The thinker: Obama and gay marriage

Of course, Obama isn’t just your run-of-the-mill opponent of gay marriage. No, he wants to have that one both ways, too. So it is that every time he reiterates his hostility to gay marriage, he insists on adding that he’s “grappling” or “wrestling” with the issue. The Associated Press report on the DOMA decision, for example, included the information that Obama “is still wrestling with whether gay couples should have the right to marry.”…

In any case, Obama’s direction of the spotlight upon his own supposedly “evolving” philosophy about gay marriage places his personal thought processes at the center of things in a way that comes off as distinctively obnoxious and self-regarding — and just plain insulting to American citizens whose lives are touched by the issue in question in a way that Obama’s isn’t. For another politician to respond to gay marriage with a flat, firm, decisive “no” seems to me less condescending toward gay couples than this obnoxious, self-regarding business about Obama’s “evolving” views. Again, this isn’t just about gay marriage: this one remark about Obama’s “evolving” views illuminates the way he thinks about the way he thinks. And what one comes away with is the clear impression that, in his view, there’s nothing odd or inappropriate about demanding that hundreds of thousands of American citizens wait patiently, hold their collective breath, and keep their lives on hold while Obama’s mind performs its exquisite work — moving, like the very mind of Caesar in his tent, in perfect and magnificent silence.