A funny blog somewhere on wordpress juxtaposed a transcript of Obama’s discussion of the Warren choice with the second video. It maintains that whatever Obama is, he is not a fierce advocate for gays. Obama’s claim to the contrary reminds me of people who manage to say things like “No offense, but I think you are a complete shit.” There’s a limit to what words can accomplish.
I’ll put a link to the other blog in a comment if I can find it.
I’ve been spending quite a bit of time today unhappily mulling Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. (See also Rachel and JJ in the comments to the post 2 before this one.) Warren is seriously right wing: anti-gay, pro-forced childbearing, and an advocate of wifely submission. Giving him a platform like this and treating him as acceptable is horrendous, and should be protested. We can do so here.
At the same time, I also think that this may in fact be a smart move of Obama’s that will have good consequences– IF WE MAKE SURE THAT IT DOES. Hear me out here, please. If Obama wants to get things done without the constant vitriolic opposition faced by the Clintons, one way to do that may be to throw a bone to the right. Warren’s a hugely powerful figure, and if his flock think Obama’s OK, that could help Obama a lot. And how much better to have the bone be something symbolic like this (repulsive as it is) than actually *doing* something they want. In addition, Warren is a leader in getting evangelicals to care about poverty, and forging different coalitions for different issues is a smart strategy.
Now, what we need to do is to make bloody sure that Obama doesn’t go throwing any bones beyond this symbolic one. And we need to make sure he knows just how much he’s already asking us to tolerate. How do we do that? By telling him, forcefully, just how offensive it is to have Rick Warren deliver the invocation. So let’s do that.
So moving on from the big bad shock of an anti-choice, anti-gay marriage, anti-stem cell research preacher giving the inaugural invocation, we can look at the cabinet. Yikes again! Is he concentrating on getting a good basketball team for the YMCA?
In recent days we have been urged by some of our colleagues in the world of women’s advocacy to call attention to President-elect Obama’s failure to nominate more women to his Cabinet.
With this week’s announcements, the new Cabinet stands at 14 men and 4 women. That puts the current percentage of women in the Obama Cabinet at 22 percent – and there are only four Cabinet-level openings left to fill.
President Clinton’s first Cabinet – 16 years ago – was 37 percent women. In his second term, it climbed to 47 percent women. President Bush began his first term with 22 percent women in his Cabinet. We want that number to go up – not go down or stay the same!
Some more math: women make up 51 percent of the American population and 56 percent of voters. In the 2008 presidential election, women voted for Obama 56 to 49 percent over men.
Dozens of qualified women have been recommended to fill critical slots on the incoming leadership team.
Women Count advocate a Presidential Commission on Women and invite you to sign a petition here. That sounds to me like a lot of good fun, but I’m not sure its the way to be effective in the cause of increasing women’s representation. Very large groups can mean very long disagreements ending in compromises and an unclear message. Perhaps the thing is to concentrate on the local and state level.