Patterico's Pontifications

5/9/2012

Obama’s flip-flop on same sex marriage still driven by the campaign

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 12:07 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Earlier today, I wrote that Team Obama had been AWOL on gay rights issues for campaign reasons.  This afternoon, Pres. Obama officially “evolved” into a supporter of same-sex marriage during an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts:

“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Roberts, in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday. Excerpts of the interview will air tonight on ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer.”

The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own.

Well, that’s semi-evolved, anyway. I suppose it remains to be seen how progressives will embrace states’ rights.

On Twitter (and elsewhere), a number of smart people have suggested that Obama benefitred from yet another distraction from the economy and the debt.  Yet gay rights are a classic wedge issue that divides Obama’s prospective coalition, which would seem to be an unwelcome distraction for Democrats.  Many have also suggested Obama found himself painted into a corner by comments from people like VP Joe Biden.  Allahpundit provides a decent elaboration of this thinking:

Looks like his strategy now is simply to get it over with ASAP and then let people forget about it over the next six months. Some key constituencies, like young voters, will cheer. Others, like black voters, might not be thrilled but given their overwhelming support for O the risk that he’ll lose many votes because of this is minimal. Meanwhile, Romney’s unlikely to make it an issue since it’d throw him off his core economic message. (See, e.g., Haley Barbour insisting yesterday that the gay-marriage chatter lately is a Democratic distraction.)

All true enough, but I continue to think “The Decision” here is driven less by pressure from Sheriff Joe than by broader campaign considerations.

Recall how Democrats think about the demographics:

[Ruy] Teixeira, writing with John Halpin, argues in “The Path to 270: Demographics versus Economics in the 2012 Presidential Election,” that in order to be re-elected, President Obama must keep his losses among white college graduates to the 4-point margin of 2008 (47-51). Why? Otherwise he will not be able to survive a repetition of 2010, when white working-class voters supported Republican House candidates by a record-setting margin of 63-33.

Obama’s alternative path to victory, according to Teixeira and Halpin, would be to keep his losses among all white voters at the same level John Kerry did in 2004, when he lost them by 17 points, 58-41. This would be a step backwards for Obama, who lost among all whites in 2008 by only 12 points (55-43). Obama can afford to drop to Kerry’s white margins because, between 2008 and 2012, the pro-Democratic minority share of the electorate is expected to grow by two percentage points and the white share to decline by the same amount, reflecting the changing composition of the national electorate.

What yesterday’s elections may have told Team Obama is that the bitter clingers out there are bitter enough to give 41% of the Democrat vote in West Virginia to a convicted felon and to ease a ban on same-sex marriage into the North Carolina constitution.  They may have concluded that their energies are better spent targeting more socially liberal white college graduates in the suburbs of northern Virginia, Philadeplphia, Denver, etc. than wasting time on trying to persuade Rust Belt Jacksonians to pull the lever for Barack Obama again while (as Allahpundit suggests) considering discontent among socially conservative African-Americans an acceptable risk now.  The establishment’s mockery of Obama’s unevolved position may have suggested to Team Obama that painting Mitt Romney as a right-wing extremist is made more difficult when the president shares Romney’s position on SSM.

Obama’s hastily-arranged interview with Roberts suggests his campaign was prepared to let SSM drift off the news radar, until facts on the ground drove a public (but controlled) flip on the issue.

–Karl

150 Responses to “Obama’s flip-flop on same sex marriage still driven by the campaign”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (f07e38)

  2. Raaaaaacist!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  3. Here’s another aspect: Obama needs to demonize Romney and thinks this is an issue with which to do it, that Romney (or Romney supporters) will say something that can be twisted in a way to portray Romney as being hateful and bigoted, thus driving the ‘tolerant’ mushy middle away from Romney and back to Obama.

    Romney needs to avoid this trap, it is a no-win issue for him. Luckily, he can follow the Bob McDonnell’s model, and keep the discussion to the economic issues that rate #1 on most people’s list of concerns.

    steve (369bc6)

  4. I am not wise enough to decide the issue, either. I can only advocate for it, I will trust in my fellow citizens.

    nk (875f57)

  5. Once again, Teh Won demonstrates that his principles start with “M”, and end with “E”, with a humongous side-dish of “I”!

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  6. Romney can just say my first sentence in my comment #4 and follow “either” with “just like President Obama”.

    nk (875f57)

  7. If Obama had a son he would look like inmate number: 11593-051

    Ipso Fatso (7434b9)

  8. I heard an audio excerpt of the interview on The Michael Medved Show a few minutes ago.

    Obama was talking about repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and he said that those particular military personnel who are now serving openly, (and I paraphrase, but I bet it’s nearly word for word) “…are out there on the battlefield fighting on my behalf.”

    Our military personnel are fighting on HIS behalf ?

    Not on behalf of America ?

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  9. I am not wise enough to decide the issue, either

    Or, as Biden put it, if he said that, this is above Romney’s pay grade.

    Not a good position for someone runninmg for president to take.

    Biden was the person who actually coined that phrase, saying to Scott Ritter, on September 3, 1998 at a time when Scott Ritter was still a hawk, in hearings about the disarmament process:

    http://emperors-clothes.com/analysis/ritter-nuke-sen.htm

    So, now, here’s the deal. I recommended the president have at it, and let the chips fall where they may. A reasonable position for the secretary of defense and the secretary of state to take. But I respectfully suggest, major, I respectfully suggest they have responsibilities slightly above your pay grade — slightly above your pay grade — to decide whether or not to take the nation to war alone or to take the nation to war part-way, or to take the nation to war half-way. That’s a real tough decision. That’s why they get paid the big bucks. That’s why they get the limos and you don’t.

