As the year winds down, there are two stories in the world of politics that have me shaking my head. The first is the big flap over Rick Warren giving the invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration, and the second is Caroline Kennedy being considered for Hillary Clinton's vacated senate seat.
On the Warren thing, some on the left are upset because Warren supported California's Proposition 8, which prohibits same-sex marriage. They can't believe that Obama would ever allow a "bigot" like that to spoil his inaugural. This leaves me puzzled and amused. Didn't they watch Obama's interview/debate thingie at Saddleback with Warren, where he said, clearly, in English, "I believe marriage is the union of a man and a woman?" I think the funny thing is that many on the left just KNEW that Obama didn't mean it--that he was only playing to the center to get elected. Hey, I'm guilty of that, too. I feared the "centrist" Obama was a head-fake. But his cabinet appointments, and now this, indicate that it's at least possible that he is just what he claimed to be. Or, alternatively, he's a very smart politician who knows that there is a lot more to gain by cozying up to the winning side on this issue. (After all, marriage protection has passed in something like 30 states, including uber-liberal California.) Where are the gay activists going to go, to the Republicans? As for the "bigot" thing: come on. The same folks who act like radical Muslims just need to be understood better in light of their unique culture (despite their barbaric treatment of women, stoning of gays, etc.) can't seem to understand that a large bloc of Christians in this country honestly believe that homosexuality is a sin... because the Bible explicitly says so. And despite believing in love and forgiveness, they (we) also believe that sins should be repented of, not normalized. Oh, well. If being called intolerant is the worst persecution I ever have to face, I just count my blessings.
On the other topic, there is some gnashing of teeth that Caroline Kennedy (sorry, can't even typer her name without humming "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond) is being heavily considered to take over the senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton. Now, don't get me wrong--count me among those irritated that the same folks who thought that the self-made Governor with the 80% approval rating, Sarah Palin, was unqualified now want to give a senate seat to somebody with exactly zero experience and a celebrity last name. But it's not like it's unusual. Shucks, it's Hillary's seat. So what we're doing is taking a seat that was held by someone who rode her husband's coattails to fame and giving it to somebody who is riding her father's coattails. Seems fair. Of course, when I reflect that the seat used to be held by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, I sigh. Clinton, Bush, Gore, Jesse Jackson, Jr., all the Kennedys, even Beau Biden (who will "inherit" Joe's Deleware seat when he returns from Iraq)... it's not what you know, it's who you know. I don't like it, but it's not like it's a new phenomenon. I just hope our new House of Lords sees fit to throw us little guys some bones.