Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Warren won't scab over ...

I had promised myself to let the matter rest, but Derrick Z. Johnson's current column in the Boston Globe is a keeper.

... here is Obama exercising terrible judgment on someone who just got done injecting anti-gay ideology into politics in the biggest state in the nation. It is nice that Warren and many evangelicals are increasingly involved in the environment and global poverty. But it seems that Obama is having a little PJSD here, as in Post Jeremiah Stress Disorder. Having nearly had his campaign destroyed by the tapes of his former pastor Jeremiah Wright blasting America as a hopelessly racist nation, Obama seems compelled to close his eyes to one of the most powerful forms of conservative-driven bigotry left in this country.

Obama earned an outpouring of support from gay and lesbian voters, even though his personal stand on gay marriage was standard political fare, stopping at civil unions. Gay advocacy groups praised how he included them rhetorically in speech after speech. Now, a month before that great day that could bring all Americans together unlike any in the nation's history, Obama has gone out of his way to pick someone for the invocation who is not even close to being a pastor for all Americans.

Of course, Jackson lives in Massachusetts where gay marriage is simply a fact of life and the wingers are having to get over it. Jackson himself has always been a strong voice human equality.

Also of some interest is Nate Silver's observation that on LGBT equality, the passion has shifted to progressive side in the wake of the Prop. 8 defeat.

One reason that cultural issues like abortion have been successful rallying points for Republicans is because such issues tend to beget an asymmetry of passion. While a majority of the country supports abortion rights under most circumstances, the average pro-lifer is probably more engaged by the issue than the average pro-choicer, thereby enabling the 45 percent to outweigh the 55 percent under certain conditions.

That may still be the case for abortion, where public opinion has been static for many years. But it may no longer be the case on gay rights. Just who is on what side of the 55/45 split depends on what question you're asking -- a majority of the public now supports civil unions, although not yet gay marriage. That's beside the point, though; what I think the Warren dust-up reveals is that the left is now willing to raise at least as much ruckus about the issue as the right.

Nice going folks. After all, Stonewall was a riot ...


Rebecca Gordon said...

"Nice going folks. After all, Stonewall was a riot ..."

- Or as some of us used to say, Gay liberation: a movement, not a market!

Tina said...

"a majority of the public now supports civil unions, although not yet gay marriage"

a naming problem?

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