Barack Obama: The Etch-a-Sketch President

As the world now knows, the president has completed his “evolution” toward supporting same-sex marriage, which presumably means that the left will now consider his position on this issue human, rather than ape-like. Obama says that he considers marriage a state issue (unlike weighty federal issues like, say, contraception), which he surely hopes will be enough to cover his behind with religious blacks, who have long opposed same-sex marriage. At any rate, we’ll never really know whether he actually supports same-sex marriage, since all signs point to the Campaigner-In-Chief’s new-found support being an entirely political calculation:

President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage less than 48 hours after the Washington Post reported that prominent political donors were threatening to withhold donations over the president’s position on gay rights.

“[A]t a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told ABC News in an interview.

Left-wing blogger Greg Sargent reported on Monday that “leading gay and progressive donors” were angry with Obama over his increasingly convoluted position on gay rights and same-sex marriage, and were refusing to donate any more money to Priorities USA, the pro-Obama Super PAC.

Mitt Romney was slammed recently by the Obama campaign when one of his top campaign staffers referred to him as an “Etch-a-Sketch” who can be reset upon pivoting from the primary campaign to the general election. Mitt Romney may have a dubious record when it comes to consistency, but our Etch-a-Sketch president’s issue positions seem to be entirely for sale.

It’s not the first time Obama has toyed with us. On the campaign trail in 2008, he decried George W. Bush’s civil liberties record during the War on Terror (which, if you believe his administration, is now over). But once in office, he whipped out Bush’s old playbook and went further than the forty-third president ever did, signing the NDAA, which grants the president the power to indefinitely detain American citizens.

Similarly, he went after Hillary Clinton for supporting an individual mandate for health insurance. He said that it would no more help uninsured people find coverage than a home-ownership mandate would end homelessness. Today, the individual mandate is a shining example of progressive achievement; a law that finally solves our nation’s health care woes.

He promised in 2008 that he’d direct federal resources away from targeting medical marijuana users. Individual states, given the green light from his administration, opened dispensaries — only to see them raided by the DEA.

Unbelievably, he actually vowed to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Instead, we’ve been saddled with unprecedented, trillion-dollar deficits, vastly exceeding any total from the Bush Administration.

Deficits, drugs, health care, civil liberties, same-sex marriage: he truly is the Etch-a-Sketch president. Even within the reason for his change of heart on same-sex marriage — gay donors refusing to donate to his Super PAC — is a flip-flop: not too long ago, Obama was decrying Super PACs as a threat to our democracy. Now he auctions off his issue positions to the highest bidder.

Perhaps it could be said that all politicians are constantly shapeshifting. But if Obama’s campaign team is going to attack Mitt Romney for flip-flopping, they should remember that Romney certainly has more than enough ammunition to fire back.

-Alex Knepper