    Indeed it is quite true, he can pass the buck, or even say whenever a decision he has to make impacts on this, and it only does in a limited way, he will respect what seems to be the consensus of the American people, but no candidate for president can say an issue like this is above his pay grade.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  10. Teixeira, writing with John Halpin, argues in….that in order to be re-elected, President Obama must keep his losses among white college graduates to the 4-point margin of 2008 (47-51). Why? Otherwise he will not be able to survive a repetition of 2010, when white working-class voters supported Republican House candidates by a record-setting margin of 63-33.

    What is this – a quantum theory of politics? Voters can only shift in specific amounts? They can’t split anywhere in between?

    Sorry for the extra italics in the previous comment.

    Actually what Obama needs to do (at a minimum) is do just a little bit better than John Kerry did in 2004, which is considerably worse than he did in 2008.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  11. Obama: battlefield fighting on my behalf.”

    Comment by Elephant Stone — 5/9/2012 @ 12:33 pm

    Our military personnel are fighting on HIS behalf ?

    Not on behalf of America ?

    Well, at least he avoided the royal We.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  12. Obama was just trying to avoid being ridiculed.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  13. He just lost North Carolina for sure. :)

    Psycotte (077749)

  14. This is a fascinating political calculation by the Obama re-election team which we have seen bud and flower in real time. Someday there will be a book written about the brilliant “behind the scenes” machinations starting Sunday with Joe Biden’s quite intentional “slip of the tongue”, augmented by Arne Duncan’s appearance on TV, followed by the orchestrated “attack” on Mumbles Carney by the WH press corps, and the operation finally culminating with the president’s epiphany the very day after he could no longer affect the vote in NC. Four more glorious days of well planned and executed distraction away from the economy. Well played, Axe. Well played.

    elissa (677a36)

  15. Sammy,

    I would much rather he used the royal “We.”
    Of course, to be grammatically correct, he would have had to say, “OUR behalf.”…which is what every other President has stated when talking about war.
    “Our.” “We.”
    With Obama, it’s so often, “Me, My, Mine, I.”

    The President serves the people. We do not serve him.
    It is not his military, and it is not his country.
    It is our military, and our country.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  16. As Groucho Marx said, “Those are my principles. And if you don’t like them, I have others…”

    Gazzer (571a9f)

  17. I am most certain that Team Obama is doing this with the Rick Santorum birth control/Sandra Fluke “controversies” in mind.

    They’re hoping that someone on our side will either deliberately say something off-color about same-sex marriage, or at least, someone will say something in a voicemail or email or into an open microphone, thereby eliciting a “controversy” where our side will be painted by the media and late nite talk show hosts as hate-mongers, which will distract people’s focus from the economy, unemployment, jobs, the economy, the devaluation of our currency, inflation, the economy, and the economy.

    See, Obama cannot win re-election on his record. He can only win by scaring enough people about Romney and the GOP. And that means manufacturing narratives such as, “war on women,” “war on gays,” “pushing Grandma off the cliff in her wheelchair,” et al.

    Unfortunately, there are enough clueless people on our side who are totally capable of stepping into the Democrat trap.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  18. I would not vote for Obama if he had intimate relations with Rahm Emanuel on top of Buckinham Fountain at high noon.

    I agree that same sex marriage is a peripheral and distracting issue. It’s up to Team Romney to play it as smart as Team Obama.

    nk (875f57)

  19. Here’s what Romney should say now: “I agree with the President to the extent that he has said the issue of same sex marriage is one for the states under our federal system of government.”

    Period.

    DV1252x (045cef)

  20. Is Teh Won’s “win” in WV comparable to LBJ’s “win” in NH-68 against Clean Gene?
    Obama v. Prison Inmate #11593-051 59% to 41%;
    LBJ v. McCarthy 50% to 40%.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  21. It is so much easier to vote “present.”

    AZ Bob (7d2a2c)

  22. Romney can say that marriage like health care are states issues not the Provence of the federal government. And that as President he will focus on jobs, the Economy, energy exploration policy and reducing the burden of the federal government on business by streamlining the tax code and reducing onerous regulations. All regulations should be reviewed on a cost benefit basis: Both current regs and any future regs. Also a federal budget must be passed before any other legislation can be considered. From there a review of all spending and the federal workforce needs to be done. The Keystone pipeline must be approved and the bottleneck of the permitorium ended immediately.

    TexasMom2012 (cee89f)

  23. No more all of the above the ground energy policy… Let’s get all that energy below the ground instead!

    TexasMom2012 (cee89f)

  24. I just think it’s so neat that Obama’s solved all the more pressing problems and can discuss state policy he has no control over. That’s swell.

    Dustin (330eed)

  25. TexasMom2012,

    I love how the Texas state legislatures only meet once in a blue moon, and for only a certain amount of time.

    Most of the Texas state legislators (only paid a ‘part time’ salary)all have real world full time jobs. Unlike here in CA, where being a state legislator is a high-paying career entailing wheeling, dealing, gambling, and a lack of sobriety. Sacramento keeps the lights running as often as the lights are kept on on the Las Vegas strip.

    At least the folks visiting Vegas are spending their own money…well, except for the GSA people !

