November 25, 2015

Archives for May 9, 2012

When you can’t win on the economy, go after gay marriage.

Typically, I write off most of what Joe Biden says to gaffs. Even in jest, though, the truth is often found.  Like when he said he supported gay marriage while the President’s views were still “evolving,” whatever that means.

Actually–wait. I’ll tell you what “evolving” means: it means that the President, as of this morning, supports gay marriage. Three days after the Vice President’s gaff, and a day after a very flustered White House Press Secretary fought to keep the news media at bay, a quickly arranged interview with ABC revealed that the President’s views on marriage are no longer “evolving.” He supports gay marriage.

“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Roberts in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.

Never mind that it flies in the face of laws and state constitutional amendments in over thirty states, including, also as of this morning, North Carolina.  I write that policy change off to more than just the Veep’s gaff–it’s the result of a previously calculated development of a wedge issue. If the president can’t win on the economy–and he can’t–he’s going to go after something else.

Can we get a quote from you on that historic vote, Mr. President? No? Well, how about from the Obama campaign?

President Barack Obama’s campaign says he’s “disappointed” with North Carolina’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Obama campaign spokesman Cameron French said in a Tuesday statement that the ban on same-sex unions is “divisive and discriminatory.”

That’s what happens when the Vice President makes a gaff (was it a gaff?). An entire administration shifts its political strategy to compensate.

Result? A wedge issue for the general election rightly belongs in the states, not the federal government. No matter how you feel about gay marriage–and even if your views are “evolving–it’s an issue that is reserved to the states to decide. By introducing it at the federal level we face the likelihood that issues more relevant to the Presidential race will be pushed aside.

Issues like the economy. Or the absence, for three years running now, of a federal budget.

Be smart. Leave gay marriage to the states. Deal with the things that matter on the federal level, starting with entitlement reform, deficit reduction, national security, and government spending. The family, and family law, is an issue that is better left reserved to the states.

[Washington Post] [ABC] [CNN] [Huffington Post]