Understand this: Mark Halperin is a DISHONEST PRICK. His function is to inject Romney Republican propaganda into the counter-Beltway-narrative (such as it is, because his definition of "media" here is deliberately distorted), coming from the Republican mole making his base on Moron Joe, from which he slings his GOP talking points poison masked as "senior" (trans: serious) "honest" and therefore trustworthy analysis. Dug into his foxhole in that friendly outpost behind enemy lines, Halperin fires pro-Romney, pro-Republican missives into the conversation, seeking to drive his narrative which, in simple terms is, advantage: Republicans.
This was the context for the attempted "outing" of Education Sec. Arne Duncan on gay marriage. Halperin was unsuccessful, as it turns out, for Arne said he favored gay marriage and reasonably noted he was never asked his views on the matter, since he usually comes on to talk education. If "news was made" it was of the mild, noncontroversial variety. From his Moron Joe base of operations behind enemy lines, Halperin ventured forth to mostly friendly ground, Hardball, which is contested territory. He was in deep cover for the Republicans, at best a double agent.
First, Halperin deliberately excludes Fox and all of right wing media, including hate radio and the blogosphere, which actually overwhelms the "other" MSM media. Second, to infer, with Halperin's deliberate broad brush, that the MSM, which includes not only MSNBC but CNN, not only WaPo and the Times but POLITICO and the Chicago Trib, NY Post, and the Wall Street Journal, "overwhelmingly supports gay marriage" is a deliberate, and outrageous Halperin distortion. Third, by whining this won't be "a fair fight" (pure fiction, sheer nonsense) Halperin attempts to influence the "media's" inclination for pulling its punches by suggesting, falsely, that Romney is in a weak position versus President Obama on gay marriage and their respective bases.
The Republican Party has already made its bed with the right, so any position the President takes which may dissuade the fringes of persuadable social conservatives and independents to vote Obama rather than, on a single issue like gay marriage fall back into the Republican fold, obviously favors the GOP. Finally, Halperin is advancing the Republican braintrust realpolitik calculation that this election may well turn, and be won on so-called "wedge issues," like gay marriage in southern "swing" states. If gay marriage moves southern states won by the President in 2008 from the tossup column to the Romney column, it could mean the election for Romney.
Mark Halperin is the Republican operative who opportunistically propelled this Beltway narrative on the President following the Biden "gaffe." It was no accident that he jumped on Arne Duncan right out of the box with the gay marriage question. On Hardball, addressing two honest journalists in Matthews and Gene Robinson, who support gay marriage, the devious Halperin was secure in his expectation they would not contest or challenge his false assertion. It's a cynical calculation based on human nature and the practice of deceit, of which Halperin is indeed an expert. In similar circumstances, in most but not all cases, the falsehood won't register among colleagues who are of "the same mind."
But Halperin scored a tactical win for his side by driving the Beltway "narrative" of the week, which was to box President Obama into his untenable "evolving" position on gay marriage following Vice President Joe Biden's presumed "gaffe" coming out in support of gay marriage in very personal and emotional terms.
Chris Matthews had a point. Whether supporting gay marriage redounds to the President's advantage is an open question. The President's "evolution" on the issue reflected this political reality. Everyone who plays hardball politics, including Halperin, understood this. Gene Robinson said it's "unclear" who benefits politically. Chris Matthews was skeptical. So forcing, as it were, the President's hand on the issue, by Halperin's calculations, was advantage: Republicans. A small victory at least. Or perhaps not?
Who gets the last laugh remains an open question. Mark Halperin is a smug, calculating weasel who believes in the infallibility of his fallible, biased and hyperbolic predictions. To be sure, he is skilled at what he does: promoting the Republican electoral cause. It's certainly not journalism. The sooner Chris Matthews, one of Halperin's biggest boosters, recognizes this the better for the body politic. That remains very much an open question, too.