The Thinker: Rich Galen


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A Marriage of Inconvenience

Rich Galen

Friday May 11, 2012


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  • When Joe Biden was selected by Barack Obama to be his Vice Presidential running mate I was thrilled.

  • I thought "If Obama wins, Biden's propensity to trip over his own tongue will provide enough material to write two columns a week." I would only have to earn the third column.

  • For the most part, darn it, Biden has behaved himself and hasn't been the loose-lipped fool he has been since he was first elected to the U.S. Senate from Delaware when he was 29 years old

  • Biden made up for all of that this past weekend when he proclaimed his support for gay marriage on "Meet the Press".

  • That put so much pressure on the President, that he had to come out (so to speak) in favor of gay marriage his own self after attempting to finesse the issue until after the November election.

  • Here's something you might not know: Biden had taped that interview on Friday. It would appear that no one on the VP's staff thought it was newsworthy enough to drift into the West Wing and tell the President's folks that Biden had said he was for gay marriage.

  • After the fact the Obama folks tried to pretend this was all part of a long-ago developed strategy.

  • As Sherman Potter might have said: Horse Hockey.

  • If anyone on POTUS' staff had known this was coming they would have established a mechanism to deal with it.

  • As it was, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was caught flat-footed about the whole thing. As the Washington Post's Dana Milbank wrote:
    "Carney tried to parry the same-sex-marriage questions, gamely at first and then testily as reporters began to laugh at his answers."

  • Democrats here in Your Nation's Capital have tried to pretend that this is a big - BIG - win for Obama.

  • As Sherman Potter might have said: Mule Muffins.

  • If it was such a big win, why did NBC report that:
    "Vice President Joe Biden apologized to President Barack Obama for saying he supported same-sex marriage last Sunday on Meet the Press, according to the Vice President's office."

  • I said to one D friend yesterday that Obama might have gotten to the place where he wanted to be on this issue, but he got there the wrong way. It was like getting the right answer on a math test not because you understood the process, but because you looked in the back of the book.

  • Because we happen to be inside the six-months-to-go mark for the Presidential election everything is view through that lens.

  • The question yesterday was: Will Obama having been backed into having to endorse gay marriage, hurt him in November?

  • It is no secret that Black voters are very uncomfortable dealing with all gay issues. On Tuesday voters in North Carolina voted for a constitutional amendment to forbid gay marriages.

  • The Democrat survey research firm, Public Policy Polling, reporting in advance of that vote that "projected 60-65 percent of African-Americans would vote in favor of the ban," according to

  • Are African-Americans now going to vote for Mitt Romney?

  • No. Of course not. But it is another reason for many who turned out to vote for Obama in 2008 to simply stay home in 2012.

  • On this issue, Obama had to choose between Blacks and Liberals. He chose Liberals and that will come at a price.

  • This is not new territory for Obama. On the Keystone Pipeline issue, Obama had successfully maneuvered himself into a position where he had to choose between unions (pro-pipeline) and environmentalists (anti-pipeline).

  • This is the working definition of inept leadership.

  • No. That can't be right. "Inept leadership" is an oxymoron.

  • Inept governance. That works, right?

  • I happen to agree with Dick Cheney on this issue.

  • �ber-Liberal Markos Moulitsas who writes the very persuasive blog "Daily Kos" got it right. He recognized that Obama had been dragged kicking and screaming to this position when he wrote:
    "Jump for joy, but don't make this into something it is not. The President is a political opportunist and you have been played. Yeah, yeah, yeah he's got my vote.

    "But don't lie to yourself. Obama is four years behind Cheney on this issue."

    " For Obama, gay marriage is not a position of firm belief. " It is nothing more than a marriage of inconvenience. " On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the Jay Carney briefing, the look at Blacks and gay marriage, and to the Wikipedia entry for the Daily Kos. Also a Mullfoto of a pretty good sticker on the back of an SUV and a Catchy Video of the Day - a Little League unassisted triple play.

    -- END

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