The thing about opinions, it's said, is that everyone has one. But the lucky few also have as many as possible on the same subject.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Z) was asked by NBC's Chuck Todd on Meet the Press this past Sunday if he would be able to support a candidate for president who was in favor of gay marriage. Mr. Flake answered, "I think that’s inevitable. There will be one and he will receive bipartisan support, or she will. So I think that yes, the answer is yes."
Now, while that seems a reasonably-progressive answer, there's more that makes this answer odd. Most notably that the senator was insistent that his personal views on gay marriage haven't changed. "I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I still hold to the traditional definition of marriage."
So, the question is, if he actually thinks that gay marriage is wrong, and that his position on that is adamant and not "evolving," like some of his colleagues, then why does he think it's "inevitable" that his position will change? If he thinks he will "inevitably" support such a candidate, what will change that will make his own opinion change? Why not just say that you recognize that a candidate's position on gay marriage doesn't matter to you, and therefore say now that you would support such a candidate, who supported gay marriage? After all, in other words, if you don't see your position ever changing, then why say it's "inevitable" that it will?
Yes, I understand that people's opinions do change. But Senator Flake is trying to have it both ways -- saying that it opinion is solid, and it's "inevitable" that it will change. It sort of makes the senator's name so appropriate that it shows God's sense of whimsy.
On the other hand, the answer might come in a later comment he made during the interview, saying that he couldn't imagine that he'd change him opinion about gay marriage before leaving office.
Ah, the ol' "Not voting what you believe because you don't want to offend your far right, close-minded base" gambit. Hey, at least he was semi-upfront about it, even if he didn't realize he was.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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