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  26. get up on down stroke
    everybody get up
    get up on down stroke

    Colonel Haiku (273777)

  27. I wish Obama would flip-flop on taxes, spending, regulation, the size of government, foreign policy, judicial activism, et al !

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  28. i said up… stroke
    said down… stroke
    i said up… stroke
    said down… stroke
    said up, down, in, out
    i said if you… if you wanna…
    if you wanna feel real nice
    just ask the rock n’roll doctor’s advice

    Colonel Haiku (273777)

  29. so funky it’s greasy… http://youtu.be/oAaQh_XwLks

    Colonel Haiku (273777)

  30. I’ll stay traditional… no Bruce or Steve when there’s Norah!

    http://youtu.be/5NDuj-MyVyA

    Colonel Haiku (273777)

  31. The last two stories posted to this site show how biased this site is. First he was dodging? Clearly he isn’t doing that. You’d have to be really dense to think he did this to get re-elected; it is still not a terribly popular position in this country.

    tye (8f12f7)

  32. It used to be that his religion informed his politics on this issue. Not sure that his religion changed its position.

    JD (d4dd44)

  33. The last 43 comments from “tye” show how grand of a mendoucheous twatwaffle he is.

    JD (d4dd44)

  34. rarer than hen’s teeth
    to see guy like 0bama
    stand up like a man

    Colonel Haiku (273777)

  35. I wrote a long and involved post on the previous thread on this issue, just before this was posted…I’m not going to repeat it, but i am very serious about this question, I’ve asked it before, and have yet to get a convincing answer why my concern is not a valid one….

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  36. napolitano!
    janet could make guy rethink
    sexual preference

    Colonel Haiku (273777)

  37. 36: I read your post, and maybe cause it is late in the afternoon, but I didn’t exactly get what your question is. Can you just ask the question, in one or two sentences?

    (I kinda got the point, but not sure)

    Alex (c76e4d)

  38. MD – it is not valid because you are a h8r

    JD (d4dd44)

  39. givin’ you potion
    physician heal thyself!
    calamine lotion

    Colonel Haiku (273777)

  40. 17: Yes, I see this as one of the goals of this announcement.

    to boil it down, I think the political consideration was this: “Let Biden float the trial balloon. If we get a lot of gays excited with this and we see some big donations coming, then lets calculate the downside…. hmmm, a lot of people who won’t vote for us anyway will be upset. OK. Conservative blacks and latinos will be upset, but they’ll vote for us anyway. Hmmm. OK, lets do it!”

    Alex (c76e4d)

  41. JD- but as you comment, I’m only a h8r with a small “h”, not a really big H8r with a capital “H”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  42. Mostly it’s designed to get Team Romney to talk about items other than the economy. A secondary point is that Team Obama’s fundraising haul has fallen well short of their expectations and the reality is there are a lot of wealthy gays out there from whom this is designed to extract a fit of excitment and thus money.

    Hopefully Team Romney won’t take the bait. This election only is about the economy. To prevail Romney needs to spend 100% of his time bashing Obama about the economy.

    Granted, the PACs should run some ads on this topic in key states like Florida, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina (each of which recently voted by overwhelming margins to ban gay marriages), but Romney himself should not utter a single sentence about anything other than the economy.

    Tsar Nicholas II (cb2d5b)

  43. It only took BO from 1996 to get to the exact same position he was in … evolving is over-rated

    Lord Nazh (7c39b5)

  44. Tsar–

    Tonight both PBS Newshour and the NBC Nightly News have already speculated that the LGBT community will be pouring in money of gratitude to the Obama re-election campaign.

    elissa (677a36)

  45. And what does Team Owonderful do if that money doesn’t helicopter in?
    How many more niche messages can they float before it dawns on them that no one cares anymore?

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  46. I’ve had a particularly bad day, but this was like Christmas in May. When I need a laugh later I will look for comment from Pastor Manning about our long-legged Mack Daddy.

    sybilll (677277)

  47. 45 and 46: Money is going to flow in for sure. ISnt obama doing a fundraiser in Los Angeles this week? Or soon?

    Timing?

    Alex (c76e4d)

  48. We’ll see.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  49. BTW, when isn’t he doing a fundraiser?

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  50. the First Failure is coming to the Valley tomorrow, then spending the night in Beverly Hills…

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  51. This is a fascinating political calculation by the Obama re-election team which we have seen bud and flower in real time. Someday there will be a book written about the brilliant “behind the scenes” machinations starting Sunday with Joe Biden’s quite intentional “slip of the tongue”, augmented by Arne Duncan’s appearance on TV, followed by the orchestrated “attack” on Mumbles Carney by the WH press corps, and the operation finally culminating with the president’s epiphany the very day after he could no longer affect the vote in NC. Four more glorious days of well planned and executed distraction away from the economy.

    I’m always impressed with how the left never believes that voters can see right through them.

    Anyway, this whole thing is confusing: so now that the President has changed his way of thinking due to his overnight epiphany, where does that leave the war on women? Are we still being persecuted?

    Dana (4eca6e)

  52. The NewsHour also had a Black evangelical bishop from Maryland on the show. He was fairly impressive as a spokesman in that he represented both the traditional marriage/family block–plus he strongly refuted the other participant’s assertion that gay marriage is just another mile on the civil rights road like achieving rights for blacks. He told Ms Judy Woodruff that gay marriage was nothing like the natural rights of citizenship, safety and dignity that blacks had to fight for in the ’50’s and 60’s. She seemed a bit flummoxed.

