As everyone has heard by now, Pride Week came a little early to the White House as President Obama declared, “I think same sex couples should be able to get married.” He didn’t push any legislation, and he said legalization should be left up to the states. But he is a U.S. President who has endorsed gay marriage, and before last week there had been no such thing. So there’s that.
Rightbloggers were against it, of course. But in their defense, it had nothing to do with their feelings about gay people — whether they hated them or pretended to like them, they still felt the same way.
Some of the brethren went straight to the old-fashioned fire and brimstone.
“The President of the United States has now put himself publicly on the line for the radical redefinition of marriage, subverting society’s most central institution,” intoned Albert Mohler.
“We have already gone too far, in both law and culture, in weakening the link between marriage and procreation,” fist-shook the editors of National Review. “To break it altogether would make the institution of marriage unintelligible.” People would go to City Hall asking for a marriage license and be unable to get one, because no one would know what they were talking about.
“Obama looks weak and under duress,” claimed Erick Erickson of RedState, and compared Obama’s stand unfavorably to that of former Vice-President Dick Cheney, who supports gay marriage and (as some may remember) served in an Administration that pushed a Constitutional Amendment to ban it. (At Townhall, Derek Hunter added that Cheney came out for gay marriage “three years ago, when it actually was politically disadvantageous to him.” So that’s why they nominated John McCain instead of him!)
“Gay marriage is an important component of the identity politics that dominate the liberal university,” declared Bruce Thornton at FrontPageMagazine. “Like the other so-called minority victims of historical prejudice, oppression, and exclusion, homosexuals are owed affirmation and reparations in the form of faculty positions…” Get your applications in now, folks!
“Lord, I’m really, really fed up with all the identity wedge-issue politics that the leftists keep unearthing,” said Some Guy at RedState. “One week it’s the poor, overburdened college graduate with their 6-percent student loans. The next it’s nymphomaniacs and their easy access to rubbers. Now it’s homosexuals yearning (or, at least panting) to breathe free in a nation of Ward Cleavers that keep them clamped in chains.” Well, you can’t accuse him of sugar-coating it.
Speaking of which: “I think I speak for most heterosexual males when I say I’m not homophobic but chick-o-centric,” w00ted Doug Giles at TownHall. “Let’s keep it positive, okay? It’s not that we dislike gays … it’s just that we really like girls.”
In case you fail to see what he’s getting at, Giles added, “the simple fact is that heterosexual guys don’t ‘get’ gays.” He then proceeded to demonstrate: “I’d be careful, folks, with any ‘evolution’ on matrimony that parts paths with the Son of God’s definition of marriage (Matthew 19:3-9),” he said. “But that’s just me — and 98% of people inhabiting the earth from time immemorial.” Don’t stress, brah, that’s just Doug being chick-o-centric.
When Newsweek ran a cover story, featuring a picture of Obama with a rainbow halo, I Own The World reacted: “Obama IS a fagala. What in hell’s bathroom does a ‘halo’ have to do with fagdom? This is a shameless and transparent attempt, isn’t it, at trying to tie gayness and religion together as if that is as right as rain.” “Newsweek MOCKS CHRISTIANITY,” hollered The Last Tradition. “Married, father of two, boasts several real and composite girlfriends during his college days. Nothin’ but beards?” said Bryan Preston of the PJ Tatler. Somebody introduce these cowboys to Doug Giles.
“Gay marriage, President Obama, and the Castro dictatorship: a combination few would ever imagine could come together, but together they have come,” said Alberto de la Cruz of Babalu.
What? After snarling over the Obama statement (“yet another naked and shameless act of political pandering”), de la Cruz explained, “the daughter of Cuban dictator Raul Castro and the royal princess of Cuba, Mariela Castro,” had approved Obama’s new gay marriage position. “There is no doubt that the news of the Cuban government toying with the idea of legalizing gay marriage will send tingles down the legs of many of its supporters,” said de la Cruz, “And just like what took place with the statement by Obama, the physiological reaction will block their ability to process the fact that Cuba is run by a brutal, vile, repressive, and murderous dictatorship.” The symmetries are staggering, literally.
One very great outrage amongst the brethren was that Obama had adopted a new position, making him a flip-flopper — which, as anyone who saw the delegates chanting FLIP FLOP! at the 2004 Republican Convention knows, is a major piece of rightblogger ordnance.
“Obama’s Flip-Flop On Gay Marriage Was Not Nearly The Historic Moment It’s Being Made Out To Be,” headlined Say Anything (“Again, I’m happy about the outcome, but let’s not pretend as though this was courage…”). “Obama’s flip-flop on same sex marriage still driven by the campaign,” said Some Guy at Hot Air Green Room. “The ‘evolution’ of a flip-flop,” said Douglas Ernst. “PRESIDENT OBAMA’S FLIP-FLOP ON GAY MARRIAGE: Fodder for mockery on Twitter,” reported Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.
“Obama’s Flip, Flop, Flip On Gay Marriage,” improvised Jeff Katz at Pundit House. “I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about other people’s bedroom activities,” he added; “if you want to live with a man, a woman or hyena, I wish you all a long happy healthy life.”
Speaking of toleration, you could see the strain on some rightbloggers who like to portray themselves as pro-gay marriage, but felt they had to minimize Obama’s achievement. “What struck me was how much [Obama] struggles to drag the statement out of himself and, specifically, how intently he stared down and to the left,” psychedelicized Ann Althouse. “There’s some evidence that a person’s eye direction indicates whether a person is accessing their memory or making something up…” We never did find out whether Althouse approved, or came down.
