Obama's big tent | Arkansas Blog

Obama's big tent

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I notice the Brummett blog compliments E.J. Dionne for sharing his view on the wisdom of Barack Obama's inclusion of Rick Warren (gay= incest=child molestation) as an inaugural prayer giver. The politics may be smart. But what about principle? I prefer the way Duncan Black put it on his widely read Eschaton blog.

We should welcome hateful bigots into the party if they have a large constituency on the off chance they'll renounce their hateful bigotry.

Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com also has some useful comment. It's good, he thinks, that the left is speaking up.

Richard Cohen provides stark counterpoint in Wash. Post to Dionne, too.

I can understand Obama's desire to embrace constituencies that have rejected him. Evangelicals are in that category and Warren is an important evangelical leader with whom, Obama said, "we're not going to agree on every single issue." He went on to say, "We can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans." Sounds nice.

But what we do not "hold in common" is the dehumanization of homosexuals. What we do not hold in common is the belief that gays are perverts who have chosen their sexual orientation on some sort of whim. What we do not hold in common is the exaltation of ignorance that has led and will lead to discrimination and violence.

Finally, what we do not hold in common is the categorization of a civil rights issue -- the rights of gays to be treated equally -- as some sort of cranky cultural difference. For that we need moral leadership, which, on this occasion, Obama has failed to provide. For some people, that's nothing to celebrate.

The party's off.

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