Thank the Influence of Money in Politics for President Obama’s Gay Marriage “Evolution”

To much fanfare yesterday, Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. President to endorse the idea of gay marriage. While the President described his view as “evolving,” it’s actually a view he’s held before. “I favor legalizing same-sex marriage,” Barack Obama said in 1996, long before his daughters brought him back to that position.

Reactions ranged from Rush Limbaugh’s can’t-believe-he’s-serious “War on Marriage” accusation, to George Takei praising the President’s historic decision to Glenn Greenwald pointing out that the movement that pressured the President ought to be credited for the new turn.

No matter how you interpret the President’s decision to articulate his support for same-sex marriage, in the same manner, in fact, as former Vice President Dick Cheney did while he was in office, one thing’s for sure: it’s been a money winner for the Obama campaign, which apparently raised $1 million in the 90 minutes after his support for same-sex marriage became public alone. Just an hour ago, in fact, I got another text from the Obama campaign: “If you’re proud of our president, get his back by pitching in today,” along with a handy link to donate!

The influence money had on the President’s decision to again endorse same-sex marriage is undeniable. One out of six bundlers for the Obama campaign are gay, for example, and the campaign has been lagging in donations from its entertainment business donors (amplified by the President’s rejection of SOPA despite Chris Dodd’s threats no doubt).

The President may lament the influence of money in politics publicly, and his base even agrees, but without the financial pressure exerted on the Obama campaign by gay donors and backers, it’s unlikely the President’s view on same-sex marriage would “evolve” back to what it was before Obama became a mainstream candidate. Now if one in six Obama bundlers were Muslims or victims of the drug war, maybe we’d see some evolution in Barack Obama’s views on the never-ending war on terror or war on drugs too.

UPDATE: The President raised $15 million for his campaign at a Hollywood fundraiser headlined by George Clooney tonight. He hit upon the theme of gay rights repeatedly there and elsewhere on his West Coast campaign tour.

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  • ||

    "If you're proud of our president, get his back by pitching in today,"

    The gay marriage jokes write themselves.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    No one could write something like that by accident.

  • ||

    We're talking about political hacks, here, dude. They're capable of superhuman feats of stupidity, cluelessness, and self-unawareness that you or I could only dream of.

  • ||

    Funny, anyone could catch the gist of the statement. :-)

  • Hyperion||

    I would like to present to the court the irrefutable evidence of that statement. I give you ladies and gentlemen of the jury: JOE BIDEN

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    He wants gay marriage to be up to the states.

    If gay marriage is the modern equivalent of the Civil Rights movement, that's like leaving segregation and interracial marriage up to the states, isn't it?

  • plu1959||

    That's a big "if" kemosabe.

  • Brian from Texas||

    Hopefully most gay people will see Obama's sudden support for same-sex marriage for its insincerity. The LBGT community, like other segments of society, are increasingly fed up with the ruinous Socialist agenda of Obama and the Democrats. Right-leaning gay groups like GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans are becoming more representative of the LGBT community while the Stonewall Democrats and Liberal Hollywood are becoming less.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    LGBTQ - Liberal, GOP, Bipartisan, Teaparty, and Questionable.

    It's like a rainbow!

  • Hyperion||

    Hopefully most gay people will see Obama's sudden support for same-sex marriage for its insincerity.

    If they are typical dem voters, I have serious reservations about believing that they will see anything that politicians say for what it really is.

  • joeloliver||

    If my Facebook newsfeed is any indication, your reservations are accurate.

    Many of my liberal friends, and especially the homosexual ones act as if this is the greatest thing to ever happen.

  • Jerryskids||

    I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.

    Pay attention! Slick Willy had nothing on Obama when it comes to weasel-wording. This clearly is not ex cathedra, it is merely anecdotal. Obama has just as clearly as he is capable of speaking stated that he has no intention of doing anything whatsoever in any official capacity to support gay marriage.

  • ||

    Even if it's full of weasel words, I admit I'm glad he's saying it. Not because he's the president, but because a lot of polling went into his opinion and it's now becoming more popular to be for it than against it. I'm glad for the country.

  • LarryA||

    Hopefully his support for gay marriage will last longer than his support for medical marijuana.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Maybe they could invent a gay marijuana, so he'll have no choice but to legalize it.

  • Hyperion||

    I think the lesbian variety of that is best (: Not that I would know, I never inhaled...

  • R||

    I think you're either completely overestimating how much Obama likes gay people, or you're completely underestimating how much he hates weed.

