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Obama's Gay Marriage Rollout

[ Posted Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 – 14:56 PDT ]

The media -- pretty much all of them -- just got "played," by the Obama campaign. And they don't even realize it yet. What we just witnessed, for roughly the past four days, was not a "breaking story" or even an "evolution" of any sort. What we just witnessed, capped this morning by President Barack Obama's statement of support for gay marriage, was nothing more than the introduction of a new (political) product. It was a "new and improved" product rollout -- nothing more, nothing less.

Before I begin to back that statement up, a personal note. This column is an odd one for me to write, for several reasons. The first is I don't usually like to jump into the fray of "snap judgments" on breaking news story, preferring to let the dust settle a bit before commenting. The second is (believe it or not) I was already going to write about this today -- although the conclusions I would have drawn would have been far different (and mostly wrong), if, say, Obama had released his gay marriage support an hour after I had published what I was going to write. Third, I'm not really going to address the core issue itself -- gay marriage support -- because I'm totally focused on the political/media nexus instead. Lastly, I'm about to use an argument that I never really bought into back when it was a popular argument to make (circa 2008-2009).

During Obama's last campaign, and during about his first year in office, there were those on the Left who would tell you (whenever there was news about Obama doing something inexplicable) not to worry, because he was playing "multi-dimensional chess" while his lesser opponents were desperately trying to play checkers. Obama was the mastermind, the master game-player, in this construct. I never fully bought into this argument, although it was a common one heard back then.

But this time, it's hard to see it any other way. The Obama campaign team just brilliantly snookered the entire media universe -- right, left, and center -- into generating a news frenzy days before a major campaign announcement was rolled out. Imagine, if you will, that none of the past week had happened, and Obama said the same thing today. Well, it would have been a story, but it wouldn't have been a week-long story, perhaps. That's the difference, and that's why Obama's team scored a big coup in the media world.

Their timing, I have to admit, was as close to perfect as can be imagined. Last week, there was a story making the rounds about a Romney national security advisor who had quit/been booted from the Romney team. The reason? He was gay. The hardline social conservatives had forced Mitt to kick him out -- that's the way the story played in the media (admittedly, this was a wonky and small-bore story that few who don't obsess over politics even noticed). The issue had just about died down at the end of last week, though.

Then Joe Biden goes on Meet The Press. On it, he comes out in support of gay marriage. The media world started buzzing: Biden! Gay marriage! Veep pushes boss! Retraction! Confusion in White House! Everyone, pay attention!

Arne Duncan, secretary of the Department of Education, then goes on another television news show and says the same thing Biden said. Stop the presses! Cabinet member pushes president! Gay marriage turmoil at White House! Film at eleven!

Next, North Carolina votes (as expected) in a big way, to ban gay marriage once again (they had previously banned it, they just wanted to really, really ban it this time). What would Obama say and do? White House in disarray! Conflict! Drama!

Which leaves us with today's statement -- getting exponentially more media coverage than it normally would have, because of the "dramatic" buildup. At the present moment, the media has bought into their own storyline so completely that they haven't realized what just happened. But within a day or so (possibly sooner) the media is going to realize that all of these "coincidences" are a little much.

In the advertising world, there is a technique that uses some variation of the following: rent a billboard, paint it white, and put simple letters on it: "Watch This Space." Leave it up for a few weeks. Then change it to: "Watch This Space, One Week To Go." Then start a countdown: "Watch This Space In Three Days!" By the time you put up the actual billboard (for some new product), you have generated more interest in it through sheer curiosity than you would have normally gotten. I don't know if there's a college course on "Advertising 101" but if there were, this would be one of the examples taught.

Barack Obama didn't just wake up this morning and decide to support gay marriage. That is the line the media is currently running with, which they have swallowed -- hook, line, and sinker. Call it "Obama's Gay Marriage Evolution Completed Today!" perhaps. I, for one, don't buy it. I think this was engineered as a week-long story to insure that the Obama team would absolutely own the airwaves this week, to the detriment and frustration of the Romney team. I further think the Obama team had this figured out a while ago, and were just waiting for Romney to enter into the gay rights debate in some fashion. When the aide was let go, the opportunity presented itself. Perhaps they would have rolled it out anyway, timed to coincide with the North Carolina vote, or perhaps not.

Anyone doubting this has only to watch Biden's performance on Meet The Press. Biden could -- very easily -- have just dodged the question, with a simple "the president sets such policy, and his views have been evolving" which has been the standard administration talking point for quite some time now. Not only did Biden fail to dodge, he spent quite a bit of time explaining his position, and he actually had -- ready to go -- a heartwarming story to tell, to help him emotionally make his point. Here is Biden, from the show's official transcript:

Look -- I just think -- that -- the good news is that as more and more Americans become to understand what this is all about is a simple proposition. Who do you love? Who do you love? And will you be loyal to the person you love? And that's what people are finding out is what -- what all marriages, at their root, are about. Whether they're -- marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals.

. . .

I -- I -- look, I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don't see much of a distinction -- beyond that.

. . .

Well, the president continues to fight, whether it's Don't Ask, Don't Tell or whether it is making sure, across the board, that you cannot discriminate. Look -- look at the executive orders he's put in place. Any hospital that gets federal funding, which is almost all of them, they can't deny a partner from being able to have access to their -- their -- their partner who's ill or making the call on whether or not they -- you know -- it's just -- this is evolving.

And by the way, my measure, David, and I take a look at when things really begin to change, is when the social culture changes. I think Will and Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody's ever done so far. And I think -- people fear that which is different. Now they're beginning to understand. They're beginning to understand that this as a base --

I -- I was with -- speaking to a group of gay leaders in -- in Los Angeles -- LA -- two, two weeks ago. And one gentleman looked at me in the question period and said, "Let me ask you, how do you feel about us?" And I had just walked into the back door of this gay couple and they're with their two adopted children. And I turned to the man who owned the house. I said, "What did I do when I walked in?" He said, "You walked right to my children. They were seven and five, giving you flowers." And I said, "I wish every American could see the look of love those kids had in their eyes for you guys. And they wouldn't have any doubt about what this is about."

Now, you can argue that this was nothing more than "good ol' Joe" being spontaneous. I don't buy it, however. I think Joe was the advance scout doing what, in politics, is called "running it up the flagpole to see who salutes." I could be wrong, but I became more convinced of this when the education secretary also chimed in the next morning.

Before today's announcement, the most intelligent thing I read on the issue was written by Wayne Besen on the Huffington Post. Besen accurately takes into account the whole of the political risk Obama would take by actively supporting gay marriage. Since the announcement, the most intelligent thing I've read is a post today at "The Fix" blog on WashingtonPost.com. Both point out that this is not a "slam dunk" for the president, politically. There are risks. Two of those risks are known as "North Carolina" and "Virginia."

Sure, there are plenty of possible benefits to such a bold stance for Obama. Young people and gay people and other significant portions of Obama's base will be wildly enthusiastic about this news. I, personally, am enthusiastic about this news (just in case this article reads too much like a conspiracy theory to anyone). I think the actions taken by the Obama campaign were, indeed, brilliant. They positioned their "new product" in the political world about as masterfully as I've ever seen a campaign do so. This bodes well for the fall.

Beyond Obama's base, this puts Mitt Romney on the defensive, once again. It paints him back into the far right corner. On an issue he really would rather not be discussing right now, Romney is solidly on the wrong side of history -- and Obama's stance painfully points that out to everyone. The more Republicans rant and rave on the issue of gay folks, the more young voters they lose -- it's a simple equation. And, because the actual interview with Obama isn't going to air until Thursday morning, the story will continue to dominate the week's news cycle.

I was never a big fan of the 2008-2009 argument, I have to admit. Machiavellian tactics don't usually work out so well in the political arena. The media is so cynical it's hard to get one by them in such a fashion. But this time, I have to admit, President Obama certainly does resemble Spock playing multi-dimensional chess while his opponents are staring at a checker board.

To put this another way: Bravo, Obama re-election team. Well done.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at Business Insider
Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

80 Comments on “Obama's Gay Marriage Rollout”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now, you can argue that this was nothing more than "good ol' Joe" being spontaneous.

    And that would be a GOOD argument to make..

    Occam's Razor...

    I don't buy it, however. I think Joe was the advance scout doing what, in politics, is called "running it up the flagpole to see who salutes." I could be wrong, but I became more convinced of this when the education secretary also chimed in the next morning.

    What?? So now BIDEN is a Multi-Dimensional chess player???

    Com'on... That's just a bridge too far...

    Or, maybe you are saying that Biden is Obama's pawn??

