Casey's flip-flop on gay marriage
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey continues to march in lockstep with President Obama. This time, it's over gay marriage.
Casey, a Democrat, has abandoned his view on marriage in which he favored civil unions, as Obama did previously.
In a statement released on Monday, Casey, like Obama, reversed himself and announced support for same-sex couples and opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, the law that prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. (A challenge to DOMA was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court last week, with a decision expected in June.)
Casey said he made the decision to support gay unions after much deliberation "and after reviewing the legal, public policy and civil rights questions presented."
Casey asked, "If two people of the same sex fall in love and want to marry, why would our government stand in their way?"
Casey made no mention of asking God for guidance or praying through the issue. This is significant, since the decision by the senator, often described as a "devout Catholic," runs contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church, which strongly supports traditional marriage.
On the issue of guns, Casey also did an about-face, aligning himself with Obama, who called for stricter laws regulating gun ownership in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.
Casey's switch put him at odds with the NRA which, up to that point, had given Casey relatively high marks. It also may not sit well with many of his constituents in Pennsylvania, where gun rights are still taken seriously.
But the switch was a mirror image of the view of Obama, who favors a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings.
Really, it is difficult to come up with an issue where Casey disagrees with the president.
Casey opposed the Obamacare mandate that requires faith-based hospitals and universities to provide contraceptive services to their employees.
But the senator voted for Obamacare, which requires health insurance plans to cover contraceptives and sterilization, which the Catholic Church fundamentally prohibits.
With Casey's announcement on Monday and that of Delaware Sen. Tom Carper the following day, only seven Democrats in the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate remain opposed to same-sex marriage.
The senators are under enormous pressure to support gay marriage, following some high-profile flip-flops, including that of Obama, ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a former senator, and Ohio Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman.
But it didn't take much to convince Casey. He simply did Obama's bidding, as he almost always does.
Really, it is difficult to come up with an issue where the senator disagrees with Obama.