There is a puff piece in today’s L.A. Times titled: President Obama’s influence on gay marriage will be tested. His change, we are told, is historic and valuable:
David Mixner, a longtime Democratic and gay rights activist, noted wryly that Obama’s endorsement was “no more symbolic than President Johnson endorsing the Voting Rights bills…. It’s going to give momentum. It’s going to give real legitimacy. It’s going to impact those who are sitting on the fence. Anytime the president takes a major stance on any civil rights issues, whether it’s Harry Truman or John Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson, it lends the power of the presidency to that issue.”
. . . .
Obama’s most valuable contribution may have been the way he described his evolution on the issue. In the ABC interview, he related dinner-table discussions about his daughters’ friends whose parents are same-sex couples.
“That’s the same kind of conversation that’s taking place at kitchen tables around America,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, a pro-gay-marriage group. He said Obama’s explanation about “how he had opened his heart and changed his mind” was the most important part of the president’s statement.
Obama also placed his personal opinion in the context of his values as a “practicing Christian,” in line with efforts by gay marriage proponents to sway conservative voters. Obama said that, contrary to those who believe same-sex marriage is at odds with Christian teachings, it “is not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf — but it’s also the golden rule, you know? Treat others the way you’d want to be treated.”
If we’re going to talk about Obama’s “evolution” on this issue, let’s talk about Obama’s evolution on this issue.
In 1996, when Obama was running for the state senate in Illinois, he signed a questionnaire in which he supported the right of gays to marry:
Then, when he was running for federal office, his position changed. He has allowed a spokeshole to claim that the above questionnaire was filled out by someone else — a claim later retracted by another spokeshole when nobody bought it.
And he cited religion as the reason for opposing same sex marriage.
Now, having flip-flopped, he has flop-flipped back. And he is trying to make it sound principled.
And the L.A. Times is letting him. Because somehow, none of this makes it into today’s misty-eyed description of Obama’s “evolution.” The “devolution” preceding the “evolution” never comes up.