    It will be interesting to see how the black community reacts to all this. They like having a black president but one thing Obama is not, and never can be, is be a product/victim of slavery and the civil rights movement. That Axelrod “civil rights” narrative may work among the white elites much better than it does among prideful heterosexual Black Americans.

    elissa (677a36)

  53. the real reason for this sudden focus on SSM?

    because the SCOAMF doesn’t dare allow the topic to be the double digit unemployment and inflation he’s deliberately saddled the country with.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  54. ==where does that leave the war on women? Are we still being persecuted?==

    I dunno Dana. I guess I’m just not feelin’ it. How about you?

    elissa (677a36)

  55. in other news Reggie Love said he was heartened by Obama’s comments… Michelle Obama, on the other hand, had no comment.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  56. “where does that leave the war on women? Are we still being persecuted?”

    Dana – Who let you out of the kitchen? Where’s my sammich? I’ve been waiting five minutes!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  57. my understanding is that after Biden spoke up our crack Secret Service became increasingly concerned that the president had become a fabulously attractive target for gay ninja assassins and they implored him to change his view on the marriagings

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  58. It’s about the benjamins. With Wall Street money much harder to come by and Soros et al. going their own way, Obama is more dependent financially on the gay community. The bundlers must have been telling him that his SSM position was seriously impeding the flow. As for his socially conservative African-American supporters, the phrase “sold down the river” seems to have a certain resonance.

    Mahon (8a17cf)

  59. It is nice to see President Obama agree with Dick Cheney.

    kaf (c41574)

  60. BHO’s sudden respect for the Tenth Amendment suggests Rod Serling is alive and well and hidden aboard Air Force One.

    Ed from SFV (a7215d)

  61. Interesting development.

    Obama’s decision will probably help him consolidate and motivate his liberal base. On the other hand, it may also help Romney consolidate and motivate the GOP’s social conservative base — and I think Romney was going to have more problems mobilizing the social conservatives than Obama would have with gays. Obama must really need their money.

    Also, I hope Romney remembers to mention Obama’s SSM flip-flop when Obama challenges him on his policy changes.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  62. 53 I don’t really understand how you knuckle-draggers on the right are so hell bent on boxing in those who vote differently than you. You know, lack of empathy is a sign of psychopathy.
    (Yes… the irony of the knuckle-dragger part was on purpose)

    tye (8f12f7)

  63. tye always seems to be so, I don’t know, frustrated? unhappy? angry? bitter? when he drops by. It must suck to be him.

    elissa (677a36)

  64. Via Althouse: Gay for Pay:

    A number of gay and progressive donors, unsolicited, have indicated to us that they aren’t considering requests to donate to the Obama SuperPac because of the president’s refusal to the sign the order. And those are high-dollar asks, some in the seven digits. We have heard from at least half a dozen major gay and progressive donors that they stand united with us.

    This was problematic in light of 20 percent of Obama top campaign bundlers—who are responsible for arranging $500,000 and up—“publicly identified themselves as gay.”

    He had to do this. I heard that they his campaign had planned to have him announce right before the election but instead jumped on it now. Deflect from the economy, solidify the base, and get the big bucks rolling in.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  65. tye, we’ve already established that you are a slanderer. No need to double down.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  66. Tye, I am not a knuckle-dragger, I am a monkey-reflex grasper.

    nk (875f57)

  67. Drooler, too.

    nk (875f57)

  68. i don’t have much empathy for the left because it is difficult for me, as an intelligent, informed person, to have empathy for non-sentient life forms.

    (you are welcome to my pity, if that will make you feel better. %-)

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  69. does anyone know if “happyfeet” is going to dinner @ George Clooney’s house tomorrow night?

    8)

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  70. I am not I have to go bed early cause I have to go to Santa Anna or some ungodly place in orange county like that

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  71. *Ana* google says

    whatever, I say

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  72. anyway I have to go there on Friday

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  73. tye (aka TD),

    I’m just trying to figure out how it is that you perceive that calling us “knuckle draggers” is a sign of YOUR “empathy” for people who “disagree with you politically.”

    It’s just so ironic that lefties aren’t out there advocating for heterosexuals to get married—just homosexuals.

    I imagine you won’t be moving to North Carolina anytime soon, eh ?

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  74. Heh. NRO posts a fundraising letter from Obama re his current stand on SSM. His opening sentences to the voter,

    Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:

    I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  75. QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It is good to see that after intense political pressure that President Obama has finally come around to the Dick Cheney position on marriage equality.”

    SPQR (26be8b)

  76. Barry is, after all, all about being direct. Except when he’s eating waffles, of course.

    Gazzer (571a9f)

  77. waffles are so awesome they really are it’s just they’re absolutely LOADED with carbs

    google it

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  78. but back to the subject … it looks to me like the president of effing hallsofmontezumashoresoftripoli America just announced he’s ok with dudes marrying other dudes and he didn’t melt like that green lady in the movie with the flying monkeys

    ask Kelly Clarkson what that means

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  79. Yet gay rights are a classic wedge issue that divides Obama’s prospective coalition, which would seem to be an unwelcome distraction for Democrats.

    If the Democratic coalition could be divided by a wedge issue, it would have happened by now. DRJ wrote this back in 2008:

    Murtha Calls Constituents Racist

    And his last sentence was insightful.

    It’s hard to believe voters actually elect someone who talks about them this way.

