Obama: The Lester Maddox of Gay Marriage

by Ben Johnson

Although he has grown Washington more than any president in a generation, Barack Obama is talking like a Jeffersonian states rights champion — in the one night, in the one state, on the one issue that would promote his top-down rejection of traditional morality. As Barack Obama prepares to attend a sold out, $1,250-per-plate campaign fundraiser before a large homosexual group in New York (the “Gala with the Gay Community”), the state legislature in Albany seems poised to pass a bill approving same-sex marriage. Some speculate this evening Obama will endorse marriage destruction. But Obama’s handlers are rolling out a new and, for him, novel tactic: wrapping himself in states rights. An unnamed White House official told The Huffington Post, “Although the president believes that this is an issue best addressed by the states, he also firmly believes that committed gay and lesbian couples should receive equal protection under the law.” (Emphasis added.)

(Update: Here’s a video of Obama at the fundraiser. The story continues following the video.)

At last, Barack Obama has discovered states rights, which constitutes a significant act of rhetorical hypocrisy even by his standards. Obama’s left-wing allies have equated a belief in the Founders’ view of government with “racism” and derided those who believe in states’ rights as “Tenthers.”

The Obama administration is suing Indiana on behalf of Planned Parenthood, since that state prohibited tax dollars from funding abortion providers. The showdown could cost the state $4.3 billion. Obama not only sued but hauled the state of Arizona before the UN Human Rights Council over its immigration law. He sent 400 federal agents to harass poll watchers enforcing state election laws during the 2010 midterms. (It didn’t help, much.) His National Labor Relations Board is suing (see a trend?) Boeing, because it planned to build one plant in South Carolina, a state that has chosen to adopt “Right to Work” laws. ObamaCare marks his largest legislative trampling of states rights. Now that Republicans control the House, Obama is increasingly ruling by executive fiat.

But allow a blue state to consider redefining the fundamental building block of society, and suddenly Barack Obama is the Lester Maddox of gay marriage. (Both constituencies have significant experience bicycling backwards.)

The move is a down payment on the debt Obama owes this voting bloc. The LGBT lobby has been a pillar of his re-election fundraising. As 2012 draws closer, Obama has hinted his views on same-sex marriage will “evolve.” White House spokesman Jay Carney followed this line when pressed for clarification on Monday.  Obama “was very clear in the campaign,” when he claimed to oppose it, Carney said. “He’s very clear about the fact that his position is evolving.”

For those who are confused, Obama’s position on same-sex marriage is simple: He favors it. The New York Times has an outstanding piece on the hypocrisy and political opportunism Obama has employed while presenting his shifting positions on the issue throughout his career. On a 1996 questionnaire, Obama wrote, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” His communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, told the Netroots Nation last Friday someone else filled out the questionnaire. However, former aide Kevin Thompson has confided that, based on his discussions with the candidate just a few years ago, “I don’t think Barack Obama has any issue with two people of the same gender getting married. ” Rep. Barney Frank admitted, “My own view is that I look at President Obama’s record, he was probably inclined to think that same-sex marriage was legitimate, but as a candidate for president in 2008 that would have been an unwise thing to say.”

As this author noted, Barack Obama included “equal rights to marriage for LGBT Americans at the federal and state levels” in his report to the United Nations Human Rights Council. By doing so, he invited the World Body to exercise jurisdiction over the most divisive of U.S. social issues, in the hopes they would provide him cover to pursue legalization. (I predicted last October that Obama’s views would “evolve” into a full federal press for same-sex marriage after the 2012 election. The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent is now claiming he broke the story first, today.)

Obama is likely too cautious to endorse same-sex marriage before he faces re-election, because he knows that position has been beaten back by popular referendum in every state that has considered it. Admitting his views would expose him as further Left than the American people will tolerate. Obama would make such an announcement only if he considers 2012 so daunting that he feels a need to fire up the farthest reaches of his base. So, he plays his game, not quite endorsing but perpetually stroking his followers that he is “evolving” (wink, wink).

Barack Obama is an enormous tease for the LGBT community.

But make no mistake: the consummation is coming. Another anonymous White House adviser told the Times Obama is set to endorse marriage destruction, and his staffers “are looking at the tactics of how this might be done.”

When he does, look for him to unleash an activist executive branch to trample the states rights he pretends to endorse.