Two days after major gay donors said theyd withhold funding from his campaign and one day before his swank $40,000-a-person fundraiser with George Clooney, President Barack Obama publicly reversed course on gay marriage. The Washington Free Beacons headline proclaimed Gay For Pay.
Obama looks weak and under duress. He looks weak because he would not come out before the North Carolina vote and under duress because he only did so now as his donors held his campaign hostage.
Now, President Obama might as well be called President Dick Cheney given his positions. In addition to Gitmo still in use and warrantless wiretaps still being deployed, Obama comes out in favor of the states individually deciding the issue while supporting it himself. Its the gay marriage equivalent of being personally pro-life, but supporting a persons right to choose.
But there is another angle to this as well. The media fundamentally is ignoring what is staring them in the face as are the Democrats. Whats staring them in the face? Well, consider the always excellent Ron Brownstein in National Journal:
In the Pew survey, half of college-educated white men, a resounding 65 percent of college-educated white women and 68 percent of whites under 30 backed the idea. (In 2001, just 52 percent of younger whites backed gay marriage.) African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities are much more closely divided on gay marriage, with the Pew survey finding just 40 percent of non-white men backing the idea. But it attracts support from 54 percent of minority women and retains plurality support among minorities overall. (That itself represents a major increase from as recently as 2007 when only about one-third of minorities backed gay marriage in Pew polling.)
According to pretty much every poll, everybody supports gay marriage. Nobody wants to be labeled a bigot. But while liberals keep referring to history on the move and the ever growing consensus for gay marriage, they ignore that 32 states have put gay marriage to a vote and it has failed all 32 times.
It is one thing for voters to tell pollsters they support gay marriage. It is quite another thing to actually get it approved at the real polls. Perhaps pollsters should stop asking people if they support gay marriage and instead ask people if they think their neighbors would support gay marriage.
For all the data that political scientists, Democratic strategists, and even a growing number of Republican strategists look at, the data they miss is that gay marriage does not actually win when put to the voters.
The media chooses to ignore this because, like Pauline Kael being shocked by Nixons re-election, they know no one who opposes gay marriage. In fact, the political press corps, mostly creatures of the Northeast, live in the only area of the country to embrace gay marriage. The Northeast, on cultural issues, is increasingly detached from the rest of the country -- even California.
Just last month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Obama- care case. Conservatives have, for three years, insisted Obamacare is unconstitutional.
When Justice Anthony Kennedy spoke skeptically about the constitutionality of Obamacare, the legal pundit community and many American law professors went into shock. Not one of them had, for even a minute, thought the concerns about Obamacares constitutionality were valid. The echo chamber runs deep.
The media really needs to get out of the Washington, D.C./New York City corridor more often and experience American culture.
Erick Erickson is a CNN contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.