    You have to realize when Obama talked about the bitter clingers he came across while on the campaign trail to that room full of San Francisco liberals, he was describing one part of his base to another part of his base.

    The rednecks who you’ll never find in a sushi bar or expressing strong opinions about where you can find the best cup of espresso in the Hamptons. But you will find them crowding the infield at Daytona.

    Salt of the Earth kind of folks. Union labor. Racists. And they’ll put up with being called racists.

    The only thing holding the democratic coalition together is the fact that they’ve been terrorized all their lives about the GOP (that and pork).

    As far as the black vote goes, does anyone really imagine that black voters are going to dump the first black president for the white Mormon guy who’ll usher in a new era of lynchings, Jim Crow, and indentured servitude as sharecroppers?

    Samuel L. Jackson recently expressed a not terribly uncommon opinion within the black community:

    ‘I voted for Obama because he’s black': Extraordinary outburst from Samuel L. Jackson

    It may seem like an extraordinary outburst to a UK news agency, and maybe to a lot of white people here in the US. It’s not, really. Which isn’t to say that many black voters don’t have a problem with Obama. Here’s how Jackson articulated his problems with Obama:

    ‘When it comes down to it, they wouldn’t have elected a n*****,’ he said. ‘Because what’s a n*****? A n***** is scary.

    ‘Obama ain’t scary at all. N****** don’t have beers at the White House. N****** don’t let some white dude, while you in the middle of a speech, call [him] a liar. A n***** would have stopped the meeting right there and said, “Who the **** said that?”

    ‘I hope Obama gets scary in the next four years,’ Mr Jackson added, ‘cuz he ain’t gotta worry about getting re-elected.’

    Mkay. So it seems Obama hasn’t turned out to be Jackson’s dream President. Obama hasn’t been radical and scary enough to suit Jackson, who wants him to roll up his sleeves and get to work redistributing wealth to the poor.

    The alternative is Mitt Romney? I don’t think so. If your problem with Ghengis Khan is that he isn’t sacking enough cities fast enough to suit you, you’re not likely suggest Gandhi as a replacement leader for the horde. If Mr. Jackson’s problem with the President is that Obama hasn’t turned out to be authentically black enough, and he isn’t the only black voter who feels that way, it’s a safe bet that he’ll conclude Romney is probably going to turn out to be even less black.

    Steve (90e0d3)

  80. President Endless Ditherer – “Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer”

    CAN I GET AN AMEN!

    First time I can recall that happening with President Vote Present.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  81. I am glad the president finally came out (so to speak). His wink wink coy game that everybody knew was a masquerade anyway was such a stupid farce. What he said today makes him look a little more honest and a teensy less hypocritical than he was yesterday. One really wants the president of the United States to be truthful about his core beliefs whether you like him or agree with him or not. When he was running for the IL senate he filled out and signed a policy questionnaire that said he was in favor of gay marriage. Then he conveniently forgot it and backtracked and lied about it for like a decade until he “evolved” today.

    Maybe this will be so liberating for him that he’ll tell the truth about some other stuff too. (Just kidding.)

    elissa (677a36)

  82. Chi Tribune Headline: “Obama takes risky stand on gay marriage”. Let’s see– “gutsy call”–“risky stand”. Oh, that gutsy risk-taker. I wonder if risky stand will show up in a hundred other papers and blogs and as a twitter hashtag? Has the juice box mafia been instructed and unleashed?

    elissa (677a36)

  83. The NYT is reporting that Biden about “forced” his hand,

    Before President Obama left the White House on Tuesday morning to fly to an event in Albany, several aides intercepted him in the Oval Office. Within minutes it was decided: the president would endorse same-sex marriage on Wednesday, completing a wrenching personal transformation on the issue.

    As described by several aides, that quick decision and his subsequent announcement in a hastily scheduled network television interview were thrust on the White House by 48 hours of frenzied will-he-or-won’t-he speculation after Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. all but forced the president’s hand by embracing the idea of same-sex unions in a Sunday talk show interview.

    He still just sticks his finger in the air and sees which way the wind is blowing.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  84. elissa,

    daley @ 58 confirms the war on women is still going strong. get your high heels on, it’s going to get messy.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  85. But Spokesman Richie Cunningham Carney said, the other day, that Obama’s stand on gay marriage was CRYSTAL CLEAR.

    Obama’s crew lies with impunity 24/7.

    Gus (694db4)

  86. Dana – If I want elissa’s opinion, I will give it to her.

    If you two were not feeling persecuted enuf, I thought I could ramp up the war on the wymins here at Patterico’s Pontifications.

    Cuz ima giver.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  87. From Barcky’s missive to his troops:

    “I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines.”

    Just not when it comes to contraception, because that’s different, or something.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  88. This is what I was referring to up @ 7:44pm.

    Per Eric Zorn:
    President Barack Obama today:

    Over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.

    State Senate candidate Barack Obama, February, 1996:

    I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages

    In between: All sorts of equivocating nonsense.

    http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2012/05/obama-completes-his-360-on-gay-marriage.html

    elissa (677a36)

  89. 33. It used to be that his religion informed his politics on this issue. Not sure that his religion changed its position.

    Comment by JD — 5/9/2012 @ 3:30 pm

    The thing about Obama is that his politics informs his religion.

    He started going to church in Chicago because by his own admission the fact he didn’t have a “church home” was hampering his community organizing.

