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02/10/2015

Former strategist: Constitutional lawyer Barack Obama understood basic rights, fairness before he was allowed to admit it

by Jeremy Hooper

38TzawaaqbajThis is both frustrating and vindicating for those of us who spent the years 2007–2012 pressing the president to step up to full marriage equality:

“I’m just not very good at bullshitting,” Obama told [former political strategist David Axelrod], after an event where he stated his opposition to same-sex marriage, according to the book.

Axelrod writes that he knew Obama was in favor of same-sex marriages during the first presidential campaign, even as Obama publicly said he only supported civil unions, not full marriages. Axelrod also admits to counseling Obama to conceal that position for political reasons. “Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church, 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,’ ” Axelrod writes.
FULL:
Axelrod: Obama Misled Nation When He Opposed Gay Marriage In 2008 [Time]

It's what most of us suspected, as well as what we begrudgingly accepted as being how the game had to be played. But it's still really disheartening to be reminded of the allies—and what a prominent one, too!—who had to put politics above principle, even when their hearts and minds were ahead of their campaign and their party's collective spine.

It's also a sad statement about our country and its recent history that a bright, educated, principled constitutional lawyer and scholar felt like he had to dumb himself down in order to be electable. But I get it. Sadly, I get it.

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