MCCAIN, PALIN SPLIT ON MARRIAGE…. John McCain has taken some heat from the Republican base for his opposition to a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. It’s not that he’s tolerant on gay rights — he’s actually even further to the right than Bush, even opposing state initiatives on civil unions — but he claims to be a “federalist” on the issue.

Sarah Palin, however, is somewhere else. During her debate with Joe Biden a couple of weeks ago, Palin was asked if she would support granting same-sex benefits to couples nationwide, as they do in Alaska. She kinda sorta expressed opposition to the idea, before offering a bizarre, 85-word, run-on sentence about how “tolerant” she is. Palin concluded that a McCain-Palin administration might support civil unions, in contradiction to what McCain has already said on the issue.

As it turns out, these two really aren’t on the same page at all. Palin told CBN’s David Brody that, unlike McCain, she wants an anti-gay amendment to the Constitution, too. “[I]n my own, state, I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman,” Palin said. “I wish on a federal level that that’s where we would go because I don’t support gay marriage.”

Palin has probably heard McCain talk about this issue, and explain why he opposes an anti-gay amendment. Maybe she can explain why she thinks he’s wrong?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.