Monday, January 12, 2009

Warren Reversal?

Well, okay, not quite a reversal. But perhaps in response to the (unexpected?) level of outrcry from the gay community, the Inaugural Committee has announced that openly gay Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson is set to lead a prayer during Inauguration Week. While this is hardly the full-fledged bully pulpit that gay basher Rick Warren is set to enjoy at the inauguration itself, Robinson is scheduled to lead a prayer at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday in an inaugural kick-off event the Obama team is (surprisingly/creatively) calling "We Are One".

While I personally don't think this does much to remove the taint Warren brings to the Inaugural festivities, at least this is a sign that the Obama camp is acknowledging the the gay community's feelings about that choice. Instead of walking back the Warren announcement or asking for Warren to withdraw from the event they've simply added a pro-gay voice to balance out the anti-gay voice. Great policy? Probably not. Good precedent? I'd say no. But maybe it's a sign that Mr. Obama hasn't entirely sold the gay community up the creek.

I just hope that this whole episode isn't a sign of things to come in the new administration. If they somehow make a wrong step or upset one of their constituent groups the plan is to admit no error, call it "open-mindedness", and then just offer the wronged/upset party a consolation prize. Either you're being bold and 'audacious' by taking a brave stance (in this case by staying by Warren) or you aren't; nothing is accomplished by trying to appease everyone. That's just politics.

Barack Obama: Open Minded Uniter, or Cynical Pol? I'm tempted to say that latter. What are your thoughts?

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