Perhaps it’s because I’m not gay. Or maybe it’s because I’m not a woman. But I’ve had a hard time getting all riled up about Barack Obama’s choice of the anti-gay, anti-woman Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation, and I can’t help but agree with Carla over at Blue Oregon in wondering if this type of symbolic litmus test is really worth our collective energy and outrage:
There are a lot of excellent bloggers who know how to take the fight to the halls of DC and beyond. The ability to stir things up is a hallmark of what some of us love to do. But the ability to do this stirring has its limits. Our political capital is finite. Do we really want to spend it in an attempt to influence Obama to dump Rick Warren’s Inaugural invocation? Really?
I know, maybe it’s because I’m not Christian (or even a theist for that matter), and so I find the whole notion of a religious invocation or benediction at any political event unappealing, regardless of who delivers it, but in answer to Carla’s question, I guess I’d say, um… no. Actual policy, well that’s worth a fight, but this… well… not really.
Not that my fellow progressive bloggers shouldn’t feel free to express their outrage if that’s what yanks their chain, but as Carla demonstrates, mainstream observers would be mistaken to view the netroots as some sort of group-think monolith, and should avoid mistaking loudness for leadership. Even the name brand national bloggers speak only for themselves; if you don’t believe me, just read their comment threads.
Meanwhile, Carla is dead-on in pointing out that the political capital of the netroots is finite, though I’d elaborate by saying that it’s also rather limited when it comes to influencing the White House, regardless of the occupant. Maybe it’s because I’m just a lowly local blogger, but it’s hard to see why I’d bother wasting my time trying to persuade Obama to hire a different preacher?
Or… maybe not.