Columnist Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post explains how Mike Huckabee unwittingly made an argument FOR gay marriage the other day in blasting President Obama's decision that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to discriminate against same-sex couples who have been married in states that have legalized such unions. Huckabee was talking about the ills of broken families (never mind that he seemed to make the illogical leap that same-sex unions were somehow breaking up straight couples).
Cue Daniel Patrick Moynihan. "He understood the economic reality of out-of-wedlock children," Huckabee said.
Except - isn't this an argument for same-sex marriage, not against it?
Unless you believe that the absence of the right to marry will prevent gays and lesbians from having children - and it doesn't seem to be - you ought to be celebrating their desire to form stable unions and subject themselves to clear legal responsibilities. Gays and lesbians are clamoring for the right to avoid the very societal ill that Huckabee decries.
Looking at the world through a Huckabean lens, the president's move affirms states' rights. After all, Obama is simply saying that the federal government will from now on respect a state's definition of marriage - even if it encompasses same-sex marriage.
The column comes as Huckabee moves closer to a presidential candidacy. Clearly, if the tea leaves say Obama can be beaten, Huckabee will run. He understands that the presidency ultimately should make him even richer than his current media gigs. Thus, he says, "I don't want to lose."
But guarantees are hard to come by. Muddled thinking, overwrought metaphors, wild leaps of religion-based oratory — all these could upend even a sure-thing Huckabee candidacy. Did you notice his comment in the Democrat-Gazette today that he'd bypassed Arkansas on his latest book tour because he generally draws fewer buyers on stops in Arkansas? He says, jokingly one hopes, that he's a prophet without honor in his own land. Or maybe a lot of people have decided the Florida resident is past his sell-by date. Even Republicans, apart from Huckabee playing to his Iowa evangelical base, have been muted on same-sex marriage response.