President Obama continues his fake “evolution” on marriage equality. First he was all for it, while running for state office more than a decade ago. Then he was against it, when running for the Senate and for president. Then in 2012, he was suddenly for it (when the polls conveniently backed him), but thought it should be left to the states. Now he thinks the Constitution requires it. But, oddly, he thinks the Supreme Court was right not to rule that way in Windsor:
I asked him to name the best Supreme Court decision of his tenure. When the Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, in 2012? When it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, a year later? Neither, it turned out.
“In some ways, the decision that was just handed down to not do anything about what states are doing on same-sex marriage may end up being as consequential—from my perspective, a positive sense—as anything that’s been done,” the President said. “Because I think it really signals that although the Court was not quite ready—it didn’t have sufficient votes to follow Loving v. Virginia and go ahead and indicate an equal-protection right across the board—it was a consequential and powerful signal of the changes that have taken place in society and that the law is having to catch up.” In the Loving decision, from 1967, the Court held that states could no longer ban racial intermarriage.
In other words, Obama’s favorite decision was one in which the Court allowed the political process to go forward, one state at a time. Not long ago, the President described his foreign-policy doctrine as one that “avoids errors. You hit singles, you hit doubles.” On same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court had hit a single, or maybe a double, and that was fine with him.Obama opposed marriage equality until May of 2012. He told me that he now believes the Constitution requires all states to allow same-sex marriage, an argument that his Administration has not yet made before the Supreme Court. “Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all fifty states,” he said. “But, as you know, courts have always been strategic. There have been times where the stars were aligned and the Court, like a thunderbolt, issues a ruling like Brown v. Board of Education, but that’s pretty rare. And, given the direction of society, for the Court to have allowed the process to play out the way it has may make the shift less controversial and more lasting.”
He might be right about that as a pragmatic matter, but if the Constitution requires marriage equality, shouldn’t the court have ruled that way? And when did he reach this conclusion, since during the 2012 election he argued the opposite, that the states had the proper authority on the matter? I’m glad he’s now on the right side of this issue, but the political nature of his “evolution” is transparently obvious. He took whatever position was politically convenient for him at every step, contradictions be damned.