David Greenberg: Why Obama’s Apologetic Defense Of Gay Marriage Isn’t All It Was Cracked Up To BeRoundup: Historians' Take
David Greenberg, a contributing editor to The New Republic, teaches history at Rutgers University and is at work on a history of presidents and spin.
The results are in: The electorate on the whole regards Barack Obama’s proclamation of personal support for gay marriage as a political maneuver, rather than an expression of heartfelt belief. Unfortunately, if Obama’s heavily hyped interview last week was in fact a political calculation, it was a bad bet—from a purely strategic standpoint, that is, not a moral one—since it seems to have hurt him in the polls. The giddiness and jubilation that marked the press coverage—see the covers of Newsweek and The New Yorker, which The New Republic all but predicted—could hardly be further from the mundane reception afforded the announcement by the general public.
Obama, of course, did the right thing. It’s high time a president endorsed equal rights for gays and lesbians, and whatever hit he suffers at the polls should earn him points for courage. But neither is it surprising that his interview has been greeted with cynicism. For his was a reluctant, narrowly framed, almost apologetic endorsement of same-sex unions—a far cry from the exercise in moral leadership from the bully pulpit that pundits have made it out to be....
comments powered by Disqus
- Fake News and Fervent Nationalism Got a Senator Tarred as a Traitor During WWI
- Debunking Viral Story, Art Historian Says ‘Allah’ Does Not Appear on Ancient Viking Garment
- Will Trump Be Remembered as the Worst President in History? Almost Half Think So
- Thank This Man For Your Last-Minute Halloween Costume
- Letters from young Obama show a man trying to find his way
- Thomas Childers says we’ve got the Nazis wrong in 5 different ways
- National security expert Tom Nichols: “Hey, I’m unstable” is a bad look for the president
- Fake news? It’s nothing new, says Trinity College Dublin historian
- Historian discovers early Reformation writings “hiding in plain sight”
- Victor Davis Hanson says we shouldn’t be rushing to war with North Korea