Sully-Bait Defined

Seriously. I think Obama just said this...


"I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage," he said. "But I also think you're right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply. And so while I'm not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it's fair to say that it's something that I think a lot about. That's probably the best you'll do out of me today."

...so that Andrew could write this:

Actually, Obama's attitudes previously evolved in the opposite direction, since he (and his own church) favored marriage rights in 1996, as Dylan Matthews notes. So he was once in favor, then against, but now is leaning for again, but not yet. This pattern, if genuine, makes him almost unique among Americans. How many who were for marriage equality in 1996 are now against it? This is so patently political it's frankly excruciating to read.

What I always wonder is how you process this if you're one of Obama's gay "friends." I could understand working for him. I can understand political alliances. I can understand family. But "friend" is a strong word.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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