    Yea, THAT I could buy.... :D

    I was never a big fan of the 2008-2009 argument, I have to admit. Machiavellian tactics don't usually work out so well in the political arena. The media is so cynical it's hard to get one by them in such a fashion. But this time, I have to admit, President Obama certainly does resemble Spock playing multi-dimensional chess while his opponents are staring at a checker board.

    To put this another way: Bravo, Obama re-election team. Well done.

    I think your assessment is one part wish-casting and two parts Obama-luv... :D

    Don't get me wrong. I am on record as giving Obama kudos for leadership. So I bought into your argument too....

    But then reality hit...

    There is a far FAR simpler explanation...

    Gay for Pay
    Obama reversal on same sex marriage comes just days after donors threatened to withhold funds

    http://freebeacon.com/gay-for-pay/

    Employing Occam's Razor, what's the more logical explanation??

    Michale.....

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is also an aspect of this you are missing..

    The total Electoral Votes of the all 30 states that have a Same Sex Marriage Bans total 304 Electoral Votes.

    The seven battleground states that have Same Sex Marriage Bans total 114 votes...

    The black community opposes same sex marriage something like 60% to 40%...

    Do the math...

    It's not all roses and sunshine for Obama just because he has finally "evolved"...

    Obama might just have made it impossible to be re-elected...

    Michale.....

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    W.H.: Biden forced Obama’s hand on gay marriage
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76103.html#ixzz1uPkiXT00

    Apparently, there wasn't any 10-Dimensional Chess game in progress..

    Just Biden being Biden, making a big mess that Obama had to damn if he does/damn if he doesn't clean up...

    Please don't kill the messenger.... :D

    Michale.....

  4. [4] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Generally I agree. I kinda take exception to the media being snookered though. The media will happily engage in any election-year food-fight guaranteed to attract eyeballs the way this one will, media posturing not withstanding.

    Second, I think the timing of President Obama's "evolution" is partly due to his needing to do his job. Despite the Republican Inauguration Day avowal to make him a one-term President by generating Obama fails at every possible turn.--Its still the President's job to try to keep the wheels on.

    While there's little he could have done that they wouldn't have taken umbrage with it still would have been foolish to pump more oxygen into the fire when you're trying to run the country.

    With the campaign officially underway avoiding conservative sensibilities is really a moot point. So especially after NC now is the time to tell what you really think! Brownie points for leadership, energize a frustrated progressive base, hijack a news-cycle, free 24/7 campaign spots, and back the mittens into a corner. What's not to like?

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    While there's little he could have done that they wouldn't have taken umbrage with it still would have been foolish to pump more oxygen into the fire when you're trying to run the country.

    That's kinda the point I made to David with regards to Obama's "FORWARD" slogan having a rich Socialist history. Why give the GOP any ammunition???

    So especially after NC now is the time to tell what you really think!

    Actually, according to the White House, SEPTEMBER was the time to tell what he really thinks..

    But, Biden being Biden made that impossible..

    I am also sure the Donor Ultimatum had a lot to do with it as well..

    So, I honestly doubt that Obama gave NC any consideration...

    and back the mittens into a corner.

    What "corner" did Mitt get backed into?? It hasn't been Mitt who equivocated and hem and hawed and vacillated and "evolved" on the question of Gay Marriage. He has been against it from the start..

    While I don't agree with Romney on that, I fail to see any "corner" that Mitt was backed into..

    Michale.....

  6. [6] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Oh, and Michale,

    I'd be surprised if only 60% of blacks support gay marriage. We know a little something about discrimination.

    Also--dare I say it? President Obama is black! Do the math!

    We've always known it was at least a 60/40 chance he was for gay marriage whether he said anything or not. So unless he started proposing "marriage is one man, one woman" legislation its a non-issue with us whatever he says or doesn't say.

  7. [7] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Mittens job now is to move to the center, or at least appear to to independents. Forcing him to maintain high-profile, public, far-right positions is backing him into a corner.

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD

    I'd be surprised if only 60% of blacks support gay marriage.

    Actually, it's the other way around?? Did I mistype??

    Blacks OPPOSE same sex marriage 60% to 40% (or something close to that...

    We know a little something about discrimination.

    And MANY blacks are a tad pissed that the Gay Community would equate THEIR suffering of discrimination with how the blacks suffered discrimination..

    It's something of an Oppression Olympics, I guess...

    Also--dare I say it? President Obama is black! Do the math!

    Actually, he's not.. You see the Liberal MSM has a new "formula" for racial designation..

    Zimmerman became a "White Hispanic".. So Obama becomes a "White African American"

    If you figure out the logic, please let me know... :^/

    So unless he started proposing "marriage is one man, one woman" legislation its a non-issue with us whatever he says or doesn't say.

    Obama's stance on gay marriage evolves with whatever the political need is at the moment..

    Running for State Senate in a liberal/elitist section of Chicago in 1996, Obama was for gay marriage..

    In 2004 when he had to appeal to a broader section of Illinoisians, he favored civil unions but opposed "homosexual marriage"...

    In 2008, when running for president, he again tacked to the Center and said “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage."

    Now, in 2012, with his base getting restless and his major donors saying "EVOLVE OR WE BAIL", Obama is now back to being in favor of gay marriage..

    And, once Obama get's the dough and gets in trouble with the Independents and NPAs, he will be against gay marriage again...

    So, please.. Don't try to sell it as some noble soul-searching evolution... I may have been born at night, but it wasn't LAST night...

    Mittens job now is to move to the center, or at least appear to to independents. Forcing him to maintain high-profile, public, far-right positions is backing him into a corner.

    Mittens has plenty of time to move to the center.. You think he is perturbed about staking out a position that has never been in any doubt???

    Again.. I may have been born at night, but it wasn't LAST night...

    If anything, Mitten's position makes him MORE appealing to those 30 states that have banned gay marriage...

    Hint: That's where the math comes in.. :D

    Again, I don't agree with Mitt on this issue at all...

    But I like even less and less Obama's flip-flopping based on the political winds and (with all due respect to our Number One Biden fan here :D) Biden's Boneheaded Blunders..

    Michale.....

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    You simply have to admire the blatant narcicissm evident in Obama's "evolution".

    “I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about 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, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”

    WOW!!!

    Who knew that our soldiers, sailors, airman, and marine were fighting on OBAMA's behalf!!???

    I mean, honestly!!! Who did our troops fight for before "The One" ascended to saint hood???

    I never fought for President Reagan, President Bush or President Clinton...

    No, I fought on my COUNTRY's behalf...

    But Reagan WAS a close second...

    I honestly doubt, though, that Obama can engender the same sort of loyalty in our troops that Reagan earned...

    Michale.....

  10. [10] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    You wrote:
    a Romney national security advisor who had quit/been booted from the Romney team. The reason? He was gay. The hardline social conservatives had forced Mitt to kick him out -- that's the way the story played in the media (admittedly, this was a wonky and small-bore story that few who don't obsess over politics even noticed).

    Grenell was not asked to resign. He did so of his own volition and in spite of pleas from Romney, John Bolton and others. He did NOT resign over an outcry about his sexuality. He is, as you say, openly gay. If Romney was a homophobe, he wouldn't have hired him in the first place. Grenell wanted to take on a very public speaking role on foreign policy and the team was not ready for one particular person to start being the only "foreign policy" guy. He got upset and wanted to be able to take on his own personal role.

    Grenell is a highly respected man on Foreign Policy in the Conservative community (at least for us wonks who obsess over Politics)

  11. [11] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I'm not buying it, Chris. I think we're looking at good old-fashioned damage control in an election year, with the back-up-against-the-wall pol having to decide which constituency to piss off: African-Americans and Latinos, who are against gay marriage, or the LGBT crowd, with the deep pockets. And since the LGBTers weren't gonna sit still for any more of his fence-sitting "evolution" tactics, they're the ones who got pandered to. Simple as that.

  12. [12] 
    tinsldr2 wrote:

    Gawker (a lefty site): Barack Obama’s Bullshyyt Gay Marriage Announcement

    ABC News has only released one brief clip of Obama's conversation about gay marriage today, but it seems fairly clear from the network's coverage that his announcement amounts to much less than meets the eye. He now believes that gay couples should be able to marry. He doesn't believe they have a right to do so. This is like saying that black children and white children ought to attend the same schools, but if the people of Alabama reject that notion—what are you gonna do?

    The key language in the ABC News write-up is this:

    http://gawker.com/5909002/barack-obamas-bullshit-gay-marriage-announcement#13366064585933

  13. [13] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    This is all the White House's say-so, but for what it's worth...

    W.H.: Joe Biden forced Obama’s hand on gay marriage
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76103.html

    On the subject of Blacks' stance on gay marriage, Time Magazine has an article entitled "Will Black Voters Punish Obama for His Support of Gay Rights?" It says, "A recent Washington Post/ABC poll found 55% of blacks oppose gay marriage and 42% support it..."

