On last night's episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, the out MSNBC anchor marveled at the incredibly rapid 180 that's taken place in American policy when it comes to two historically progressive causes: marriage equality and marijuana decriminalization. The policy reversal, Maddow said, is like "cats chasing dogs, like pigs flying."
Reacting to yesterday's news that the IRS will allow all legally married same-sex couples to file joint federal tax returns, regardless of whether the state where the couple resides embraces marriage equality, Maddow noted that just nine years ago, President George W. Bush's campaign pitched their successful effort on codifying marriage discrimination into the constitutions of 11 states.
Baby Bush's democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton, wasn't any better for LGBT Americans, Maddow said, with his landmark policy victories being "don't ask, don't tell," and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Almost two decades later, both pieces of legislation have been dismantled after federal courts found them to be unconstitutional.
"Thanks for nothing, Bill Clinton," Maddow quipped. "At the highest levels of American politics, gay rights were toxic, and basically everybody was terrible on the issue, and it just seemed like it was never going to change. That was not that long ago. But now, that has very much changed. Not only do [LGBT] equal rights now win when they get statewide votes, but the campaign manager for that Bush re-election effort in 2004, the re-election effort that used that national antigay ballot measure strategy, that campaign manager has now himself come out as gay."
Further indicating the nation's progressive drift, Maddow also reflected on the groundbreaking announcement from the Obama administration and Attorney General Eric Holder that the federal government will not challenge Colorado and Washington state's plans to legalize marijuana for recreational use. While roughly 11 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, voters in both states last year approved the use of marijuana in limited amounts for recreational purposes, to be regulated in a way similar to alcohol.
That's the proverbial flying pig, said Maddow. Then again, who knew that airborne swine would look so damn good?
Watch the full segment below.