Friday, August 6, 2010

Sr. Advisor David Axelrod Explains Obama's Schizophrenic Stand on Marriage Equality

Here's something you may have missed in all the celebration following the defeat of Prop 8 on Wednesday. The White House released a statement to Advocate journalist Kerry Eleveld, saying, “The President has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8 because it is divisive and discriminatory. He will continue to promote equality for LGBT Americans.”

Okay, a nice, short and sweet statement, that on the surface, might make you think "The Big O" is in favor of marriage equality. Not so fast. Our fierce advocate is still as contradictory as ever on gay marriage. Throughout his campaign and his presidency, he has said he wants to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but he has also said he is against same-sex marriage and favors domestic partnerships and believes marriage rights should be decided by the states.

Confused? You're not alone. How can the President of the United States say he is in favor of full equality for LGBT Americans yet still propose a separate-but-equal, second class status for an entire class of people and a random patchwork of marriage rights that vary from state to state?

How can he be against DOMA, but still think it's okay for states to ban same-sex marriage, then come out with a statement saying he's happy that a state's ban on same-sex marriage has been overturned???

Hoping to get to the bottom of all this and get some straight answers on the subject, Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie, hosts of MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown", interviewed David Axelrod, Senior Advisor to the president on Thursday. Here's how it went down:

GUTHRIE:  So let's start with the news, the federal judge striking down the ban on same-sex marriage that California voters passed in 2008.  I think the American public could be forgiven if they're a little confused about where the president stands on all of this. He has said he opposes same-sex marriage.  He has said during the campaign he didn't mind what California voters were trying to do, trying to ban Prop 8.  Yesterday, though, the White House comes out and says, well, the president has spoken out against Prop 8 in the past.  He said he would work to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, but that the Justice Department, since he's been president, has actually litigated on behalf of that law.  So let's just forget all of that in the past and ask you, where does the president stand today?  Does he still opposed same-sex marriage?
AXELROD:  Well, Savannah, let me just correct something in your rather lengthy litany of events there. 
The president opposed Proposition 8 at the time.  He felt that it was divisive.  He felt that it was mean-spirited, and he opposed it at the time.  So we reiterated that position yesterday.  The president does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples, and benefits and other issues, and that has been effectuated in federal agencies under his control.  He's supports civil unions, and that's been his position throughout.  So nothing has changed. 
GUTHRIE:  But David, can I just say, I'm looking at an interview right here that Jake Tapper of ABC did back in June of 2008, where Tapper asks him, "Does it bother you what California's doing?"  And the president responds, "No." 
AXELROD:  Well, Savannah, I'm at a loss here, because I'm just sitting on a set, but I'd be happy to ship you the statements that the president made on -- specifically on Proposition 8 and his opposition to it at the time.  So you're working off of incomplete information there. 
TODD:  Well, David, how about let's clear this up -- does the president support states trying to go their own way on same-sex marriage?  Do you think it's appropriate for a state to ban it and appropriate for other states to decide it's OK? 
AXELROD:  Well, he does believe that marriage is an issue for the states, and he did oppose Proposition 8. 
TODD:  OK.  All right. 

Okay!? This insane parlor game of Mental Twister is okay with you Chuck? You should be fired for failing to live up to the journalistic standards of MSNBC as set by Rachel Maddow.

Obama's convoluted nonsupport of marriage equality is just one more reason I will not support him or the Democrats any more. I hate to be a single-issue voter, but as I've said before, issues like wars and the economy have a way of working themselves out, no matter who is in office. They always have and they always will. Like voters everywhere, I care about the issues that effect me personally. Equal rights for LGBT Americans is very personal to me and on this issue, Obama is a nutless coward.

Mr. President, if you're for us, then fight for us. If you're not, then say so and we'll part company once and for all. You can't spend the rest of your term with a fencepost up your ass.

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