Friday, December 26, 2008

Why Rick Warren will not be uninvited

Rick Warren is a bigot and a homophobe who has compared same sex marriage to pedophilia, incest, and polygamy. He uses the code word of calling homosexuality a "lifestyle" and referred to it as a matter of having "a lack of self-control.” He refused to let gays join his church.

He not only opposes abortion rights, he has compared abortion to the Holocaust and defenders of choice to Holocaust deniers.

His much-touted AIDS program in Africa focuses on treatment while ignoring prevention except to emphasize “abstinence” while rejecting sex education and safe-sex efforts such as distributing condoms. According to Warren himself, it has a top priority of “saving” non-Christians.

He denies evolution and has even bizarrely claimed that homosexuality is proof evolution doesn't exist.

He openly acknowledges that the only difference between himself and ranting jackass James Dobson is “a matter of tone” and when asked was unable to cite a single doctrinal difference.

And in response to criticism of the decision to invite him to give the benediction at Obama's inauguration, he accused his critics of "hate-speech" and "Christophobia."

That criticism came largely, but by no means exclusively, from advocates of LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, who are understandably outraged that the response to their advocacy for, and work on behalf of, Obama is an obvious slap in the face.

That paragon of rectitude and even-handedness the Wall Street Journal called that response "hyperpartisan invective" and "moralized intolerance." But in the course of doing so, it noted that the left "is putting down a marker" and "will monitor whether the new President deserves their continued support after the Warren-blessed Inauguration." That is, the left is saying that its continued support of Obama is not unconditional and it expects something in return for its political and financial support of Obama's campaign. Which, I say, would be a damn good thing. (The WSJ's observation was expressed with a tsk-tsk air, as if expecting something in return for support was something of which the WSJ editorial staff could not even conceive - but that's not the point here.)

So why in the light of all that is there zero chance that Warren will be uninvited?

I already said why, way way back in June, in regard to the FISA debate and Obama's thoroughgoing flip-flop. In response to a question at TalkingPointsMemo as to why would the Dems go along with the rightwing changes to FISA, I said
Because they don't see a downside. They see this as taking FISA off the table as something that could be used to accuse them of being "soft on terrorism" while expecting that the people who are now objecting will, come November, vote for them anyway because "god forbid the GOPpers should win." It is cynical in the extreme, but it has worked so far: How many of us are still intending to not vote for Dems because of their failure to stop the war?
So. how many of the left did refuse to vote for Barack Obama because of his vote on FISA? And how many on the left now are going to withdraw their support of Obama, how many will vote only for actual progressive candidates (whether Dem or, more likely, independent) in the future, because of his smackdown of LGBT folks?

The fact is, the Dems don't see a downside in kicking us in the teeth. They don't see a downside in catering to the right. Because they are confident - and, based on the track record, with good reason - that we will just suck it up, dust ourselves off, put on ice packs and bandages, and say "please, Sir, may I have another?" And they will continue to oblige that request until we make it undeniably clear that there is a price they will pay for it.

Which will happen who knows when but if it does you'd better pack a heavy woolen coat if you're planning a trip to hell.

We are so screwed.

Footnote: I want to add that contrary to some defenses of the invitation I've heard, this is not "reaching across the aisle" or "the same thing as talking to Iran."

No, dammit, it's not. Obama having a meeting with Warren, staging some White House prayer breakfast thingy on “Bridging the Divide” with left and right religious figures invited, giving some of those “united we stand” speeches he’s so good it, those would be in the same vein as talking with Iran. Inviting Warren to give the benediction at Obama's inaugural, actively promoting Warren's image as a national figure, goes way beyond “reaching out.”

Oh, and I got the cartoon from James at The Mahatma X Files but it was originally done by political cartoonist Mike Flugennock.

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