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Thomas de Zengotita Headshot

Obama's Pastor Warren Pick; A Bridge Too Far

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In the '90s, the Clintons convinced me that the Democratic Party was in the tank for global capital, so I voted for Nader in 2000. Eight years of Bush convinced me that Democrats, bad as they are, really are better. So I've been for Obama, knowing he would govern from the center -- and I've been blogging to tell those who are disappointed to grow up and play the game, if they're in the game.

Now Obama's version of the game has always been bridge building. He's completely serious about reaching out, transcending red and blue, and etc.

But this is a bridge too far. Warren isn't just against same-sex marriage. He has used the most disgusting analogies to justify his opposition. What this blunder tells me is that Obama has never had a gay person in his life whom he cared deeply about, someone who could look him in the eye and convey what it means to be told that you can't marry the person you love, that your love is lesser. I have had that experience. Before that, I thought that, because same-sex marriage was so charged for so many people who might otherwise be lured into a progressive coalition, why not settle for civil unions for a couple of decades? Why insist on the word "marriage" at such a cost?

That's probably what Obama was thinking when he decided to reach out to that expanding group of younger, less bigoted, evangelicals in this way. The general strategy is essential to victory in 2012, I understand that. But there are other ways to pursue it. This pick hurts too many good people too damn much. Obama needs a gay friend to set him straight.