President Obama may have no opinion on the murder of Americans off the coast of Somalia, or the bloody chaos in Libya, but after two years of contemplation, he has suddenly discovered that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
As the President went on to explain, the DOMA itself will remain in effect, but he will instruct the Justice Department not to defend it. In case you were wondering, Attorney General Eric Holder says he “fully concurs with the President’s determination.”
So, the man who thinks the Constitution authorizes an all-powerful central government to force people to purchase a politically favored product has emerged from years of meditation to conclude it does not allow the government to define marriage as the union of a man and woman. Regardless of your personal opinion about the DOMA, how do you square those limits of power? The borders of the central State must be awfully irregular in the mind of Barack Obama.
Isn’t one of the rationales behind ObamaCare the idea that government has an active interest in securing the health of the population, over-riding their own preferences if necessary? Well, traditional marriage has phenomenal health benefits. A recent article by Kristen Stewart of Everyday Health cites research showing marriage between a man and woman leads to extended lifespans and improved mental health. Among other interesting findings, “a married man who smokes more than a pack a day can expect to live as long as a divorced man who doesn’t smoke,” and “rates of major depression were nine times higher in unmarried men.” Also, “Married men and women drink less alcohol and use less marijuana and cocaine than those who are not married.” Does the government have an interest in promoting health, or not?
With all that’s going on in the world, was this deep exercise in Constitutional scholarship really what America wanted from the Commander-in-Chief? Was there no other, more important use for his time this week? It would be nice to have a President who focuses more on the business of his office, and less on desperate pandering to vital constituencies when he sees his poll numbers dropping.
On the bright side, at least Obama has established the precedent that our next President can rid us of ObamaCare by fiat, simply by deciding he thinks it’s unconstitutional. That might be the most productive thing he’s done since taking office.