  14. [14] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Oh, rats, Michale, I didn't see that you had already posted the Politico article. Sorry for the repeat. But, yeah, Biden simply stumbled (as Biden's been known to do). Or at least that's what the White House is saying. Or spinning. I'm not necessarily buying the bit about Obama having planned to announce it at the convention. With 30 states opposed to it? Really? Don't think so.

  15. [15] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale and Chris1962 -

    OK, I have to admit I'm just sitting back on this one. I laid my case out, so have at it. But, since I'm already teetering on the edge of conspiracy theorism (or something), I'll give you guys some ammo you seem to have missed.

    What just happened that would make the White House decide to roll out a massive distraction in the political world? Hint: the number was released on the same day (last Friday) that Biden gave his interview. It was already beginning to help Romney. It was spun as bad news by the media, as a lead story.

    Last clue: Since Biden spoke, not a word has been said about it in the media, and won't, for another week or so.

    One more comment: Romney is backed into a corner because of his previous support for a Const. Amendment banning gay marriage. That's not a very popular position to take today. Even the antis, on the gay marriage issue, don't usually go that far. Romney was forced to take this stand to prove his hard right credentials, but it's the type of thing that will turn moderates off. I could be wrong, but I am trying to be honest -- that's how I see it.

    The last time something like this happened, with the contraceptive debate, I thought Obama made a misstep. I was wrong. Look at the chasm in the poll numbers among women, now, to see how wrong I was. Maybe I'm overcompensating now, because of that.

    But I still see this as a tactical rollout which was planned and brilliantly executed. Biden made no "gaffe" -- he said exactly what he was told to say. I bet they fed David Gregory the question, in the green room before the interview, in fact.

    OK, I've got to stop typing, my tinfoil hat needs repairing. Heh.

    -CW

  16. [16] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    One more thing, stop with the faux narcissism outrage. Obama said "fighting on my behalf" for two simple behalfs: (1) he is an American, and ANY American could say the same thing. I could see myself using the same construct myself, and I bet I have before in the past. It is shorthand for "fighting for America, and fighting for people like me" (2) Obama is the C-in-C, and so yes, they are fighting (quite literally) on his behalf, and at his order, and under his direct command. Any Republican president, you'd have said: "See, he's taking direct responsibility for ordering men into battle. What a stand-up guy!"

    Sheesh. I mean, get a grip, sometimes. Speaking of Occam's razor... (to put it another way)...

    -CW

  17. [17] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Oh, just a footnote to [15] -

    Biden was taped on Friday, but it didn't air until Sunday, in case anyone was wondering at the discrepancy. Sorry, should have been clearer.

    -CW

  18. [18] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I think you're giving O and the White House too much credit, Chris. The details are starting to come out: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/10/how-president-obama-in-six-days-decided-to-come-out-for-gay-marriage.html

    If Biden hadn't made his faux pas, I wonder what would have become of O's plan to make this big splashy announcement around the time of the convention, in NC. That plan had been been made before NC's overwhelming vote against gay marriage went down. I wonder if, given that big defeat, O would've decided to shelve the announcement and keep his "evolution" thing going.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    CB,

    Welcome back.. You sure are missed around here. Well, at least by some of us.. :D

    I'm not buying it, Chris. I think we're looking at good old-fashioned damage control in an election year, with the back-up-against-the-wall pol having to decide which constituency to piss off: African-Americans and Latinos, who are against gay marriage, or the LGBT crowd, with the deep pockets. And since the LGBTers weren't gonna sit still for any more of his fence-sitting "evolution" tactics, they're the ones who got pandered to. Simple as that.

    Well said.. That seems to be the conclusion that fits the facts.

    And yer dead on ballz accurate about the response from the black community over this.. There was a very good article about that here:

    Will Black Voters Punish Obama for His Support of Gay Rights?
    http://ideas.time.com/2012/05/09/will-black-voters-punish-obama-for-his-support-of-gay-rights/?iid=op-main-lede#ixzz1uPIoKREm

    Contrary to LewDan's assertion, the black community does not support gay marriage in any way, shape or form... There is also some sort of equivalency battle going on where the black community is a tad perturbed that the gay community would try to equate the gay discrimination with the black discrimination. I have to admit that, even though the black community is in the doghouse with me over the Zimmerman issue, they DO have a point. The "suffering" due to discrimination the gay community has endured in the last 30-50 years is absolutely NOTHING compared to the suffering the black community has endured in the last hundred years.

    There is simply no comparison and the black community is pissed that the gay community would think there is. I agree with the black community's stance on that.

    tinsldr2,

    He now believes that gay couples should be able to marry. He doesn't believe they have a right to do so.

    Oohhh Good catch.. Yea, the more I read about this, the more I am convinced that this wasn't a show of leadership I first thought it was, but rather it was Obama being the narcissistic political opportunist I came to believe he is..

    He fooled me again... :^(

    CB,

    Oh, rats, Michale, I didn't see that you had already posted the Politico article.

    No worries.. Great minds think alike. :D

    Sorry for the repeat. But, yeah, Biden simply stumbled (as Biden's been known to do). Or at least that's what the White House is saying. Or spinning. I'm not necessarily buying the bit about Obama having planned to announce it at the convention. With 30 states opposed to it? Really? Don't think so.

    Yea, I tend to take things at face value... Sometimes even with Obama.. But it does seem kind of unlikely.. I mean, THIRTY STATES!?? That's over 300 electoral votes. Granted, the odds of ALL those states deciding the election over that ONE issue are slim...

    But I would think that OBAMA would be thinking he is going to need all the help he can get.. Why take chances??

    On the other hand, the election is still a ways off.. He might be hoping by taking the forced action now, it was fade in the memory of the voters.

    He might be right..

    CW,

    What just happened that would make the White House decide to roll out a massive distraction in the political world? Hint: the number was released on the same day (last Friday) that Biden gave his interview. It was already beginning to help Romney. It was spun as bad news by the media, as a lead story.

    Yea, I thought about that.. But that still puts Biden's gaffe in the area of a planned event..

    And, I just don't see that being the case. And all the evidence available would seem to indicate that the impetus for all this was Biden simply being Biden..

    One more thing, stop with the faux narcissism outrage. Obama said "fighting on my behalf" for two simple behalfs: (1) he is an American, and ANY American could say the same thing. I could see myself using the same construct myself, and I bet I have before in the past. It is shorthand for "fighting for America, and fighting for people like me"

    Obama is not just ANY American. He is THE President. He doesn't have that luxury...

    You ever notice his speeches?? How many "I"s and "Me"s and "Mine"s and very few "We"s and "Our"s and "Us"s in them... I mean, if you want to deploy Occam's Razor, you have to look at the pattern.. All of the "I"s and very little "We"s.. All of the "Me"s and very little "Us"s...

    It's common and not unusual for Joe Q Public to say that the men and women of the armed forces are fighting on "my" behalf..

    It's NOT common and VERY unusual for a POTUS to say those words in that context...

    If you can find another POTUS that has EVER said that the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are fighting on "MY" behalf, in the same general context that Obama used, I'll concede the point.

    Barring any such precedent, the narcissism seems pretty clear..

    Put another way. Would the Left had gone batshit if Bush had said in a speech that the troops were fighting on "HIS" behalf???

    You betcha!! :D

    (2) Obama is the C-in-C, and so yes, they are fighting (quite literally) on his behalf, and at his order, and under his direct command. Any Republican president, you'd have said: "See, he's taking direct responsibility for ordering men into battle. What a stand-up guy!"

    That doesn't fit either. The context is all wrong. If Obama was speaking about a particular OP (say the Bin Laden take down) and was speaking in the form of taking responsibility (say the op went south and Obama was saying a variation of 'the buck stops here' and said, 'their actions were on my behalf') then that would be different.

    But Obama was speaking very general, about the actions of the troops in general. Their duties and their role, in general. And I can assure you that the troops do NOT fight on "Obama's" behalf. They fight on this country's behalf.....

    For a POTUS to claim that the troops are fighting on *HIS* behalf... Well, that's just pure ego..

    It's just like Clinton saying that if the Navy SEALS died during the Bin Laden op, it would have been very bad for Obama..

    It's narcissistic and it's ego.. Nothing more..

    CB,

    If Biden hadn't made his faux pas, I wonder what would have become of O's plan to make this big splashy announcement around the time of the convention, in NC. That plan had been been made before NC's overwhelming vote against gay marriage went down. I wonder if, given that big defeat, O would've decided to shelve the announcement and keep his "evolution" thing going.

    Given what we know of Obama and his political machinations over this issue (See my post to LewDan #8) this makes the most sense..

