A Man Can Be Wiser Today Than Yesterday

Mark Grisanti is a Catholic Republican state senator from Buffalo, who has opposed gay marriage. Last night, he changed his mind:

Tonight, I joined my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to legalize same sex marriage in New York State. Since I began my term as Senator I have met with many people on both sides of this issue, read numerous documents and independent studies. Given the high stakes, I felt I owed it to everyone to make a well-informed decision. I have come to believe that all New Yorkers should be entitled to the same 1,324 rights that come with a civil marriage. As an attorney I analyzed the legislation and concluded that the amendments provide critical exemptions for religious institutions. Passage of this bill now rather than later ensures that these protections be included. I cannot deny anyone in my district and across New York the same rights I have with my wife.

Barack Obama is the Democratic President of the United States. Thursday night, speaking in Manhattan, he waffled:

Now, part of the reason that DOMA doesn’t make sense is that traditionally marriage has been decided by the states. And right now I understand there’s a little debate going on here in New York — (laughter) — about whether to join five other states and D.C. in allowing civil marriage for gay couples. And I want to — I want to say that under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, with the support of Democrats and Republicans, New York is doing exactly what democracies are supposed to do. There’s a debate; there’s deliberation about what it means here in New York to treat people fairly in the eyes of the law.

One of these men is wiser today. The other continues to enjoy rights denied to his fellow citizens, and that many states denied to his own parents the day he was born.


I’m not particularly enamored of the president’s waffling either. As much as I would like to him to unequivocally say he supports all efforts to legalize same-sex marriage, I know it won’t happen because he is in a re-election campaign against a more virulent type of Republican.

Sure, NY’s bill passed with Republican support, but those are still New York Republicans, where the most crazed and idiotic defender of discrimination in the state Senate appeared to be a Democrat from the Bronx.

Essentially: fuck what Obama thinks, keep pushing for it on our own.

@Signal to Noise: Agreed. I can’t dispute the politics of it: Obama always waits for a consensus, then steps in to deliver the Golden Spike. He’s not going to get in front of an issue, because as we saw soon as he was nominated, he started squatting on the Center. Can’t dispute that as an electoral strategy.

But he’s more than capable of nailing a sensitive issue when he’s moved to it. The classic example is the race speech during the primary, when he disowned Jeremiah Wright while still empathizing with Wright’s experience in an older generation of black Americans.

“I cannot deny anyone the same rights I have with my wife” reads like a classic Obama line. Only Obama didn’t deliver it.

@nojo: We’re the perfidious wafflers we’ve been waiting for.

@nojo: right. the stakes are lower for a Republican state legislator from Western NY than the president of the United States, but it doesn’t make the disconnect any less striking. It’s a constant with Black Eagle, though: he goes for the right politics when we’re consistently asking (or demanding) for the Right Thing. Smart but infuriating. Considering that 50-60 years ago, his parents’ marriage would be illegal in many a state only adds to it. But again, that’s us in the base again imprinting things on him that weren’t there.

I think Nate Silver nailed it pretty well, and I’m inclined to agree with him that come 2016, the Dem presidential nominee, whoever that may be, is gonna be pro-same sex marriage. Couldn’t imagine myself thinking that even 10 years ago.

@¡Andrew!: our fierce urgency applies when his flags.

@Signal to Noise: … that come 2016, the Dem presidential nominee, whoever that may be… . Andy Cuomo? Which would make Sandra First Lady!

I’m at the Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia patient conference in Minneapolis. I have the best hair.

@Dodgerblue: You probably are also the tallest and have the best voice. Or at least the best klezmer skillz.

Be mindful that over here on the far right side of the planet, people will be looking at the NY vote as the next sign of the Apocalypse and the continued moral decay of the US blah blah dee blah. Talk about disconnects?

This is why President Carebear (™ Watertiger) has to sit so firmly on the fence that he’ll be pulling out splinters for months. Left America and Right America are on two different dimensions.

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