Richard Socarides, one of the most obnoxious people to come out of the Clinton White House, is once again railing against President Obama for his lack of same-sex marriage support while completely ignoring his own involvement in the ultimate passage of the Defense of Marriage Act.
We’ve been down this road before. Richard, who thinks only of his future career prospects, defends NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who worked to undo same-sex marriage in the courts. And it’s impossible not to mention Socarides being completely absent on railing against Clinton’s DOMA support when it actually matters while saying the following about Obama:
When he ran for president, Obama took the position that while he was for equal rights for gays, he favored civil unions over marriage. (Earlier, as a candidate for the Illinois state Senate in 1996, he had supported full same-sex marriage rights.) His presidential campaign view seemed fine for most gay voters at the time (despite its apparent political expediency), and he received their overwhelming support in the general election. But that position is now untenable for several reasons.
First, where you stand on the issue of marriage has become a kind of political litmus test for gay voters on whether you support full or partial equality. It is now seen as a proxy for whether you believe gays and lesbians are entitled to full dignity, respect and inclusion in every aspect of American society. And whether, in essence, our struggle for equality is worthy as a civil rights movement. Just saying you are for equal rights will no longer cut it.
Socarides has previously lied about saying he countered the Clinton administration’s support for DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. In fact, he helped write up the administration’s talking points to help counter any criticism of the White House’s backing of those laws. And yet he continues to go after President Obama’s sagging rights record that, although warranted, has zero credibility coming out of this man’s mouth.
The day after the California ruling, White House aide David Axelrod reiterated the president’s current position, telling MSNBC, “The president does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples in benefits and other issues, and that has been effectuated in federal agencies under his control. He supports civil unions, and that’s been his position throughout. So nothing has changed.”
That was a missed opportunity.
Richard knows only too well.