Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama Draws Ire of Gay Community Over Warren & Solis

It appears that President-elect Obama is headed for a fight with the gay and lesbian community and it appears that is exactly what he wants.

The President-elect's selection of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his Inauguration next month has drawn their ire. Although I don't know why. Yes, Warren opposes gay marriage but so does Obama. I don't know why gay activists see Obama as a champion of the rights of gays and lesbians. After all, Obama sought out Warren during the primaries and enthusiastically participated in the Saddleback Forum last August. In the real world there are more votes to be had from Evangelicals than from gays. Although it's not to say one can't be both.

Obama unexpectedly selected California Congresswoman Hilda Solis to be his Secretary of Labor. The odds on favorite to be selected was labor activist Mary Beth Maxwell who is openly gay. If Obama had selected Maxwell she would have been the first openly gay member of a Presidential Cabinet. In the real world there are more votes to be had from Hispanic women than from lesbians. Although it's not to say one can't be both.

If the gay and lesbian community go after Obama with the same anger as has been exhibited since the defeat of Proposition 8 in California then Obama wins the public opinion battle. Most people since Warren as the antithesis of the late Jerry Falwell even if they don't always agree with him. Warren has a cordial manner about him as does Obama. By reaching out to Warren Obama appears magnanimous especially to people who did not vote for him. Obama is politically smart to make the move the gay and lesbian community are politically daft in their criticisms at least in this instance.

As for Solis she's an unknown quantity outside her Congressional district. Maybe Maxwell would have made a better Labor Secretary. But it's Obama cabinet and he can choose it as he pleases subject to the approval of the Senate. Unless Solis has pulled a Blagojevich then I don't see a problem. The only pick Obama has made where there might be a problem is Holder at Attorney General for the Marc Rich pardon and even then it's a stretch.

If Obama does want a fight with the gay and lesbian community it is because a) it is a fight he knows he can win and b) he knows they won't vote Republican regardless of what he does.

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