said:

I am confirming today that, for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages.

These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds. In the days ahead, we will continue to coordinate across the federal government to ensure the timely provision of every federal benefit to which Utah couples and couples throughout the country are entitled – regardless of whether they in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages. And we will continue to provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.

Same sex marriage in deeply conservative Utah became an issue when a federal district judge ruled in December that the state constitution’s ban violated the U.S. Constitution.

Immediately, same-sex marriages took off in the state, but were halted when the Supreme Court issued a stay of the lower court’s ruling. At that point, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said the state would not recognize the marriages that had occurred until its appeal of the district court judge’s ruling was decided.

What? Obama “Overjoyed” Gay Marriage Legal in Illinois?

Really? Overjoyed?

If you want another example of President Obama’s disingenuousness – you know, a side dish to go along with your meal of Obamacare lies – look no further than his statement last night celebrating the legalization of gay marriage in Illinois. Is it really possible, given the line we were fed, that he is overjoyed?

Obama, as you remember, opposed gay marriage during the 2008 presidential election, as did Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. All were running for president during the Democratic primaries, and it was unclear that backing gay marriage would get you through the general election.

I’m sorry, I mean they were all opposed to gay marriage out of a devotion to principle.

Photo by Keith Koffler
Photo by Keith Koffler

After winning the presidency, we were told, Obama became engaged in a tortured internal crisis of faith and morality during which his position was “evolving” on the issue.

Well, everyone knew exactly where that position was going to evolve to, assuming the polling data supported it. He, like, clearly wasn’t evolving toward a stronger stance in support of traditional marriage.

Once Biden blurted out his own support for legalization in May 2012, Obama was looking lower on the evolutionary scale than his vice president. And so Obama decided, enough evolving already, and he hastily dialed up Robin Roberts, ABC’s resident Obama booster, so he could confess to her that his aching moral dilemma had been resolved.

In March of this year Hillary belatedly joined them. And what do you know? Within a single year three grown people who’d dealt with gay issues all their political lives “changed” their position on gay marriage . . .

But it turned out Obama WAS NOT DONE EVOLVING!

Now it was time to really be down with the LGBT community and become the BSGME – The Biggest Supporter of Gay Marriage Ever.

Let’s psychoanalyze the president’s statement from last night. Please lie down on the couch, sir.

Tonight, I applaud the men and women of the Illinois General Assembly, a body in which I was proud to serve, for voting to legalize marriage equality in my home state.

As President, I have always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally under the law.  Over time, I also came to believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married like anyone else.

No, turn the other way. You’re not supposed to be facing me. No, I didn’t say “I cannot even stand to look at you,” it’s just a technique.

You feel very guilty, Mr. President. You know that you opposed gay marriage out of political expediency, and now you’re trying to tell gays and lesbians that you always liked them and always supported them.

This is a very difficult thing for you, because you think you’re something very special, an enlightened reformer swimming in a fetid little puddle of preening political hacks. You had the audacity to hope, but selling out doesn’t take any audacity at all! You had to be a political hack yourself to get elected. And that really hurts.

So tonight, Michelle and I are overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours – and for their friends and family who have long wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and equally under the law.

As I said in my Inaugural Address last January, our journey as a nation is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.  And tonight, I’m so proud that the men and women elected to serve the people of the great state of Illinois have chosen to take us one step further on that journey to perfect our union.

The only aspect of your thoughts on gay marriage you truly wrestled with was timing: When to end the charade. Because no one who spends years struggling with a position on a profound moral issue suddenly adopts a viewpoint without reservation, unless God Himself communicates the marching orders to you. If God is present in the Blue Room, please let us know.

It would be very hard for you to be “overjoyed” that gay marriage is legal in Illinois if you were so reluctant for so long to support it. If your faith was so sorely tested by the notion, you’d agree somewhat reluctantly, your spirit perhaps finally at peace – but not soaring in ecstasy over the prospect of massive numbers new gay unions.

But then, nobody thought you were serious in the first place.

That’ll be $350 for the half hour. And I don’t use any of the insurers on the DC exchange.

