We know that the Obama administration is expert at playing the game of stringing the LGBQT community along every election year while actually doing as little as possible to piss off other constituencies. Yeah, we got gays into the military, finally, but on same-sex marriage, I like the way The Whited Sepulchre puts it:
Whether it's on Facebook, at a bar, or at a social event, I really, really, really enjoy needling my gay'n'lesbian friends about Barack Obama's opposition to gay marriage. He's the highest-ranking gay marriage opponent in the United States. They support him just the same. I'll never understand why.Of course, the White House immediately backtracked on any possibility that Joe was testing a new party line, as it were.
Then Arne Duncan abruptly "came out" for same-sex marriage:
Asked during an appearance on MSNBC whether he believes same-sex couples should be allowed to marry in the United States, Duncan gave a straight answer: “Yes I do.”
Duncan said he had never been asked for his opinion publicly. He did not elaborate on his position and was not asked to do so during an education-themed interview.Now I can buy the idea that Joe says what he thinks, and sometimes that's a big f--king deal, and sometimes it's just a real clean-cut black guy. Some people think he makes Obama cringe; I think he makes Obama bust a gut laughing.
But Arne Duncan? Arne is a bellweather for what's going on, and everything Arne says should be taken as connected to what Obama thinks--even if Arne approves of same-sex marriage when we know that President Obama's position is . . . evolving . . . and may reach vertebrate status sometime in the next million years.
So what's going on?
They certainly don't need same-sex marriage to distinguish themselves from Mitt Romney, who just let go the only openly gay guy in the country willing to front for him, do they?
On the other hand, they might really need to neutralize the marriage equality stance taken by Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson. That's right, I went there, I said it.
In a tight race, in a key state, the fact that Johnson has never wavered in his philosophy of marriage equality could be a 1% or a 2% problem for President Obama. Considering his tortured history of dancing around the subject of same-sex marriage, the President ("I don’t think marriage is a civil right"--2004) cannot afford to cede ground to the Libertarian candidate who blasted Rick Santorum on this issue back when he was a Republican and who predicted back in January that this sudden appearance of pro-gay rights surrogates would occur:
January 9, 2012, Santa Fe, NM — Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson today assailed Sen. Rick Santorum for the ex-senator’s opposition to gay marriage equality and for Santorum’s past comments equating Gay marriage with polygamy, child molestation and bestiality. Johnson also offered criticism of President Barack Obama, who he said was “playing politics” with gay rights.
“Rick Santorum’s position is unconstitutional. The Constitution requires that all citizens be treated equally and makes no reference to gender in assuring those equal rights,” said Johnson. “By any fair measure, equal access to marriage for all Americans is a right — guaranteed by the Constitution. Senator Santorum’s claim that legally recognizing gay marriage would be no different than legalizing polygamy, child molestation or bestiality is repugnant and insulting to millions of gay Americans,” said the former New Mexico Governor.
Johnson had equally harsh criticism for President Barack Obama. “The New York Times reports that while President Obama gives lip service to gay equality, the President will not support gay marriage before the election because of the opposition of African Americans, as reflected in his polling, and the need to assure maximum support from African American voters in November,” said Johnson. “Instead the President sends out surrogates to imply that he will support gay marriage in a second term.
“President Obama did the same kind of dance around the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’. He promised to repeal it in his campaign, then dragged his feet on repealing it as President, even sending the Justice Department’s lawyers into court to defend it. Then when ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was finally repealed by Congress, he claimed victory and a promise fulfilled.You know what?
They know Gary Johnson's out there, and they're paying attention.