The president tells the daughter of his veep something he couldn't tell his base:
"My only ask was that if his daughter doubted my tolerance to her orientation that I would hope that he would help make it clear to Mary that this is a--I was just worried about--the reason I'd federalized the issue is because I was worried about the courts' defining the issue and that we'd end up with de facto marriage that was not traditionally defined, I guess is the best way to put it."
Bush has never, to the best of my knowledge, used the word "orientation" publicly to describe gay people in prepared remarks. (If you can prove me wrong, please do.) His base would revolt. I also wonder if anyone actually told Bush that there was no precedent in U.S. law or history for the marriage laws of one state being forcibly exported elsewhere, and that any doubts he might have had on that score were allayed by the Defense of Marriage Act. And the simple point that if his nightmare occurred, then would be a good moment to ponder a response also does not seem to have occurred to him. He had an election to win, I guess.
Notice also how he doesn't have the courage to confront Mary Cheney directly.
He consulted no openly gay people or couples before endorsing our permanent second-class status in the constitution itself. He was willing to consign a whole class of people as forever beneath equal citizenship without even talking to one of us. His main advisers were Richard John Neuhaus and Robert P. George - two passionately anti-gay theocons. He knew what Rove instructed was wrong. But that makes it worse, not better.