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Because I think it’s Funny

I’ve already brought you the news that Obama is already disappointing progressives, and he hasn’t even been inaugurated yet. Well, lets see how many more liberals he can anger before starting his term. I bring you today’s news:

Obama’s choice of evangelical leader sparks outrage

I’m like a little girl inside, giggling softly whilst stroking the hair of a new Bratz doll. (Those are the new it things for girls, right? I don’t know. I had Hot Wheels when I was a kid, hence my doll knowledge is limited.)


And to top this ice cream sundae off, my favorite quote from the article:

People for the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert told CNN she is “deeply disappointed” with the choice of Warren, and said the powerful platform at the inauguration should instead have been given to someone who is “consistent mainstream American values.

I don’t know about you guys but this stuff brings tears to my eyes, both of humor and one of pity but mostly humor.

  1. Chris says:

    In either case, it is a ridiculous argument when it comes to gay marriage. The only argument out there is to protect the word, not the institution–which any cursory glance around the US will show you has been falling apart at the seams and has created plenty of dysfunctional humans.

    I think what Hitchens is saying re: Obama is that Obama would have a policy position that is not necessarily attached to his personal belief. I don’t even think that Hitchens is begrudging Warren his belief. He’s pointing out that implementing policy is different from judging large swaths of Americans based on sexuality. Of course, I think the underlying assumption here is that Obama would not ban homosexuals from civil rights or even get into the semantic mix on gay marriage. Whereas Warren is an asshole because his positions stem from a personal belief that elevates his kind over the rest. Nothing new. Hitchens seems to elevate the vitriol here too because Warren makes money on peddling such beliefs about other humans. Somewhat ironic I guess given that Hitchens is doing the same thing….more or less.

    Hitchens is just making an argument in his head, trying to write it down and failing in getting his point across. Even my attempt is, more or less, speculation at what is going on inside of his head…which is a dangerous adventure with anyone let alone Christopher Hitchens.

    Hitchens’ atheism doesn’t detract from anything he is saying either.

    I think the best argument with this Warren fellow is, why him? Is it because of his audience? It seems like a blatantly political move to match the campaign rhetoric about bringing everyone together. Personally, I think it makes sense politically. I just think that if anyone believes that something positive will come of this with Warren being brought in like this….they are insane. Of course, I would love to be proven wrong there. Perhaps the ‘rabid right’ is not so far off course and out of touch with America? I dunno. I think Obama means well, but it’s still confusing.

  2. Betz says:

    (From the Hitchens article:)

    If he likes, [Obama] can oppose the idea of marriage for Americans who are homosexual. That’s a policy question on which people may and will disagree. However, the man he has chosen to deliver his inaugural invocation is a relentless clerical businessman who raises money on the proposition that certain Americans

  3. CJ Ciaramella says:

    From the WSJ: “Two former intelligence officials said the Obama team is weighing whether to propose the creation of a domestic intelligence agency.”

    So … is the honeymoon already over?

  4. Vincent says:

    I’d agree that Hitchens was trying to be a bit too clever there. The paragraph comes off as a bit clumsy, but I’m not sure what you’re trying to get at.

    How does the fact that Hitchens is an atheist discredit anything he says about Warren?

  5. Scott says:

    I should have explained more. The article starts out with Hitchens on a rant about what does or does not constitute bigotry.

    Just read the first two paragraphs. He says he can agree with Warren when he says that God doesn’t hear prayers from Jewish people but it’s bigotry because Warren believes that those same Jewish people won’t get into Heaven?

    The problem here is that Hitchens’ personal atheism makes his argument moot.

  6. Betz says:

    I don’t get whats so backwards, either …

  7. Vincent says:

    I’m not sure I follow you.

  8. Scott says:

    I’ve never read Hitchens before but wow…

    I’ve seen some oddly argued pieces in Slate before but that guy takes it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more backwards argument like that before (in Slate at least).

  9. Vincent says:

    Hitchens on Warren:

    This quite simply cannot stand. Is it possible that Obama did not know the ideological background of his latest pastor? The thought seems plausible when one recalls the way in which he tolerated the odious Jeremiah Wright. Or is it possible that he does know the background of racism and superstition and sectarianism but thinks (as with Wright) that it might be politically useful in attracting a certain constituency? Either of these choices is pretty awful to contemplate.

    But if we must have an officiating priest, let it be some dignified old hypocrite with no factional allegiance and not a tree-shaking huckster and publicity seeker who believes that millions of his fellow citizens are hellbound because they do not meet his own low and vulgar standards.