B. Daniel Blatt of Gay Patriot, who is gay and supports same-sex marriage, denounced Obama’s statement because “all we get is a man making a statement. And despite the office he holds, he is putting forward no actual policies that might effect real change.”
Later Blatt praised Mitt Romney, who also made a statement, though of a much different kind. “[Log Cabin Executive Director R.] Clarke [Cooper] is right to criticize Romney for his ‘opposition to not just marriage but civil unions,'” Blatt said, “but his tone is counterproductive.” Blatt further explained, “[Romney] did say, what we already know him to believe, ‘Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman'” — but, he offered productively, Romney “didn’t attack gay people,” by which he must have meant that Romney didn’t jump off the stage and physically attack them.
Some rightbloggers who opposed marriage equality wanted gays to know it was nothing personal. Dennis Prager called SSM “the most radical redefinition of marriage in history (more radical than outlawing polygamy)… I believe that the ultimate aim of the LGBT movement and the rest of the cultural Left is nothing less than to end gender distinctions.” (You know, unisex bathrooms etc.)
Yet Prager insisted “I am not anti-gay,” and called on his fellow SSM opponents to “make it clear that we regard homosexuals as fellow human beings created in God’s image,” albeit fellow human beings whose conspiracy to radically redefine marriage and erase gender distinctions requires Prager to write bigoted crap about them on a regular basis.
“All that anti-gay talk you hear from the GOP?” Robert Stacy McCain told his imaginary gay readers. “It’s just insincere political pandering, anyway. Those of us conservatives who sincerely believe in traditional marriage (a) don’t ‘hate’ you, despite what you’ve been told by your Democrat overlords…” Besides, he added, “at least Republicans don’t claim to be screwing you over in the pursuit of social justice.” Who wouldn’t take a deal like that?
Some of the brethren took the logically airtight position that Obama was supporting a measure that has been made illegal by referendum in dozens of states (including, most recently, swing state North Carolina) as a sneaky way to win the election.
“Frank Bruni wrote: ‘Hooray for President Obama, who indeed risked something today.’ What risk?” asked Robert Soave at The Daily Caller. “About half the country supports gay marriage, as does a majority of independent voters…” Really, gay marriage is pretty much in the bag, despite being illegal in 44 states, and here’s Obama acting like being the first President to support it is some kind of big deal.
“Not only did they raise a ton of dough, they also distracted everyone for a few days from all of the dismal economic news,” groused The Lonely Conservative. “…The only thing they may have gotten wrong is timing. By November more people might figure out they’ve been had. We can only hope.” News must travel slow out his way.
As this doesn’t make any sense, the more inventive rightbloggers tried to figure out other, more exotic reasons for the move.
One big theme was that Obama did it just to coax money out of homosexual campaign contributors — “GAY FOR PAY,” as the Washington Free Beacon classily put it — who presumably would have otherwise given their cash to Gary Johnson instead.
“Obama already sending out fundraising e-mails about gay marriage flip flop,” cried Allahpundit. “Figures. Obama Already Selling Gay Marriage Swag on Website,” noted Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit. “Obviously, the Obama campaign is hoping the early gay marriage endorsement will help energize big Democratic donors who were still sitting on the sidelines, particularly Hollywood liberals,” claimed Alana Goodman at Commentary. “GAY MARRIAGE FLIP-FLOP OPENS HOLLYWOOD COFFERS TONIGHT,” yelled Andrew Breitbart’s Big Hollywood.
At The American Spectator, Aaron Goldstein came up with a beauty: Obama was planning to lose in 2012, and then come back when everyone was more gay.
After saying that “I happen to support same sex marriage. But Obama is only supporting it because it is now politically expedient for him to do so,” Goldstein explained how that would work: Gay marriage would be Obama’s “ready made excuse for his defeat. Obama can say that the forces of darkness (i.e. opponents of gay marriage) are to blame for his defeat while patting himself on the back for his ‘courage’ in supporting same sex marriage. It also helps to position him for a comeback in 2016 or 2020,” when “with a greater presence of voters born after 1980 chances are there will be more voters in favor of gay marriage which would give Obama an opportunity to claim he was ahead of the curve.” This reminds us of the time we flunked Trigonometry as part of a surprise attack on Advanced Calculus.
At Real Clear Politics, Rich Lowry went in for psychoanalysis: “How it must have eaten away at him to be the first African-American president,” mused Lowry, “yet not associate himself with what has been deemed the foremost civil-rights issue of the age. To be a progressive in favor of all things ‘forward,’ but retrograde on marriage.”
Well, Obama had been doing that for years. Why switch now? Lowry never clearly explained, but he did say that it also must have eaten at Obama “to watch his sloppy, unserious second-in-command get all the credit for moral courage by forthrightly endorsing gay marriage on ‘Meet the Press’ while he clung to his artful dodge.” So we may assume that Barack Obama acted out of passionate jealousy of Joe Biden.
Our favorite of these Choose Your Own Adventure explanations came from Brutally Honest, allegedly quoting one Steve Schippert, who deduced that Obama came out for gay marriage right after it got crushed in North Carolina because, while “to support it before makes you a loser on the losing side… you can come in afterwards and appear to be supporting an underdog – a popular position in the traditional eyes of Americans – rather than just another loser.” Wheels within wheels — that’s how wily the Kenyan pretender is, supporting an underdog so he’ll look like he’s supporting an underdog.
Meanwhile, none of these people suggest any complicated, diabolical reasons why Mitt Romney opposes same sex marriages and civil unions. That’s because everyone knows why he opposes them: Like every serious Presidential candidate before this year, Romney is betting he’ll get more votes pretending gay marriage is a threat to “traditional marriage” than not.
In rightblogger world, this is the less cynical approach to the issue.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 13, 2012