Fun, fun, fun: Hillary clashes with NPR host about why she opposed gay marriage for so long

America Rising has a transcript but I recommend listening to the clip. The last minute or two, when Hillary gets verrrrry defensive towards Terry Gross for exposing this vulnerability on her left flank, is pure pleasure. It’s hard to keep track of when big-name Democrats “evolved” on gay marriage, and by “evolved” I of course mean “decided it was politically safe to state their true opinions,” so let me help you out. For Hillary, the evolution didn’t come until March 2013, nearly a year after Obama dropped the pretense that he opposed SSM. Remember, too, that it was her would-be rival Joe Biden blabbing to the press about his own support for gay marriage in May 2012 that nudged Obama to step up, so Biden’s got bragging rights over her among liberals on this point. (And don’t think lefties have forgotten that it was Hillary’s husband who signed DOMA into law.) Her excuse for the long delay is that she was Secretary of State and therefore loath to wade into domestic policy disputes, but c’mon: If she was asked in 2011 whether she supports ending the Bush tax cuts, no one would have blinked had she said, “Of course.” She’s a Democrat. She’s married to a former Democratic president. She ran for the Democratic nomination herself and likely will again. Her sympathies are not a secret. Nobody would have faulted her for politely signaling her support.

What’s weird about her answer is how reluctant she is to commit to a clear explanation. She could have just said, “Yep, changed my mind. Like lots of people, I grew up in an era when it was taken for granted that gays couldn’t marry. I assumed bad things would happen if they did. But the more gay couples I met and the more arguments for it that I listened to, the more persuaded I was that it was the right thing. And then, when gay marriages started happening over the last few years with no ill effects, I was finally convinced. But I felt duty-bound to stay out of it so long as I was at State.” I think she’s trying to say something like that, but by emphasizing repeatedly how quickly American society changed, Gross takes her as meaning that she actually changed her mind earlier but didn’t feel politically safe in announcing it until recently. Which is a cardinal sin in American politics: Better to maintain a bald-faced lie, even if everyone knows it’s a lie, than admit to political cowardice. The left will tolerate the former, as we all saw when they pretended Obama was anti-SSM in 2008. They won’t tolerate the latter, which is why Hillary gets so testy at Gross for badgering her near the end.

Exit quotation: “One of my big problems right now is that too many people believe they have a direct line to the divine and they never want to change their mind about anything.”