In the same week that Hillary Clinton does a U-turn on gay marriage — as President Clinton and President Obama have — Leonard Pitts Jr. attacks the motives of a Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman for doing the same because his own son came out two years ago.
According to Pitts, Portman is to be faulted because he couldn’t see this issue from the other side until it became personal, apparently a disease that afflicts all social conservatives. So what were the motives behind the Clintons’ and Obama’s change of heart? Pitts isn’t interested and doesn’t even mention their reversal.
A lot of us suspect that when the polls showed Americans opposed to gay marriage, they were against it, and when the polls began to shift, they were for it. In addition , Hillary Clinton seems to be positioning herself for a presidential run in 2016, and being anti-gay marriage wouldn’t play well.
I’m more disturbed by people who change their positions for political gain than someone who will lose votes because of the change but who has learned his lesson from his son. I’m impressed by Portman’s reversal because it’s clearly principled and not political.
Pitts writes that Portman lacked “true compassion and leadership” because he could not “look beyond the narrow confines of one’s own life.”
He should write about why the Clintons’ and Obama’s position against same-sex marriage position wasn’t also a lack of true compassion and leadership.
Pitts then suggests that Michele Bachmann might have a different view of Muslims if she would only have an affair with one. This is a woman who has been married for 40 years, has five children and provided foster care for 23 teenage girls. I disagree with many of her views, but I have enormous respect for her. Pitts seems incapable of disagreeing respectfully because Bachmann is a conservative Republican. Maybe he needs to have an affair with a conservative Republican so he can see something other than the devil in all of them.
Edwin Farber, Miami