Friday, December 19, 2008

So, about this Rick Warren thing...

I went back and forth on whether I should post about this topic here, but in the end I figured, what the hell. These are my views, and mine only, and if you don't care for them - tough toenails!

For the record, I am disappointed in Obama for inviting Rick Warren to speak at his inauguration, but I also understand why he did it. Unlike Bush, whose philosophy of governance appeared to be, "I'm the president of the people who voted for me, and the rest of the country can go fuck themselves," Obama knows that once he takes office, he'll be representing this entire nation. Even the homophobes, the bigots and the religious right. Even the people who already hate him.

Obama is not a messiah. He's not the Second Coming. He's one man charged with the thankless job of cleaning up Bush's mess. He's entering office under an incredible amount of pressure that no mere human being could ever measure up to. So we might as well face it - he will disappoint us. He'll stumble. He'll make mistakes. He's already falling under criticism because his cabinet choices haven't been progressive or "changey" enough. But if he'd chosen completely fresh faces with no experience in government at all, he'd be raked over the coals for that too. The harsh fact is, this administration needs to not only hit the ground running, but do the four-minute mile right out of the gate. Obama needs a staff of pros in there, not a bunch of dewy-eyed idealists who don't know what the hell they're doing.

I estimate we'll have six months' worth of a honeymoon period before every minority group in the country starts calling Obama a traitor because he didn't put their agenda at the top of his 'To Do' list. He's already said that the collapsing economy and getting our troops out of Iraq will be his top priorities. Frankly, I will be very surprised if he gets around to repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in his first term. As for gay marriage... well, he's not going to touch that one with a twenty-foot pole dipped in teflon, and I don't blame him. It'll take a Supreme Court decision to put that issue to rest, hopefully sometime in Obama's second term, once he's had a chance to install one or two more liberal justices on the bench.

It's easy to point fingers and criticize when you're not the one who's saddled with an impossible situation. Me, I'm still grateful that it's Obama rather than McCain who'll be taking the oath of office on January 20th.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with every word you said. I can't imagine the pressure he's feeling. So many people see him as their savior, and I'm sure he'll try to do as much good as he can but one person can't solve all the problems in the world. No matter what, he certainly won't make everybody happy. I just appreciate the fact that he seems to be listening, that he's realistic about what he can and can't do, and that he seems to really be trying to make positive changes.