Voting present on gay marriage?

posted at 3:30 pm on June 29, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Now that the New York legislature (and electorate) has taken the lead on gay marriage, Dana Milbank wonders what happened to the supposedly progressive leader in the White House.  Milbank scoffs at the “evolving” excuse continued to be offered at the White House, and says that Barack Obama has failed to provide leadership — and notes that this seems to be a theme in this administration:

For Obama, this is less about the issue than about leadership. Even if he backed gay marriage, it wouldn’t become legal without Congress rewriting the federal definition of marriage, which currently demands “a legal union between one man and one woman.” But if Obama really believes, as he says, that a class of Americans is suffering unconstitutional discrimination, you’d think he would take a stand as a matter of principle. Instead, to borrow a phrase one of his advisers applied to the administration’s Libya policy, the president is once again “leading from behind.”

On the eve of the vote in New York, Obama was heckled by an audience of gay New Yorkers when he again declined to endorse gay marriage. He further infuriated listeners with his observation that “traditionally marriage has been decided by the states” — a position that would leave unchallenged the 41 states that ban same-sex marriage.

Days before that, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer was booed at a blogger conference when he asserted: “The president has never favored same-sex marriage. He is against it. The country is evolving on this, and he is evolving on it.” More like devolving: Pfeiffer claimed that a 1996 questionnaire, which has Obama’s signature and states his support for same-sex marriage, was “filled out by someone else.”

Well, isn’t that news!  Who would have guessed that the state legislator who voted “present” more than 130 times rather than cast tough votes on controversial issues would “lead from behind” as an executive?

It’s not just the President who wants to keep his views on gay marriage in the closet.  Milbank points out that Hillary Clinton has argued that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights,” and even celebrated the “especially momentous and extraordinary” vote in New York.  So has she changed her position on gay marriage, which she previously opposed?  Her last word on the subject came in an interview with The Advocate, in which Clinton stated that “I have not changed my position.”

What about Michelle Obama?  Disgraced former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey told CNN that Obama should “listen to Michelle more often” on gay marriage, which prompted this quick denial from the First Lady’s staff:

First lady Michelle Obama’s office on Tuesday quickly shot down the suggestion that she has ever publicly voiced support for same-sex marriage, a policy her husband opposes even as the left pressures him to take a stand.

“Mrs. Obama has never made any public statements about same-sex marriage,” her communications director, Kristina Schake, said in an email to POLITICO.

At first, I suspected that the Obamas intended on keeping quiet about support for same-sex marriage until a reversal could do them the most good.  At this point, a reversal won’t cost them many votes among the base; black voters continue to oppose it, even in New York, but it’s not going to be a deal-breaker that moves them to the GOP column.  A summer 2012 reversal could help stoke a resurgence of enthusiasm on the progressive Left and generate some badly-needed momentum for a general election.  That was the only real reason for a repeated insistence that Obama’s thoughts were “evolving” on the issue.

However, Milbank’s column shows how weak that strategy will be.  Endorsing a decision a full year later isn’t leadership — it’s pandering, and not terribly effective pandering at that.  If Obama really opposes same-sex marriage, then he should be explaining that position and challenging those who disagree with him, whether it’s on the basis of tradition, federalism, or dice tosses.  Instead, all the White House has managed to provide are mumbles about evolution and zero leadership in any direction, which is a pretty good description of the entire Obama presidency.  Milbank just seems to have figured it out now.

Addendum: Jennifer Epstein of Politico needs to do better research.  In her article on the First Lady’s response to McGreevey, she offers this background on his departure:

McGreevey, who is now openly gay, gave up the governorship in 2004 after revealing that he’d had an affair with a man.

That’s kind of like saying that Richard Nixon gave up the presidency in 1974 after revealing that he’d bought a tape recorder.  The affair wasn’t the cause of the resignation; McGreevey resigned because he’d appointed his boyfriend to the post of Homeland Security chief for the state, despite the fact that the man was a foreign citizen and he had no relevant experience for the position.  McGreevey resigned after the man threatened a sexual-harassment suit against him.  McGreevey then came out as gay — with his wife and kids on stage with him — and pretended that he had to quit because of his sexual orientation.

Oh, and here’s one more relevant note that Epstein did include:

McGreevey and Michelle Obama have never met.

