Whatever your feelings about Joe Biden, let’s thank him for sparing us the unbearable treacle of Behar et al. swooning over The One as he finally owned up to a position he’s none-too-secretly held and lied about for decades.
Seriously, does anyone believe this?
President Barack Obama planned to announce his support for same-sex marriage during an appearance on ABC’s “The View” next week, before comments Sunday by Vice President Joe Biden caused a timeline change, a top Democrat told CNN.
A senior administration official said the president was booked to appear on the talk show for weeks. Following Biden’s comments, the campaign expected he could address the issue then. However, they ultimately decided to move up the announcement and tell ABC News Wednesday. Obama will tape the interview on Monday, according to the official.
Curiously, there’s no mention of “The View” in Politico’s detailed backgrounder about the end of “evolution.” Instead we have a portrait of an administration that was prepared to keep on lying its collective ass off, at least for a few more months, until Biden forced the issue:
Biden’s remarks on “Meet the Press” deeply annoyed Obama’s team, people close to the situation tell POLITICO, because it aggrandized his role at the expense of Obama’s yeoman efforts on behalf of the community and pushed up the timing of a sensitive announcement they had hoped to break — at a time and place of their own choosing — in the weeks leading up to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this fall.
Nor did it tickle anyone, from Obama on down, that Biden — who backed the Defense of Marriage Act while serving in the Senate in the 1990s — seemed to be getting more credit in the LGBT community than a president who has actually taken steps to repeal the Clinton-era law that defined marriage as something that could only take place between a man and a woman.
Which is it? Was O planning to evolve in late summer before the convention or was he going to break the news next week on “The View”? More to the point, is there any reason to think he was determined to evolve at all before election day? If the economy suddenly picked up over the summer and started to lift O’s job approval rating, the last thing he’d do is jeopardize his new momentum by needlessly injecting a contentious “values” issue into the campaign. Gay marriage might have worked for him as a Hail Mary pass down the road in case the economy continued to sputter and he needed a dramatic distraction but there’s no way he would have gambled on it if he had something stronger to run on. Which is to say, this latest blather about how he had planned to come clean all along is just the newest charade he’s performing for gay-rights supporters to try to convince them that his support for the cause isn’t 99.9 percent opportunistic. They’re being lied to about what his plans were for “The View”; they’re being lied to about his supposed determination to endorse gay marriage during the campaign; and of course by O’s own admission they were lied to when he finally “evolved” earlier this year but chose not to disclose that fact until yesterday. As Ross Douthat put it, “[I]f you accept the framing of the debate that many liberals (and many journalists) embrace, then you have to acknowledge that President Obama has spent the last four years lying to the American people about his convictions on one of the defining civil rights issues of our time, and giving aid and comfort to pure bigotry in the service of his other political priorities.” And yet, and yet, imagine the fawning that would have marked that “View” appearance if it were anything more than a figment of some Democratic spin doctor’s imagination.
All of which is to say, I’m 99 percent confident in my theory that Biden’s remarks really did catch the White House off guard and created such a media shinolastorm that O felt obliged to ‘fess up now and put the issue to bed. Better to get it over with and let it fade before election day than have it come up later. As for that remaining one percent of doubt, though, watch this clip from CBS of a “Will and Grace” producer recounting his chat with Biden at a fundraiser a few weeks ago. He says White House people were there filming and that Biden’s gay marriage rhetoric was “verbatim” with what we saw on “Meet the Press” last weekend, which makes him think that what’s happened over the last few days was in fact “very choreographed.” Hmmmm.