Matt Bors
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Mailbag: War and Peace edition

Uh-oh. Some e-mails are coming in about my tirade against Obama yesterday. Let's pull one up from reader EH:
I hope this email doesn't land me a spot on "doucebags from the mailbag."
Ha! Just as I thought! Landing a spot in Mailbag Douchebags is a fear of letter writers across the internet.
I am a supporter of gay rights and gay marriage. That being said, I can't pretend like this is the most important issue at the moment. When the conservatives were in power, these social issues were convenient distractions...Now that they're not in power, they'll use these social issues every chance they get to hamstring Obama and any chance at even incrementally progressive legislation.

In Obama's quote, you saw nothing but naked political ambition. But I saw a weary realism - an acknowledgement that if he gives his opponents the opportunity, then they'll prefer to attack him instead of working together to address the most serious problems of the day.
There's a reason I'm a political cartoonist instead of a politician. The election strategy of the Democratic party isn't something I care about--it's something I mock. I'm tired of waiting for everyone to come around to sensible positions. Full rights should be granted to all of our citizens before you finish reading this sentence. Nope, it didn't happen. I'm mad about that.
So as much as I hate to defend Warren, whose views on social issues are repugnant, he's fairly correct on issues dealing with poverty and the environment. It pains me to say it, but I think that this is the type of person Obama needs to court at the moment - prominent conservatives who can actually give him credibility on the life or death issues of the moment.

I'm proud that the left tries to hold our politicians to their promises and their constituencies. But, jesus, he's not even in office, yet. [what about the "office" of the president-elect?--ed.] Warren is not an appointment, and this is not a policy decision on Obama's part. Can we at least wait until he does something that has ACTUAL ramifications, instead of just implications?
It's true that this isn't a huge issue. It's not a policy position. It still sends a message. Gays supported him in large numbers and it's insulting to pick a divisive pastor for this innocuous role.

Obama will be the most GLBT-friendly President in our history. But it's 2008 and I'm not going to give him a treat for believing gays are deserving of respect. If he thinks he's a "fierce advocate" for them, he should abolish Don't Ask Don't Tell and DOMA on Day 1 of his presidency instead of praying to God with Rick Warren.

He should be explaining to Americans why gay marriage is not harmful to them--not reinforcing their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. As President he could vocally support same-sex marriage initiatives when they come up. Instead, he will most likely ride the fence and say "those people in that state should decide for themselves."

Oh, and I'll make a prediction: Obama will have a change of heart on same-sex marriage. Sometime after 2016. Maybe he'll make a documentary like Al Gore.
There is just a tiny bit of irony in such a forthright atheist complaining about the choice of minister.
You got me. Hey, I'd have Christopher Hitchens give the invocation while drunk if it was my inauguration.

(Did you make it to the end of this blog post? You deserve a prize.)
12.19.2008 |