[Editor's note: Strong words, Professor Hunter!]
Your election is over, pal. You won't lose any votes next time over this, but do you really believe you're going to gain any?
I know what you're banking on - the appeal to Americans of the anti-ideologue, the leader who solves problems, who "reaches across the aisle." But when principles are important, the public also wants a leader who has a few, who stands for something, who isn't constantly trying to please and accommodate.
I am reminded of one of Barney Frank's quips from a speech I heard him give a couple of weeks ago: "Every time Obama talks about post-partisan politics, I get post-partisan depression."
Historians may . . . compare your moves on this issue to how FDR mollified white racists in order to get his New Deal legislation through Congress. . . but . . . at least we got the New Deal.
What will we get from you?
And stop by new blog buddy Christal Phillips at the blog that shares her name. Phillips, who has a highly impressive resume (B.A. from Michigan in 2005, J.D. from Michigan in 2008, currently enrolled in Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism!), does not waste any time before dissecting this issue:
This election year has proven that it is easier for Obama to stand for nothing or remain silent on controversial issues such as gay marriage and affirmative action (because the majority of gays, women, and minorities will support him anyway) while he garners support from right-wing moderates and Libertarians.[Editors note: I disagree with calls for Favreau to resign or for Obama to fire him, because I take my cues from Clinton on this one. I agree with everything else Phillips argues.]
Remaining silent is bad enough. But to invite someone like Warren to this historic inauguration speaks volumes about Obama’s commitment to GLBT rights. To allow someone like Jon Favreau to keep his job speaks volumes about Obama’s commitment to women’s rights. Until Democrats hold our leaders accountable things like this will continue because they know they can get away with it and still win.
And Heidi Li (both Li and Hunter teach at Georgetown Law Center) of Heidi Li's Potpourri offers a response right here on Dissenting Justice:
By choosing a clergymember whose views are homophobic Mr. Obama is affiliating himself with those views. I know Mr. Obama claims that having other clergy who are not homophobic sort of cancels out the affiliation, but that isn't how it works when it comes to affiliating oneself with haters. . . . Suppose we grant that not everything Strom Thurmond ever did was bad; he was still, in my view, irredeemable, because of the virulence of his racism against blacks. In general Mr. Obama shows an alarming tendency to think that everything is ethically equal - so one can balance keeping Bob Gates in office by making some other appointments of people who opposed the war in Iraq. But that is not how good ethical judgment works.[Editor's note: See my response to Li in the comments section.]
Related Readings on Dissenting Justice:
The Fallacy of Obama's "Diversity" Defense: Rick Warren's Views Already Have a Place at the Table
New Obama Drama: GLBT Groups Upset That Rev. Rick Warren Speaking at Inauguration
Embracing Uncle Good-But-Homophobic: Why "Reaching Across the Aisle" to Rick Warren Does Not Feel Safe to Everyone