    I'll give Obama credit where credit is due. He is a political animal of the highest order. A true "Son Of Chicago" in the most political sense imaginable..

    Michale.....

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    When you had said that the gay marriage announcement was political cover, I agreed.

    I couldn't remember though, what event I thought it was cover for.

    I do now..

    Ouch! Obama loses 41 percent of W.Va. primary vote to federal inmate.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/President/2012/0509/Ouch!-Obama-loses-41-percent-of-W.Va.-primary-vote-to-federal-inmate

    I am certain that Obama wanted to get THAT doozy of a smack down OFF the headlines.. :D

    The timing fits a LOT better than the alleged Biden gaffe...

    Michale.....

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Note:

    Ya'all are gonna have to cut and paste the above link.. The '!' seems to have frak'ed things up..

    Michale.....

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    tinsldr,

    The key language in the ABC News write-up is this:

    http://gawker.com/5909002/barack-obamas-bullshit-gay-marriage-announcement#13366064585933

    That's a pretty impressive write up...

    If the general response from the gay community is similar, then Obama's grand "evolution" is going to fall flat on it's face...

    Michale.....

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    CB,

    Also, don't underestimate the pressure Obama was getting from major donors..

    Gay for Pay
    Obama reversal on same sex marriage comes just days after donors threatened to withhold funds

    http://freebeacon.com/gay-for-pay/

    Obama's fund raising has been dismal of late. So dismal, he has taken to "Gingriching" and selling off pictures and handshakes and even Twits to Mom...

    You can bet Obama is not going to risk alienating donors that are willing to give him millions...

    Michale.....

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    What Obama must not say about those who don't support gay marriage
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/05/09/what-obama-must-not-say-about-those-who-dont-support-gay-marriage/

    Yea, I know, I know.. Most of ya'all would rather jab a hot needle in your eye rather than read ANYTHING from Fox News.

    But this opinion piece is pretty good and outlines my feelings on the gay marriage issue, which I alluded to before..

    In short (yea, right. YOU wish!! :D) I don't have a problem with gays getting married.. Nor do I have a problem with those who DO have a problem with gays getting married.

    On BOTH sides of the issue, my problem usually kicks in with how the support for or against gay marriage is expressed...

    And that's how it SHOULD be..

    Gay people shouldn't castigate or condemn those who, by virtue of their upbringing, are uncomfortable with gay marriage. They shouldn't be bullied or vilified for being true to what they believe, what they do..

    After all, isn't that EXACTLY what the gay community is asking for?? Not to be bullied or vilified for being true to what they believe, what they do???

    It just seems to me that the activist gay community is acting EXACTLY like they accuse others of acting.

    And those types of hypocrites, this country can do without...

    Michale.....

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    On the "fighting on my behalf" point..

    This says it better than I did..

    But Mr. Obama actually did bare his soul unintentionally today (perhaps the Biden disease is catching) with his astonishing characterization of American fighting men and women, whom he referred to as “those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf.” Really?

    Most Americans thought they were fighting for the country, not on Barack Obama’s behalf. Slip of the tongue, to be sure, but can one think of another president who’d have made it? They are fighting under his command, under his orders, to be sure, but this particular locution is offensive and solipsistic. Mr. Obama has switched his position on the sanctity of marriage back and forth and has a new one, again, today, revealed when politics made that advisable to him and to his campaign. Whether this is the end or he will “evolve” some more is anyone’s guess.

    But let’s leave our soldiers out of this. They aren’t fighting for Mr. Obama and his campaign, and no one sent them out to risk their lives to win same sex “marriage.”
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/my-behalf_644310.html

    This makes the same point that I tried to make.

    A> This is an on-going problem with Obama. Everything is "I", "I", "I", "ME", "ME", "ME"...

    and

    2> This isn't something that "every president" (or ANY president for that matter) says at one time or another. I doubt you could find ONE instance where a POTUS used the words "my behalf" when speaking generally about the troops and what they do and why they do it...

    Michale.....

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Further (or "finally" since I have to actually work today) I think ya'all are over-estimating (or maybe wishcasting) the effect that this is going to have on Romney and his campaign.

    I mean, honestly. What has this tack changed as far as Romney's position goes?

    Not a damn thing.

    On this issue, Romney is in the EXACT same place he was yesterday. For him, nothing has changed. He hasn't changed his position, he hasn't flip-flopped on his position..

    If anything, Romney's position is actually strengthened because Obama will likely take a huge hit with the hispanic and black communities over this..

    Supporting same sex marriage won't win Obama the election..

    But it COULD lose it for him...

    30 states.. 304 electoral votes...

    That's the reality..

    Michale....

  27. [27] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Mittens job now is to move to the center, or at least appear to to independents. Forcing him to maintain high-profile, public, far-right positions is backing him into a corner.

    Yup.

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mittens job now is to move to the center, or at least appear to to independents. Forcing him to maintain high-profile, public, far-right positions is backing him into a corner.

    Yup.

    How do you get that Obama "forced" Romney to maintain a high-profile, public position??

    Romney's position hasn't changed ONE IOTA due to Obama's announcement. Ya'all are seeing something that just ain't there...

    "Far Right Position"???

    Every time gay marriage has been put to the American people in a vote, the American people overwhelmingly opposed it.

    EVERY TIME...

    Almost TWO THIRDS of the states have some sort of law on the books that says "marriage" is between a man and a woman.. Many have been enacted in the last decade..

    How is opposition to gay marriage a "far right" position??

    Again, I think ya'all are letting your partisan zeal cloud your perception of reality..

    Michale.....

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    And now, for a bit of comic relief :D

    http://www.biglolz.com/images/1333825924-6139.jpg

    Michale....

  30. [30] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Michale: I mean, THIRTY STATES!?? That's over 300 electoral votes. Granted, the odds of ALL those states deciding the election over that ONE issue are slim...

    Y'know, I get the feeling that the gay-marriage issue is hotter than meets the eye. Thirty states aren't passing these measures for nothing. I smell alarm. And alarm turns out alarmed voters. Look at the massive turnout in NC the other day.

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    CB,

    Yea, when you have almost two thirds of the states enacting legislation opposing gay marriage, many relatively recently, I can't understand how ANYONE could conclude that opposition to gay marriage is a "far right" position...

    Michale....

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    One question ya'all have to ask yourselves..

    Now that Obama has "come out of the closet" (so to speak :D ) will he sign the Non Discrimination Executive order that the Gay community has been after him to sign but that, to date, he has refused to sign..

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2012/04/12/gIQAz5pTDT_print.html

    It's easy to give lip service to his "evolution"...

    But signing this order will be a positive step that Obama will actually cash the checks his mouth is writing...

    Michale.....

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Krauthammer says it perfectly..

    "But there's one thing that I wish the president had done, which is to say which is now his side of the debate, show a little respect for the other side. Because as we saw with Prop 9, and other referendums on gay rights, those people who oppose gay marriage are demonized by the pro-side as bigots, as haters and often suffer boycotts and worse. Whereas I think he ought to say to the country, a difficult decision, each side ought to respect the other and not demonize them."
    -Charles Krauthammer

    That's the problem with the gay activists. They want respect for their beliefs, but the refuse to respect the beliefs of those that disagree...

    Which tells me that the gay community is more interested in imposing their beliefs on others legislatively, and not so much interested in equal rights...

    Michale.....

  34. [34] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I can't understand how ANYONE could conclude that opposition to gay marriage is a "far right" position...

    perhaps that's because you don't hang out with too many people who are under 30 years old? even in center-right circles, very few youths or young adults still see it as wrong for the law to regard gay people as married. those who do see gay marriage as wrong based on their own religion generally don't see how the legality of gay marriage affects them personally.

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    More evidence that Biden wasn't in on the grand chess plan..

    Biden Said to Apologize to Obama for Gay Marriage Remarks
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-10/biden-said-to-apologize-to-obama-for-forcing-gay-marriage-issue.html

    The more we learn, the more it seems that Obama was not playing The Grand 10-dimensional Chess Game, but rather was simply attempting to salvage SOMETHING out of a huge mess..

    Considering the fallout, I would have to characterize the attempt as a huge failure...

    Michale.....

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Of course, if you want to believe FOX NEWS, it WAS simply part of The Grand 10-Dimensional Chess Game..

    How President Obama played the press perfectly on gay marriage announcement
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/05/10/how-president-obama-played-press-perfectly-on-gay-marriage-announcement/#ixzz1uVsZYknq

    Fox News supports the story that the Democrats want to put forth, but the other media sources don't...

    Oh, the delicious irony.... :D

    Michale.....

