…Joe Biden got out in front of the White House and shamed them into a policy change:
Vice President Joe Biden really did get ahead of President Barack Obama on accepting gay marriage in 2012 — and the White House really wasn’t happy about it, despite their many attempts to claim otherwise.
That’s the story laid out in Jo Becker’s new book, “Forcing the Spring,” which documents the past few years of successful efforts to expand the legalization of gay marriage, according to an advance copy obtained by POLITICO.
Speculation that Biden’s comments on “Meet the Press” in May 2012 were meant as a trial balloon, Becker writes, came from people “not privy to the chaos that erupted inside the West Wing after an emailed transcript of the interview landed in the inbox of the White House press team.” A furious Valerie Jarrett, Becker adds, accused Biden of “downright disloyalty.”
It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where Barack Obama, already four tempestuous years into an administration boxed in by Republicans from committing to any legislative achievements, and his staff spent many long nights arguing back and forth about this particular issue, engaged in a deep political calculus of offending moderates while shoring up his liberal wing.
It’s also not hard to imagine Joe Biden becoming frustrated at the inaction and taking a “shit or get off the pot” position with the President.
It’s also not hard to imagine President Obama giving him the ok to go ahead and take the lead on the issue. Valerie Jarrett may simply have been kept in the dark in order to make the kabuki more believable.
We on the far left can argue endlessly about how this was an issue of “do the right thing” and shouldn’t even have been a question of if, but of when. But we on the far left also have to admit there are some things the nation is ready for (same sex marriage) and some things it is not (single payer healthcare) and that there’s a lot of work we have left to do to move the nation into a position more accepting of our sensible policies.
So…let’s get to it.