This morning's Meet the Press roundtable was devoted exclusively to the potential social and political ramifications of President Obama's statement this week supporting marriage equality. On the panel was Al Cardenas, president of the American Conservative Union, who made this unusual statement about how social conservatives view marriage:
CARDENAS: Social conservatives believe that marriage is a traditional event between a man and a woman. Some do it for moral issues, some do it because of deeply held religious beliefs, and some purely because they think a family should constitute -- should be constituted by a man and a woman raising their children. But we never viewed it through a political lens before. It was more viewed as a deeply held religious belief. This puts it in a political context.
Seriously? Social conservatives up to this point have never considered marriage a political issue? And now the president has politicized it by voicing support for marriage equality?
That's... revisionist. Neither Gregory nor the other panelists challenged Cardenas, though their facial expressions during his remarks may have betrayed some incredulity. A thorough refutation of this isn't really necessary, so I'll just pick one moment from our very recent history to show how grotesquely incorrect this is.
Back in February, Mitt Romney gave his speech to the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference -- which is hosted every year by Cardenas' ACU -- and one of the headline-grabbing moments from that speech was when Romney boasted of his efforts to combat same-sex marriage in Massachusetts:
ROMNEY: Now, you may recall as well that during my term in office our conservative values also came under attack. Less than a year after I took office, the state's supreme court inexplicably found a right to same-sex marriage in the constitution written by John Adams. I presume he'd be surprised. I fought to have a stay on that decision, then pushed for a marriage amendment to our constitution. We lost by only one vote in the legislature. And I successfully prohibited out-of-state couples from coming to our state to get married and then going home.
On my watch we fought hard and prevented Massachusetts from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage. When I am president I will defend the Defense of Marriage Act, and and I will fight for an amendment to our Constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.
The crowd, of course, loved it. Perhaps the political activists in the audience just didn't realize that the politician speaking to them was politicizing marriage.