Carney: The President Has Been Clear That His Position Is Unclear

Finally, clarity. For years, many civil libertarians have denounced President Barack Obama for his failure support same-sex marriage and over two years of opposing the claims of gay and lesbian soldiers in courts. He still refuses to recognize same-sex marriage but White House Spokesman Jay Carney has finally cleared up the confusion. This week Carney dismissed suggestions that the President’s position claiming to support gay rights but not supporting same-sex marriage is confusing. Carney insisted Obama has been “very clear that his position is evolving.”

Carney was refusing to answer the simple question of whether Obama supported same-sex marriage in 1996 on a questionnaire.

This Kerry-esque position only magnifies how politics and not principle are driving the President’s positions, yet again. What is clear is that the Administration continues to oppose arguments that sexual orientation should be treated like gender or race in protection from discrimination. The President continues to play Hamlet on the Potomac with the core civil liberties of gay and lesbian citizens. As on the President’s position on torture, these are fundamental matters of principle that demand an honest answer.

I can understand if the President has moral or philosophical objections to same-sex marriage — even if I disagree with them. However, this is a threshold question that is answered by one’s views of morality or philosophy. Clearly, that question should have been answered in the President’s mind years ago (as it appears to have been in 1996). It is the politics that remain unclear for the President. That much is quite clear.

Jonathan Turley

56 thoughts on “Carney: The President Has Been Clear That His Position Is Unclear

  1. GAD I hate this stupid shit! I’d rather he say “I’m against it.” than this ‘lets try to please everyone’ bullshit. He will get no credit from his opponents, no sympathy from his supporters and the great sea of morons that only sorta pay a little attention kinda every four years will see it as spineless and weak.

  2. Carney:

    A “carny” is anyone who runs a “joint” (booth), “grab joint” (food stand), game, or ride at a carnival, boardwalk or amusement park.

    I am not enjoying the rides, the games are rigged….who do I complain too….

  3. Yes, yes he is BVM. Along with being a secret moose limb, a commie, a soshalist and a mommies boy he is a flaming butt pirate. Your work here is done you may retire now in triumph knowing you have won.


  4. AY reminds me of the succession of propaganda spin meisters of late:

    Snotty, Show Job, What’s Her Name, Fibbs, and now The Barkster.

  5. AY – sorry, you won the thread. Dipshit there won all politics. We should all be thankful he went easy on us instead of pointing out that all Democrats are homos. except of course the women who are all dykes. While this is a well known fact in their world we were all blind to this until real men like mAnn Colture and BVM lifted the scales from our eyes with his brilliant post.

    Dredd – I think you have named 5 of the 7 dwarfs, well done.

  6. Swarthmore mom,

    As long as Obama is, as he’s said, against gay marriage, he’s a bigot. Same thing for Clinton. It doesn’t matter if gay people support her, as there are gay Republicans, too. The fact that Obama is waffling now means that he’s not only a bigot when it’s convenient to be one, but he’s also a spineless clown. And their pathetic positions on gay marriage are actually some of their least offensive.

    I know, I know, “the Republicans are worse.” As long as the Republicans do evil things, the Democrats can do evil things, too, and count on getting votes.

  7. “I can understand if the President has moral or philosophical objections to same-sex marriage — even if I disagree with them.”


    You are being far too kind. I doubt the President has any personal moral and/or philosophical objections. This is merely political triangulation and frankly cowardice. This was not why I voted for him, or what I thought I was going to get. However, as you are well aware, there is little campaign rhetoric that can be trusted.

  8. So much for hope and change. There was a lot of hope however, but it seems that as far as change goes Obama is no different than any other politician in that he is more concerned with getting re-elected than being a leader.

  9. SwM,
    Too funny or is it two funny … I get so confused …

    Having a great time at any rate and have decided to stay till the middle of July.

    Keep on holdin’ down the fort and I will attempt to weigh in when I get a chance.

  10. Blouise, There is no holding down the fort around here. The Obama and the democrat haters are out in full force including BVM. They can run the tables for all I care. Hope Perry gets in to give Bachmann and Romney a little competition….Watch Keith Olbermann. His show is very progressive democrat friendly. I felt much better after watching it. I know you are in a lovely area and it is one of my favorite places. Headed to Chicago to see the family next week.

  11. BVM
    Is Obama Gay?

    “Washington Insider: Obama Member of Chicago Gay Man’s Club”
    So, he’s a Marxist, socialist, an illegal alien, hates white people, is gay and black- OMG. Do you not have any comprehension that you have universally aligned yourself with the most ignorant and vile segment of the political spectrum.

