Monday, May 7, 2012

Are Gay People Human Beings? Ask Me When It's Politically Safe

Yesterday we got a refreshing statement from Joe Biden:
“And you’re comfortable with same-sex marriage now,” NBC’s David Gregory asked Biden on Meet the Press.

“I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy,” Biden said by way of a disclaimer, then continued, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction— beyond that.”
That statement is a pretty big deal, considering that the daylight it puts between his and the President's views on the subject. As I've discussed here before, Obama's views on gay marriage are increasingly ridiculous and untenable. The world is changing around him, the public is changing around him, and for Obama to claim his views are continuing to "evolve" is fucking absurd. We've reached the point in the public discourse where questions of gay marriage boy down to a belief that gay people deserve to be full human beings, or they don't. As the aftermath shows, this is really embarrassing for president Obama, and I'd be surprised if it can last until the general election:
Reports immediately announced that Biden had fully endorsed marriage equality, followed quickly by efforts from the administration to squash that interpretation.

For a few minutes, reports coming from the vice president’s office and the White House were different. A spokesman for the vice president told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that Biden was discussing his personal, evolving opinion of gay marriage. Almost immediately, senior Obama adviser David Axelrod tweeted that Biden’s statement was nothing new and in line with the president’s view on gay marriage.
For a while I've predicted that Obama's "evolution" on gay marriage would peak with him endorsing it late September or so if the election appears in doubt to rile up the base. Overly cynical? Maybe, but what I don't really understand is views like this from Josh Marshall:
Needless to say, we all know at this point that President Obama supports gay marriage but thinks the political tides aren’t quite safe enough to come out and say so.
Uh, is that something we all know? I don't know. I don't know Obama personally, and I've seen a mixed bag of policy successes and struggles during the first four years of the Administration. Does he personally believe in gay marriage and is secretly keeping that belief until he believes it's safe? Maybe. But what if gay marriage makes him uncomfortable, yet he understand the winds of change are coming and he should look like he's getting behind it? The point is none of us ACTUALLY know this, and I feel like you always get into slippery territory when you start to look into a politician's soul to figure out what he *really* believes. These people are professional actors to a certain degree, none of us really knows what he's thinking, and it's not really worth our time. He's been president for 4 years now. His record is what he believes.

Then again, as I discussed in this post, I've don't that before, I'll probably do it in the future, because we have limited information on these people at our disposal, and sometimes it comes down to judgement calls that we can't possibly know the answer to. But I feel that should steer us into discussions of record, past expereince and actions. On those fronts, President Obama doesn't believe in gay marriage. When he says he does in real words without 30 winks, nudges and a David Axelrod walk back the next day, I'll believe him.

1 comment:

  1. cynical calculated shittiness from obama? *monocle pops out*