Obama's Flip on Gay Marriage About Politics, Not Principle
So now Obama's views on gay marriage have "evolved". This follows Monday's announcement by VP Biden that he now supports gay marriage, after voting in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act. This should come as no surprise if you follow politics. It's pandering and hypocrisy of the worst kind. If you believe for a second that these guys really support gay marriage, then ask yourself this: why didn't they repeal DOMA, as Obama promised to do in his campaign, when they had both houses of Congress for two years?
Because it wasn't politically expedient. I'd even call them homophobic, if for no other reason than if the situation were reversed, those are the accusations that the Liberals would fling at the Right.
Let’s review some history and then examine why this is so politically expedient for Obama.
The Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law by a Democratic President, Bill Clinton. The bill passed in the House 342-67. Of the 198 Democrats in the House, 118 (60%) voted in favor of the bill. These included some of the most Liberal congressmen at the time, including Rep. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Dick Gephardt, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer.
The bill passed in the Senate 85-14. Of the 46 Democratic Senators, 32 (70%) voted in favor. Those in favor included current Vice President Joe Biden, current Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid, and then President Pro Tempore Robert Byrd.
Fast-forward to 2008. Sen. Barack Obama made a campaign promise to repeal DOMA. He was elected President. Democrats end up controlling both houses of Congress. DOMA was not repealed and remains the law of the land.
Again, it's Republicans that are allegedly homophobic. Uh huh. These Democrats were just "being political".
Anyway, Obama didn't repeal DOMA at the time because he already had the majority of people vote him in. He was riding the wave. He was speaking to vast crowds beside Greek columns. If he repealed DOMA, he wouldn't win any new supporters and might lose those few indepedents he didn't have.
So why announce that he favors gay marriage now? Because it is useful politically. He no longer enjoys the broad support he had in 2008. He just gave an important speech to a hall at Ohio State that was a third empty, the same one that had been packed to see him in 2008. A jailed felon captured 42% of one state's primary votes.
This move gives Obama a chance to reclaim those that might now be on the fence about him, or switched to Romney. Moreover, those who hated him in 2008 hate him worse now, so he won't lose anything in that group.
There's more coming. Now watch the Senate bring a vote to repeal DOMA to the floor, forcing Republicans to vote it down in order to satisfy their base -- allowing Obama to once again use the language of division in his campaign -- "Look at those homophobic Republicans!" This will be another distraction from his failed record as President. And of course, the House Minority Leader will try to bring the repeal to the floor with the same result. Prior to this week's announcements, there was a legitimate question as to why would anyone in favor of gay marriage would vote for Obama.
This should come as no surprise. Neither should the fact that Obama was for same-sex marriage before he was against it before he was for it, again.