    Have you no shame? Srsly, I have dark thoughts that I, white-knuckled, restrain myself from posting because though my emotions would be momentarily gratified, my thinking self would wither under the burden of shame I would feel later. I think that’s normal. But you? You just jump right out there with your pre-conscious notions. Have you and yours no shame?

  12. As I have previously stated, I am opposed to same-sex marriage. However, after reflecting on the issue—and especially since reading this blawg for several years and observing the intelligence, legal expertise, and courage of one Glenn Greenwald—the following is what I would say if I were president.

    While I am philosophically and morally opposed to same-sex marriage, I will lend my support to—and take whatever federal actions are necessary to allow for—what must be considered a principal civil right. How can I refuse civil liberties to a large number of our populace who contribute in a vast number of ways to our economy and society thorough their tax contributions and services rendered within all levels of commerce, education, law enforcement, all branches of state and federal government, healthcare, and the military?

    My moral objection to same-sex marriage is markedly trumped by the moral foundation that fundamental fairness and full civil liberty must be afforded to each U.S. citizen equally and devoid of any prejudicial hindrances.

    My philosophical objection is overridden since no persons’ lives should suffer because of my personal biases, especially when it is clear to me that homosexuality is an innate biological trait and not some aberrant lifestyle choice that is interchangeable on a whim.

    I will most likely never change my moral and/or philosophical bearing regarding this issue; however, I can no longer deny those liberties guaranteed to each American within the principles of our constitutional republic.

  13. FFLEO,

    Very well said. That last post was a perfect example of why I think you’re a great traditional “Eisenhower” conservative and why I consider you such a valuable contributor here. We may not agree on every topic, but that is fine with me for no other reason than you are the very definition of “honorable opposition” and clearly a man who values equity, justice and liberty.

  14. SwM,

    Making an early night of it … Olbermann is a huge favorite around here. Turned a bunch of people onto the blog and they’re lovin’ it which is creating some great discussions around the dinner party and patio party tables. If I start sounding smarter … don’t be fooled … I’m just stealing from others

    Next week it’s off to Chadds Ford and the Brandywine. Hit this link as it is a perfect view of what I will be enjoying from a bench behind the museum:

    (Good god … I do hate golf … )

  15. You will probably be taking the Baltimore Pike to get there. If you turn south on the pike before you get to the blue route(hwy 476), you will reach Swarthmore College. The campus is an arboretum with many examples of Quaker architecture.There is also a branch of Jim’s Steaks on the Pike if you like the Philly cheese steaks. There are many good restaurants along the way in Media.

  16. Blouise,

    I’m glad you and Tex are having a good time. I’d say have some fun for us here at the blog, but it sounds like you are and then some. Like you having fun is shocking news. :roll: :mrgreen:

  17. Mike S.,
    I would like to echo MetoCowboy. Your response is spot on. Obama is just playing games with the political winds, but he may find out that the wind may bite him in the backside.
    Blouise, have fun on your trip. I will be heading out in early July to visit my son in Hawaii. He just returned last week from Afghanistan and he is flying his mother and I out to see him and then he is flying back home with us! What a relief.
    Former Fed,
    I am glad to read of your comments concerning the civil rights of gay people. Buddha was correct in his assessment and I agree that we don’t always agree, but you are my kind of guy!

  18. L K

    you forgot muslim.

    while looking through fox nation a few weeks back i saw where someone described obama as a muslim devil worshiper. i started to ask how he could be both but decided, why bother. it’s kinda like going to a zoo, interesting to look at but unless you’re dr dolittle conversation is useless.

  19. raff,

    I am very glad to hear your son is back safe and sound stateside.

    That is truly wonderful news.

  20. Rafflaw,

    Yea, Good news! I hope your son, your wife, yourself, and all your family and friends have a wonderful celebration. Like so many, I am grateful for his service, rejoice in his return, and pray for peace.

  21. Rafflaw, Great news about your son! Have a great time in Hawaii. When he gets back home is he staying? Is his tenure in the service over or is he on leave? If I may ask.

  22. pete: “you forgot muslim. …. fox nation …. it’s kinda like going to a zoo, interesting to look at but unless you’re dr dolittle conversation is useless.”
    :-) Excellent observation.

  23. SwM,
    Thanks for the tips … we have lots of time so will do as you suggest.

    Your news regarding your son is wonderful … what a marvelous way to welcome him home … please express my gratitude to him for his service

    I will have two in your honor!