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    perhaps that's because you don't hang out with too many people who are under 30 years old? even in center-right circles, very few youths or young adults still see it as wrong for the law to regard gay people as married. those who do see gay marriage as wrong based on their own religion generally don't see how the legality of gay marriage affects them personally

    But how does that make it a "far right" position?? If the vast majority if Americans in 30 states, during VERY high voter turn out, vote to outlaw same sex marriage. How can such a position be termed ANYTHING but "mainstream"???

    I am confused as to how exactly that could be construed to be a "far right" position..

    Just because one relatively small segment of the American population doesn't agree with it, that doesn't make it a "far right" position..

    Like I said, I don't agree with that position.. But if the majority of voters in almost two thirds of the states in this country take a firm and unequivocal position on an issue, I am not going to be able to make a case that it is a "fringe" position..

    It just seems to me that there is a *MINORITY* of Americans who want to make it a "fringe/far right" position based solely on the fact that they don't agree with the position..

    I am trying to understand the logic behind calling this position a "far right" position, but I can't help but notice that there is NO logic TO such a label...

    Michale....

  38. [38] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Just because one relatively small segment of the American population doesn't agree with it, that doesn't make it a "far right" position...

    valid point. perhaps it's not a far-right position. YET.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    I guess what I am trying to say is that *I* am in the same group as those "under 30 year olds" you mention..

    I think same sex marriage is just fine.. Doesn't bother me a bit..

    But how can I stand up and say that **MY** position is "mainstream" and those that oppose same sex marriage is "far right" or "fringe" when the vast majority of Americans in almost two thirds of the United States say that they don't want same sex marriage???

    I know I have a HUGE ego (no, really.. I do.. :D) but I would not presume to say that *MY* minority position is "main stream" and the vast *majority* of Americans who feel differently is "fringe" or "far right"...

    I am hard pressed to understand the logic of that position...

    Michale.....

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    michale,

    in case you missed it, i just agreed with you. perhaps at the moment calling the anti-gay marriage view a "far right" position isn't accurate. my point is that society seems to be trending toward it being a minority position in the near future.

  41. [41] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Blacks do not support discrimination. But they can be spun and deceived just like anyone else. Nor do they appreciate being called homophobic or fools because of their religiosity.

    The gay community has been responsible for the lack of support and punitive votes from the Black community and others. But they are learning.

    When people, and Blacks in particular, learn that the issue is not gay marriage. That none of the legislation passed or proposed is intended or able to stop gay marriages. That, in fact, the government is powerless to do so (unless SCOTUS flips,) that whats really going on is an attempt to punish gays for marrying. To deny them access to the courts to enforce their marriage contracts, the familial benefits clauses in commercial contracts, and to obtain government benefits and services available to every other married couple.

    In other words its about plain old-fashioned discrimination. Nothing more, nothing less. The civil right under attack isn't the right to marry, its the right to equal protection under the law.

    Believe me, Blacks that understand that do not oppose gay marriage. Blacks, and others, can be excused for not getting it sooner as most gays don't seem to have figured it out yet themselves and their opposition's been doing their best to conceal it. But they, Blacks and gays, are learning and the gay community is getting smarter about educating voters instead of insulting them.

    Don't put too much stock in the number of Republican legislatures ramming through thoroughly unconstitutional measures by successfully deceiving an apathetic electorate and enraging an ignorant one.

    As I once pointed out to Chris, the experience of Blacks in the Civil Rights Movement was that Americans are primarily decent people. It wasn't the courts gifting Blacks with civil rights, as the right likes to spin it,—it was Americans seeing women and children walking peacefully down the street being attacked, live on TV, by baton wielding police, water cannons and attack dogs that won Blacks their rights. It was an uninformed public discovering they'd been lied to about segregation and responding with outrage and compassion.

    The gay community bought the right-wing spin on that one too which is the real reason Blacks become incensed over their insistence that since the courts gave Blacks their rights they can do the same for gays. It doesn't work that way. And didn't work that way.

    But the gay community is right about their being able to repeat our experience. They just haven't figured out what that experience was—Yet.

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    valid point. perhaps it's not a far-right position. YET.

    OK.. NOW we're getting somewhere...

    Don't get me wrong. We (you and I and David and CW et al) are on the same side in this.. Well, for the most part...

    I hope that someday, some day SOON, the opposition to same sex marriage DOES become a "fringe" position..

    But today is not that day...

    "There will come a time when your people will be welcome here in Atlantis. But today is not that day."
    -Lantean Commander Hilea, STARGATE: ATLANTIS, The Return PT 1

    I acknowledge the position of those that thing (as I do) that the ONLY requirement for marriage should be that people love and adore each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together... (as an aside, I tell my lovely wife at least once a day that I adore her... And twice a day that I a-window her.. Get it?? A-door... A-window....... Wow.. Tough room.. :D)

    However, I also acknowledge the position of those who, by virtue of their upbringing or experiences, have real "comfort" issues with such a position...

    Only by addressing those concerns without rancor or hostility will a true peace be made possible..

    I think I just made it to sainthood!! :D

    Michale.....

  43. [43] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    The real discrimination going on is a far-right position. Unequivocally. Mainstream Americans will not support it once informed of the truth.

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    LewDan,

    I hope you accept the following in the spirit it is intended... I respect that you are willing to engage me on this topic. I honestly and truly do..

    But, it seems to me that your entire premise is based on one simple point..

    That you (and those that think like you) are the enlightened ones and those who disagree with you are either misled, are being "spun" or are being deceived..

    I ask you to, just for a moment, step out of your shoes and out of your skin and enter in to the consciousness of someone who disagrees with you..

    I ask you to consider the issue from THEIR point of view... This person (black or white, it doesn't matter) is not "evil" or a "bigot", this person doesn't have a hateful or hurtful bone in their body...

    But they were brought up believing in absolute truths... They were raised to believe that homosexual love is wrong and evil..

    It's not a position they took out of bigotry or hatefullness or hurtfullness... It simply IS...

    In THEIR mind, their entire being, somethings are simply wrong. Stealing. Lying. Homosexual activities..

    Do you see how they can be as faithful to their beliefs as you are to yours and BE as righteous and honest and trustworthy as you are to YOUR beliefs???

    If I may be a tad immodest here, I honestly and truly believe that I can see BOTH sides of an issue...

    I don't see your average gay person wanting to impose their will, their beliefs on others.. .

    On the flip side of that coin, I don't see your average person who is uncomfortable with gay marriage as an evil, homophobic redneck with the attitude that, if he can't eat it or fuck it, he'll kill it!!

    Granted, there ARE your hysterical activists on the gay side who want to impose their beliefs on others.. And there ARE the hysterical homophobic fanatics who want to kill gays because of their latent homosexuality...

    The problem, as I see it (as a disinterested third party with absolutely NO dog in the hunt) is that the Left ONLY sees the hysterical homophobic and the Right ONLY sees the hysterical gay activist..

    And, if I am being honest, I have to admit to a little bit (ok ok a LOT) of the latter, myself...

    I think what we need a lot less of is the idea that one side has a direct line to good and moral and right and ethical and the other side has a direct line to hell and damnation...

    I think we need to step back and try to see things from another person's perspective....

    EVEN if you think that the perspective is not one you would agree with...

    ESPECIALLY if it's a perspective you wouldn't agree with...

    Try walking a mile in a "homophobic" and "redneck"'s shoes...

    You might find a new appreciation for their point of view...

    OK, dammit if THAT doesn't get me to sainthood, NOTHING will!!! :D

    Michale.....

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    The real discrimination going on is a far-right position. Unequivocally. Mainstream Americans will not support it once informed of the truth.

    Whose "truth"???

    That's my whole point..

    Your truth is not THEIR "truth"...

    Your truth is not even likely "THE" truth...

    "There are no 'versions' of the truth!!!
    -Natira, High Priestess Of Yonada, STAR TREK, For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky

    Unfortunately, Natira is wrong...

    There ARE versions of the "truth"...

    Me?? Personally, I am only interested in FACTS...

    And the FACTS speak clearly..

    Opposition to Gay Marriage is NOT a "far right" or "fringe" issue...

    It's a mainstream American issue..

    Hopefully, some day soon, that will not be the case..

    But, in the here and now.. It is the case..

    The facts simply do not allow for any other conclusion...

    Michale.....

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    The real discrimination going on is a far-right position. Unequivocally.

    No, it's not unequivocal..

    Less than 100 years ago, real discrimination (I am assuming you are meaning racial discrimination) was a mainstream LEFTIST position..

    Michale.....

  47. [47] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    a lot of this argument revolves around how we define "gay marriage: and how we define "far right."

