Andrew Sullivan says "Ugh":
Warren is a man who believes my marriage removes his freedom of speech and cannot say that authorizing torture is a moral failing. Shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now. He won't be as bad as the Clintons (who, among leading Democrats, could?), but pandering to Christianists at his inauguration is a depressing omen. More evidence that a civil rights movement needs to realize that no politician can deliver for us what we have to deliver on our own.Who needs omens when Obama was always clear that he opposed same-sex marriage? He said so every time he was asked. It's funny that Sullivan is telling other people to "sober up," when he was the one who was most unsober about Obama during the campaign season.
ADDED: "The rapid, angry reaction from a range of gay activists comes as the gay rights movement looks for an opportunity to flex its political muscle."
IN THE COMMENTS: Blake challenges me:
Wait, didn't Althouse also take similar stances as Sullivan? Not on gay marriage, but in terms of him saying one thing and meaning the exact opposite?I respond:
Am I misremembering?
Blake, I wrote [the day after the forum]: "Obama garbled: "The reason that people believe there needs to be a constitutional amendment, some people believe, is because, uh, of the concern that, uh, uh, about same-sex marriage. I'm not somebody who's [sic] promotes same-sec [sic] marriage, but I do believe in civil unions. I do believe that we should not, um, that that for a gay partners [sic] to want to visit each other in the hospital, for the state to say, you know what, that's all right, I don't think in any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are [sic]." I think all those little glitches, especially the glaring grammatical error "what marriage are," strongly suggest that he is hiding what he really thinks."Now, here's why I'm not on the same page as Sullivan:
I thought about that when I wrote this post, but I think that privately Obama supports gay marriage, but as a political leader, he has chosen to take the more moderate position. I think he was lying about his "core beliefs" there, but I think he was telling us his official answer as he has consistently.
Now, I do understand why people who put gay rights first detest the symbolism of picking Warren. But who do they think he should have picked instead?
1. Though I voted for Obama, I didn't fall in love with him. Throughout the campaign season, I looked at him with a critical eye and often thought he was playing us. I was never set up for disillusionment.Back to the comments. Blake responds:
2. I thought and continue to think that Obama is reasonably compassionate toward gay people, but that he's coolly practical about amassing and preserving his own political power. He has remained the same. I'm sure he'd be all for gay rights if he'd become a law professor, but he's got a more complex task at hand, and I respect that.
3. I think same-sex marriage is far down on the list of issues for the President to concern himself with and think gay people, like everyone else, need to be realistic about where politicians should be investing their political capital.
4. I reject the hostility that Sullivan shows toward "Christianists" who hold traditional values that he wishes would change. They are an important part of our culture, and Obama needs to relate to them in a positive way.
5. I don't believe the image of the angry, spiteful gay is helpful to the gay rights cause.
Yes, perhaps that's what I was thinking of.Definitely. I think the public Obama persona is an elaborate creation -- an impressive one. I try to imagine what the real Obama is like. For example, as I've said many times, I don't think Obama is religious (and that's why he's able to use religious rhetoric well).
I seem to recall other occasions -- non-gay marriage related -- where Obama said one thing and you were of the idea that he felt the opposite.
I'm not trying for a "gotcha" or anything. McCain may have been saying what he actually felt, but you never knew how he was gonna feel the next moment.
Freeman Hunt says:
Where does the belief come from that Obama secretly supports gay marriage? Just a guess? Based on what? I'd be more likely to believe that he doesn't care in the slightest about gay marriage or any other gay issue. I bet such things barely register as blips on his mental radar, and that when they do register, it's only insofar as he has to handle such issues delicately in politics due to conflicting constituencies.I tend to assume he's like all the liberal lawprofs I know, but I concede that these people may be chameleons. They are seeking power and prestige in their domain. (Why won't I say "our domain"?) But you have a point.
Peter Hoh says:
Though it's not perfectly apt for this situation, I'm reminded of Megan McArdle's First Rule of Politics:Yeah.
small groups get favors from the politicians they support only to the extent that it does not annoy large groups who voted for those politicians.
