Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Purpose-Driven Pastor Selection

Every news source I regularly read or watch has pronounced Obama's choice of Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation as his first real mistake. Gavin Newsom is disappointed; some supporters are going to boycott the inauguration.

Let's take a breath. Obama does not do anything reflexively. He has carefully thought out these first few months. In his economic and defense picks, it looks very much as if he is intent on covering his flank for dramatic initiatives, assigning some of the most dangerous critics of his policies the task of implementing them. It's a pretty neat trick.

With the Warren choice, he has either comitted a grievous offense against several core groups of his supporters, particulalry gays and lesbians--or he has performed another high-stakes flanking maneuver. Thus, here is my prediction: Just as Clinton's first major initiative was the botched, and later compromised, executive order to end discrimination against gays in the military, Obama will do the same--except this time, he will have the blessing of key segments of the evangelical community (Warren and the other younger, less-ideological leaders), as well as military brass who will agree that we can no longer afford the luxury of turning away competent, courageous would-be members of the armed services on the basis of sexual orientation.

Of course, I could be wrong. In that case, I stand corrected.

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