    Naturally, he chose a church that subordinates religiosity to politics. As the inventor of black liberation theology put it, if religion didn’t advance the cause of blackness then it was a useless waste of time.

    I think that he was generally surprised by the backlash from the Catholic Church (and others) over his administration’s birth control diktat. It’s a conflict he undoubtedly doesn’t understand. If his religion never conflicts with his politics. If his politics demand certain things, then his religion (and yours and mine) will just have to adapt.

    See; now there’s no conflict.

    He did seem to be taken off-guard by the fact that some people take their religion seriously. Even women, who he apparently thought would enthusiastically support him as he over-ruled their church.

    Steve (90e0d3)

  90. for Obama church makes a fabulous tool

    for Team R tools make a fabulous church

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  91. i’m totally copyrighting that, bitches

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  92. elissa,

    Nice play on words, and nice summary, too.

    Too bad this is not like the old “Wonder Woman” tv series where Lynda Carter can throw her “truth lasso” around President Weirdo, and make him spill the beans about birth certificate, college application, college transcripts, etc.

    Victor Davis Hanson’s latest column basically asks the question (and I’m paraphrasing) “we’re supposed to believe that the guy who published nothing at the Harvard Law Review and nothing at the University of Chicago wrote those TWO books, and then reverted back to writing nothing ?”

    Actually, maybe if Wonder Woman were to put her “truth lasso” around Bill Ayres and Jon Favreau, we might get some answers…since they each are believed to have generally written each of the two books.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  93. I don’t know what really goes on in Obama’s White House but this article makes it sound like he’s politically inept. That surprises me. His governing skills have always been lacking but his political skills helped him compensate for that.

    I assumed Obama would bring good political skills to this election, but now I’m not so sure. Has he always campaigned as the new kid on the block? Has he ever faced an election as a flawed, struggling incumbent?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  94. Thanks, Elephant–

    For political junkies I think it’s safe to say that this has been a most interesting presidential campaign so far.

    elissa (677a36)

  95. “Has he always campaigned as the new kid on the block? Has he ever faced an election as a flawed, struggling incumbent?”

    DRJ – He lost a race for Congress to Bobby Rush, but was a newcomer in that race. He has generally moved on before people figured out how incompetent he is.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  96. DRJ–that article you linked is quite interesting but felt very “staged” to me. A beginning move to replace Biden on the ticket maybe? And I saw they managed to get today’s magic word, “risky” and “risk” in there a couple of times. heh.

    elissa (677a36)

  97. Now I’m wondering if they are angling to get Hillary on the ticket. How better to combat the R’s war on womyn?

    Gazzer (571a9f)

  98. Since the King is in a mood to change his mind back to where it was before he started campaigning, maybe he can ease up on medical marijuana a little.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  99. It is not as if President Obama simply believes, as a matter of public policy, that marriage should be redefined, but he is affirmatively attacking the power of Congress to decide which unions to recognize as marriage.

    Indeed, in Bishop v. United States, DOMA is being challenged alongside Oklahoma’s Question 711. Any arguments the administration uses against DOMA would also apply against Question 711 (unless the DOJ somehow distinguishes between DOMA and Question 711).

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  100. when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf

    #obamaisanarcissisticdouchebag

    JD (d4dd44)

  101. have you hugged your ex-president bush today?

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  102. So any thoughts on whether Romney will change or clarify his views on gay marriage? EtchaSjetch and all that…

    Alex (ecfde0)

  103. So any thoughts on whether Alex will change or clarify his views on being a mendoucheous twatwaffle? Predictable and all that…

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  104. Personal attacks instead of discussing the issue at hand only indicate you are a simpleton. Or, to be fair, maybe you just have sand in your vagina?

    Alex (ecfde0)

  105. Sexist

    JD (d4dd44)

  106. It’s part of my war on wymen

    Alex (ecfde0)

  107. on the face of it the most rudimentary analysis really does have to allow for the idea that there’s a distinct possibility that being a simpleton AND having sand in one’s vagina are NOT mutually exclusive states for one to occupy

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  108. I blame the barbarian murder priests of Tibet. They’re the worst.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  109. Karl: I suppose it remains to be seen how progressives will embrace states’ rights.

    — Such as in California, where the progressives did not wish to allow the citizens of their own state to decide the issue for themselves?

    Icy (620917)

  110. So is Obama actually going to DO something about same sex marriage?

    kaf (c41574)

  111. The last two stories posted to this site show how biased this site is. First he was dodging? Clearly he isn’t doing that. You’d have to be really dense to think he did this to get re-elected; it is still not a terribly popular position in this country.
    Comment by tye — 5/9/2012 @ 3:26 pm

    — That’s right: he did it in order to NOT get re-elected. Brilliant!

    Icy (620917)

  112. So is Obama actually going to DO something about same sex marriage?
    Comment by kaf — 5/10/2012 @ 2:10 am

    — YES! He’s going to support it.

    NOT with the signing of any new bills into law.

    NOT with the issuance of even one executive order on the subject.

    NO Same-Sex Marriage Czar.

    Just think of him as the Monday Morning Quarterback of SSM.

    Icy (620917)

  113. DRJ – I was seeing a lot of irrational rumbling tuesday night and yesterday about how (a) Obama could have prevented the result in NC if he’d really tried and (b) if Obama can’t be bothered to fight for gay people, the rumblers wouldn’t bother voting for him.

