National Flip Flop on Marriage?

Posted on May 11, 2012 by

After his recent interview making a clear and unambiguous statement in support of gay marriage, the question arose: Is President Obama’s statement evidence of a flip flop on the issue since he made statements during his first campaign in defense of marriage as between one man and one woman.

Without question, this was technically a flip flop, the term talking heads like to use when a politician makes incompatible statements on an issue. At the same time, anyone who has paid even a little bit of attention knows that this recent statement has been what the President has believed all along. As such, it’s hard to get worked up about it when his actions belied his stated beliefs from the day he was sworn in.

But here is the question, and it’s one I asked myself after reading some commentary on this from Newsbusters. Has the country become more open to gay marriage, and is that why the President felt comfortable making such inflammatory statements on a hot button social issue during an election year? Jake Tapper at ABC news seems to think so:

Now, a follow-up segment by Jake Tapper did feature an African American barber who opposed the President. However, in a segment on Thursday’s Good Morning America, Tapper let the President off the hook for the flip-flopping charge.

The journalist spun that America is in the midst of a “national flip-flop” on gay marriage. According to Tapper, this is why “the public is not regarding this as a flip-flop by the President.”

Of course, considering that one of Obama’s main critiques of Mitt Romney is that the Republican is a flip-flopper, this is a convenient, generous rationalization.

I’m wondering if there really has been a national flip flop that I wasn’t privy to because I spend most of my time and have most of my conversation with devout Christians. After all, Mr. Obama must have reason to feel at ease coming out like this.