Obama transition

Nick Benton's Corner: The Dismal Choice of Rick Warren

<Posted with permission of Nicholas Benton, Owner/Editor of the Falls Church News Press>

The Dismal Choice of Rich Warren

by Nicholas Benton

 

The decision by the Obama transition team to invite the snake-in-the-grass Rev. Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church of Orange County, Calif., to deliver the invocation at the presidential inauguration Jan. 20 has drawn fully justifiable, heartfelt pain and anger from Obama loyalists all across the land.

It is one thing to take a pragmatic approach to cabinet appointments, seeking a "team of rivals," based on their experience and talents in governing.

It's another thing, entirely, to reach out, embrace and give an unprecedented national spotlight to a man who stands as a bellicose spokesman against equal rights. Warren was a major ringleader of the effort to deny equal rights to gay and lesbian Americans in the passage of Proposition 8 in California last month.

His values, rooted in Christian "exceptionalism" and class-warfare hypocrisy, stand in stark contrast to those of the vast majority of the millions of Americans who, uplifted by the new hope they found embodied in the election of Obama, will be flooding the nation's capital to catch a glimpse of the inauguration.

I wasn't planning to battle the crowds, anyway. But were I younger, free to blow a full workday and willing to endure a severe shortage of porta-potties, my passion for attending in person would have been dealt a serious, if not fatal, blow by learning of the inclusion of such a bigoted thug as Rick Warren on the program.

Who knows, maybe Obama chose Warren in a deliberate attempt to thin out the crowds. Many, many Obama devotees feel as I do on this subject.

The crucial test - who Obama picks for Treasury Secretary

Who Obama picks as a Treasury Secretary is going to tell us just about all we need to know about how far Obama is willing to break with the unfortunately named “neo-liberal” economic policies of free markets and free trade that have dominated U.S. economic policy since Ronald Reagan – including even under Bill Clinton. Through most of today, there was a diary on the recommended list on DailyKos, Summers' call for poisoning Developing World?, on the news today that Summers was at the top of Obama’s list for filling the cabinet post of Secretary of the Treasury. The resulting Dailykos thread quickly turned into a discussion of who might be an acceptable Treasury Secretary. Unfortunately, scanning that thread, it appears to me not many people understand that this is the most important fight Obama can undertake right now.