By Kevin Price, Publisher and Editor in Chief, US Daily Review.
The announcement by President Barack Obama that he had “evolved” and now fully supports same sex marriage, dominated the headlines of the major media. Articles among the mainstream media focused on his “evolution” on the issue, that really sounds more like a roller coaster ride. He was once firmly for it (when he ran for state Senate in Illinois a decade ago), ambivalent when he ran for the US Senate his first (and only time), and opposed it when he ran for President in 2008. Essentially his position has always been linked, intrinsically, to the political dynamics of his situation. Now, his young daughters talked him into supporting it. According to the Seattle Times, “Obama said he arrived at the decision by talking to gay friends, staff members, his two daughters and his wife, who he said shared his support. His Christian faith and the golden rule factored in. ‘In the end,’ he said, ‘the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people.'” In my experience, it seems odd for anyone of his age, stature, and position to have had such vacillation on a topic this controversial.
The Seattle Times described Obama’s announcement during an interview on ABC News as a “bold, risk shift.” Andrew Sulliven of The Daily Beast said that the President has finally “Let go of fear.” There are few doubts that the President has taken a bold move in his decision, but it does not represent a profile in courage, but an admission of desperation. In the hands of Obama-friendly journalists, he will be seen as showing bravery, but when one looks at this current political fortunes, it demonstrates fear.
My instincts tell me that pragmatic politics and not passionate principle, played a role in this announcement. People will look at the news and note that 30 states have passed laws opposing same sex marriage, with the most recent in North Carolina just this week. Surely this is a sign of his “courage,” we are told. It shows that Obama’s base is evaporating. They may not vote Republican, but they will certainly lack the enthusiasm to energize Obama’s reelection efforts. Expect even more extreme positions as we get closer to November. These positions will probably alienate many independent voters, but that appears to be the risk he will need to take in order to keep his most logical constituencies enthusiastically in his camp.
It is now being reported that Obama raised “$1 million in 90 minutes” after his gay marriage endorsement. This, again, lends to the idea of this being more pandering rather than principle.
In the end, even his media supporters will likely look at the president’s “courage” differently over time. To be pro-gay marriage, but say it is a “state rights” issue is a position other politicians in the past took on slavery, equal rights for minorities, and other controversial issues. History does not always look back fondly on such leaders. Obama has had no problem usurping the authority of the federal government at every opportunity, why would he not do it here? It goes back to this decision being more about fear than courage.
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