 

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Why would PBHO come out in support, he knows leftist douchebags will still run to the voting booth on his behalf in 2012, Milbank included.

Bishop on June 29, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Hillary 2012!

Badger40 on June 29, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Barack Obama has failed to provide leadership — and notes that this seems to be a theme in this administration:

No shit Milbank. Now go back to sleep.

GarandFan on June 29, 2011 at 3:34 PM

leftist douchebags will still run to the voting booth on his behalf in 2012

Bishop on June 29, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Drones & tools.
Liberal voting bloc.

Badger40 on June 29, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Simple, the black or muslim vote are worth more to little Bammie than the gay vote.

slickwillie2001 on June 29, 2011 at 3:36 PM

And yet – gay NY’kers will elect him in droves – because he is a “DEM”, regardless of the fact – he is anti-gay marriage and it was NYS Republicans who actually got the bill passed.

Due to the wife – we watch Andy Cohen on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live – and he has been the only openly gay man to thank the NYS Repubs… though that wont get fans here.

Odie1941 on June 29, 2011 at 3:37 PM

OK and him voting present is news how?

ColdWarrior57 on June 29, 2011 at 3:38 PM

I think the Progs are just trying to wring as much out of Dear Leader as possible before he is defeated in 2012.

d1carter on June 29, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Now that the New York legislature (and electorate) has taken the lead on gay marriage, Dana Milbank wonders what happened to the supposedly progressive leader in the White House.

What happened?

He needs the bible-thumping, gun-toting, cousin-humping, truck-driving hicks from W. VA, VA and elsewhere. He lost even the ones he had in 2008.

Read it – I’ll remind you often – by the summer/fall of 2012 he’ll emphasize his 50% whiteness.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 3:39 PM

No shit Milbank. Now go back to sleep Obama’s azz.

GarandFan on June 29, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Choo chee choo, choo chee choo, choo chee choo, yeah, yeah POW!

catmman on June 29, 2011 at 3:41 PM

No shit Milbank. Now go back to sleep Obama’s azz.

GarandFan on June 29, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Simple, the black or muslim vote are worth more to little Bammie than the gay vote.

slickwillie2001 on June 29, 2011 at 3:36 PM

He’s more canny than they are. He knows they will vote, for the most part, for him.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Regarding gay marriage: is this an issue where you really want to lead from behind…

Bruno Strozek on June 29, 2011 at 3:43 PM

I think the tone of this post is more of the gay marriage agenda of hotair. Like a lot of people, Obama doesn’t like the idea of gay marriage, and he isn’t running to the front of the parade just because it is the fashionable position among most liberals.

pedestrian on June 29, 2011 at 3:43 PM

what happened to the supposedly progressive leader in the White House.

He’s running for reelection, and there are some purple states he took in 2008 where this could hurt him on the margins. As long as the economy looks weak don’t expect any courageous statements from Barry.

dedalus on June 29, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Simple, the black or muslim vote are worth more to little Bammie than the gay vote, which he’ll get anyway.

slickwillie2001 on June 29, 2011 at 3:36 PM

FIFY.

BuckeyeSam on June 29, 2011 at 3:44 PM

He’s more astute than they are.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 3:45 PM

He’s more canny than they are. He knows they will vote, for the most part, for him.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Like the abused wife always going back to her abuser.

Badger40 on June 29, 2011 at 3:46 PM

To me, the biggest surprise about gay marriage in New York is that it took this long for them to vote for it.

Speedwagon82 on June 29, 2011 at 3:47 PM

I think the tone of this post is more of the gay marriage agenda of hotair. Like a lot of people, Obama doesn’t like the idea of gay marriage, and he isn’t running to the front of the parade just because it is the fashionable position among most liberals.

pedestrian on June 29, 2011 at 3:43 PM

I would be more inclined to give him this benefit of the doubt if he weren’t:
A. A stinking pathological liar
B. A shameless panderer (see A.)

Badger40 on June 29, 2011 at 3:47 PM

I think the tone of this post is more of the gay marriage agenda of hotair. Like a lot of people, Obama doesn’t like the idea of gay marriage, and he isn’t running to the front of the parade just because it is the fashionable position among most liberals.

pedestrian on June 29, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Gimme a break. He thinks SSM is fabulous. Indeed, if his daughters go that way, they won’t be punished with babies.

