Obama’s Inaugural Mea Culpa?

Monday, January 12, 2009

President-elect Obama has invited Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, who was elected the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop in 2003, to deliver the invocation for this coming Sunday’s kickoff inaugural event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced today.

Obama is scheduled to attend the afternoon event, which is free and open to the public.

While the invitation of Rev. V. Gene Robinson is seen a positive step following the disasterous news that Mr. Obama had personally invited Rick Warren, the antigay, pro-Proposition 8, evangelical pastor to deliver the invocation at the swearing-in ceremony, some are wondering why Mr. Obama didn’t ask the Rev. V. Gene Robinson to deliver the invocation at the swearing-in ceremony instead of Rick Warren and thus avoid the furor that has become his biggest clash with the Democratic party’s left wing since he was elected?

Sources tell From the Left that President-elect Obama was aware of the outcry over the Rick Warren invitation, especially from his loyal LGBT base. I think if Mr. Obama had it to do it all over again, he would look elsewhere for a person to perform the invocation. But let this unfortunate misstep stand as a lesson to the progressive community: we must remain vigilant in the coming weeks and months. We need to make certain that our agenda is also Mr. Obama’s agenda.

This entry was posted in Barack Obama, LGBT, News, Politics, Rick Warren and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Obama’s Inaugural Mea Culpa?

  1. DMason says:

    I’ve never heard of Rev. V. Gene Robinson but I have to agree with your assessment. This is crumbs to the gay community over screwing up with Rick Warren. Let’s hope Obama learned his lesson and isn’t inclined to repeat this P.R. nightmare.

  2. Walk on Socks says:

    I should feel good about Rev. Gene Robinson kicking off the inauguration in a prominent way but the most prominent spot is at the swearing in ceremony and not Sunday.

    It is at that moment in history and in time where the eyes of the country and world will be focused on the podium and standing next to Obama will be Rick Warren. Sorry guys but I can’t get passed it.

    I can even accept the fact Obama doesn’t support gay-marriage but I care about my community and the habit of politicians to exploit us for their own gain only to toss us out the window once they’ve won the prize.

    It’s going to take more than Rev. V. Gene Robinson to win back my goodwill. I want to see Obama deliver his legislative agenda which includes the repeal of DADT and DOMA.

  3. TheRadicalRealist says:

    Politico reports that Robinson was invited to the inaugural kickoff event before Warren was invited to the inauguration.
    http://www.politico.com/playbook/

    Whether that is true or not, I don’t know, but Obama may still be tone deaf.

  4. bar paris says:

    I hope Mr Obama will stop the war between Israel and Gaza !

  5. This is good news. I am glad to hear that he is doing something to balance out Warren.

  6. libhomo says:

    This doesn’t make Rick Warren’s involvement even slightly less dangerous. This invitation should be declined.

  7. Rachel says:

    I just wish Obama would uninvite Rick Warren. His involvement with the antigay crusades in Uganda were the stuff of a horror movie. In politics, the fact is, you’re known by the company you keep and Rick Warren is a blemish on the incoming president.

  8. emcee says:

    Why am I so utterly unimpressed?

  9. RealWorldRadical says:

    During the primaries they picked obama because they believed women had nowhere else to go no matter what crap they dished out. In most cases — at least enough — they were right. Now they’re empowered to believe the gay community has nowhere else to turn. Odds are they’ll be right.

    From state to state we lost so much in the last election because people buried their heads in the stand. I have very little hope they will do otherwise now. We’ve gone backwards for symbolism and empty hope and people are buying it hook, line and sinker.

  10. Jim says:

    Well, it’s a start but Rick Warren still needs to go.
    He’s a major distraction and, I fear, forshadows yet more sucking up to the right-wing religious nuts.

  11. While I agree that this is a small step in the right direction I feel for many it comes off as a day late and a dollar short. We have to say vigilant and hold this administrations feet to the fire where our rights are concerned.

  12. SoCali says:

    Good luck with that!
    We knew this was a fairytale but the politically naive bought it hook and sinker. The disappointment will be much like the 70% of Americans that thought Iraq was responsible for 9/11 and slowly saw the whole myth unravel. Some 50% of Obama’s campaign money came from Wall Street.

  13. Fran says:

    I wished Obama would have uninvited Warren, but this is a step in the right direction, to make amends.

  14. RealWorldRadical says:

    “We knew this was a fairytale but the politically naive bought it hook and sinker. The disappointment will be much like the 70% of Americans that thought Iraq was responsible for 9/11 and slowly saw the whole myth unravel.”

    This phenomenon actually fascinates me…how people deal with cognitive dissonance not just by adjusting their current beliefs (Melissa Etheridge et al) but how they (we as a species really) reconstruct our memories to deny past ignorance. Those who BELIEVED in Obama will, by next year, be saying they really only ever just thought he was the least of all evils. Or they’ll say they were “tricked” by well constructed lies — like those who fell for the Iraq WMD now say. But few will admit they were gullible and naive. And all will assume they are “right” again come the next election.

    I don’t say this as a slam. I didn’t fall for this one, but I’ve had plenty of gullibility in my past — especially in my early 20s when none of us know a fraction of what we think we do. But the funny part to me is how humans still want to believe that we are evolving intellectually. That we as a society are learning … while with only a few exceptions all we are ever doing is setting the stage for another generation of naive voters and a new wave of ignorant beliefs and “hopes” that help us get through the day.

  15. Ulysses Washed Ashore says:

    I want to trust Barack Obama but his judgment makes it very difficult for this to happen.

    He’s a smart man. An educated man. I’m not buying he didn’t realize what the reaction would be from the progressive left of the Democratic party would be in response to selecting Rick Warren.

    I think the choice falls under “strategy.”

  16. libhomo says:

    This really does nothing to make amends for the Warren invite. It’s really more of a distraction.

  17. Mauigirl says:

    I think it is a gesture to try to appease those whom he angered by the choice of Warren. It may be too little too late, but it’s better than nothing. Obama tries to walk the fence on many issues and I think this was just an example of one of them. His key priority seems to be getting everyone to agree and unfortunately sometimes that’s impossible.

  18. Bill Perdue says:

    But let this unfortunate misstep stand as a lesson to the progressive community: we must remain vigilant in the coming weeks and months. We need to make certain that our agenda is also Mr. Obama’s agenda.

    It wasn’t an ‘unfortunate misstep’, it was policy. Obama pandered to bigots from day one and it paid off. He out-Roved the GOP and he got a significant share of the bigot vote.

    Warrens invitation was a acknowledgment of that and a clear statement of where Obama stands; he’s as mired in the swamp of bigot politics as Bush.

    Obama’s agenda is to service the needs of the rich, continue the war and pander to bigots to get elected. Unless we create a mass movement with militant goals independent of the Democrats we don’t stand a chance of pressuring them for concessions.

    The “progressive community” has no, zero, zilch, nada clout with Obama and the Democrats. They’re simply taken for granted because they’re deeply embedded in the last closet, the political closet of reliance on the goodwill of the bigots who run both parties.

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