Thursday, May 10, 2012

Obama comes out for same-sex marriage

The hullabaloo this week has been first the Vice President on Meet the Press Sunday and then the President in an interview that aired on GMA today but was widely leaked yesterday saying they support same-sex marriage. Obama may not have done the interview had Biden not been so seemingly brazen with his opinions a few days ago, but I'm hard-pressed to think that anything said on TV in an election year is glib or uncalculated; candor is not a luxury politicians can afford.

While many have been praising the President about this, with an "it's about time" caveat—and certainly I concur with that sentiment—I am cynical enough to temper that with a bit of this:

Okay, Obama campaign, you've seen that your other tactics haven't distanced your ticket from Romney and you see the need to double-down on your base to ensure that they head to the voting booth in November. I'm not taking away from finally expressing a non-equivocated stance that is what should have been your position all along, but there seems little chance this happening now is coincidental. You're conceding a voting block to the GOP that probably wasn't going your way, so it's not as risky as it might seem.

But, hey, perhaps I'm being too cynical about all of this. While I don't doubt the opinion you expressed is genuine, politicians undoubtedly hold opinions they don't tend to go on a nationally televised interview to share, but perhaps you merely thought it was time to say it. I am not you, President Obama, so I cannot speak to your actual motivations; all I can say with any modicum of certainty is the opinions I hold (which, thankfully, no one is asking me to share on TV), and those are as I have indicated above. As I've said since you were merely Candidate Obama, I get it; you're a politician, and this is the game you must play. There's no fixing the system, despite the way we all fancy that such a thing were possible. (Eventually someone may replace the system, and that may not be all that pleasant for the majority of us.) (Not me, by the way. In case any government representatives every see this, allow me to be clear: I'm not advocating or encouraging a coup d'├ętat or revolution; I'm merely conceding I think that's the only act that may overhaul the current corruptions in our system. I am no muckraker; I am a cynic.) I knew you'd never live up to the hyper-optimistic rhetoric from the 2008 campaign, so I'm not all that disappointed in how the past three-and-a-half years have gone. In that same vein, however, I'm not pretending that there aren't political overtones to this.

Hey, if it works in revving up your base and perhaps independents who wish you had more cohunes, it works. I assure you there few who think Mitt Romney would be all that great as a commander-in-chief, and make little mistake: votes cast for him are merely votes against you, not really votes for him; it's just people who want someone who's willing to contort himself to the GOP's whims. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you didn't already know. If you are re elected you won't be the end of America, and if Romney pulls in a higher total in the electoral college come November then he won't be the end of America either.

The latter suggests that it will be longer until same-sex couples get to have their relationships be acknowledged in the same way that any drunk pair in Vegas who can make it through a drive-thru chapel does, but it won't be the end for them either.

True love doesn't need the government's blessing, but as one who's in a marriage that would have been illegal in many states during my parent's generation I do think there's something to be said for the government not issuing constitutional condemnation of it.

To the extent your statements move the country in a positive direction, I applaud you. And if it backfires and you don't get a second term, take some solace in the knowledge you did demonstrate a bit more backbone than that weenie the GOP decided was their best shot at removing you has shown.

Don't get a swelled head; you're still a politician.

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