President Barack Hussein Obama yesterday reaffirmed his personal belief that he is wiser than the average American voter.
President Obama today announced that he now supports same-sex marriage, reversing his longstanding opposition amid growing pressure from the Democratic base and even his own vice president.
In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, the president described his thought process as an “evolution” that led him to this decision, based on conversations with his staff members, openly gay and lesbian service members, and his wife and daughters.
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have 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,” Obama told Roberts in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.
Excerpts of the interview will air tonight on ABC’s “World News With Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline.”
The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states’ deciding the issue on their own. But he said he’s confident that more Americans will grow comfortable with gays and lesbians getting married, citing his own daughters’ comfort with the concept.
This announcement came the day after North Carolina Voters overwhelmingly voted for a resolution declaring marriage to be “one man and one woman,” becoming the 31st state to pass such a law.
If you watched the MSM yesterday, you would have thought that this was the greatest announcement since Moses brought the tablets down from Mount Sinai.
One would have thought that Obama would have learned a lesson from both the North Carolina vote and the defeat of long-time Indiana Senator Richard Lugar.
Dark clouds had been gathering over Mr. Lugar for months after tea party groups made the elder statesman, a moderate Republican, their chief congressional target this year.
The GOP primary quickly turned into a nationally scrutinized showdown as the Club for Growth and other Mourdock supporters poured some $3 million into ads lambasting Mr. Lugar for voting for the automakers bailout and tax hikes over his six terms, while groups supporting Mr. Lugar spent half that.
Mr. Mourdock pounded his core message that the 80-year-old senator had turned into a Washington insider, slamming him for living away from Indiana for years, highlighting Mr. Lugar’s congenial relationship with Mr. Obama and criticizing the senator for voting to confirm Mr. Obama’s liberal Supreme Court nominees.
Suddenly, Mr. Lugar found himself struggling to defend things he once touted as accomplishments; among them, working with Democrats on foreign policy and earning the title of one of the two longest-serving Republicans in the Senate. Mr. Lugar and Mr. Hatch were both first elected in 1976.
In a blistering letter written after his defeat, Sen. Lugar unmasked himself as a bitter, pompous, old RINO:
Ultimately, the re-election of an incumbent to Congress usually comes down to whether voters agree with the positions the incumbent has taken. I knew that I had cast recent votes that would be unpopular with some Republicans and that would be targeted by outside groups.
These included my votes for the TARP program, for government support of the auto industry, for the START Treaty, and for the confirmations of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan. I also advanced several propositions that were considered heretical by some, including the thought that Congressional earmarks saved no money and turned spending power over to unelected bureaucrats and that the country should explore options for immigration reform.
It was apparent that these positions would be attacked in a Republican primary. But I believe that they were the right votes for the country, and I stand by them without regrets, as I have throughout the campaign.
…Unfortunately, we have an increasing number of legislators in both parties who have adopted an unrelenting partisan viewpoint. This shows up in countless vote studies that find diminishing intersections between Democrat and Republican positions. Partisans at both ends of the political spectrum are dominating the political debate in our country. And partisan groups, including outside groups that spent millions against me in this race, are determined to see that this continues. They have worked to make it as difficult as possible for a legislator of either party to hold independent views or engage in constructive compromise. If that attitude prevails in American politics, our government will remain mired in the dysfunction we have witnessed during the last several years. And I believe that if this attitude expands in the Republican Party, we will be relegated to minority status. Parties don’t succeed for long if they stop appealing to voters who may disagree with them on some issues.
Legislators should have an ideological grounding and strong beliefs identifiable to their constituents. I believe I have offered that throughout my career. But ideology cannot be a substitute for a determination to think for yourself, for a willingness to study an issue objectively, and for the fortitude to sometimes disagree with your party or even your constituents. Like Edmund Burke, I believe leaders owe the people they represent their best judgment.
Too often bipartisanship is equated with centrism or deal cutting. Bipartisanship is not the opposite of principle. One can be very conservative or very liberal and still have a bipartisan mindset. Such a mindset acknowledges that the other party is also patriotic and may have some good ideas. It acknowledges that national unity is important, and that aggressive partisanship deepens cynicism, sharpens political vendettas, and depletes the national reserve of good will that is critical to our survival in hard times. Certainly this was understood by President Reagan, who worked with Democrats frequently and showed flexibility that would be ridiculed today – from assenting to tax increases in the 1983 Social Security fix, to compromising on landmark tax reform legislation in 1986, to advancing arms control agreements in his second term.
Except that, Reagan, in the end, would always stand behind Conservative principles. Lugar spent his career reaching across the aisle with one hand and patting himself on the back with the other.
Obama should have paid attention to what was happening around him yesterday.
The American people spoke very clearly.
The death of the Tea Party Movement has been greatly exaggerated.