BuckeyeSam on June 29, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Obama doesn’t like the idea of gay marriage

pedestrian, you’ve got to be kidding/joking.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Regarding gay marriage: is this an issue where you really want to lead from behind…

Bruno Strozek on June 29, 2011 at 3:43 PM

That’s why Obowma always smells like prison sex…

Seven Percent Solution on June 29, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Like the abused wife always going back to her abusive wife. Badger40 on June 29, 2011 at 3:46 PM

…in context.

Akzed on June 29, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Only fools will believe what Michelle O. spews.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Akzed on June 29, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Crazy dikes.

Badger40 on June 29, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Who would have guessed that the state legislator who voted “present” more than 130 times rather than cast tough votes on controversial issues would “lead from behind” as an executive?

Heh, it’s borrowed, but clever.

Like I said, he’s more astute than they are.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Let’s pray he continues to PO the progs and homosexuals and they lose interest in the election…

OmahaConservative on June 29, 2011 at 3:59 PM

“I now pronounce you wife and wife”?

“I now pronounce you wives”?

“I now pronounce you trendy”?

“Adam, do you take Steve to be your lawfully wedded wife/husband/both/eitherdependingwhogoesfirst?”

Akzed on June 29, 2011 at 3:59 PM

“Newt Gingrich says he does not support gay marriage. He says marriage is a sacred sacrament that should only be between a man and his first, second, and third wives.” –Conan O’Brien

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 4:01 PM

I said in the OT that voting present on gay marriage is due to the black vote. I’ve re-thought that.

The black vote, the progressive vote, the gay vote – they’re all firmly in Obama’s camp. They won’t switch to the GOP under any circumstance. Pandering to the choir -so to speak- doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, politically or otherwise.

The difference-makers will always be independents and moderates. If he’s ahead in the polls two months out, he’ll just stick to his convictions (I know, right? This seems to be the one thing…) If he’s behind, he’ll announce his new-found evolution and note the great success he helped foster in New York -hoping this will sway those independents and moderates.

BKeyser on June 29, 2011 at 4:04 PM

That’s why Obowma always smells like prison sex…
Seven Percent Solution on June 29, 2011 at 3:49 PM

And how would you know what that smells li…..I’m going to stop right here, just don’t answer me. Just don’t.

Bishop on June 29, 2011 at 4:04 PM

As if the gay “community” has choices. What will they do if not vote Obama? Vote Republican? Shudders….

antisocial on June 29, 2011 at 4:04 PM

A. A stinking pathological liar
B. A shameless panderer (see A.)

Badger40 on June 29, 2011 at 3:47 PM

I’m not saying he isn’t, but in general blacks are conservative, and while Obama is not black (he is arab-american), he tries to belong to that group and so needs to adopt their positions as his own. Since neither blacks or liberals are going anywhere, it is not an issue he needs to expend any capital on. Ed and Allah seem upset by that for some reason.

pedestrian on June 29, 2011 at 4:04 PM

if Obama keeps letting more air leak out of the progressive bag, he’ll be the one getting flattened next fall.

it doens’t take manys disenchanted gays, union members and non-white americans to stay home from the polls to result in a 40 state electoral romp for the gop.

DrW on June 29, 2011 at 4:07 PM

So, Mcgreevy has gone over to a full time gag lifestyle?

Count to 10 on June 29, 2011 at 4:08 PM

I see one silver lining to this whole homosexual marriage thing. Once the homosexuals learn first hand about the marriage penalty. The IRS is going to have to change the law because it discriminates unfairly against to loving people who only want to share their lives with the ones(s) they love.

Tommy_G on June 29, 2011 at 4:09 PM

The only good thing about this marriage vote in New York is watching Obama squirm over it!

I would say that this is further proof that Obama really isn’t who he says he is, but I don’t want to be called a flake or something. ;-) But there is a very good reason why Obama will never fully endorse same-sex marriage.

rockmom on June 29, 2011 at 4:14 PM

I’m not saying he isn’t, but in general blacks are conservative, and while Obama is not black (he is arab-american), he tries to belong to that group and so needs to adopt their positions as his own. Since neither blacks or liberals are going anywhere, it is not an issue he needs to expend any capital on. Ed and Allah seem upset by that for some reason.

pedestrian on June 29, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Not the ones I grew up knowing.
A large block of them that I met over the US, SoCal,IL,IN,TX,WA,KS,OH were all extremely liberal.
Perhaps I’ve not lived in enough states.

