Obama team gaming out open support for gay marriage among top Democrats?

posted at 1:55 pm on March 23, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Greg Sargent gets the leak from a Democratic strategist in the loop on what could best be described as focus-group testing to change Barack Obama’s stated values system.  In the 2008 campaign, Obama opposed gay marriage while supporting civil unions and decrying discrimination, a rather safe position even in the Democratic Party.  No one really believed it, though, and almost ever since taking office Obama and his team have talked about his “evolving” state of mind on the issue of gay marriage.  Now it seems that Obama wants to have party honchos test out his, er, theory of evolution:

Obama’s top political advisers have held serious discussions with leading Democrats about the upsides and downsides of coming out for gay marriage before the fall election, a Democratic strategist who has discussed these matters directly with Obama’s campaign inner circle tells me.

This does not mean that it will happen, and there are plenty of reasons to assume it won’t. Indeed, it would be political malpractice if Obama’s top advisers didn’t discuss every permutation and possibility, no matter how far fetched. However, the fact that it has been discussed seriously at high levels means it’s not out of the question.

Well, sure, it’s good to get the messaging right when laying out a statement on values.  On the other hand, Obama has already made a statement on these values — he supports the definition of marriage being between one man and one woman.  Have those values “evolved”?  If they have, then shouldn’t Obama be honest and say so?  This sounds like Obama has either changed his mind, wasn’t honest before, or cares less about the issue than in leveraging it for the best political outcome.

That’s what makes this sound so ridiculous:

Those advisers are convinced that Obama will make this call based on his gut, and ultimately without regard to the fine-grained political analysis of the situation, the source says.

If that were true, he wouldn’t need to check with “leading Democrats,” or send his advisers out to do so.  Obama would prepare a statement explaining his position and its evolution, which he could do with his advisers alone.  Asking whether or not to do so isn’t making a “gut” call — it’s practically the polar opposite of a gut call.

Greg seems to think this could be a game changer among Democrats, who would be invigorated for the fall election “far beyond the gay community.”  That’s only true if one believes Obama actually changed his mind, “evolving” or otherwise.  Most people have assumed that Obama supports gay marriage personally, and that all of the talk about “evolving” thoughts were just a dodge for the sake of political expediency — and a focus-group-tested switch would just be more of the same.


Related Posts:

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

Comment pages: 1 2

I am not convinced that its about having the same legal rights.

chemman on March 23, 2012 at 3:33 PM

It never was, chemman.

Marriage is a consolidation of several different legal points and benefits into a single package. It does not create any particular unique rights; it merely simplifies and straightens out the necessary legal processes around the recognition and protection of biological children and provides societal subsidy to assist in the cost of raising said children.

The instructive thing is that gays and lesbians regularly bring up things like tax issues, but insist that the only way to solve them is by gay-sex marriage — NOT by changing the tax code.

The reason is that they don’t want to solve the problem and they don’t care about the benefits. They simply want to punish churches and the religious and force society to give them special privileges based on their sexual orientation.

northdallasthirty on March 23, 2012 at 3:39 PM

It’s also true that Obama and team desperately want the election to be about something other than the economy. However, Obama is going to inadvertently motivate social conservatives who may be inclined to stay home in lieu of voting for Romney in the general election. Moreover, blacks and Hispanics have shown they are not motivated by this issue and are more inclined to vote against it. (See Cali prop 8)

FreeManOtis on March 23, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Bingo.

Obama is trying to make sure that the easily-distracted single-issue voters like ZachV do exactly what he says; he believes that, because of his black skin, he can still pull 98% of the black vote, and it’s doubtful anyone to whom he would listen would tell him otherwise.

The Fluke fiasco is a great example. Because Obama has never seen or dealt women other than enslaved abortion militants who will justify any kind of behavior as long as you endorse baby-killing, he assumes that ALL women think and act that way. Pro-life women or pro-abortion women who don’t think the government should be forcing churches to pay their bills for them are as unknown to him as non-Jew hating ministers.

Obama thinks all black people are ignorant racists who will vote for him because of his skin color, and all Hispanics are illegal immigrants who will do whatever he says as long as he makes vague promises about legalizing them. He doesn’t believe that black people or Hispanics would ever disagree with him or ever not vote for him.

northdallasthirty on March 23, 2012 at 3:43 PM

northdallasthirty on March 23, 2012 at 3:43 PM
Good points.

pambi on March 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake. I hope his “values” do evolve, and he comes out in favor of gay marriage. With his health care mandate to Catholic institutions, his long-standing position on abortion, and now this– Nothing better to solidify conservative Christian voters.

