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Clarence Page: Rick Warren's Not So Bad

Damon's picture

Obama apologist Clarence Page let's us know in his December 21, 2008 column that progressives need to get over Obama's pick of Rick Warren as his invocation leader. Now, a few gems, and please count the number of times he uses "pragmatic":

Although some gay activists and other left-progressives might try to dismiss Warren as a hard-line troglodyte, he actually is a pragmatic moderate compared with right-wing evangelical activists like Pat Robertson or the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.

I guess Rick isn't such a bad guy after all when you make Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell your benchmarks. Notice Page's usage of the term "left-progressives". Hey, at least he's not using "left-winger" right? lol

Both Warren and Obama share a pragmatism that is characteristic of the generation that came of age since the 1960s : Don't let ideological areas in which you disagree get in the way of the many areas in which you agree.

That's right, boys and girls, bi-partisanship and unity have come home to roost. They are such lovely birds, huh? Don't worry, folks, be happy, and please don't sweat the "small" stuff.

Those who don't know Obama well were similarly puzzled when Obama appeared at Saddleback Church in a program with his Republican opponent Sen. John McCain. Obama could have done better that night, I wrote at the time. I thought his response to Warren's question about where life begins by saying that's "above my pay grade," was a bit too flip to win the hearts of the anti-choice flock.

Yet, I think Obama probably knew better than pundits like me how important it was not that he gave all the best polished answers to Warren's questions but that he showed up at all.

Mr. Page was concerned about Obama's answer to a question at Saddleback, while most of us here were concerned with why Obama was at Saddleback to begin with. It really kind of shows where we are vs. where Page is, no?

Barack Obama's conflict over his friend Rick Warren versus his friends in the gay rights community reminds me of the old adage about moderation: If you play in the middle of the road, you'll get hit by both sides.

By now, Obama has grown accustomed to getting hit by the religious right for favoring abortion rights and by the left for opposing gay marriage. But he promised to try to carve a new middle ground in our politics and our big social divides. Advocates of gay marriage should not make too much of the outreach to Warren. If you want to change people's minds, you need to reach out first to those who, at least, are willing to give you a listen.

Again, don't worry; be happy. No biggie. Now, calm down or STFU. Clarence Page, you see, is the perfect Villager. Really, have you seen a bigger apologist?

How about we follow our parents old rule and not play in the street, at all? I don't know about you all, but I was never good at Frogger, anyway.

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apolitiko's picture
Submitted by apolitiko on that of the Horse's Ass, which wonders if 'this type of symbolic litmus test is really worth our collective energy and outrage', quoting a writer at Blue Oregon:

There are a lot of excellent bloggers who know how to take the fight to the halls of DC and beyond. The ability to stir things up is a hallmark of what some of us love to do. But the ability to do this stirring has its limits. Our political capital is finite. Do we really want to spend it in an attempt to influence Obama to dump Rick Warren’s Inaugural invocation? Really?

He later goes on to mention that the blogsphere isn't a monolith, implying, of course, that some of us are crazy lefties with too much time on our hands and improper muzzle on our mouths and some of us know how to kiss the proper ass [ok, maybe I made that assumption].

It's worth a read, simply for its salient, in your face apologist bile.

Submitted by lambert on

I love it:

... [H] e actually is a pragmatic moderate compared with right-wing evangelical activists ...

... [Mussolini or Francisco Franco are ] pragmatic moderates compared with Josef Stalin or Adolf Hitler

Watch that Overton Window being hammered firmly into place, as Warren's dehumanization of gay people is normalized as acceptable discourse. That's a sure sign of a Villager. I wonder if Page wants to job in DC?

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

...for as long as I can remember. It's even worse watching him on the Sunday talk shows. He's seen as "reasonable" so he's always invited to the Village's TV parties. Same goes for Opologist and consummate Villager Eugene Robinson, who also writes in a very similar tone that I've come to completely despise.