Word that legal eagle Theodore Olson will stand in as Vice President Joe Biden in debate preparations for Republican VP nominee Paul Ryan confirms the old adage that politics makes strange bedfellows. Both Ryan and Romney strongly oppose same sex marriage (Romney even opposes civil unions).
LGBT activists considered it a coup three years ago when Republican stalwart Olson and top Democrat David Boies signed onto the legal team fighting Prop. 8. And with good reason. Olson’s conservative bona fides were impeccable. Legal counsel in the Reagan Administration. Solicitor General for President George W. Bush. He also outmaneuvered David Boies at the U.S. Supreme Court in the infamous 2000 Bush v. Gore case that settled that year’s political debacle in the 2000 presidential election in Florida. It was the legal dream team.
Olson and Boies have two rounds in federal court, successfully challenging Prop. 8 on historic grounds that it violated the federal constitution. It’s now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
It shouldn’t come as a shock that Olson — who tears up talking about the importance of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry — is helping to elect the Romney-Ryan ticket. He is, after all, a conservative at his core. Even his argument for gay marriage is based on conservative principles.
And don’t forget he was also part of the winning legal team in the infamous Citizens United case that opened the floodgates of corporate campaign donations. But in addition to winning historic legal victories for LGBT rights, Olson is also helping gay rights groups make connections with other like-minded Republicans who support their cause (including David Koch).
It brings to mind the old saying that Willie Brown and other smart pols adhere to: “In politics, there are no such things as permanent enemies.” And wouldn’t it be fun to see Olson prepping Ryan on a gay marriage question?