Via Ben Smith, the Windy City Times rifles through some old file cabinets and strikes gold. Such was The One’s flip-flopping during the campaign (especially on this subject) that I couldn’t remember at first if we already knew this or not. Initially I thought we did, then realized that I was confusing this new questionnaire with a different questionnaire that he also filled out in 1996. Remember that one? Where he said he supported a total handgun ban, then claimed to Politico that a staffer had filled out the document unknowingly on his behalf, then got caught lying because a second copy showed his handwritten revisions on the document? Good times.

Anyway, this one’s different. And we did, sort of, already know it was true: The Windy City Times reported in October that its 1996 election guide listed Obama as pro-gay marriage, but since the questionnaire on which it was based had been lost, there was a chance they’d simply misinterpreted his position. Well, now it’s been found; see for yourself how unambiguous it was. In fact, read the whole piece, not just because it incorporates a second questionnaire where he reemphasizes his willingness to support a gay marriage resolution (see question 7) but because the author interviewed him in 2004 and found his objections to GM to be more strategic than religious, as they supposedly are now. Exit question: Pretend for a minute that there’s more to Obama’s thinking on this than naked political expedience. Why, precisely, have his views grown more conservative over time? And why, as I asked once before, is he letting his religious objection dictate his policy position when he’s explicitly rejected that sort of reasoning in the past?

Tags: Barack Obama