    This was particularly silly as anybody should be able to see from the numbers that (a) isn’t true. But.

    aphrael (fb6c5c)

  114. 101- I’ll bet a good many of them would feel a little less encouraged about defending your freedom if they read the crap you wrote on this shlog. (Shlog is a combo of a few words….. can you guess them?)

    tye (8f12f7)

  115. @115: if you knew more about Soldiers or Airmen or Marines or Sailors, you wouldn’t be so fast as to ascribe your idiocies to their behaviors.

    but then again, if you moved in those circles, you might not be the dirtbag you appear to be here.

    as for “shlog” that sounds like “mit schlog” so i’m guessing you are talking about whipping cream…

    which is stupid, but fits nicely into your MO here.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  116. and Alex calling the kettle black @ 105 is pure comedy gold.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  117. Thank you for demonstrating your idiocy, again, “tye”

    JD (d4dd44)

  118. It’s just so ironic that lefties aren’t out there advocating for heterosexuals to get married—just homosexuals.

    Why should we? You already have your ‘role model” for heterosexual marriage — Newt Gingrich.

    David Ehrenstein (2550d9)

  119. Lefties really aren’t advocating for homosexuals to actually get married either — are they, Ehrenstein?

    It’s all about creating, out of whole cloth, a new civil right for the sake of “equality”.

    Icy (1ffe87)

  120. napolitano!
    janet could make guy rethink
    sexual preference
    Comment by Colonel Haiku — 5/9/2012 @ 3:39 pm

    — It’s Nap!

    Icy (1ffe87)

  121. 119.

    It’s just so ironic that lefties aren’t out there advocating for heterosexuals to get married—just homosexuals.

    Why should we? You already have your ‘role model” for heterosexual marriage — Newt Gingrich.

    And your point? In countries where gay marriage is legal, gay marriages are even less stable than straight marriages.

    Patterns in divorce risks are quite similar in same-sex and opposite-sex marriages, but divorce-risk levels are considerably higher in samesex partnerships. The divorce risk in female partnerships is practically double that of
    the risk in partnerships of men.

    Newt Gingrich isn’t going to be the poster child for any marriage-boosting ad campaigns anytime soon, that’s for sure. But his marital history did hurt him with GOP primary voters. That wouldn’t be the case in Europe, where far more people are likely to agree with survey questions such as “marriage is outdated” than Americans.

    Which is why Francois Hollande’s marital history didn’t hurt him in his successful bid to become France’s President. Here, a guy who had an affair for 20 years, then finally left his wife and family for his mistress, journalist Valerie Trieweiler, but didn’t marry her would have a problem running for office. Not there. Marriage isn’t seen as important.

    It’s interesting reading the articles in the foreign press about this. Even more interesting are the comments. It’s largely a peeing match between Americans who would never vote for a man who treats his commitments so lightly. And Europeans who say, what commitment? Marriage, they say, is an old-fashioned conservative scheme that has outlived it’s usefulness.

    Rising support for gay marriage is associated with declining respect for marriage in general. This decline in attitudes about the importance of marriage manifests in many ways. Support for gay marriage is at first an effect of this decline, then when implemented becomes a contributing cause to it.

    Newt Gingrich isn’t much of a role model. But then the relatively small percentage of gay couples who do get married in countries where legal (the vast majority of gay couples just live together; they’re also a product of their culture and no more likely to have a very high regard for marriage than the straight couples around living around them who by and large also don’t get married) in general treat marriage as a disposable temporary arrangement at a higher rate than straights.

    All this has a norming effect on children, who aren’t going to see marriage as “normal” since their parents and none of their friends’ parents are married. And then the married couples they see on the news certainly don’t act as if marriage is very important. Gay marriage reinforces this notion of the unimportance of marriage. Marriage was once about having and raising children. In fact that was once considered the central purpose of marriage. I could quote Supreme Court Justices’ commentary on the inescapable link between marriage and procreation. Now I can quote judges on courts of appeal agreeing with the Europeans that marriage is an old-fashioned conservative scheme that has outlived its usefulness. So now it can be redefined to be about nothing more important then the individual fulfillment of the adults involved. And if marriage becomes unfulfilling, it’s time to walk away.

    Steve (90e0d3)

  122. Mr. David Ehrenstein,

    Sir, I do happen to be familiar with your nice work as a film critic/historian, however I have no idea what point you were trying to make about Newt Gingrich being a two-time divorcee.

    By the way, did you happen to get a chance to see any of the screenings of the Film Noir festival at The Egyptian ?

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  123. “Just think of him as the Monday Morning Quarterback of SSM.”

    Icy – That’s why they call him President Gutsy Call!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  124. I still think the “rising support for gay marriage” is a form of the opinion to “leave people alone”. When it becomes clear that what is being sought is “My marriage is just the same as your marriage” and “My moms’ marriage is just the same as your parents’ marriage” there will be a whole lot of people thinking, “That’s not what I meant.”

    I wonder how the question is actually asked. I imagine I could try to find out, but I’m going back up on the ladder to work on the house while the sun is shining.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  125. VP Biden will now label this the gutsiest call since Christ allowed himself to be crucified for the sake of our immortal souls.

    Icy (1ffe87)

  126. My bet is they asked the first way, MD

    narciso (8d0f34)

  127. So, on Sunday Biden voiced his support, on Monday Carney said the President’s view is unchanged, but by Wednesday Obama’s view had “evolved” to where he had (for the 2nd time during his political career) done a 180 on the issue.

    “It’s Evolution, baby!”

