Video: Before Democrats "Evolved" on Gay Marriage

Posted: Mar 28, 2013 12:55 PM

An instructive montage to cleanse the palate after a week of high-stakes oral arguments and multiple "evolutions" on the definition of marriage, via Slate's Dave Weigel:


As I've made clear in my commentaries over the last few days, I'm comfortable with the direction this debate is headed, and I suspect we'll see more elected officials from both parties joining the pro-same-sex marriage camp in the coming months and years. Nevertheless, it's impactful to watch one prominent Democrat after another expressing their abiding and fundamental support for traditional marriage just a few years ago.  These clips weren't mined from the archives of some ancient, bygone era; they're from 2004.  My favorite bits are Harry Reid approvingly citing state-level Constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, and Hillary Clinton taking great umbrage at the suggestion that her commitment to traditional marriage is anything other than unflinching:

"I take umbrage at anyone who might suggest that those of us who worry about amending the Constitution are less committed to the sanctity of marriage, or the fundamental bedrock principle that it exists between a man and a woman going back into the mists of history, as one of the founding foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principle role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society into which they are to become adults."

Nine years later, here's Hillary on that very same "fundamental bedrock principle."  Skip ahead to the 2:35 mark if you're pressed for time:

Quoth our next president the former Secretary of State: "I believe America is at its best when we champion the freedom and dignity of every human being.  That's who we are."  Unless that human being happens to be an unborn child -- in which case she can be denied the freedom to live, and therefore has no intrinsic dignity.  In any case, Democrats and Republicans routinely shift positions for political gain.  That's no surprise to anyone who follows politics.  But you'd think "fundamental bedrock principles" might be less fungible.  Evidently not.  The moral of the story is that for many -- but not all -- politicians, the only principle that truly counts is doing what it takes to attain and retain power and influence.  If Hillary's going to run in 2016, she really had no choice but to "evolve" on this.  Box checked.