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/05/10/gay-marriage-vs-civil-unions

    if by gay marriage we mean all support for total equality of civil rights no matter what the terminology, then the support right now is a solid majority. but to many on the not so far right (at least for now), the WORD marriage matters a lot, because civil marriage is equated with the religious institution.

    if by far right we mean only the hard-core 25% who have no independence of thought whatsoever, that's a pretty high standard to meet. however, at the moment a much larger portion of the right could be considered extreme right, because anyone who doesn't adhere to a few core righty principles are considered by some not to be conservative at all.

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    if by gay marriage we mean all support for total equality of civil rights no matter what the terminology, then the support right now is a solid majority. but to many on the not so far right (at least for now), the WORD marriage matters a lot, because civil marriage is equated with the religious institution.

    My point exactly..

    Which is why I think the gay activist community is shooting themselves in the foot and blatantly misleading their own members and the general public about their agenda..

    The activists don't want equal rights. If they did, they would be happy with being able to be in a "civil union" with all the rights of a male/female couple that has a "marriage"..

    As I have said before, the gay activists want "acceptance".. They want approval. They want the world to proclaim, in one voice, that a same sex marriage is 1000% equal to a male/female marriage.

    And if they can't get it by the normal way of simply convincing people that their position is the correct one, they will FORCE acceptance thru legislation..

    And that just AIN'T gonna happen..

    if by far right we mean only the hard-core 25% who have no independence of thought whatsoever, that's a pretty high standard to meet. however, at the moment a much larger portion of the right could be considered extreme right, because anyone who doesn't adhere to a few core righty principles are considered by some not to be conservative at all.

    For me, far right, extreme right, fringe right all mean the same thing.. My only point in this issue is it's simply impossible for opposition to same sex marriage to be a far right issue..

    Not when you have almost two thirds of the states in the country (and I have heard as high as 40 states) passing laws against same-sex marriage by huge majorities...

    By definition, opposition to same sex marriage would HAVE to be a mainstream issue..

    Now, you can find polls, lotsa lotsa polls, that say the majority of Americans support gays being able to marry..

    But the ONLY poll that is the FINAL poll is the voting booth..

    And, in THAT "poll", same sex marriage has lost over and over and opposition to same sex marriage has won.. Each and every time...

    "Hay dad!!! I found this great game at the arcade!! You put in a dollar and you win four quarters EVERY TIME!!!!"
    -Chris, FAMILY GUY

    :D

    Michale.....

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    Looks like Obama's really taking a hit in the polls.. Unsure if this is response to his coming out or not...

    Michale.....

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bill blockbuster: O’s an ‘amateur’
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/bill_blockbuster_an_amateur_XJHYdaV5LT1vpr5I39IKrN

    WOW...

    Pretty intense reading....

    Michale.....

  51. [51] 
    SeanR wrote:

    Michale,

    The "far right" position that Romney espouses is not "gay marriage is wrong". It's "There should be a constitutional amendment explicitly banning gay marriage."

    "I ask you to consider the issue from THEIR point of view... This person (black or white, it doesn't matter) is not "evil" or a "bigot", this person doesn't have a hateful or hurtful bone in their body...

    "But they were brought up believing in absolute truths... They were raised to believe that homosexual love is wrong and evil.."

    Those two sentences are contradictory. You can't believe that homosexual love is wrong and evil and not be a bigot with at least one hateful bone in their body. You're trying to equate "gay people should have equal rights" with "gay people shouldn't have equal rights" as if they're just two positions which have equal merit. But the only reason you can offer for why it's reasonable to believe that gay people shouldn't have equal rights is that people were told that when they were children and never thought about it again. You can repeat the same point a dozen times in a thousand paragraphs all in response to one post, but it won't make that position more tenable. Because what it boils down to is two completely different positions -- "Homosexuality is natural" and "homosexuality is unnatural". One of these positions is scientific and fact-based, and one of them is religious and feeling-based. All the rest of what you're saying is just obfuscating this.

  52. [52] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Your contention that the gay marriage issue is subjective is true as far as peoples attitudes are concerned but we're talking about law.

    When SCOTUS struck down anti-interracial marriage laws it made it clear that the government does not get to decide whom marries whom. At that time interracial marriage was banned by the states. Cohabitating interracial couples were subject to arrest and prosecution.

    Not one of the anti gay-marriage laws passed or proposed bans gay marriage. Not one imposes fines or jail time for gay-marriage. Not one stands on its hind legs and defies the SCOTUS's Loving decision because the far-right knows that even their pet SCOTUS would gag on reversing that one.

    So for all the "debate" about whether gays have a right to marry and whether the states can prevent them from marrying. The TRUTH is that they DO have a right to marry. A right recognized by all 50 states, including the 30 who are blowing smoke up everyones rear by claiming to outlaw gay marriage (while being very careful to avoid the wrath of SCOTUS by not doing any such thing.)

    That, Michale, is the TRUTH. It is not debatable. It is not a matter of opinion. Its a matter of fact. The gay marriage "controversy" is a far-right national exercise in three-card Monty. The far-right alone is pushing it. The far-right alone is willfully and totally misrepresenting it. It is a far-right conspiracy. Fact. Not opinion. Not spin. Demonstrable, verifiable FACT.

    The genuine difference of opinion among the public regarding gay-marriage is understandable and I'm not saying only one side has a right to their opinion. I'm saying that under the law and the legislation passed and proposed whether gays can marry is not, and never has been, the issue. Every one of those legislative efforts has LEGALLY been about whether the partnerships gays form, formerly known as "marriage" are indeed what the law should consider "marriage."

    The public, gay-marriage supporters and gay-marriage opponents alike THINK voting on whether gays can marry is about curbing or authorizing a behavior. The actual laws are about the legal term which applies to that behavior. The confusion is willful and deliberate on the part of the far-right. The public IS misinformed. The public HAS been spun. FACT, not opinion. I'm not (in spite of appearances) engaging in either paranoia or megalomania. (Well, not MUCH anyway.)

    Prove me wrong. Tell me what the penalty is for gay-marriage in all those states that have "voted against it."

    Explain to me how states refusing to recognize gay-marriages or call them marriages addresses the concerns of the religious that the behavior (not the label) is immoral? How refusing to call gay-partnerships "marriages" "protects" the institution of marriage? Tell me why people voting for amendments that don't do any of the things they think they are going to do doesn't mean they've been spun and misled. Why state legislatures who purportedly believe that marriage is between one man and one woman don't simply ban gay-marriage. Just plain make it illegal. Fines. Prosecution. Day in court. Jail time.—Like anything else that's illegal.

    Enlighten me on how refusing to accept that the term "marriage" under law applies to any partnership other than heterosexual partnerships does anything other than deny gays access to the courts, government services and equal protection under the law? Please. If I'm wrong, correct me.

    I know everyone's currently in love with the notion that there are two-sides to every issue—but you are STILL not entitled to your own set of facts. I'm not offended by your comment, I don't even disagree with it. I simply believe that like nearly everyone else you're too busy watching the magician's hands to notice what the fat man behind the curtain is doing.

    And if I sound a little crazy to you, think how I feel! I read the media coverage, the blogs, and come away feeling like I'm the only one left in the country who can count to twenty with my shoes on! So, PLEASE! show me where I'm in error.

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    The TRUTH is that they DO have a right to marry.

    "Marriage is not a civil right."
    -Barack Obama

    Prove me wrong. Tell me what the penalty is for gay-marriage in all those states that have "voted against it."

    There is no "penalty" because the action, as far as the law is concerned, doesn't exist.

    In North Carolina, a same sex couple simply cannot have a "legal" marriage..

    As far as the "penalty"??

    What happens when a man is in the hospital under "family only" visitation and his husband wants to come visit him..

    The "penalty" is that they won't be able to have a visit..

    Explain to me how states refusing to recognize gay-marriages or call them marriages addresses the concerns of the religious that the behavior (not the label) is immoral?

    I don't know because I don't subscribe to that argument..

    I *AM* on your side in this issue... Actually, my position is identical to President Obama's.. I don't have a problem with gay marriage, I support gay marriage but I also support the state's rights to outlaw it..

    That is *EXACTLY* what President Obama has stated, nearly verbatim..

    So, if it's your claim that I am wrong, then you also have to state that President Obama is wrong..

    Again, I am not an advocate of the opposition to gay marriage..

    I simply maintain that, as fellow Americans, the opposition to gay marriage has the RIGHT to oppose it without their motivations being called into question and without being attack, both physically and verbally...

    Wouldn't you agree with that?

    Michale.....

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's approach this from another angle..

    If one is an affirmed and devout agnostic, does one still have to the right to take communion in a catholic church??

    Of course not...

    If one is a confirmed and devout catholic, does one have the right to have a barmitzvah in a synagogue???

    Of course not...

    So, there IS ample precedence to deny religious activities to "un qualified" people..

    Of course, marriage is different. Marriage is as much a social, economic and legal issue as it is a religious one. Probably more so..

