Ugh, Obama. Just ugh.
But kudos to Eleveld for writing a piece that challenges Obama to Do Better. I also love (LOVE!) the way she casually destroys the insufferable mendacity that is Obama's "evolving position" on marriage equality:
Given that openly gay men and women would soon be fighting and, in some cases, dying for their country, I wondered whether the president thought it was time that those women and men be entitled to full marriage rights.Why, hello there, devastating parenthetical! So nice to see you!
"Like a lot of people, I'm wrestling with this. My attitudes are evolving on this," Obama responded. "What I know is that, at minimum, a baseline is that there has to be a strong, robust civil union available to all gay and lesbian couples."
His current position on gay marriage - that this is an issue he struggles with as he watches his gay and lesbian friends marry and create loving households - goes beyond his 2008 campaign stance, which was simply to support civil unions. (Earlier in his political career, as a candidate for the Illinois state Senate, Obama supported full marriage rights for same-sex couples.)
It's one thing for a politician who never went on record in support of marriage equality to use the old "my position is evolving" chestnut, which is still absurd and craven and a barf-inducingly transparent way of confessing, "I don't want to lead on marriage equality, but I'm perfectly happy to follow," but it's quite another kettle of bullshit fish for a politician who once supported marriage equality to use the same line.
Unless we're to believe that Obama's attitudes are actually evolving backwards.
Anyway, Kerry Eleveld also wrote the recent Advocate profile of Secretary Clinton, about which we got into an interesting discussion regarding how much attention was paid to Clinton's position on marriage equality, during which I said: "In instances where a writer knows a public figure's personal opinion is where they'd like it to be, I imagine that can make them less inclined to attack their public position." With that in mind, comparing Eleveld's pieces on Clinton and Obama is, um, interesting.