More on “gay marriage”: what was President Obama thinking?
May 15, 2012 8 Comments
The obvious question arises, what it a political decision for the President to endorse “gay marriage?” The answer is straightforward, but needs a bit of qualification. Buckle up for the ride.
Of course it was political. Everything that a politician does is a ploy of some sort and that is not being cynical. We are inclined to devalue the art of political positioning, but it is a time-honored tradition. Yes, President Obama has declined in popularity because of his decision, but that is not necessarily a signal of his righteous intentions. Now, there is a small distinction here. The President is certainly following his own moral instincts, which (sadly) closely mirror those of the typical American Christian.
The President is doing two things here, and he is pretty smart (even if one does not agree with his position). First, he is immunizing himself from criticism in November. By the time of the General Election, most of the fury will be expended and there is simply nothing new to be added. Secondly, and more important, he is also defusing many of the other moral time bombs that are always ticking away and ready to demolish any candidate of the slightest progressive inclination. How this works is pretty interesting.
President Obama knows that “gay marriage” is gaining momentum in public acceptance. We all know gay people. They are excellent folks. They have parents and siblings who are generally sympathetic. The harsh words of a few political opportunists may play in the deep south and in certain religiously attuned conclaves, but America is generally sick and tired of the abusive tone of public conversation.
This is a somewhat subtle maneuver, and people in Arkansas will hardly notice it, but the President has marginalized the Republican arguments against same gender unions. Yes, Mitt Romney will still speak out at Liberty University, but the developing GOP strategy will include a much softer stance in a larger venue. Just watch and see how much play the Republican owned and operated Fox News gives to the more inflammatory anti-gay rhetoric.
In reality, the Evangelicals have been completely abandoned by the Republican Party. There will surely be plenty of lip service to “traditional marriage,” but not in any way that might cost anybody anything. It is exactly like the abortion debate. The strategy this; lie to the Evangelicals for as long as we can get away with it. It has worked perfectly well in the “sanctity of life” debate for 30 years. For the GOP, there is only one sacred value, subsidies for the rich and corporations.
I know lots of my conservative friends will not believe this. Let me just ask a question about the Republican supposed opposition to Roe v. Wade, faint as it has always been. How’s that working out for you guys? Made any progress?
Republicans still win the White House, and probably both houses of Congress, in November. By endorsing “gay marriage,” President Obama has assured that he will not carry one single southern state and no western states except California and Oregon. Republicans will stage a strong “niche” campaign in the south and other socially conservative strongholds, but the larger image will be “the softer side of Mitt.”
This has a tremendous consequence for the Arkansas legislative races, especially in the Second District. More on that in a day or so. It should also be observed that this developing situation bodes ill for Evangelical Christians and those who profess a serious commitment to the gospel message. Does anybody still have the Holy Spirit’s phone number?