    Alas, the sort of people who bought into the “hope and change”, “just focus on Obama’s inspirational vision!” stuff are the same sort who’ve been spending the last several years excoriating Hitchens for being some kind of backstabbing neocon Judas.

  10. Drew says:

    If you think Bush is the worst president in American history you need to study your American history.

  11. Chris says:

    Hey CJ, how did the radio show go last night? Sorry I didn’t introduce myself.

    In any case, I think it’s right to say that Obama is consolidating here and that Warren is a top call asshole. What gets me here is that many on the left are acting like many on the far right when it comes to who gets to play in politics. Now, I don’t like Warren, but if we use this as an example it flows back into the earlier posting on how the left is upset with Obama’s picks because they’re not the uber liberal delights that they had been having wet dreams about for the election cycle. I’m definitely for a change in scenery, but I’d hate it if Obama flooded D.C. with the complete opposite of what was in there.

    In other words, you can still be a sycophant/ideologue if you’re on the left.

  12. CJ Ciaramella says:

    And no, Mr. Torrid Joe. I’m not really outraged. Disappointed? Sure. Rick Warren is an asshat supreme.

    My point was that Bush couldn’t fart in the tub without being called a fascist or a war criminal or lame-duck. To wit: The latest Eugene Weekly takes Bush to task for cracking a joke when that Iraqi lady threw a shoe at him. (Jesus, sometimes I feel sorry for the guy, which is saying a lot, considering how much he sucks.)

    Yet now Obama invites the aforementioned asshat supreme to his apotheosis (excuse me, inauguration), and you guys say, “Well … he’s reaching across the aisle.” Sorry, but you can’t dialogue or reach a middle ground with fundamentalists like Warren. Doesn’t work. Obama’s just consolidating his power.

  13. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Firefox doesn’t recognize “revulsed.” It’s a stupid word. It’s made of stupid.

  14. Scott says:

    Prone to agree with Vincent on this one.

    I might like to add that according to torridjoe’s link revulsed was used in the 1930s. So, while it might have once been used in common English vernacular (although I doubt that) today I think it is most definitely not.

  15. Vincent says:

    1) CJ just got shown up re: “revulsed.”

    2) I think “torridjoe” is giving us a glimpse of what’s in store from “progressives” for the next four years: During 2000 – 2008, dissent was “the highest form of patriotism,” even when that “dissent” often amounted to little more than loose accusations of “fascism,” idiotic “fake turkey” stories, and endless whining about the way the guy pronounced “nuclear.”

    Starting January 20th, however, any criticism of the President will be moot because no matter what Obama does, he won’t be “the worst President in American history” like Bush, who deserved all those sickening Hitler comparisons, or something.

    Obama, after all, has a persistent hope and vision, so we can overlook a bit of Warren’s noxious homophobia, emphasize his strong advocacy “against poverty and some of the ‘old school’ concerns of the Christian church” and get onto more important things like explaining about how it all really fits in the grand and inspirational narrative of Obama’s plan for hope, change, and national reconciliation if you just look at it right!

    3) If you call Bush “the worst President in American history,” you look stupid. Always.

  16. torridjoe says:

    But thanks for the link!

  17. torridjoe says:

    “revulsed [NOT EVEN A WORD] ”

    Dumbass. You really should have checked first.

    And you didn’t just compare the relative outrage between the worst President in American history, and a President-elect who invited a homophobe to give his invocation, did you? Because THAT would be funny.

    I don’t get your point–are you saying you’re outraged by what Obama has done?

  18. CJ Ciaramella says:

    This is from over at Loaded Orygun (emphasis added):

    “I have to say I’m of several mixed feelings regarding Barack Obama’s choice of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his Inaugural. The side of me that’s horrified by the pasasge [sic] of Prop 8 and revulsed [NOT EVEN A WORD] by people who support it, is highly disappointed and disgusted that Obama seems not to have noticed–or cared–how offended many GLBT and allied members of the community would feel.

    “At the same time, this has nothing to do with policy, and everything to do with Obama’s persistent hope and vision that the Inaugural can be a catalyst event for bringing the country together despite policy differences that can be quite deep in places. Warren has some nasty, bigoted and frankly homophobic views, but he is also a strong advocate against poverty and some of the “old school” concerns of the Christian church. Further, the benediction, in contrast, will be given by a very progressive cleric, one who is a strong supporter of GLBT rights. Isn’t there something more important to our lives beyond January 20, that we could be focusing on?

    Yes, you heard right: After eight years of nonstop outrage and weepy protest marches, a liberal says, “Hey, can’t we just give the President the benefit of the doubt? Don’t we have more important things to do?”

    /Not surprised

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