As many prepare
To celebrate on Christmas
Let's try to calm down.
We may hate Warren
But Obama may have reasons
To expose his views.
Firedog Lake's claiming
Obama's for Creationism
For picking Warren.
But Obama said
He would try to unite us;
Why are we surprised?
It's only a prayer
It's not a cabinet post
We have to forgive.
OK, that's as much haiku as I can make out of this issue. I am feeling as if, no matter the outrage that this choice has inspired, that we're losing sight of the forest for the trees. Obama is not pro-creationist just because he has Warren speak. He is not anti-gay either; and I'm sure he does not espouse the same attitudes as Warren about gay marriage.
And we have to remember that Warren's own supporters are giving him a hard time for accepting the offer as well. There is anger on both sides.
Perhaps Obama knew just what he was doing. E.J. Dionne discussed the issue in his column today.
"Although I support gay marriage, I think that liberals should welcome Obama's success in causing so much consternation on the right. On balance, inviting Warren opens more doors than it closes.
Warren has some decisions to make, too. He would do well to apologize for comparing gays to pedophiles, and also for comments...deriding mainline Protestants for not caring much 'about redemption, the cross, repentance.'
...And liberals need to understand what it means to build a durable majority. Doing so requires not just easy gestures but hard ones. Here's a prayer that by calling in his friend, Obama took a risk worth taking."
As someone elected on a platform of hope and change, it is inevitable that Obama will disappoint many people on every side of every issue. No one can be all things to all people. In Obama's defense, he has never claimed to be anywhere near as left-wing as many of his own supporters (to say nothing of the right) have expected him to be.
Obama is a practical and shrewd politician. He is cerebral and does not govern by his "gut" the way George W. Bush loved to do. Being cerebral means contemplating many sides of issues and listening to other voices besides those that agree with his views. Isn't this what we wanted? Isn't this what we asked for after eight long years of ideological lock-step?
This is a man who believes "the perfect is the enemy of the good." He will no doubt compromise in order to find a "win-win" solution that at least accomplishes some of what he wants, while accommodating other factions who may not want the same goals at all. Not all of us will agree with some of these decisions. But we can only hope he does not go as far as Bill Clinton in this regard. We can only wait and see how it plays out when he actually becomes president.
I have never seen supporters of a candidate so quickly turn on him over one single choice that he has made before even becoming president. You can bet the Republicans wouldn't turn on their candidate so quickly. I know symbols are important. But he also chose a pro-gay-rights pastor to give the benediction. Why isn't that symbol also important?
I'm not saying that Obama shouldn't be criticized, and he does need to come out and reiterate that he disagrees vehemently with some of Warren's repugnant views.
And certainly in the coming months as he actually starts to make policy, I will hold his feet to the fire as much as anyone. But he isn't even president yet!
I was watching Keith Olbermann's end-of-year wrap-up the other night and he was showing the cheering crowds in Chicago when they announced Barack Obama had won the election. It made me sad to think that all those happy faces so soon had become cynical and disillusioned.
It also made me remember something Mr. Spock once said in one of my favorite Star Trek episodes:
"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."
The reason for this is, reality can never live up to our expectations. But to quote another great philosopher, Mick Jagger, remember:
"You can't always get what you want...but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need."
In the spirit of the Christmas season, whether you are religious or not, let's try a little forgiveness. President-Elect Obama is going to need all of our help and support to get through the utter mess the Republicans have left this country. There will be time enough to criticize in 2009. Let's give it a rest right now and enjoy some holiday peace and hope.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.