    [“I am ahead, I am advanced
    I am the first mammal to make plans, yeah
    I crawled the earth, but now I’m higher
    2010 2012, watch it go to fire
    It’s evolution, baby
    Do the evolution
    Come on, come on, come on”]

    Icy (1ffe87)

  128. Alternate Pearl Jam song title choice: “Spin The Black Circle”

    [I denounce meself]

    Icy (1ffe87)

  129. So next we get polygamy and the elderly marrying their cat to pass along benefits, and the occasional raghead marrying his nanny.

    The ‘right side of History’.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  130. So, in the full-length interview Teh One claims that he decided to ‘come out’ on this issue before Biden made his statement?

    The man simply cannot stop lying.

    This was a political calculation, pure and simple.

    Icy (1ffe87)

  131. Rachel Madcow calls Obama’s decision “a matter of conscience.”

    Apparently, up until yesterday the President’s views were completely unconscionable . . . but she fully supported him anyway.

    IOW, the left is celebrating a victory over the Democrat.

    Great!

    Icy (1ffe87)

  132. I think this was a planned, political move, too, but I also think the timing of the announcement may have been accelerated to make it easier for Obama to face his celebrity supporters at the George Clooney fundraiser.

    After all, we know Obama has trouble making decisions. We also know he loves being adored. His first official campaign event suffered from a disappointing turnout and I wonder if he just couldn’t face critics at another campaign event, especially in Hollywood.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  133. DRJ–I’ll bet Barack Obama was so popular at that Clooney fundraiser that he ended up not having to buy a single drink all night! And you’re so right to point out that Mr. Onederful must really have been basking in his own glory last night after coming out with that great gutsy move.

    elissa (d9a1fd)

  134. “After all, we know Obama has trouble making decisions.”

    DRJ – Understatement of the year for our gutsiest call this is a BFD slurpee sipping slow jam decision making pezzydent.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  135. When the president said that Trayvon could be his son, was he referring to his own love of “tea and skittles”?

    Icy (1ffe87)

  136. Obama’s flip-flop is good timing considering he was going to be spending some time with George Clueless Clooney the next evening.

    Hey, don’t get mad at me—I’m not just relaying the whispers that have long made the rounds in Hollywood.
    Nobody outside Hollywood would have believed the rumors about James Dean, or Rock Hudson, either.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  137. Icy, for them it’s a coming-out equivalent – no beating up on the person who just couldn’t admit before. Even though everyone already knew.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  138. “Obama’s flip-flop is good timing considering he was going to be spending some time with George Clueless Clooney the next evening.”

    ES – Was John Travolta scheduled to be at the event?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  139. Obama’s supposed position still does not match what he’s told the DOJ to do about same sex marriage,
    as Orin Kerr points out.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  140. SPQR – he was against States rights before he was for them before he was against them.

    JD (66b3fb)

  141. His evolution was not timed to come full circle to his prior positions until The View next week.

    JD (66b3fb)

  142. Icy,

    Nice job with the Pearl Jam lyrics. I have that album (“Yield”), but I decided several years ago to no longer line the pockets of Left Wing Eddie V & Co.

    “Wishlist,” “Lowlight,” and “In Hiding,” are a few of my favorite tracks on that album.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  143. Most of the lyrics for “Do the Evolution” are anti-conservative as well. Good music, though.

    Icy (1ffe87)

  144. Rising support for gay marriage is associated with declining respect for marriage in general.

    This was proven in New York, where no-fault divorce was instituted a year before same-sex “marriage” was instituted.

    Perhaps there were a few legislators who opposed no-fault divorce while embracing same-sex “marriage”. But there are a substantial number of legislators who voted for both, and we know that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed both.

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  145. It’s funny; Judge Walker’s decision in the Prop 8 case relies heavily on the argument that marriage has historically been a stabilizing influence on families and society, and it was just rank bigotry to deny the supposed benefits of marriage to gay couples.

    Admittedly, heterosexuals have been leading the charge to make marriage less than a serious obligation. But it never strikes geniuses like Walker that “divorcing” marriage entirely from our common understanding of its purpose, having and raising children in a stable environment, divorces it of its other beneficial characteristics as well.

    It’s impossible to point to a single society which approves of gay marriage, and where marriage also is seen as an institution which leads to stable, long term or exclusive relationships. Nor does it do so. The supposed benefits are tossed out as its stripped of its association with procreation, obligations and responsibilities.

    When you decide it’s no longer important to preserve marriage in the form which Judge Walker acknowledged also historically provided tangible benefits to the couples involved, then along with the redefinition you lose those benefits.

    It’s just another way “gay marriage” is an oxymoron.

    Steve (90e0d3)

  146. But it never strikes geniuses like Walker that “divorcing” marriage entirely from our common understanding of its purpose, having and raising children in a stable environment, divorces it of its other beneficial characteristics as well.

    Indeed, every assumption about marriage was based on the assumption that it described an opposite-sex union.

    Of course, Walker defied binding precedent.

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  147. > The divorce risk in female partnerships is practically double that of the risk in partnerships of men.

    that’s a fascinating finding which does not comport with popular stereotype at all.

    aphrael (fb6c5c)

  148. I believe, aphrael, that’s bucause 1) female partnerships are likely four times larger in number than male partnerships (raw statistics) and 2) women are more than four times likely to be harder to live with than men. Take your choice of a quote: Nobody can be meaner to a lady than another lady. Only men can put up with women. 😉

    nk (875f57)


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