    You’d be lovin’ it up here so we must keep it in mind for the future. :) Tex is doing very well and sends you his regards. I think we just might be able to handle a trip to Italy.

  24. rafflaw, Congratulations on your goods news. You are right about Obama playing politics. He figures the republicans are all involved with some weird anti- gay pastor so he can get by with this. Romney is another case, though, as he previously was for gay marriage and now in order to pander to the base he has become just like the rest of them.

  25. Raf – just want to add my best wishes to your son. Mine has been out for a couple of years now and is struggling with anger & depression over his service. Its getting better but there are struggles.

    FF – that is a very thoughtful stance, good on you. I’d like to post a bit about the new Command Sgt. Major of the USMC – The Wall Street Journal reports that Sgt. Maj. Barrett brought out a small copy of the Constitution and referenced Article 1, Section 8. “It says, ‘Raise an army.’ It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, sexual orientation.” He then asked if everyone in the group joined the Marines to protect their nation, going on to say, “How dare we, then, exclude a group of people who want to do the same thing you do right now, something that is honorable and noble?”

    Sgt. Maj. Barrett concluded by saying “Get over it… Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines.”

  26. Would it matter?

    While it would give clowns like you a reason other than he is black to hate him it wouldn’t change a thing. Normal people would not give a shit. You, as you have so ably demonstrated, are not normal but it still wouldn’t matter.

  27. OMG….what if he is gay? On top of being a mooslin, socialist, nazi, furriner, alien, Kenyan, Antichrist, and did anyone notice he is BLACK???? Oh the horror. Gay? What will they discover next? We owe such a debt of gratitude to the internet trolls who are leading us out of darkness into the light. Keep this from Michelle. BTW, did anyone notice she is BLACK too? The President of the United State sleeps with a BLACK woman. In the White House. OMG. This country is on a downward spiral. We need to call on St. Sarah of Teabags to save us. Or something…….


  28. Raff,

    It is a blessing for your whole family, enjoy the trip and all of you have good cries, absorbing the joy of the moment and the relief.


    Where the hell are Republican’s Pols like you when we need them? Your statement could not have been more emblematic of what the Constitution says this Country should be about. Your statement is in the tradition of Abe, T.R., & Ike. If someone like you were running on the Republican line I’d vote for them, even though I’d probably disagree on many issues. The bottom line is integrity of opinion and the ability to see beyond one’s predilictions.

  29. Surprisingly, I’ve become a relative old timer here, I recognize that some slightly newer community members are getting their first taste of BVM. BVM is a trollish piece of work. This entity, I don’t know the sex, has posted inane and insane anti-Obama drivel since first appearing here during the 2008 campaign. It never engages in direct debate and goes on tediously spewing out its’ ill-founded rumors. A visit to its website discloses a confounding pastiche of anomaly’s and is to say the least, not edifying. ignore it and it will eventually go away. eventually.

    As to the Chicago “Gay” Bath House slur it rang a bell with me.
    Back in the early 70’s in NYC, many of my male Gay friends frequented a place calle “The Baths.” They talked about a fabulous female singer performing their, that had incredible talent. Sadly, I think fearing for my discomfit and recognizing that I might not fit in, they never invited me to go and I never asked, fearing I might make the regulars uncomfortable. That singer was Bette Midler, at the start of her great career and for me it was an opportunity lost.

  30. Thanks to each person who responded to my comment: BIL, Otteray Scribe, rafflaw, Lottakatz, Frank, Mike Spindell et al.

    Your comments over time within this blawg prompt an examination of one’s philosophies. While most of the participants here of a liberal bent and I am about as conservative as life could bend me, we in this country must compromise to establish a fair and impartial society for all.

  31. “we in this country must compromise to establish a fair and impartial society for all.”


    Though knowing your feelings FFLEO, in a strictly non-religious sense.

  32. Thanks to everyone for your comments and good wishes concerning my son and his safe return from Afghanistan. I can think and work more clearly now that he is stateside.

  33. Frank,
    I hope your son improves as quickly as possible from the rigors of combat. His service is appreciated. I also enjoyed your quote from the Sgt. Major Barrett.

  34. rafflaw,

    Congrats. Since you did not have the chance to know your Dad—as I recall, because of his death during military service—you are fortunate that, given your son’s military service in a horrid country, you are able to have him alive and well.


    I echo what rafflaw stated. As a Viet Nam Era veteran who also lost my only brother to that conflict, I can somewhat understand what you and your son are experiencing. Your son needs to know that there are many people who honor what he did for this country even though the government often turns its back on those who selflessly sacrificed for the cause.

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