"Do You Believe Obama Actually Changed His Mind About Gay Marriage?"
That was the question posed in the title of a column written by Slate editor David Plotz. And here is his succinct answer:
In sharp contrast to the misty-eyed hallelujahs offered up by most of the mainstream media in the wake of President Obama's "evolution" to the point where he announced his support of gay marriage, Plotz remains extremely skeptical about his supposed conversion:
President Obama is no more hypocritical than the next politician—especially if the next one is Mitt Romney—but he certainly is a hypocrite. So while I’m thrilled to celebrate his support for gay marriage, as little as it means legally, I’m irked by his all-too-eloquent conversion story.
In his interview with ABC News, the president recounted a change of heart on gay marriage. He said his thinking had evolved “over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors.” He talked of having observed members of his own staff “in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together.” He referenced conversations with his wife, who agrees with him. And of course he invoked the troops: “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.”
As you can see, Plotz claims there never was any conversion:
Do you believe that—through exposure to these people—the president has actually changed his mind on gay marriage? I don’t. He has always supported it.
Plotz also brings up Obama's declaration that he supported gay marriage as far back as 1996, only to disclaim it later for political purposes:
Oh, and then there is the fact that he said he supported gay marriage, unequivocally. In 1996, as a state senate candidate, Obama wrote and signed a survey declaring: “I favor legalizing same sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” When he ran for president, Obama denied support for gay marriage while endorsing civil unions, and circulated an obviously bushwah story disavowing the 1996 survey, claiming someone else had filled it out. (No matter that Obama signed it.) Liberal Democrats accepted his cover story—and his obvious hypocrisy—because they knew that supporting gay marriage would have been politically fatal to his 2008 prospects.
Plotz wrote his story yesterday before the real reason for Obama's "conversion" became apparent only a few hours later: it's all about the Benjamins. Right on the heels of Obama's gay marriage announcement, Team Obama sent out an fundraising email soliciting campaign donations based on his "evolution" on this issue. I wonder if Mr. Plotz will have something to add about "converting" for bucks.