    But marriage STILL has it's roots in religious ceremony..

    And THAT is the sticking point for the vast majority of those who oppose same sex marriage.

    Now, I don't AGREE with that position.. I am as agnostic as they come and would be ECSTATIC if we could rid this country of the fantasy and futility of religion...

    But, even though I don't AGREE with that position, I *DO* understand it. And, given a certain perspective, it IS a logical position to take..

    The main problem is that the gay community wants to REDEFINE what marriage is. And those who have lived their lives by a certain definition are unwilling to change that definition..

    It's like if some egotistical narcissistic leader were to come along and be elected president. And then wants to redefine "democracy" as one man in complete control of everyone's lives and answerable to no one..

    Well, that's not how WE define "democracy" and we would ALL fight to maintain the definition of "democracy" that WE ALL know. That WE ALL cherish...

    So it is with the gay community, the religious community and the definition of marriage..

    For hundreds of years, the definition of marriage has stood the test of time. Yes, age limits have been imposed.. Racial aspects have been re-worked to adjust with the changing times..

    But there has always been ONE constant..

    A man

    A woman

    If THAT's subject to change, the VERY "soul" (if you will) of marriage altered, where does it end??

    Will some not-so-distant-future society decide to change the definition of marriage to include animals?? Children?? Trees??? Rocks??? A Pimple On Someone's Ass??

    As I said, I don't agree with the opposition to gay marriage..

    But I CAN understand it and I acknowledge that those who oppose gay marriage DO have good points..

    Michale.....

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    There would be absolutely NO reason for any of this if the gay community would accept a completely identical form of partnership that doesn't include the church...

    But, as I said.. The activists don't want equal rights. Or, more accurately, don't ONLY want equal rights..

    They want acceptance, maybe even approval..

    And that's simply NOT possible...

    Michale.....

  56. [56] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Sorry Michale,

    And your proof that there were never before gay-marriages is...

    I can't accept Zen arguments. There are no penalties for gay-marriage in NC because there are no gay marriages in NC since NC refuses to recognize anything that might be or have been gay-marriage just doesn't cut it either.

    And I'm not addressing anyones position on gay-marriage other than the Republican leadership's and state legislatures that purport to be responding to their "constituents legitimate concern" over the legality of gay-marriage by holding referendums on whether gay-marriage should be legal in their state without mentioning the minor fact that whether gay-partnerships and the related behavior currently known as marriage is legal in their state is not, in fact, open to debate, it is; and neither is the whether the state should legally allow gay-partnerships, currently know as marriages, open to debate, it isn't up to the states. We're only resolving the earth shattering issue of whether we call those partnerships "marriages."

    These absolutely vital constitutional amendments voted in by record-breaking turn-out due to extreme citizen alarm over the vocabulary used in legislation simply don't pass the smell test.

    I'm not saying your position is wrong unless you're saying the states really do have a right to determine if gay-partnerships are legal (they don't.) They can call them whatever they want so long as they treat them the same as marriages (separate but equal, now where have I heard that before?)

    Of course the whole point of these referendums are attempts to refuse to treat gay-partnerships the same as heterosexual partnerships, all the rest is window-dressing.

    People can "debate" anything they want. Its a first amendment right. But that doesn't change the FACT that whether gay-marriages may legally exit is NOT debatable under the law, only whether or not they can be legally called "marriage" is still open to legal debate. And that is not the voting publics' understanding. Nor is it the public position of Republican legislatures, Congresspeople or the media. It is, nonetheless, a FACT well known to them all.

    Now if you disagree with that, then you are wrong.

  57. [57] 
    LewDan wrote:

    By the way,

    Traditionally the church's only role in marriage was to bless the new couple when invited. Marriage has always been a secular act. A contract entered into, traditionally by exchanging vows before witnesses. That's all that was required to wed, and it hasn't changed. Church attendance has never been required.

    In fact prior to the twentieth-century most marriages occurred outside of the church. The only reason most marriages involve the church today is that the government, in order to streamline administrative functions wanted to encourage everyone to register their marriages with the State at a time when most marriages were, traditionally, common-law. So the government authorized the church to act as government agents in preparing and submitting the marriage registrations (marriage licenses.)

    Actually anyone can do it, but the church was well placed to service those who opted for church weddings and the convenience encouraged more to choose church weddings. My point is that the false assertion that the church has a vital traditional role in marriage and its refusal to participate in gay-marriage materially affects the ability of gays to wed traditionally, is bunk.

    The church is not, and never has been, of any intrinsic importance in weddings. They are simply trying to hijack secular marriage and make it a religious issue to further their own agenda.

    Church weddings have never been generally available to anyone who could not afford them because marriages and weddings have never been a part of any church doctrine. Church blessings at weddings are a service the church charges for, always have been. And until the church assumed the secular clerical role of registrar most people, traditionally, wed without church involvement.

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    And your proof that there were never before gay-marriages is...

    I never claimed that there were never gay marriages...

    I can't accept Zen arguments. There are no penalties for gay-marriage in NC because there are no gay marriages in NC since NC refuses to recognize anything that might be or have been gay-marriage just doesn't cut it either.

    Whether you think it "cuts it" or not is irrelevant.

    The fact is, it IS the situation on the ground in NC, FL and 30+ other states in the country..

    I'm not saying your position is wrong unless you're saying the states really do have a right to determine if gay-partnerships are legal (they don't.)

    Apparently, Obama and the entire Federal/State government system says otherwise...

    It seems to me that you are trying to make some meta-physical argument that the states/feds can't regulate what is and isn't marriage because of some gods given/fairy pixie dust rule that gives everyone the right to marry anyone or anything they want..

    If that's your position, more power to you..

    But back on planet earth, in the United States Of American, 30+ odd states have determined that same sex marriage is not legal..

    Now, you may argue that the states don't have the right to make such a determination....

    But, law, precedence, President Obama and reality says they do...

    Not necessarily in order of importance..

    I am not sure....

    No.. I AM sure..

    I don't follow the argument you are trying to make...

    Michale.....

  59. [59] 
    LewDan wrote:

    As for your separate but equal argument Michale— please see the 1960's...

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    The church is not, and never has been, of any intrinsic importance in weddings. They are simply trying to hijack secular marriage and make it a religious issue to further their own agenda.

    Oh come on, LD...

    Trying to make the case that the Church's involvement in weddings is something new and unprecedented???

    Marriage has ALWAYS been a religious issue. For hundreds of years..

    How many women dream of getting married in Uncle Homer's barn???

    Now how many women dream of getting married in a church??

    Marriage and Religion is as intrinsically linked as could possibly be..

    Do you think *I* like that?? I don't... As I have stated, religion in our daily lives is detrimental, to say the least..

    But to deny that there is no link or only a casual modern day link between religion and marriage is simply to deny reality...

    Michale.....

  61. [61] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    The point I'm trying to make is that the average person thinks outlawing gay-marriage is like outlawing shoplifting, murder, arson, or spitting on the sidewalk... That the government will actively discourage it and punish those who continue to engage in the behavior.

    Simply outlawing the government's use of the word marriage, and constitutional amendments at that! is clear proof,to me at least, that actually outlawing gay-marriage, the way everything else is outlawed, is NOT an option because gays have a constitution right to marry not subject to state control. But you go right ahead and believe in the tooth-fairy if it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. I'm okay with that.

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    As for your separate but equal argument Michale— please see the 1960's...

    "A difference which makes no difference IS no difference."
    -Commander Spock

    For better or worse, traditional "marriage" belongs to the church. That's the way it is... That's they way it has been. That's the way it will likely be..

    You can't legislate "approval" or "acceptance".. Attempting to do so with aggression and violence only turns the people against you..

    The Gay activists are going to have to learn to change the things that they can, accept the things that they can't and be smart enough to know the difference..

    Michale....

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    The point I'm trying to make is that the average person thinks outlawing gay-marriage is like outlawing shoplifting, murder, arson, or spitting on the sidewalk... That the government will actively discourage it and punish those who continue to engage in the behavior.

    If it's illegal, how can anyone ENGAGE in the behavior??

    It's not like a roving preacher man you can stumble across and say, "Quick!! Marry me and my gay lover before the authorities find us!!!"

    If it's illegal, you simply can't engage in the activity... If a gay couple get's married in Massachusetts and then moves to North Carolina, their "marriage" doesn't exist...

    is NOT an option because gays have a constitution right to marry not subject to state control

    And therein lies the crux of the argument.

    NO.... THEY.... DON'T.....

    Marriage is not a constitutional right.

    Show me in the US Constitution where it says that EVERY US Citizen has the right to get married...

    You can't because it just ain't there...

