Obama’s Evolution

I appeared on HuffPost Live earlier today to join in a discussion over recent revelations that President Obama was (allegedly) secretly a supporter of civil marriage for gay couples, even though he held the public position against it in the 2008 campaign.

Honestly, I can’t condemn him for taking the most politically palatable position he could at the time, one in favor of civil unions. If I condemned him for that, then I would be very very busy trying to hold many other politicians to the same standard on that issue. Not only that, we can’t forget just how fast this issue has moved. I just don’t think that we should judge the actions taken in the past by today’s cultural standards and norms. 

Obama’s (and other’s) way of dealing with the political reality of this issue isn’t surprising. Whenever there is cultural evolution on a given issue, the politicians follow the people to the evolved position, not the other way around. Obama waited until the majority of Americans, and more importantly his base, were in favor of it before voicing his support. He waited until there would be no negative political consequences. There are many many other politicians, on both sides of the aisle, who are in the same situation. Some of them have announced their support, while others, who’s political base is still in opposition to same-sex marriage, remain in the closet about their support for it.

We also talked about how the GOP will handle the issue in 2016. Watch our entire discussion below.