Green Room

Oh Just Come Out and Say It!

posted at 8:04 pm on May 7, 2012 by

As I am sure many of you know by now, Vice President Biden basically endorsed gay marriage Sunday. Now the Obama administration is twisting in knots trying to affirm the President’s opposition, but not really, to gay marriage.

I think it would be safe to say for many on the right, including myself, this whole sideshow is exasperating. If the President is for gay marriage (who’s he kidding) then he should come out (no pun intended) and say so. However, that would be too easy. I see this whole charade playing out in one of several different ways.

1.) Obama is actually against gay marriage, but doesn’t want to tick off his Hollywood supporters and more importantly, he doesn’t want to lose their contributions. Those contributions matter, a lot. But who are we kidding, Obama’s for gay marriage. People actually opposed to gay marriage (like me) don’t say they are “evolving” on the issue.

2.) Obama WILL announce he is for gay marriage some time this year, but he wants to save it for a special occasion. I anticipate this occurs either a.) the day after the Republican National Convention to change the subject (the media will happily oblige) b.) during his speech at the Democratic National Convention (sets SOME sort of second term agenda) c.) during one of the debates (anything to change the subject and/or to catch Romney flat-footed. He’ll aim to have a “The American President” or “The West Wing” moment).

3.) Obama announces he’s for gay marriage after the election. He’ll have more “flexibility” and he won’t have to worry about the fallout from his fully evolved position.

4.) Obama doesn’t change his position at all, he continues with what he has been doing, never coming out in favor of gay marriage, but opposing any pro-traditional marriage initiatives that might come up.

I think 2 & 3 are the most likely. As we’ve seen, the President isn’t shy about trying to change the subject and if he thought that announcing his support of gay marriage would, on balance, help him one iota, he’d do it.

So what to do about it. Well, if I were the Romney campaign, I’d do two things. First, pressure Obama to come out and announce his support for gay marriage. Let everybody know that you’re not buying his faux opposition and that Obama should announce his support for gay marriage. If you put enough pressure on Obama and he is forced to announce his support in May or June and not in the fall, then one giant distraction goes away. Second, Romney should prebut the President on this issue. Like he tried to do in Charlotte in regards to jobs, do so again in regards to marriage. State your support for traditional marriage and attack Obama for his obfuscation. Turn a weakness of yours (lack of authenticity) and turn it around and make it a weakness of your opponent too.

Of course, anything can happen and I shouldn’t be arrogant enough to believe that a Presidential candidate would listen to me (I’d be flattered if he did though).

Btw: While I am opposed to gay marriage, I am under no illusion as to the current course of public opinion. I pretty much agree with this article by Rod Dreher in regards to social conservative opposition to gay marriage. However, sometimes you fight the fights that need fighting even if you end up losing.

P.S.- If you want a rational debate about gay marriage (i.e. Dan Savage isn’t within a 1000 miles of the event) check these out (that means you AP):

Dr. Michael Brown vs. Dr. Eric Smaw

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse vs. Christine Sun

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If marriage is a “right,” then the gov’t better hurry up and provide me with a wife.

John the Libertarian on May 7, 2012 at 8:40 PM

John the Libertarian on May 7, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Careful, there. I’m not optimistic about what the gov’t would provide you with. I hear Julia’s “looking”…

J.E. Dyer on May 7, 2012 at 9:36 PM

I understand Obama’s trepidation. Remember what happened back when Dick Cheney spoke in support of gay marriage? Liberals absolutely hated him.

malclave on May 7, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Team Obama’s caution goes back to the fact that the huge African-American turnout for him in California in 2008 also served to help pass Proposition 8, since exit polling showed that African-American voters went heavily in favor of reversing the court-ordered legalization of gay marriage in the state.

So for Obama to come out in favor of gay marriage before Nov. 6 doesn’t mean that African-American voters are suddenly going to cast their ballots in droves for Mitt Romney. But it could mean a larger percentage might not vote at all, and in the swing states, that could be fatal. That’s why Option 3 is the most likely — if Obama’s re-elected, he’ll come out backing gay marriage in 2013, when it’s both too late to affect this year’s election and Obama is term-limited, so there’s no way for any voters who feel betrayed not to vote for him the next time around.

jon1979 on May 7, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Why do people insist, against all evidence, that Barack Obama must be in favor of gay marriage? Has he ever done or said anything whatsoever that could even be taken as veiled support for gay marriage?

This is pure projection, and a great source of Barack Obama’s political power. You want gay marriage, so in your mind, for some reason, Barack Obama must secretly want gay marriage as well. Even though he’s never said or done anything that is inconsistant with his position that he doesn’t.

“I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views,”

His own words. Why do people not believe them?

jms on May 8, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Not sure about making the announcement during the convention. It’s in North Carolina which today is voting on, and is expected to pass, a ban on gay marriage. That would be sticking a finger in the eye of a state he needs to win.

Most likely, he’ll soft peddle his support of gay marriage at some point. He’ll just try and muddle through it.

rbj on May 8, 2012 at 10:21 AM

We have this discussion often in my office (Majority conservative with a few liberals and two Libertarians). We came up with a great solution, and Romney (if he truly is a middle of the road, center kind of guy) would do well to express this and remove it as a talking point (not to mention secure a portion of the homosexual demographic that have been waiting for years for something in this vein).

Marriage is a religious institution, an agreement between two people and their God. Thus, the state has no right to define marriage in any way, shape or form.

A civil union is a legal contract. At the state level, this is two ppl going down to the courthouse and having a JoP or equivalent ‘certify’ their ‘marriage’.

Everyone should be able to get a civil union. If there are churches out there that have no problem with same-sex marraige (and there are plenty), then ppl can join those churches and get married. However, the government will NEVER have the right to FORCE churches who are morally against same-sex marriage to perform them (and there are still tons of those out there as well).

This will satisfy the ‘union for the same rights and nothing more’ crowd, and expose those pretenders that are hiding behind this argument (think the slippery slope arguments conservatives are verbalizing).

Bottom line, no one should care if two ppl of the same sex want to live together, adopt children, get a civil union, etc. This does nothing to the ‘sanctity of marriage’, as it is not marriage (and we hetero ppl have done more than enough in the last 100 yrs to destroy that ‘sanctity’ as it is).

There will still be ppl who get their panties in a bunch over it, but it removes the ‘force the church to perform marriage against their will’ arguments from our side and the ‘equal rights under the law for civil unions’ arguments from the other.

majordomomojo on May 8, 2012 at 10:25 AM