I think he's still worth reading, but Andy's getting too worked up over this. Calm and steady wins the race. He admired that in Obama. He should take the same approach with regard to the effort to recognize same-sex marriage.
[Quoting Zachary Paul Sire:] "Inviting 'Rick' is not a slap in the face to gays as much as it is a disingenuous olive branch to evangelicals. And they're falling for it!"Zachary Paul Sire responds to Palladian:
So your candidate is a liar and a phony who makes false statements about his religious beliefs in order to garner political support? Classy!
"Obama is all about trying to please everyone with gestures and concessions."
Again, you admit that your candidate is a big phony, a big panderer and a big ass-kisser?
"Until he actually starts enacting policies and putting forth his specific agenda, no one should be freaking out."
So when this mythical policy-enacting phase begins, he'll eschew all these lies about religion and beliefs and his true, godless socialist qualities will shine forth?
"And let's be honest. Warren is, as everyone knows, a tool."
Wait, you just admitted that your candidate is a liar and a phony and only says things for political expediency and you're calling Rick Warren a tool? What makes you think you aren't the tool that Obama is using, my little salami-smoker? [NOTE: Both Zachary and Palladian are gay and have been talking to each other in such terms here for a long time. (Titus too.)]
"We should be proud of Obama for using him as well as he is."
We should be proud of Obama for lying about his beliefs and being too ashamed and afraid to admit his true beliefs and feelings about gay rights? So lying and slinking around in the shadows is now a point of pride? Wow. Furl your rainbow flags everyone! Gay pride now means hiding your true feelings and lying your way into high office!
"If this endears another couple hundred thousand evangelicals to Obama, and thus helps him out in 2012, then that's fine by me."
It's fine by you that Obama is lying, just because you think this will give him some political advantage in the next election, even though you don't actually know what he's going to do or whether you'll actually want him to be re-elected? Lying and selling out my true beliefs and double-crossing my countrymen for political gain is admirable? Wow. Reminds me why I don't belong to a political party. I'd rather be a loser than sell my soul to win.
"Trust me, Obama doesn't give a fuck about Rick Warren."
Wow, how admirable a quality in a President! He selects someone who he "doesn't give a fuck about" to give the invocation at his inauguration! Why that kind of cynicism sounds like CHANGE I CAN BELIEVE IN!
So when this mythical policy-enacting phase begins, he'll eschew all these lies about religion and beliefs and his true, godless socialist qualities will shine forth?Palladian says:
One can HOPE!
Lying and selling out my true beliefs and double-crossing my countrymen...blah blah blah
You can drop the naive act. As if you, or anyone, ever believed that any politician in modern history didn't lie or mask their true intentions to get elected. Spare me the drama.
I have my suspicions of what he'll do (lead an incredibly balanced, pragmatic administration without ruffling anyone's feathers), and until I'm proven otherwise, I make no judgments about the man "selling out beliefs."
He's playing a game that all of them sign up for, not committing moral suicide.
"He's playing a game that all of them sign up for, not committing moral suicide."Zachary Paul Sire says:
I don't trust the character judgments of those that are already morally dead.
I love that Sullivan failed to mention how Rev. Joe Lowery, co-founder of the SCLC and a same-sex marriage supporter, is also on the bill for inauguration day, overseeing the benediction. I guess acknowledging that balance would've undercut his blog post and made his whining look even more childish than it already is (if that's possible).Titus says:
I am a gay and I don't give a shit if Rick Warren gives the invocation.Well, you know, Obama used to be fat. Now, he makes a huge point of keeping rail thin.
How's that for the how some in the gay mafia feel?
None of my gay mafia friends give a shit either.
Now if it was Pat Boone I may feel a little bad... but still wouldn't give a shit.
Rick Warren is physically very repulsive though and for that I do feel bad. I hate seeing a fat man.
He is too fat. He has no chin and he thinks he is funny.