January 4, 2009

Christophobia! Could Warren be Obama's Sarah Palin?

Man, I would not want to be in Rick Warren's expensive shoes right now. The gay community is upset with his bigotry, and many of us in the atheist community feel the same way. Those who value reproductive rights for women are appalled with his comparisons of abortion to the Holocaust. And of course, those who believe that women are equal to men are less than thrilled with what his church has to say about women. The fascinating thing is that Warren is taking at least as much heat from the Christian right. Why? It seems that he's not quite bigoted enough for them! As unpleasant as being attacked from both sides may be for Warren, it is nothing compared to what might be coming.

Let me explain. I am worried that Rick Warren has a good chance of becoming Barack Obama's Sarah Palin. If that seems harsh, it is by design. Obama, much like McCain did with Palin, made a huge mistake in selecting Warren. If he cannot recognize this, we have no choice but to question his judgment. Unlike McCain, I think he could still rescind the invitation and escape from this debacle relatively unscathed.

Assume that Obama does nothing and Warren speaks at his inauguration. I am not saying that this will be Obama's undoing or that all his support would evaporate. However, initial impressions do matter, and this is a big one. Obama campaigned on a message of change, a promise to change Washington politics. He's now in danger of being attached to Warren right out of the gate. He does not need this now.

Palin proved to be an albatross around McCain's neck in an even worse way that Harriet Miers was around Bush's neck. If there is one thing Obama does not need as he takes office in what has to be one of the worst times in our nation's history to do so, it is his own albatross.

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