DrStock on March 23, 2012 at 4:21 PM

The instructive thing is that gays and lesbians regularly bring up things like tax issues, but insist that the only way to solve them is by gay-sex marriage — NOT by changing the tax code.

The reason is that they don’t want to solve the problem and they don’t care about the benefits. They simply want to punish churches and the religious and force society to give them special privileges based on their sexual orientation.

northdallasthirty on March 23, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Churches are exempt from having to accept or marry gays. State marriage can’t be subject to the variety of church doctrines regarding marriage. Married gays are lobbying the IRS for federal tax recognition of their state marriages. Apparently, they are pursuing the tax question and a state marriage license has been instrumental in that pursuit.

OptionsTrader on March 23, 2012 at 4:23 PM

What should be infuriating to gay democrats is that they have a gay President too afraid to come out of the closet. But he’s so, oh what’s the word again? Oh yeh, gutsy!

txhsmom on March 23, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Value system based on focus groups. Who’d a thunk it?

mouell on March 23, 2012 at 4:39 PM

I think it was Donald Sensing that used the example “If I call a dog’s tail a foot, how many feet does he now have? He still has only four. I can call a tail a foot, but it does not make it so – it is stilll a tail.” Marriage cannot be so easily re-defined just by calling something else marriage. It is a ‘thing’ that is defined. This issue has failed in every state that has actually voted on it by the people. It has only ever been passed by legislatures or the courts. I do not think Obama realizeds that it lost in California largely due to the Black and Hispanic voters. I strongly suggest anyone read this essay. It is truly outstanding.

mouell on March 23, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Greg Sargent thinks coming out for gay marriage is a winning issue for Democrats? Really?? Has he paid any attention to what happens when the issue is put before the voters???

As for Obama, his “values” include no-holds-barred abortion-on-demand even when the fetus comes through the procedure alive and even though he says that deciding the point at which a fetus becomes “human” is above his pay grade. His “values” include behind the scenes pressure to have court records of private proceedings unsealed so as to embarrass opponents and run them out of the race. His “values” include forcing the religious to subscribe to and support behavior that violates their beliefs. Why would anyone think that he even cares about the sanctity of the male/female union. Evolving values–don’t make me laugh.

SukieTawdry on March 23, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Churches are exempt from having to accept or marry gays.

OptionsTrader on March 23, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Wrong. Barack Obama and the Barack Obama administration state that churches have no rights and anyone who objects to gay-sex marriage or gay and lesbian behavior must be suppressed and punished.

State marriage can’t be subject to the variety of church doctrines regarding marriage.

OptionsTrader on March 23, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Sure it can, if voters choose to vote that way.

That’s the beauty of democracy and the republican system that we have set up. The fact that you loathe and hate religious belief doesn’t mean that you can ban it from government or ban people from making decisions based on it.

Gay-sex marriage is simply the latest battlefield chosen by antireligious bigots.

Married gays are lobbying the IRS for federal tax recognition of their state marriages. Apparently, they are pursuing the tax question and a state marriage license has been instrumental in that pursuit.

OptionsTrader on March 23, 2012 at 4:23 PM

And plural marriage practitioners are lobbying the IRS for federal tax recognition of their multiple marriages. Your point?

northdallasthirty on March 23, 2012 at 5:09 PM

And if you want to see where the Barack Obama administration and in particular Barack Obama are evolving to, all you need do is look at this document, in which Barack Obama nominee and Barack Obama puppet Chai Feldblum says this:

Marriage is not the only worthy form of family or relationship, and it should not be legally and economically privileged above all others.

When you also consider how Barack Obama and the Barack Obama Party endorse and support plural marriage, you can understand even more how Barack Obama is “evolving”.

northdallasthirty on March 23, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Wow. As noted by a few above – please make this an issue in the campaign. You don’t have to work 24/7 in political consulting to see this could be a catastrophe for the Dems in down-ticket races.

It also makes no electoral sense on the presidential level, therefore, no sense.

Winning NY or CA by 8% vs. 4% does not matter – ditto for other hopelessly cretinous states like MA and HI and so on.