Rush: Victory for Gay Marriage “Inevitable”

Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh said today that the battle to preserve marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman is lost.

This issue is lost. I don’t care what the Supreme Court does, this is now inevitable — and it’s inevitable because we lost the language on this. I mentioned the other day that I’ve heard people talk about “opposite-sex marriage,” or you might have had heard people say “traditional marriage.”

You might have heard people say “hetero-marriage.” I maintain to you that we lost the issue when we started allowing the word “marriage” to be bastardized and redefined by simply adding words to it, because marriage is one thing, and it was not established on the basis of discrimination. It wasn’t established on the basis of denying people anything. “Marriage” is not a tradition that a bunch of people concocted to be mean to other people with. But we allowed the left to have people believe that it was structured that way . . .

So far as I’m concerned, once we started talking about “gay marriage,” “traditional marriage,” “opposite-sex marriage,” “same-sex marriage,” “hetero-marriage,” we lost.  It was over.  It was just a matter of time.

Rush goes on to make the argument that marriage is more than an arrangement between two people – evolving as a way to unite a man and a woman to raise a family together – and that by definition it is limited to opposite sex relationships.

H/T Dylan Byers of Politico.

New Poll: Majority Opposes Gay Marriage

A significant majority of Americans oppose gay marriage, according to a new poll by Politico.

The poll of likely voters found that only 40 percent believe same-sex couples should be legally married. Thirty percent said gays should be allowed civil unions but not marriage, and 24 percent opposed all types of legal unions for homosexuals – meaning a total of 54 percent oppose gay marriage.

The poll suggests that, as the Supreme Court prepares to take up the Constitutionality of gay marriage, support for the idea – as well as President Obama’s decision to back gay marriage – might not be as strong as generally thought.

The poll says that by 48-42 percent, respondents approve of “the job President Obama is doing” on gay marriage, but that’s a nebulous way up putting the question, and the result has little meaning.

The author who reported the poll chose to emphasize the more politically correct conclusion – that a “plurality” support gay marriage. But that doesn’t appear to me to be the news here at all.

While, in my view, the article is written incorrectly, the poll was constructed superbly, unlike other recent polls that have shown a small majority favoring allowing gay marriage. These polls have offered the all or nothing choice – do you oppose gay marriage or not?

This poll actually offers respondents the choice they face in the real world: to alter the institution of marriage by allowing couples of the same sex to wed, or to allow a half-way measure – civil unions – and maintain marriage as between opposite sexes.

The other polls are approximately like asking people if they support the death penalty for murderers or 30 years in prison, without offering the option of life in prison without parole.

NY Times Poll: Danger for Obama on Gay Marriage

A new poll in the New York Times, of all places, shows exactly why the White House hesitated so long before announcing President Obama’s support for gay marriage and why there must be FEAR in the West Wing of the political consequences and LOATHING of Vice President Biden for forcing the issue.

Biden has no control over his mouth, and uses it way beyond the point of diminishing returns. And with Biden, the diminishing returns start quickly, sometimes immediately.

Ask any reporter who ever covered him. When Senator Biden stepped to the mikes, we used to flee en masse. “Oh no, it’s Biden, gotta escape.” For those who didn’t, you could soon hear them pleading, “Water. Somebody get me water. Please!”

It’s all kind of amusing, except this time, by prattling on about his support for gay marriage before David Plouffe gave the green light and forcing Obama to express the same, he may have cost Obama the election.

Even if Obama were going to announce this anyway before Election Day, the White House needed to control the roll out, given how sensitive a topic it is. But being forced into a hasty pronouncement, the whole thing looks very political and unseemly.

Which of course it is – I find it really hard to believe that Obama’s “opposition” to gay was rooted in the Bible and not David Plouffe’s political playbook – but the White House needed to make it look like a moral stand for God, Home, and Country, albeit a home with two husbands.

The New York Times poll contains a startling statistic, which somehow mainstream media analysts have not put together, but I’m sure the Obama folks have.

Give three choices instead of the usual two, fully 57 percent support either civil unions for gays or no legal recognition at all – that is, the status quo – compared to 38 percent who say gay marriage should be legal.


