It is strange how things turn out. President-Elect Obama started his campaign for
Presidency seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination under a mantra of reform, of doing things
a new way, and change. It reverberated in the minds of enough Democrats and some
Independents to get him the Party’s nomination.
Not because he changed as a man, but because the circumstances changed, Obama was
not elected to the Presidency on his or because of his idealic core values. No, Barak Obama was
elected to the Presidency because he instilled more confidence than John McCain, appeared to be
unflappable, intelligent and a man of pragmatism, putting those ideals off to the back burner.
His handling of the economic crisis as opposed to John McCain flapping in the wind,
might have decided the election. Perhaps, it was his demeanor, simply his demeanor during the
debates. But for whatever reason Barak Obama who started out his campaign for the Presidency
instilling in people who hoped for a change, by the time that he was elected, he had simply
become a candidate of hope. Due to circumstances “change” has been dropped from the
Because of the terrible situation that this country finds itself in economically, if he wants
to succeed and therefore the country to succeed, he will find himself being that strong executive,
dare we say unitary executive, to get things done fast and quick and in time to stave off a
depression. He will be forced to use executive orders and other measures not having the time for
a slow Congress.
So the Obama that started out his journey for the Presidency, when the housing market
had still not fallen off the shelves, the Obama that ran for the Oval office when the Iraq war was
still topic number one and his opposition to it was his leading credential, so the President-Elect
who started his journey and ours when the Bush evil empire was still in full swing has lost the
luxury of those ideals and a more pragmatic, center of the road will be his course.
Nothing exemplifies Obama’s move to the center more than his appointees to his Cabinet.
Vice President, Dick Cheney, also known as Darth Cheney, even pointed out that Obama’s
Cabinet with the exception of two, is a Cabinet that he could live with. His maintaining of
Secretary of Defense Gates, a Republican, in that same position speaks volumes of his desire to
forge alliances and to curry favor with the opposition during these tough times. The lack of that
true left leaning liberal on his Cabinet is also meant to show the other side that he intends to live
in a pragmatic world. So that pragmatic Obama is usurping the idealistic Obama and making
past enemies into “wait and seers” and causing those in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party
to wonder what has happened to their Messiah.
But has Obama gone too far? To many, the answer is yes with his invitation to the
Reverend Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in Orange County, California to give the
invocation at his inauguration. Reverend Rick Warren is the same man who moderated
interviews with Obama and McCain where it was promised to Obama since he was going first,
that McCain would be sequestered and not be given the opportunity to hear questions that were
asked of Obama and would be given to him later. No sequestration took place and McCain had
an undeniably unfair advantage. This is the same Rick Warren who has equated homosexuality
with pedophilia, rape and other atrocious acts. This is the same Rick Warren who possibly did
more than any other one person to help get Proposition 8 passed in California and thereby
denying homosexuals the right to marry.
Obama has claimed that his invitation to Rick Warren is an example of his reaching out
to the other side as he promised all along. That in fact may be the true reason, but it is still no
less offensive to his original core supporters, many of them gay and certainly most of them pro
gay rights. To them it is a stab in the back. To them it is a betrayal. To them it is giving honor
to a man who has made a cottage industry out of professing the wrong of homosexuality and gay
Obama may have chosen Rick Warren for that reaching out ideal, but more likely he
reached out to Reverend Rick Warren so that he could have another ally or at least not another
foe as he is forced in his first few months of office to make incredibly hard decisions on the
economy and the future of this country. And from a pragmatic standpoint it might just be a
brilliant move. However, for those who looked at Obama as that shining beacon of change, the
one to undo eight years of homophobia coming from the White House, eight years of the political
religious right calling the shots in this country, of eights years of seeing the Falwells, Robertsons,
and yes Warrens of this world being given time on television, time with the President, and being
elevated from religious ministers to agents of political repression, Obama’s choice of Rick
Warren simply hurts.
President-Elect Obama do not forget who voted for you. President-Elect Obama do not
forget who went door to door for you. President-Elect Obama do not forget who raised money
for you. President-Elect Obama do not forget who your friends are in a desire to make friends of
your enemies. President-Elect Obama your choice of Rick Warren to be at your Inauguration
was simply wrong. President-Elect Obama although you need to be pragmatic, sometimes a little
idealism doesn’t hurt and it certainly will help those that supported you because of your ideals.