But the political genius of antagonizing the Catholic Church, pushing the pathetic story of “evolving” views on the losing issue of gay “marriage”, and having a farce of an energy policy and cancelling/delaying major pipelines during a gasoline-price crisis has to be admired. Against the dismal economic background, this combo could put states in play that should be easy wins.

To top it off, some nice race-based federal posturing over the FL case might help create the potential for a true landslide. I have been thinking that Bambi winning 10 states is a possibility, depending on circumstance over the next 6 months. He and his team are certainly laying the groundwork for a defeat of epic proportions.

And though we can count on 100% collaboration by what is called the “press” in covering up the almost daily stumbles and gaffes that they managed to conceal in 2008, don’t forget this is a guy and a team who are truly third-rate at retail politics. Some of the low-info idiots who voted for him last time will possibly care about signs of idiocy that leak through the media filter, now that they have seen what a disaster he and his type when in power.

IceCold on March 23, 2012 at 6:49 PM

I too think this would be a hot-button issue. I certainly think consenting adults have the right to be happy in love, but I’m not about to support gay marriage and call it the same as traditional marriage because it isn’t, and I would not vote that way. If the Obama administration can bully the Church over birth control, I can totally see him picking a fight with the Pope over this. My issue on gay marriage, lifestyle, culture,is that my tolerance isn’t enough. They want me to condone it and embrace it as the same, which I won’t because it isn’t. For that, I’m labeled intolerant.

redmama on March 23, 2012 at 8:10 PM

he was lying all along. He supports gay marriage, period. Is this the move that finally drives black people back to the Republican party? This would leave hardcore zombie Democrat weekly churchgoers but assed naked politically speaking. Obama would go down as the predsident that destroyed the plantation…

Theworldisnotenough on March 23, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Wrong. Barack Obama and the Barack Obama administration state that churches have no rights and anyone who objects to gay-sex marriage or gay and lesbian behavior must be suppressed and punished.
northdallasthirty on March 23, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Your link doesn’t address a church in its examples. If you can find a case in the United States where a church was forced by the government to perform a gay marriage or admit gays, please post the link. Government gay marriage has been legal in some states for several years now perhaps there are cases by now, though like women seeking the Catholic priesthood via anti-discrimination law the gays will lose in court.

OptionsTrader on March 23, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Your link doesn’t address a church in its examples. If you can find a case in the United States where a church was forced by the government to perform a gay marriage or admit gays, please post the link. OptionsTrader on March 23, 2012 at 10:20 PM

So the couple filed a complaint with New Jersey’s Division of Civil Rights, alleging the Methodists unlawfully discriminated against them based on sexual orientation. Attorney Lawrence Lustberg represents them.

“Our law against discrimination does not allow [the group] to use those personal preferences, no matter how deeply held, and no matter — even if they’re religiously based — as a grounds to discriminate,” Lustberg says. “Religion shouldn’t be about violating the law.”

The Methodist organization responded that it was their property, and the First Amendment protects their right to practice their faith without government intrusion. But Lustberg countered that the pavilion is open to everyone — and therefore the group could no more refuse to accommodate the lesbians than a restaurant owner could refuse to serve a black man. That argument carried the day. The state revoked the organization’s tax exemption for the pavilion area. Hoffman figures they will lose $20,000.

Close enough?

Akzed on March 24, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Thanks Akzed.

Add to that the fact that you have Obama’s little puppet Chai Feldblum admitting that gay sex must always trump religious liberty, and that shows you exactly where the Obama Party’s values lie. Just as they mandate that churches must pay for abortion, they mandate that churches must perform gay-sex marriage.

Do you oppose the First Amendment, OptionsTrader? Obama and the Obama Party do.

northdallasthirty on March 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM

The Methodist organization responded that it was their property, and the First Amendment protects their right to practice their faith without government intrusion. But Lustberg countered that the pavilion is open to everyone — and therefore the group could no more refuse to accommodate the lesbians than a restaurant owner could refuse to serve a black man. That argument carried the day. The state revoked the organization’s tax exemption for the pavilion area. Hoffman figures they will lose $20,000.

Close enough?

Akzed on March 24, 2012 at 10:26 AM

If the court had decided that the pavillion was a church, it would have been covered by the First Amendment. The government didn’t compel the Methodist church to participate in the ceremony or to recognize the lesbian marriage as a valid sacrament.

OptionsTrader on March 24, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Comment pages: 1 2