Politics and Media Headlines 12/23/08
Warren’s church removes anti-gay statements from website. (Think Progress)
On Friday, AmericaBlog’s John Aravosis pointed out that the website for Rev. Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church explicitly said that “someone unwilling to repent for their homosexual lifestylewould not be accepted as a member at Saddleback”:
[Monday], however, Aravosis notes that the anti-gay language has been pulled from the website. View a Google cache of the original page here.
Barney Frank: ‘I’m suffering from post-partisan depression.’ (Think Progress)
On MSNBC [Monday] afternoon, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) repeated his criticism of President-elect Obama’s decision to invite Rick Warren to deliver the Inaugural invocation, calling Warren’s views on homosexuality “deeply offensive.” Frank said Obama “overestimates his ability” to “charm” conservative opponents to his side, and joked that he missed the days of partisanship: “…But I’ve worked frankly with Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, and the current Republican leadership. … When [Obama] talks about being post partisan, having seen these people and knowing what they would do in that situation, I suffer from post partisan depression.”
Click through to watch the video.—Caro
Warren On? Party Off. (by Richard Cohen)
Not that he was planning to attend, but Barack Obama should know that my sister's inauguration night party -- the one for which she was preparing Obama Punch -- has been canceled. The notice went out over the weekend, by e-mail and word of mouth, that Obama's choice of Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation had simply ruined the party. Warren is anti-gay and my sister, not to put too fine a point on it, is not. She's gay…
Warren is an important evangelical leader with whom, Obama said, "…We can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans." Sounds nice. But what we do not "hold in common" is the dehumanization of homosexuals. What we do not hold in common is the belief that gays are perverts who have chosen their sexual orientation on some sort of whim. What we do not hold in common is the exaltation of ignorance that has led and will lead to discrimination and violence.
Finally, what we do not hold in common is the categorization of a civil rights issue -- the rights of gays to be treated equally -- as some sort of cranky cultural difference. For that we need moral leadership, which, on this occasion, Obama has failed to provide. For some people, that's nothing to celebrate. The party's off.
Warren to be keynote speaker at MLK commemorative service on the day before inauguration. (Think Progress)
Rev. Rick Warren, who is President-elect’s controversial pick to give the invocation at his inauguration on Jan. 20, will be the keynote speaker at Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church on the day before the Inauguration, Atlantic Progressive News reports. Before she passed away, King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, declared that gay marriage was a civil rights issue and denounced a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban it.
Obama Will Use Lincoln Bible (Political Wire)
President-elect Obama will take the oath of office using the same Bible upon which President Lincoln was sworn in at his first inauguration, according to the Inaugural Committee. Though there is no constitutional requirement for the use of a Bible during the swearing-in, Presidents have traditionally used Bibles for the ceremony, choosing a volume with personal or historical significance. President-elect Obama will be the first President sworn in using the Lincoln Bible since its initial use in 1861.
Would Lincoln have had a pro-slavery minister give the invocation at his inaugural?—Caro
Welcome to 'Nepotism Nation' (by Froma Harrop)
In New York state, we are told that Caroline Kennedy is the favorite for Hillary Clinton's soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat, and for the usual reasons of celebrity and money… On ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," Cokie Roberts explains that "her name and all that is going to work for the Democratic Party in New York, and that's the calculation. ... It's not how great a senator she's going to be." And Stephanopoulos adds, "They want someone else on the ballot with that star power who can raise the money."
Would someone please draw a dark line of distinction between what we call a scandal in Illinois and business as usual in New York? Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell a vacant Senate seat, while New York Gov. Paterson is expected to give a Senate seat to the woman whose family can raise lots of money for his benefit…
How many promising Democrats are being locked out of this dance? Makes Obama's rise seem a total miracle.
Nope, not a miracle at all, Froma. Obama managed to worm his way into the Chicago power structure, primarily by getting himself put into positions where he could hand out cash (e.g., via the Chicago Annenberg Challenge) or broker power (e.g., the Illinois Senate Health & Human Services Committee). Oh, and Michelle’s father didn’t JUST work at the city water plant. He was a Democratic precinct captain, which is no small deal in Chicago. He was connected. The Obamas plotted their rise quite carefully, and used each rung of the ladder as a means to climb to the next level.
And let’s not forget that Cokie Roberts’ own prominence is due to nepotism. Her father was Hale Boggs, a New Orleans congressman (Speaker of the House, as a matter of fact) whose plane was lost in Alaska while campaigning for another member of the House. Boggs’ seat was then taken over by his wife, Marie Corinne Morrison Claiborne “Lindy” Boggs, kin to former New Orleans mayor Chep Morrison and a member of the powerful Claiborne family, after whom a major New Orleans street is named. Cokie has led a pampered life among the elites of New Orleans and Washington, D.C. Why would we expect her to demand that anyone earn an office, rather than obtain it through connections?—Caro
Click here for more politics and media news headlines.