The left-wing blogosphere and cable news talkers are raising hell over Barack Obama choosing Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. The left-wing.
OK, I am going to say this once, then I’m going to shut up. Throughout the Democratic primaries I was an avid supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton. I didn’t have time to campaign for Hillary: I was too busy defending Obama! On November 4, I voted for Obama and Joe Biden.
I am a liberal Democrat with very strong views on gay rights and the Religious Right.
While I have not read Rick Warren’s book, “A Purpose Driven Life,” the bestseller apparently has been meaningful to many Americans.
I want to make two points.
One: Remember all the Obama rallies where he talked about “unity” and “one America” and bringing ALL Americans together to work for the common good? (It was not lost on me that bloggers who supported Obama never used the name “United States,” but picked up on Obama’s use of “The United States of America.”) Remember all the cheers? I didn’t buy it then, and I am being proven right. There will never be unity in this country until we Americans can accept that other Americans have a RIGHT to believe as they choose. (And, yes, Fox News does have the freedom to report lies as “news” as much as we truth-lovers hate it.)
Remember Michael Douglas’ press conference in “The American President” and these words of truth: “America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say ‘You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest.' ”
Two: On 19 November 2008 (LINK), I predicted the far-left would end up being stronger critics of Barack Obama than the far-right, and the far-left, so far, is not letting us down.
I confess I sensed naivete as I listened to Obama defend his choice of Warren. Didn’t he see this coming, or did he really believe all those cheering left-wing crowds when he called for unity?
Don’t you get it, folks? He’s trying to unite this country. He cannot do that by alienating half of its citizens. He knows it’s going to take a unified effort if this country is to survive perhaps its greatest tests ever.
I have often said I never saw a Democrat who didn’t shoot himself or herself in the foot. I don’t mean Obama. I mean those who are too quick to criticize his judgment before the man even takes the oath of office. All that unity that was cheered: did that mean unity if everyone ONLY believes as you do - as I do?
If so, then we are no better than the Religious Right!