Chew on this statement from Jeb Bush, after the Supreme Court upheld gay marriage nationwide:
Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage. I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision. I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side. It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate.
This is the very definition of political pandering, and a poor job of it at that.
- If you are opposed to gay marriage, does this make you feel any better? Jeb is says he’s a states’ rights guy and that we need to protect religious freedom. But he has also said that we should respect those making lifetime commitments, which is code for respecting gay marriages now. Is he one of yours or not?
- If you are in favor of gay marriage, do you feel better about his respect for your relationship and opposition to discrimination? Do you trust Jeb to protect your rights as a human being?
Jeb is trying not to be one of those polarizing politicians, but this is not the way to do it. You don’t get to be on both sides. Here’s a statement he could have made:
The supreme court has ruled. Let’s respect the rule of law and move on. I haven’t changed my principles, but in government you don’t always get what you want, and you must accept the result. I hope the rest of my supporters can also move on and get to work on the hard problems facing the country now.
Or, if he were being honest, here’s what he would have said:
I’m a religious guy. I was against this decision. But we lost. Demonizing gays is no longer good for me politically. I’m going to give up on this fight, but you can probably count on me to act as a conservative on the next faith-based argument. Unless that turns out to be politically unpopular, in which case I’ll probably change my mind again.