  • joeloliver||

    I think that can all change with a shift in the national polling data.

  • Paul.||

    re: the president needing the gay vote/gay donations

    [reposting because it needs to be said]

    I don't buy it.

    Obama did it to pick up middle-of-the-roaders (sometimes read: liberaltarians) who supported gay marriage but were on the fence about Obama and Romney on other issues like the economy.

    The idea that gay activists and wealthy gay donors were going to withhold their vote or their money has been demonstrated to be utterly false.

    Obamas base, which largely includes gay voters were going to pull the lever for Obama, period, the end, no further discussion necessary. If you were for gay marriage and it was a primary issue for you, voting for Romney was dead end.

    If you're a red-state so-con, Obama was never going to get your vote anyway, stance on gay marriage be damned.

    This is a strategic move by Obama to shave off wobbly Romney voters for whom gay marriage is in a cloud of ideals that might tip an election if it's close.

    Pressure, money, activism blah blah blah. It's all noise. Committed voters were already committed, and committed gays were voting Obama anyway. He didn't add a single gay activist who was pressuring him. Not one. For the activists, it was a purely emotional ride, nothing else. Andrew Sullivan admitted as much on NPR last night.

  • ||

    This is almost assuredly right. However, as we saw, it was also a way to raise a bunch of money. Quite tactically clever, if you think about it. I wonder what other issues he might be able to do this with.

  • ||

    I wonder what other issues he might be able to do this with.

    Medical care is a "right"...check.

    Full throated "supports" gay marriage...check.

    Will keep America "safe" from domestic and foreign "enemies"...check

    Will insure "new energy sources and increase energy indedpence"...check

    Will insure "fairness" in taxation and student loan practices...check

    All he needs now is a "war".

    I put nothing past this lying shitbag-in-chief and Flopney will be no better.

    I can't leave fast enough. Sucks that I recently met a woman who could single-handedly keep me from leaving.

  • ||

    Yeah, it's the war thing that's got me worried.

  • Hyperion||

    I am really torn between hoping that the shitbag in chief wins or Flip Flopney wins. Of course I would rather that Ron Paul endorses Johnson and he pulls off the miracle. I just don't think the sheeple are ready for that quite yet.

    Either way, the country is going to be way more ready for Libertarian candidates in 4 years.

    If Flopney wins at least he will get criticized for the shit that he does. On the other hand if Obama wins, I am sure he will really damage the dem party for a very long time since he will go hog wild progressocrat on us in his 2nd term of annointment.

  • yonemoto||

    wrong. if Flopney wins, the economy will crash and the electorate will vote for full on socialism on account of "We tried it your way". Fuck no.

  • yonemoto||

    (not to exclude the - certainty - that the economy will crash under the obama too)

  • Hyperion||

    /sarcasm, I hope

    I really believe that the economy will crash more quickly under Obamas socialist rampage. Unless Romney invades Iran in his first 2 years in office.

    So, you are saying that you will be happy when us Gary Johnson voters tip the election to the one?

  • joeloliver||

    Agreed. As much as I hate Obama, people tend to wrongly lump Romney in with me economically. Even if the recession worsens the week he's sworn in, "laissez faire capitalism" will take the fall if it's Romney.

  • ||

    I still think this move is likely to motivate more socons to vote for Romney than lefties to vote for Obama. I think it'll be a net loss for Obama.

    Part of the reason why politics is so negative is that it's easier to keep your base angry with the opposition than it is to keep them happy with you.

  • yonemoto||


    What? I thought there were like, two of them. Both fired from cato.

  • James Buchanan||

    The first sitting U.S. President to endorse the idea of gay marriage? Helloooo!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Buchanan was certainly into whips and chains.

  • Hyperion||

    Thank the influence of stupid sheeple don't even have enough political education to know wtf a wedge issue is, for keeping these corruptocrats elected.

    Right now, the red team/blue team cheerleaders are at each other's throats over this foolishness, just like their political masters want them to be.

  • plu1959||

    Exactly. All those "look over there" jokes? This is what they were about.

  • KDN||

    Right now, the red team/blue team cheerleaders are at each other's throats over this foolishness, just like their political masters want them to be.

    Definitely. Obama pulls the string and all the puppets dance.

    This is an issue that I really couldn't care any less about. Intellectually, I have an opinion about it, but the whole issue is so unimportant that I don't care if the rest of society disagrees.

  • Rich||

    It's been a money winner for the Obama campaign, which apparently raised $1 million in the 90 minutes after his support for same-sex marriage became public.

