I am not surprised that President Obama lied to the nation in 2008 when he told us he opposed same-sex marriage, but I confess that I didn't expect his insiders to be so brazen as to come right out and admit it.
How could I be surprised about Obama's lie? He has lied about so many things — things that can't be flippantly dismissed as the typical politician's puffing — including, to name a few, energy, entitlements, "flexibility" on missile defense, his support for Israel, Operation Fast and Furious, Benghazi, transparency, earmarks, lobbyists, the budget, unemployment, single-payer health insurance, the public option, keeping your plans and doctors, and bipartisanship.
In my book "The Great Destroyer," I wrote about Obama's deceitful history on same-sex marriage, and it didn't begin in 2008. He signed a questionnaire in 1996 indicating his support for it and then later denied it was his signature. Years later, however, his then press secretary, Jay Carney, admitted it was in fact Obama's signature.
This means that Obama — on the record — supported same-sex marriage as far back as 1996. Yet when challenged about this initial deceit, Carney was defiant and dismissive. What was important, he said, was that from the time of his presidential campaign to the present (2011), Obama's opposition to it had been consistent, but Carney added that Obama's view was "evolving."
I wrote at the time: "The upshot is that Obama was for gay marriage in 1996, though he later denied it, has been openly against it since 2008, and is now warming to it again, though he's still opposed to it. That's more like spinning than evolving." I also made this observation: "What we obviously have with Obama is a politician who supports same-sex marriage but is unwilling to pay the political price of admitting it (at least before the 2012 election), especially among his core black constituency, which strongly opposes same-sex marriage."
As it turns out, I was wrong about when he'd change his position (as he did come out before the 2012 election, presumably to ignite the rest of his base), but I was dead-on about his motivation for duplicity (as I'll explain below).
I noted further that Obama's feigned opposition was incredible because he supported same-sex marriage on various legal fronts, such as his strong support for the misnamed Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Obama's administration went so far as to break normal constitutional procedures (not at all abnormal for this crew) by indicating it would not enforce the law or defend it in court.
This had immediate consequences, as it resulted in litigants citing the administration's position in a court filing in their case to strike down California's statutory definition of traditional marriage. Obama also took aim at traditional marriage at the state level in March 2012, less than two months before North Carolina residents would vote on a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman.
That wasn't all. Obama's Department of Justice, in a court brief, argued that treating same-sex couples differently from married heterosexual couples was the legal equivalent of racial discrimination. Also, federal regulations promulgated by the administration continued the administration's assault on traditional marriage.
Now we have another chapter in this sordid, cynical saga. Former White House adviser David Axelrod admitted that Obama misled Americans for his own political benefit when he claimed in the 2008 election to oppose same-sex marriage for religious reasons.
In his book, "Believer: My Forty Years in Politics," Axelrod quoted Obama as saying — after Obama had stated his opposition to same-sex marriage at a campaign event — "I'm just not very good at (BS'ing)."
Again, I knew they were deceiving us all along, but can you believe Axelrod is just coming out and admitting it — almost as if he is proud of it? Indeed, Axelrod takes credit for counseling Obama to conceal his position for political reasons. In his book, he explained why he urged Obama to lie, vindicating my analysis above. "Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church," wrote Axelrod, "and as he ran for higher office, he grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me, and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage, which he would term a 'sacred union.'"
Again, this is not a mea culpa by Axelrod but something closer to bragging. I think that's because a central tenet of modern leftism today is that the end justifies the means. I even saw a liberal on Twitter defend Obama's deceit on that basis. Also, liberal Jonathan Chait, in a post, questioned whether Obama's "lie" is that bad or "a genuine sin."
At least Chait didn't offer a full-throated defense of Obama's deceit, but the fact that he even rationalized it and that Axelrod is virtually boasting about it with other liberals in tow should be a wake-up call to people who are still naive about the way Obama operates and many liberals think.
Obama's lies have largely defined his presidency, and they matter, not just because they are unambiguously immoral but because they effectively disenfranchise the electorate. Two more years.