Former President George W. Bush has, to his credit, stayed pretty much completely out of politics since leaving office. He’s repeatedly refused to comment on Obama on issue after issue, saying that the president deserves the chance to do his job without sniping from former presidents. I like that about him. He was in Africa last week and was asked about his view on same-sex marriage:
President George W. Bush (R) was asked about marriage equality by a reporter in Zambia last week and replied, “I shouldn’t be taking a speck out of someone else’s eye when I have a log in my own.”
In an interview that aired on Sunday, Jonathan Karl of ABC News asked the former president to explain the remark.
“I meant that I wasn’t going to answer the question then, and I’m not going to answer it now in terms of the political question,” Bush insisted. “I just don’t want to wade back in the debate. I’m out of politics.”
“But I meant it’s very important for people not to be overly critical of someone else until you’ve examined your own heart.”…
“Jonathan, you didn’t hear my answer,” Bush laughed. “I’m not gonna wade back into those kinds of issues. I’m out of politics.”
“The only way I can really make news is either criticize the President, which I don’t want to do, criticize my own party, or wade in on a controversial issue,” he pointed out.
I give him great credit for that. He’s been a much better ex-president than he was a president. But the truth is, I don’t think he ever was against same-sex marriage to begin with. He cynically exploited the issue in 2004 but I don’t think he has any problem with gay marriage at all. This has long been an unspoken secret in the GOP, that the mainstream Republicans really aren’t anti-gay but they know they have to pander to their base, which really is, in order to win elections.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: