To vouch for the president’s ethics, his chief political lieutenant touts a lie the president told to the American people for years about his position on gay marriage. His ends-justify-the-means mendacity on one of the most divisive issues of our times somehow makes him a more moral man. Beam me up, Scotty!
David Axelrod writes in his new book Believer, “Obama never felt comfortable with his compromise and, no doubt, compromised position. He routinely stumbled over the question when it came up in debates or interviews, ‘I’m just not very good at bulls——-,’ he said with a sigh after one such awkward exchange.”
The president was for gay marriage before he was against it before he was for it. Yet, he insists in the aftermath of Axelrod’s publicity tour that he never fibbed. To quote Congressman Joe Wilson, “You lie!”
When MSNBC’s Chris Hayes queried professional homosexual Dan Savage on the ethics of using shady means to succeed in pushing a desired end, asking how he might react to a conservative candidate rhetorically supporting the minimum wage only to eliminate the law once elected, the talking head responded in non sequitur fashion that the American people would never eliminate such a popular law. He feigned to not understand the principle underlying the hypothetical and real examples. His response to a query about his thoughts on lying came across as lie. Sometimes the clearest answers to questions come from those who dodge them.
The inverted morality of presidents and pundits seeps into the populace. One survey informs that Americans self-report telling 1.65 lies a day. Who’s to say they didn’t tell that day’s big lie to the pollster? The more normal telling lies becomes the more rude we find calling one on a lie.
The president’s deliberate strategy to conceal his true position on gay marriage as he furtively pursued its codification in all of the United States matches the methods by which gay marriage first became law in a single state.
In Massachusetts, where the state constitution makes a dozen or so references to God in the first few paragraphs but none to “gay” in the entirety of the document and just one to “marriage,” a one-vote majority comprised of four judges imposed its wishes upon 6.5 million people. (The courts later blocked the citizenry from conveying their desires on the public policy through a ballot question.) The opinion almost entirely avoided quoting from the oldest Constitution in the world, which demands that taxpayers support the “maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality” and acknowledges the “duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons to worship the Supreme Being,” in the decision. Instead, the court summarized that the losing side had “failed to identify any constitutionally adequate reason for denying civil marriage to same-sex couples.”
The president and the Bay State jurists share a contempt for democratic governance; the former by perpetrating a calculated deception and the latter by usurping lawmaking powers, from both the legislature and the people, and ignoring the document that limits powers.
Decent people can and do disagree on gay marriage, and more than a decade after the Goodridge decision it’s likely that if the courts belatedly permitted a ballot question on gay marriage in Massachusetts the people would vote in favor of it. But the people in most other states would not and in fact did not, as the counted votes in ballot boxes and in state legislatures confirm, vote for gay marriage. Judges have nudged along these recalcitrant outposts, including Alabama.
The same people who denied Congress’s ability to protect the decision of states to determine the definition of marriage within their borders through the Defense of Marriage Act now cheer the idea of the Supreme Court imposing a one-size-fits-all edict upon all the states. “My sense is that the Supreme Court is about to make a shift, one that I welcome, which is to recognize that — having hit a critical mass of states that have recognized same-sex marriage — it doesn’t make sense for us to now have this patchwork system,” Obama told BuzzFeed News this week.
But like Obama’s stated support for traditional marriage, this too rings false. Alabama, and Massachusetts and California for that matter, didn’t recognize gay marriage. Courts forced it upon them. And when one state’s Supreme Court, just eleven years ago, recognized gay marriage the current president certainly didn’t call to end the “patchwork system” by reversing the Bay State’s law through federal intervention.
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has rightly instructed judges in his state to ignore a federal judge’s decision to impose the public policy by judicial fiat upon the heart of the Bible Belt. Since Alabama gives authority on marriage licenses to probate judges, who were not parties to the two cases heard in the federal courts, Moore says that “Alabama probate judges are not bound by Judge Granade’s orders in the Searcy and Strawser cases, they would in my view be acting in violation of their oaths to uphold the Alabama Constitution if they issued marriage licenses prohibited under Alabama law.”
Moore’s reasoning, based on Alabama law as well as the state and federal constitutions, certainly presents a more persuasive legal argument than the theological one presented by an earlier opponent of gay marriage.
“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”
The speaker? Barack Obama.