December 28, 2008

Rick Warren and Obama

I admire very much a blog piece by David Quigg, “What Would Obama Do If Obama Were Mad at Obama About Rick Warren?? Talk about defusing an issue by asking a good, weird question! He shows what thoughtful commentary might be like, commentary that makes people think.

On the Warren issue, I have a small thing to say. I am always looking for people significantly smarter than me. They give me hope, because I cannot see a way out of most of the problems I know about. The sign of somebody being smarter than me is that they do something that seems stupid, but looks less stupid, the more I look at it. This Warren invitation is that kind of a decision. Warren has to accept. It Warren accepts, he implicitly admits that there are points of connection between his views and those of Obama that outweigh the differences: he cannot give an invocation at the inaugural and thereafter claim that Obama is the anti-Christ. His followers will have trouble with that, also. So his only option is to accept and then to put distance between himself and Obama in the content of his invocation. But we know from the Wellstone memorial experience that partisan political rhetoric on unifying, sacred occasions is absolutely the wrong thing to do. It's suicide. So any distancing, within the invocation itself, will have to be very subtle. Shakespeare could pull it off; so could Lincoln.

A political chess move that can only go wrong if one’s opponent turns out to be Shakespeare or Lincoln is a pretty clever move.

Posted by shea0017 at December 28, 2008 1:53 PM