Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Three predictions on the Warren Affair

I'll make three predictions regarding Obama selecting Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, assuming he doesn't bow to pressure and replace Warren. This will allow me a "told you so" should they later come true:

i, On Jan 21, nobody is going to care much, if any, about what Warren said. The only interesting thing from his speech will be in comparisons with Lowery, with the latter cleaning Warren's clock.

ii, At some stage within his first term, Obama is going to deliver at least one major step forward for gay rights - whether this be some recognition of civil unions at the federal level, protection against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, or the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Go read his stance on gay rights.

iii, The people currently screaming "betrayal" and having hissy fits at Obama having a wider perspective than their own interests, important though those interests are, are going to celebrate that achievement, but not reconsider or apologise for their hyperbole on this issue. They're going to keep real quiet about what they've said about Obama over this affair, and never ever admit they were wrong.

Obama has been elected a President of a country of nearly 300 million. He owes the gays, both practically and morally, but that doesn't mean he has an obligation to let them dictate every action. The assumption by any interest group that they can get everything their way is simply goddamned childish - this whole affair reminds me of nothing more than the sort of over the top rubbish you see the NRA pumping out. If a group's sense of self identity can't cope with the President trying to make an ally out of someone useful to him who is hostile to them, even repugnant, then they better turn off the radio and stop reading the newspapers for the next four years, because Obama is going to have to do worse if the US has any chance of pulling out of the crash the Republicans have left it in. Iran springs to mind.

The more I see elsewhere, the more I have to admire the NZ Green Party for their clear-headed approach towards their own interests and coalition politics. The Dirty Hippies have turned out to be role-models for combining idealism with practical, honourable politics, and as a result have had the most influence of any minor party on NZ policy.

Molly Ivins once commented that you have to dance with them that brung you. Obama has stated that the gays are on his dance card, and when the music starts playing on Jan 21st, we can judge whether he keeps up to his promises. He has to dance with his various prom partners; I don't believe he ever promised any of them oral sex in the parking lot before the prom started.

UPDATE: John Cole, as so often happens, says it succinctly.