An important change is happening in the presidential race — the belief that Mitt Romney could actually win is spreading. There is a growing confidence among his supporters, and the polls are starting to pick up a shift in his favor.
There is another indicator, however, and it is far more reliable. The left-leaning media is getting hysterical, launching over-the-top attacks on Romney and moving to protect President Obama as they see the public turning away from their man.
A CNN anchor compared Romney’s statement that “marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman” to George Wallace’s statement in 1963 that he favored “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”
An MSNBC guest compared Ann Romney to Hitler and Stalin.
The New York Times, faced with the fact that its own poll showed 67 percent of voters suspect Obama supported gay marriage mostly for political reasons, buried the story on the bottom of Page 17. And not until the 16th paragraph did it mention that the poll found Romney leading Obama by three points.
Then there’s the Newsweek cover that slapped a rainbow halo on the man it called “the first gay president” — an image that captures the quest to grant Obama messiah status.
The echo-chamber quality to the hysteria is of a piece with media cheerleading on the president’s gay-marriage stance, the lack of curiosity about how it came to pass, and what it means for the election.
Pundits and headline writers widely hail him as “brave” and “courageous” for “evolving” to yes, but Obama had little choice after Vice President Joe Biden announced his own support. True courage comes only when the choice is voluntary and there is another option. Acting when you have no other option is not courageous.
Moreover, the fact that Biden apologized to Obama for forcing him out is barely noted by the kudo chorus. The apology sequence doesn’t fit with the narrative of Obama “courage,” so the press ignores it.
Strange, too, that Obama declared gay marriage a civil right, but insisted it should be left to the states. His political allies are scratching their heads over that one — it’s a civil right or it’s not — but the media haven’t pursued that incoherent angle either.
Nor do his cheerleaders seem curious about whether he will support Harry Reid and others who want to include a call for gay marriage in the party’s official campaign platform.
A further twist adds more confusion. Obama said the law designed to leave it to the states — the Defense of Marriage Act, signed by Bill Clinton — is “unconstitutional.” So, is he going to propose another version? Nobody seems to care.
Whatever you believe about gay marriage, and I happen to support it, the media double standard is doing Obama more harm than good. Accusing Romney of using his stance as a “wedge issue” while painting Obama as a hero for his doesn’t pass the smell test.
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Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.