Of the 57 percent, 33 percent say same-sex marriage should be illegal, while 24 percent support civil unions.

Told they must choose between legal or not legal, 51 percent said same-sex marriage should not be legal, while 42 percent say it should.

That’s still a substantial margin, but it really doesn’t reflect reality. Because in fact there are three options, and Obama has chosen something that is overwhelmingly opposed by the public, which backs civil unions of no legality at all.

And – thank you, Joe – fully 67 percent of those polled say Obama announced his support for political reasons, while 24 percent believe he wanted to do “what is right.”

Which is why the Obama campaign knows it can’t fool anyone this year with a slogan along the lines of “Hope and Change.”

Carney: Opposition to Gay Marriage is Discrimination

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today suggested opposition to same-sex marriage is discriminatory.

“Governor Romney is for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would enshrine discrimination into our founding legal document,” Carney said. “The President thinks that’s wrong.”

Carney was speaking in answer to a question about an Obama campaign video attacking Romney for his opposition to gay marriage. Romney has supported a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Carney’s statement that banning same-sex marriage amounts to “discrimination” is shocking given that polls show half the country is against it and Obama himself was supposedly in opposition until recently. What’s more, Obama in his expression of support said he was “sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word ‘marriage’ was something that evokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs, and so forth.”

The Obama campaign has clearly decided to go for broke on the issue, using Obama’s newfound support for gay marriage as a campaign plank and a fundraising tool, despite the risks that Obama’s position could alienate many voters.

The campaign today not only posted the new video – which also says Romney is being discriminatory – but it sent out its second email solicitation in two days seeking to raise money off Obama’s announcement Wednesday that he now supports gay marriage.

Here’s a look at the video.

Obama Breaks Biden’s Arm

President Obama broke Vice President Biden’s arm this morning for inadvertently forcing Obama to announce his position on gay marriage earlier than intended.

During an appearance Sunday on Meet the Press, Biden got out ahead of Obama by saying that he backed gay marriage, resulting in a hastily arranged interview Wednesday in which Obama acknowledged that he does too.

A photo released by the White House shows a jocular president inflicting the punishment on Biden.

In the photo, which appears below, Biden’s arm can clearly be seen becoming separated from his shoulder as Obama forces the arm downward. Biden is obviously trying to pretend he is not in excruciating pain.

Biden has a long history of going on TV and saying stupid things. An Obama aide, speaking on grounds that he not be identified, said White House officials had considered performing a full frontal lobotomy on the vice president but decided against it after concluding it could hurt Biden’s performance in the debate with Mitt Romney’s eventual vice presidential choice.

Dr. Emmitt P. Fracksher, chairman of orthopedics at Long Island Cedars Memorial Hospital in Cedars, Long Island, said that the aging Biden, who turns 94 next month, will not heal soon.

“It’s no picnic at that age,” said Dr. Fraksher.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Biden’s mistake caused Obama severe loss of face and left the president no choice but to exact retribution.

“He had to do it,” Carney said. “It’s the Chicago way.”

Biden was said by aides to be resting comfortably at George Washington University hospital and frequently phoning former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole for tips on getting dressed with one hand.

Obama Says He Supports Gay Marriage

Updated 5:04 pm ET President Obama completed his “evolution” today on gay marriage, announcing that he supports same-sex unions. Obama spoke to ABC News during an interview this afternoon that had been hastily arranged this week after Vice President Biden expressed support for gay marriage Sunday and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Monday received… Continue Reading

Obama and Biden to Marry Each Other

President Obama and Vice President Biden today decided to emphatically demonstrate their support for same-sex marriage by marrying each other. The happy pair briefly appeared before reporters this morning to announce their engagement. “He’s articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said. “And I love him.” A gushing Obama seemed at a… Continue Reading

Prediction: Obama Will Say He Supports Gay Marriage

I don’t know when, but probably soon, and definitely before Election Day. President Obama continues to play cute with his position on gay marriage, remaining opposed, we think, while his press secretary can say only that the president’s position is “evolving.” Vice President Biden’s position is also evolving. I’ve never heard of a politician saying… Continue Reading