Badger40 on June 29, 2011 at 4:16 PM

The IRS is going to have to change the law because it discriminates unfairly against to loving people who only want to share their lives with the ones(s) they love.

Tommy_G on June 29, 2011 at 4:09 PM

and also keep the full value of their individual deductions.

pedestrian on June 29, 2011 at 4:17 PM

OT: for those of you who deny that SSM is all gays are after, I picked this up from a very reputable tax-law blog.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2011/06/-501c3-organizations.html

It’s a link to a blurb about a law student’s law review article arguing that religious organizations that refuse to employ LGBTs should have their 501(c)(3) status revoked.

And as Gutfeld might say after one of his Red Eye Gregalogues, “If you disagree, you’re a racist homophobe.”

BuckeyeSam on June 29, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Badger40 on June 29, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Blacks are two to one opposed to gay marriage. Whites are split evenly.

http://people-press.org/2010/10/06/support-for-same-sex-marriage-edges-upward/

pedestrian on June 29, 2011 at 4:20 PM

As if the gay “community” has choices. What will they do if not vote Obama? Vote Republican? Shudders…. antisocial on June 29, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Wow. They didn’t choose their sex preference and they have no choice of candidates.

Were teh gays born Democrats too? Double whammy.

Akzed on June 29, 2011 at 4:27 PM

I still bet when he hears womens reproductive health he hears legal abortion, and when he hears planned parenthood he doesn’t hear family planning.

fourdeucer on June 29, 2011 at 4:32 PM

BuckeyeSam on June 29, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Yeah. From our sister site.

Sex at Work?
By Frank Turek
6/28/2011

Are you supposed to have sex at work? I guess it depends on your profession, but for most of us the answer is “no.” Why then is corporate America obsessed with training about sex?

As described in several recent columns by Mike Adams, I was fired as a vendor by Cisco for my conservative beliefs about sex and marriage even though my beliefs were never expressed on the job. When a homosexual manager found out on the Internet that I had authored a book giving evidence that maintaining our current marriage laws would be best for society, he couldn’t tolerate me and requested I be fired. An HR executive canned me within hours without ever speaking to me. This happened despite the fact that the leadership and teambuilding programs I led always received high marks (even from the homosexual manager!).

How could an experienced HR professional commit such a blatant act of discrimination unless the Cisco culture was decidedly tilted left? Why didn’t Cisco’s relentless emphasis and training on “inclusion and diversity” serve to prevent this? Maybe it’s because “inclusion and diversity” means something different to corporate elites than to normal Americans. That’s why their training didn’t prevent the problem but actually created an environment of intolerance that led to the problem.

Cisco’s chief “Inclusion and Diversity” officer, Ms. Marilyn Nagel, had trouble on the phone defining what “inclusion and diversity” actually means at Cisco, so she sent me several links from the Cisco website. As in our conversation, I found no specific definition on the website but plenty of platitudes, such as Cisco is committed to “valuing and encouraging different perspectives, styles, thoughts, and ideas.”

If that’s the case, then why not value my “perspectives, styles, thoughts and ideas?”

Because only certain perspectives, styles, thoughts and ideas are approved, you see. “Inclusion and diversity” to corporate elites actually means exclusion for those that don’t agree with the approved views. Whoops, there goes “diversity.”

Shouldn’t the real intent of Cisco’s value of “inclusion and diversity” be to ensure that people in that diverse workforce work together cordially and professionally even when they inevitably disagree on certain political, moral or religious questions? It would seem so. In a large multicultural workforce, people need to work together despite political or religious differences. That’s a noble and necessary goal. It’s totalitarian, however, to subject people to “diversity” training and corporate sponsorships that go beyond teaching respect for people to advocacy of what they do in bed.

All employees should treat one another with kindness and respect because they are fellow human beings, not because of their sexual behavior. If people are to be respected simply on the basis of their behavior, then none of us qualify for respect because we have all behaved badly on occasion.

So instead of trying to force all employees to accept any sexual behavior—especially something as controversial as homosexuality—the inclusion and diversity police should be urging us to treat all people with respect simply because we are human beings. That’s all you need to be productive at work anyway.

