Obama’s Switch on Same-Sex Marriage Stirs Skepticism
By PETER BAKER and DALIA SUSSMAN
WASHINGTON — Most Americans suspect that President Obama was motivated by politics, not policy, when he declared his support for same-sex marriage, according to a new poll released on Monday, suggesting that the unplanned way it was announced shaped public attitudes.
Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed by The New York Times and CBS News since the announcement said they thought that Mr. Obama had made it “mostly for political reasons,” while 24 percent said it was “mostly because he thinks it is right.” Independents were more likely to attribute it to politics, with nearly half of Democrats agreeing.
The results reinforce the concerns of White House aides and Democratic strategists who worried that the sequence of events leading up to the announcement last week made it look calculated rather than principled.
It appears that Obama's re-election slogan - "Obama Killed Osama, That Notorious Gay Marriage Opponent" - may need to be reworked.
The Times is hilarious on the political motivation:
Mr. Obama’s team is counting on the notion that whatever he might lose in votes or intensity of support will be offset by increased excitement among young voters and his liberal base.
And this poll result will surprise everyone accustomed to reading about the newfound acceptance of gay marriage:
About 4 in 10, or 38 percent, of Americans support same-sex marriage, while 24 percent favor civil unions short of formal marriage. Thirty-three percent oppose any form of legal recognition. When civil unions are eliminated as an option, opposition to same-sex marriage rises to 51 percent, compared with 42 percent support.
So the 24 percent favoring civil unions by and large do not favor marriage as their second choice.
The NY Times has to be kidding with this expression of puzzlement about state's rights versus Federal involvement:
The situation remains so uncertain in part because, as the poll showed, the public is deeply conflicted on the issue. Consider the responses to two questions: Just 32 percent said the federal government should determine whether same-sex marriage is legal, rather than leaving it to the states. But 50 percent favored an amendment to the federal Constitution allowing marriage only between a man and a woman and overruling state laws to the contrary.
Just to survey a citizen at random, let me offer my opinion - I would be delighted to see this issue left to the states, so count me among the 68 percent who do not favor a new Federal law.
However, the gay rights activists have every intention of getting this issue to the Supreme Court, which will then discover a constitutional right to gay marriage. As James Taranto of the WSJ explained, Kennedy will lead the way.
Faced with that, many respondents might view a Constitutional amendment as a useful firewall against an energetic Supreme Court.
I may as well restate my current Official Editorial Position on the Supreme Court involvement:
My view on the judicial cram-down approach has evolved as well. I still think it's coming, but it won't be as bad as the permanently divisive Roe v. Wade - experience will tell whether gay marriage strengthens, weakens or has no effect on marriage; experience with abortion hasn't, and won't, tell us whether life begins at conception.
Gay marriage is a feel-good liberal experiment and I certainly hope it works out well. Yes, it would get off to an even better start if it were adopted by a legislative process or popular vote but that won't be the way it develops in most of the country.
FUTURE FUN: If Obama gets re-elected (shudder!) we can look to the day when the Supremes find in favor of gay marriage and our First Former Constitutional Law Lecturer can express his great surprise that it did not remain a state issue.
Of course, a President Romney couldn't stop this freight train either.