    Even "The Chosen One" has stated that marriage is not a civil right...

    If it ain't a civil right, it sure as hell ain't a Constitutional right...

    Michale.....

  64. [64] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    NO.... THEY.... DON'T.....

    Marriage is not a constitutional right.

    OK, I might have stepped into it with that.

    That's what I get for listening to President Obama..

    However....

    and/or that laws permitting civil unions provide a substantially equivalent standard to marriage that satisfies equal protection standards.
    http://civilliberty.about.com/od/gendersexuality/f/Is-Marriage-a-Civil-Right.htm

    Civil Unions have amply provided equal protection standards..

    I am also constrained to point out the common practice (there is even a law/name for it but it escapes me at the moment) that all laws are considered "constitutional" until such time as the SCOTUS says differently.

    Therefore, all the laws in the 30+ odd states that ban same sex marriage **ARE** Constitutional until the SCOTUS says otherwise...

    Once the SCOTUS rules, we can revisit the issue..

    But, in the here and now, with an eye on reality, the majority of Americans, when speaking at the ballot box, have said *NO* to same sex marriage..

    The gay community cannot legislate acceptance and approval..

    And they are only doing their own cause MORE harm by forcing the issue...

    Michale.....

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    here's what i'm saying:

    http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ucomics.com/tt120509.gif

    ~joshua

    hehehehehehe

    That works for me as well.

    Whether by attrition or by the gay community actually making a compelling argument free from accusatory rancor, one way or another, I am sure we will likely see same sex marriage as acceptable..

    But forcing the issue is a bloody and violent process that, while eventually leading to success, usually scars society for decades after..

    Michale.....

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    LewDan,

    You seem to forget that I *AM* on your side in this issue...

    I just think that there are better ways to go about gaining acceptance and approval than by forcing the issue...

    "Two dogs may fight to possess a bone. Or they may pool their resources to forage for food. Ironically, the latter provides the best chance of success."
    -Commander Spock, STAR TREK, Day Of The Dove

    Michale.....

  68. [68] 
    dsws wrote:

    Marriage has always been about property. Religion has taken a great interest, of course, religious institutions being institutions after all and therefore inevitably concerned with property.

  69. [69] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    One last time!

    This issue was decided 50 years ago. The states do not have a right to decide if gays, or anyone else, may marry. People have a right to marry whomever they choose. The states have nothing to say about it. That WAS decided over half-a-century ago!

    Gays are not "forcing" the issue, they are merely exercising, and demanding recognition of, their rights.

    The Republican party is committing a massive national fraud by pretending that the issue is not settled, is subject to serious debate within the states, and is up to the several states to decide. None of which is true.

    A Fraud to which the church is a party. All you need to marry is someone willing to marry you and at least two people willing to watch. That's ALL you need. You don't need the church and you don't need government permission.

    Its only been that way for two-thousand years so you may not have noticed yet. In fact, as it happens, my wife was Catholic, when she went to her parish, wishing to be marred in church, and we discovered all the crap they demanded we go through before they would condescend to marry us!?—We wound up being married in her father's backyard by a friend who happened to be a judge and to the best of my knowledge there wasn't clergy within a thousand yards, yet we managed to marry nonetheless—go figure!

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    This issue was decided 50 years ago. The states do not have a right to decide if gays, or anyone else, may marry. People have a right to marry whomever they choose. The states have nothing to say about it. That WAS decided over half-a-century ago!

    I believe that YOU believe that..

    But that doesn't account for the reality of the here and now..

    A Fraud to which the church is a party. All you need to marry is someone willing to marry you and at least two people willing to watch. That's ALL you need. You don't need the church and you don't need government permission.

    No, but you DO need a judge, as you point out..

    And, if you want to apply for benefits of a married couple you have to provide CERTIFIED documentation of your marriage..

    If that wasn't necessary, people could just say "Poof.. We're married"..

    But try securing marital benefits based on a "poof"...

    Let me give you an example of the theory vs the reality..

    Writing a check.

    You can, legally, write a check on anything. I could write you a check to you for a million dollars on a cocktail napkin, a leaf or a piece of bark.. And, as long as certain info is present (and obviously, the funds are available), it IS a perfectly legal form of tender.

    THAT's the theory...

    Now, the reality is, if you were to take that leaf, that perfectly legal tender into a bank to cash it, plan on spending the next few days in jail while cops sort thru things.

    THAT's the reality...

    So, while what you say regarding marriage may be GOOD, TRUE and CORRECT, *in theory*, the REALITY is far far different...

    Michale.....

  71. [71] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    I actually you may be getting close to getting my point. While I did in fact use a judge I didn't actually have to. In fact we could have married each other without anyone officiating.

    But the point I want to make is that you're right that in order for your marriage to be recognized by the government some form of certification is required, be they registration through marriage licensing or court proceedings.

    That doesn't mean you're not married until you can prove it, it means you can't get government services until the government is officially aware of it.

    But what's relevant to the current debate is that the efforts to restrict the term marriage to one man, on woman relationships only is an attempt to make it impossible for gay marriages to be recognized and therefor for them to obtain government services. It doesn't mean they can't exit it means that no matter what you do the government will simply cover its eyes and ears and refuse to become aware of your marriage.

    Since the right is unable to prevent gay-marriage they are trying to impose a catch-22 that prevents gay-marriages from receiving equal treatment. And its exactly that kind of unconstitutional abuse under the guise of separate but equal that resulted in SCOTUS also ruling 50-years ago that separate-but-equal isn't equal.

    So again, the issues the states are supposedly so hotly deciding (according to Republicans) were decided a half-century ago when it was decided that the states don't get to decide.

    And I have to give you kudos for being the first person playing devil's advocate for the right I've ever known to admit that what the law says and what right demands are two different things.

  72. [72] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Oh, and Michale,

    As far as "I believe that YOU believe that.." the Brown v Board and Loving decisions of the Supreme Court of The United States are a matter of public record and of law. The "states rights" you profess are Fox News talking-points. And contrary to Republican opinion Fox News talking-points are NOT reality.

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    That doesn't mean you're not married until you can prove it, it means you can't get government services until the government is officially aware of it.

    And THAT's what the gay community CLAIMs they want..

    Yet, they COULD get all those rights if they just call it "civil union"..

    But they don't want to call it civil union. They want to call it "marriage"..

    They want acceptance and approval..

    What they don't realize is that you can't LEGISLATE acceptance. You can't REGULATE approval...

    It must be earned.. And the gay community is going out of their way to piss off the very people that they are demanding acceptance and approval...

    As far as "I believe that YOU believe that.." the Brown v Board and Loving decisions of the Supreme Court of The United States are a matter of public record and of law. The "states rights" you profess are Fox News talking-points. And contrary to Republican opinion Fox News talking-points are NOT reality.

    "Power perceived is power achieved..."

    Michale....

  74. [74] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    As I said at the beginning, you are not entitled to your own set of facts.

    Have a nice weekend.

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    As I said at the beginning, you are not entitled to your own set of facts.

    Agreed...

    But the idea that practically the whole of the United States, up to AND INCLUDING the President Of The United States, seems to think that the states DO have the power to outlaw gay marriage..

    And, in the here and now, that IS the law of the land.

    Until the SCOTUS says otherwise..

    These ARE the facts..

    And they are indisputable..

    Michale.....

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    LewDan,

    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/227007-vulnerable-democratic-senators-balk-at-obamas-endorsement-of-gay-marriage

    Regardless of theory, those are the facts on the ground, where the rubber meets the road.

    Michale.....

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    African-American Church Leaders Condemn Obama For Gay Marriage Support
    http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2012/05/13/same-sex-marriage-supporters-opponents-gear-up-for-november-ballot/

    It doesn't look good for the home team...

    Michale.....

  78. [78] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    If that wasn't necessary, people could just say "Poof.. We're married"..

    But try securing marital benefits based on a "poof"...

    was that a pun? you knew that in UK english poof is offensive slang for gay, right? right??? haven't you ever watched monty python?

    "But as you know on this programme we're not just prejudiced against race or colour, we're also prejudiced against - yes, you've guessed, stinking homosexuals! (applause) So before the streets start emptying in Chelsea tonight, Let's go straight over to our popular prejudiced panel game and invite you once again to - Shoot The Poof! And could our first contestant sign in please."
    -Monty Python's Flying Circus

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    I actually didn't know that.. :D

    I am not a connoisseur of Monty Python enough to know by heart each and every one..

    I have watched Life Of Brian and Holy Grail on occasion...

    Michale.....

  80. [80] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I am not a connoisseur of Monty Python enough to know by heart each and every one...

    neither am i, but the colloquialism is in most of the flying circus episodes i've seen.

    i'm off to have breakfast. perhaps i'll have spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam...

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