An amazing catch from BuzzFeed. Remember Matt Salmon? Republican, congressman, strong social conservative, opponent of gay marriage — and father of a gay son. I wrote about him last week as a counterpoint to Rob Portman, to show how opponents of SSM with gay family members deal with this issue differently. Salmon hasn’t flipped like Portman did but he does have warm words about his son. Turns out the son has warm words for his father too.
“He doesn’t see it as not allowing his son to be with the person he loves because he knows that regardless of where marriage is, I’m going to be with the person that I love,” the son told The Washington Blade. “Whether I can legally marry in Arizona or not, it’s not going to change that fact and my father knows that and he accepts my desire to be with the man that I love. As far as it goes with marriage for him, it’s a matter of what marriage means to him. To him, marriage is defined as between a man and a woman. It has nothing to do with the way he views a person’s relationship, and that’s the thing that I think is hard for people to understand.”…
“People seem to be trying so hard to analyze where it’s coming from, but really he was quite straight-forward,” the congressman’s son told the newspaper on Tuesday, describing his father as “incredibly tolerant.” “My father loves me very much and he supports me and he respects me. He’s very much there for me as one of my closest friends. I think that was obvious in everything that he had to say.”
Everyone’s bored with this subject. I dutifully update the list of Dems who are cynically “evolving” to placate their base because it’s fun to watch them squirm, but I’m bored with it too. Every angle has been picked clean — except maybe how a conservative legislator and his son remain close while disagreeing on a policy issue that affects them very personally. That’s fantastic drama, both human and political. If I were a cable-news booker I’d be dying to have them on, ideally for a joint interview but separately if that’s all I could get. Purely as television, it can’t miss.
And yet, according to the younger Salmon, neither Piers Morgan’s nor Lawrence O’Donnell’s bookers were interested once he made it clear that he didn’t feel like dumping on his old man for the righteous entertainment of their respective audiences. Interviewing one or both of them about this means easy ratings and a rare opportunity for political cable news shows to explore a topic that doesn’t easily lend itself to talking points on either side. How likely is it that an unbiased show booker wouldn’t be interested in that? Alas, the narrative will not be denied. Hopefully Fox News or Jake Tapper will take advantage. Click the image to watch.