    Just think how much he'd raise by announcing support for legalizing marijuana!

  • Hyperion||

    He will never do it, not even in a 2nd term. Not even if the Biden clown walks out on national TV and blows a giant doobie.

  • Trespassers W||

    This signifies NOTHING. All it did for me was intensify my contempt for Obama.

    It's too. fucking. late. you. fucking. hack.

  • A Serious Man||

    Yeah, he waited til AFTER Joe Biden and North Carolina made the issue a national topic of conversation to make this announcement. Way to lead from behind, Barack.

  • R C Dean||

    But you have to admire the coordination with the WaPo Romney gay-basher hit piece.

  • cavalier973||

    Obama is trying to lose the election. He just fired up the socons enough that they'll overlook Romney's Mormonism and flip-floppiness and head to the polls in Nov to "save marriage" or whatever.

    Pres. Romney will then proceed to stab them repeatedly in the back by having his own "evolutionary" move to the idea that same-sex couples should have their marriages legally recognized.

    And, yes, Romney will suck hard on the economy, because he's a contemptible buffoon who thinks that cutting $1 trillion in government spending will shrink the economy.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hey, Reason... you gotta do a story ripping this non-story to shreds:

    I know... OT. But still.

  • A Serious Man||

    Why? It just shows what pussies liberals are when they believe a collection of pixels is dangerous and needs to be stomped out by the righteous boot of the state.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Because showing what pussies liberals are, is a lot of fun.

  • Killazontherun||

    HOLLY SHIT the stupid in the comments section. The rifle is centered in the middle and top. It's pointed in Obama's direction, but it is not aimed like it is about to take his skull off. It's there as a symbol for gun rights and that is all. Take a look at that article and then the hysterical comments. Sublimated and disingenuous reality avoidance has made the left stupid almost to a man.

    Rand Paul Llike Mit Romeny are both full of hate! They both cater to the far right. Mit with his KKK phrase in Dec of 2011 (its like he took there speech). Here we have someone of color in the white house that was born out of love from a white mother and black father, and the hate spills constantly! Thank God his mother is not on earth to witness such hate! Republicans have become such hateful destructive people and God will have the last say on all this!

  • Xenocles||

    "Remember, Rand, guns point both ways. This isn't 1968."

    Uh, no they don't. Not the guns I'm familiar with, anyway.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "God will have the last say"

    This phrase was uttered by a liberal? I am amaze.

  • Killazontherun||

    Her imaginary deity is going to strike Paul down for crimes that are also fantasies in her fevered brain. It's an asynchronous tempest of thought farts.

  • ||

    "The so-called Million Rifle Ban is another popular rallying point for gun rights advocates upset with an Obama administration decision to block the import of hundreds of thousands of Korean War-era rifles over concerns about their magazines and firepower."

    "Magazines and firepower"? No matter how fantastically putrid the bullshit, leftists eat it all up, don't they?

  • widget||

    I caught a bit Rush this morning in the car. Rush pointed out that whenever a poll is taken regarding gay marriage there is a plurality of respondents who support it. But whenever the subject of gay marriage is put to a vote, it fails.

    Rush is correct about that. Obviously.

    By the way, Rush ain't the Pope and he makes no pretense of being so. He regularly refers to his 'gloriously naked body' and his 'formerly nicotine stained fingers' with gusto. So when you link to an article about him being on his 4th wife, there's no information or hypocracy in that.

  • Xenocles||

    It is if he opposes gay marriage out of an attempt to "defend the sanctity of marriage" or some such language. I don't know if Rush does, this is just hypothetical.

  • Ed||

    He called the President's decision a "war on traditional marriage." In my book a divorce does more to "assault" traditional marriage than being of the opinion that same-sex marriage can be allowed by the states.

  • Xenocles||

    Right, that's my point.

  • Marco||

    Obama won't be going to any black churches anytime soon, with all of its single mothers (with multiple baby-daddys) who believe gay marriage to a threat to the good traditional bible based family.

  • Old Bull Lee||

    That's why he took the Dick Cheney position. "Don't worry, I won't do anything about the gay marriage ban all the Bible-thumpers in your state voted for, because I respect your state's rights. Unless you have medical weed, then we have a problem."

  • T o n y||

    Since libertarians support--almost as their raison d'etre--every means by which money influences politics, isn't the real question why Muslims and drug war victims simply don't form more influential lobbies?

  • Proprietist||


  • R C Dean||

    Libertarians support people being able to do what they want with their money, yes.

    What we don't support is a government that is worth spending money to influence.


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