Another worthwhile take on the Warren situation from John Aloysius Farrell at US News and Word Report.
(Farrell is on my good list, for among other reasons, his column about McCain’s disingenuous Bear DNA nonsense during the presidential campaign.)
Here’s a big clip:
During the last campaign, Obama and the Democrats (who are marginally better on gay issues than Republicans) reached out to Evangelical voters, and to conservative Catholics, to try to close this division. Having Warren say a prayer at the Inauguration is a small symbolic nod to these religious conservatives. Hopefully, to defuse suspicion and hatred.
This is, ultimately, a political battle. Judges can interpret state constitutions. But legislatures, and initiatives like Proposition 8, can trump judges. In the end, we are going to have to persuade the vast voting public, a lot of whom are religious, to ratify an historic change in the civic institution of marriage.
I think we can do it. I believe Americans are good, fair-hearted people. The last election certainly says so. And, among young Americans, who are growing up in a different time than their parents and grandparents, gay rights has the broad support of Mom and Apple Pie. So, in the long run, we win.
My advice: better to lay off Warren, and channel your energy (and exploit the strong and deep support of the music and motion picture industries) to drown American in a campaign of evocative Internet advertisements, like the YouTube ads that united a generation behind Obama, and touched so many of their parents as well. And get your voters to the polls.
As a tactical matter, there is surely a place in campaigns for employing grievances to enflame one’s troops and to raise the level of participation and energy. It may also serve the cause, at this moment, to sting the Democrats and the incoming Obama administration, so you are not taken for granted.
But the practical question that gay political leaders must face—with more detailed data than I have—is whether it is wiser to use this incident to rally their base, or to continue to show middle America the moderation and reasonableness that has earned such political good will for LGBT Americans in recent years.
Warren’s willingness to extend his hand to liberals is noteworthy. And moderates and conservatives, in weighing a rapprochement, will be studying the liberal response. There is an opportunity here.
Yeah, I know it is tough. Why is it always the bruised minority that has to act nobly in America?
It’s just the way things are. Until we change them. And we will. We are.
The Courage Campaign suggests a debate on same sex marriage between Warren and the Reverend Eric Lee, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles—time and location to be determined.
How about it Reverand Warren?