Barack Obama, now fully evolved, is once more the rage of the demimonde. All it took was for him to man up, to acknowledge what everyone already knows the president thinks about “gay sex.”
This is “sex” loosely defined, of course, since most people do not associate the terminus of the alimentary canal with poetry and romance, and not so long ago we did not look to politicians, even presidents, for moral guidance. But who needs such guidance when we have presidents, celebrities and media notabilities as models - now that we’re unbound by morality, religious faith and ancient tradition?
That celebrated creepy-crawlie that often wanders up Chris Matthews’ leg has jumped to another network, where the celebration of the president’s coming-out party, such as it was, continues without surcease. “Whatever people think about this issue,” said George Stephanopoulos, co-host of the ABC-TV morning talk show, “there’s no denying when a president speaks out for the first time like that, it is history.”
Replied Robin Roberts, his co-host and partner in grime: “And let me tell you, George, I’m getting chills again. When you sit in that room and you hear him say those historic words. … You never know what he’s going to say until you ask him.” (Yogi Berra might have said it better: You can hear a lot by listening, just as you can see a lot by watching.)
For these media aspirants to the intellectual aristocracy, Mr. Obama’s “historic” assurance that he has become fully evolved ranks with FDR’s address to the nation on the day after Pearl Harbor (“a date which will live in infamy”), with Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (“of the people, by the people, for the people”) and Winston Churchill’s tribute to the Royal Air Force (“never have so many owed so much to so few”).
Lost in the gay abandon of happy hysteria in the wake of media chilblains, one gay journalist — or a fairly cheerful journalist, anyway — reprises Freud’s famous question asking what women want: What do the homosexually gifted want?
Writes Nathaniel Frank in Salon, an Internet journal: “Barack Obama has supported repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the federal hate-crimes law, passing a federal law to ban anti-gay employment discrimination, and repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. Why does it matter somuch, then, that [Mr. Obama] supports the freedom of same-sex couples to marry? Why is this the all-important seal of approval gay people have been waiting for?”
Why indeed? What else can Mr. Obama, who no longer carries much moral weight, if he ever did, actually do to further promote gaiety? The moral imprimatur that homosexuals seek is the endorsement from the larger culture, of the straight, sober society that lives beyond gay-pride parades with their outlandish prancing and eight-foot papier-mache penises meant to taunt those whose approval they secretly want most.
Such approval is beyond the power of presidents, whether Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, to confer. The landslide of disdain for same-sex marriage in North Carolina, the 30th state in a row to give such rebuke, demonstrates just how far the gays still have to go to overturn centuries of rejection and scorn of homosexual behavior. No hate-crime law, even if it makes disapproval and scorn a capital crime, will change that. Neither will media rants and celebrity insults of religious belief and moral conviction.
Nothing could have angered the straight majority more than the mockery of marriage, the lasting foundation of an ordered, sober society. The very language of the rites of marriage is spoken in tribute to the unique union of one man, one woman. (You could look it up.) This anger will not be assuaged by a hundred hate-crime laws or a thousand lectures on ethics and morality from the unethical or the famously immoral. This is the reality that might be changed by demographics, as the mature die to be replaced by young people who have grown up in an amoral society. Or young people might mature in ways they do not expect. Who among the fogies hold to all the notions of their barefoot years? No one is immune to evolving, after all.
President Obama’s evolution was obviously difficult. But he had the example of Joe Biden, and like Jimmy Carter seeking advice on nuclear disarmament from his daughter Amy, then 13, he says he looked to his own teenage daughters for moral tutelage. Only then could he find evolutionary completion. Evolution does not ordinarily run backward, from one generation to the one before it. This would confound Charles Darwin, but Mr. Obama, after all, is The One.
• Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.