But as soon as you start telling people from different religious and cultural backgrounds what they must think about homosexuality, you will offend and create conflict andr resentment. As a Christian, I am commanded to respect all people. That’s what I was doing at Cisco. But don’t tell me that I have to respect and celebrate what people do in bed. Don’t tell me that I must violate my conscience or my God in order to make widgets. That’s not only immoral and un-American; it’s manipulative and stupid. How does accepting homosexual behavior have anything to do with job productivity? Are we supposed to have sex at work?

There simply is no business reason to judge my beliefs about sexual behavior or anyone else’s. And even if some corporate nanny could dream up a reason, it would not justify the assault on an employee’s conscience or religion.

Notice that Cisco did not have a problem with my behavior. My job performance was deemed excellent, and I was “inclusive and diverse” by working in a respectful manner with people of all moral, religious and political views.

Cisco had a problem with my thoughts. Although I certainly accepted homosexuals, I committed the thought crime of disagreeing with homosexual behavior and homosexual political goals. So despite all their talk about “inclusion and diversity,” Cisco deemed my thoughts about something irrelevant to the workplace as grounds for immediate exclusion. Do you think they would have excluded me if I had pro-same-sex marriage thoughts? Of course not—that’s an approved view that Cisco actually sponsors (even though they deny it).

But people who don’t accept homosexual behavior don’t have to work at Cisco then!

True, they don’t. But if Cisco or any other company wants to make it a requirement that every employee and vendor personally accept the behavior of homosexuality or homosexual political goals such as same-sex marriage, then tell us directly. Broadcast it to the world. Cisco can’t and won’t because such a requirement would be a clear violation of the religious protections codified in the Civil Rights Act, and it would result in a mass exodus of employees and customers.

Instead, they create an oppressive culture of political correctness under the false banner of “inclusion and diversity” to achieve the same ends. They tell the world that they value and encourage “different perspectives, styles, thoughts, and ideas” while they punish or intimidate into silence people who have “different perspectives, styles, thoughts, and ideas.” While Cisco executives would never admit this, their actions reveal this twisted truth: Cisco values homosexual behavior more than honesty, freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.

Is it the same at your workplace? Are you tired of having to hide your conservative or religious beliefs as if you live in a totalitarian state rather than America? If you continue to cower in silence before an intolerant militant minority, it will only get worse. To paraphrase Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.” It’s time to do something—speak up.

Akzed on June 29, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Blacks are two to one opposed to gay marriage. Whites are split evenly.

http://people-press.org/2010/10/06/support-for-same-sex-marriage-edges-upward/

pedestrian on June 29, 2011 at 4:20 PM

This does not make them conservative, however.

Badger40 on June 29, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Shouldn’t the real intent of Cisco’s value of “inclusion and diversity” be to ensure that people in that diverse workforce work together cordially and professionally even when they inevitably disagree on certain political, moral or religious questions?

YES!
Are you tired of having to hide your conservative or religious beliefs as if you live in a totalitarian state rather than America?
Akzed on June 29, 2011 at 4:32 PM

I don’t hide them per se. Rather I do not discuss my beliefs with co-workers. None of them are my friends & I prefer to keep it that way.
In fact, I do not engage in familiararity with any co-workers.
This bodes ill for workplace relations.
People get too casual & don’t do their jobs.
These are all good points in your article Akzed.
People have been cowards for far too long bcs they are fearful.
Standing up for what was right cost me a job once & made it difficult for me to get another.
But I can sleep at night.

Badger40 on June 29, 2011 at 4:41 PM

BuckeyeSam on June 29, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Akzed on June 29, 2011 at 4:32 PM

In the case of defining marriage the children have an innocent, inherent advantage over the older, wiser adults. Ask any child about 4 5 or 6 to draw a picture of a family and they will most likely draw a mother and father. They will also, no matter the physical size of the father ( unless the dad is a midget or dwarf) draw him larger than the mother.

fourdeucer on June 29, 2011 at 4:47 PM

I wonder what would happen if we allowed gay marriage but not gay divorce….

{o.o}

herself on June 30, 2011 at 4:42 AM

test
test
test

stenwin77 on June 30, 2011 at 3:53 PM