Rand Paul's Obama-Gay Marriage Slag: Does Anyone Else Wonder What The Joke Was Supposed to Be?


On Saturday, May 12, while speaking at an event sponsored by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) commented on President Barack Obama's recent endorsement (as a "personal" matter) of same-sex marriage.

Paul cracked the crowd up by saying:

The president recently weighed in on marriage. And, you know, he said his views were evolving on marriage. Call me cynical but I wasn't sure that his views on marriage could get any gayer. Now it did kind of bother me, though, that he used the justification for it in a biblical reference. He said the biblical Golden Rule caused him to be for gay marriage….

And I'm like: What version of the Bible is he reading? It's not the King James version. It's not the New American Standard. It's not the New Revised version. I don't know what version he is getting it from.

Now that doesn't mean we have to be harsh and mean and hate people. We understand sin and if we believe it's sin we still understand that people sin. And we understand that we are not out there preaching some sort of hateful dogma against people. But that doesn't mean that we have to go ahead and give up our traditions. We've got 6,000 years of tradition. There's a lot of stability, even beyond religion, there's stability in the family unit. Just from an anthropological point of view, the family is really important thing. We shouldn't just give up on it.

More here, via CNS.

I'm with Gawker's Louis Peitzman on this one:

I don't get it. I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to be delighted or offended, but I'm mostly just scratching my head.

If Rand Paul is using "gayer" in the pejorative sense — "that's so gay" and the like — he's saying he didn't think Obama's views on marriage could get any worse. But that would suggest there was something wrong with them before, and prior to his statement, Obama hadn't expressed support for marriage equality.

By the same token, if Paul means "gayer" literally, he's saying he thought Obama's views on marriage were already pretty fruity. Paul didn't think they "could get any gayer." Try as I might, I can't figure out what was homosexual about Obama's refusal to endorse marriage equality.

More here.

The lesson here may simply be that pols—even very smart ones such as Rand Paul—shouldn't ab-lib in an age of ubiquitous recording devices. Especially in front of red-meat audiences. The Golden Rule is simply about treating others as you want them to treat you; Sodom and Gomorrah need not apply. Marriage circa 4000 B.C. was a very different institution then it is now. And needless to say, it's patently unclear how creating marriage equality for all Americans might imperil "the family."

Was Paul simply getting belly laughs from an uptight crowd by effectively calling Obama kinda faggy, in the sense that grade-schoolers might? If so, that's really weak, especially from a guy who is undoubtedly the most libertarian member of the Senate. And the most interesting member, period. He understands better than most that politics and the state best be squeezed out of our lives, not interjected into them. Paul is pushing for the right thing in so many ways—he's backing fellow Sen. Mike Lee's budget plan, trying to kill the Ex-Im Bank, pushing the FOCUS Act, just to name three current initiatives. It's a shame to see him cast a shadow on those good efforts with obscure-but-offensive quips on things with which the government shouldn't be involved in the first place.

Read Matt Welch's and my interview with him or watch below.