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I should probably write this as a comment to one of the several well-written meta diaries presently hanging about, but what the hell....

Yes, Rick Warren is arguably abominable.  Yes, it's well past time that we LGBTs didn't have to fight, or wait, for full inclusion in society.  Yes, I wish Barack Obama had asked the inaugural commission to invite someone else to give the invocation.  Yes, yes, yes....

It's a week before Christmas and a month before the inaugural, and there's almost no real political news happening.  And like restaurant patrons waiting too long for a meal, we start nitpicking the decor, the chairs, the tableware, and the menu typography.  I'm sure most of what ails us here at DKos will go away once we have some real news to chew on.

But not all of it.  We also need to learn some new chewing skills.

More below the fold.

The weeks since November 4th have been difficult here on DKos.  It seems not a day passes Kossacks finding some new reason to be outraged over some decision Barack Obama has or hasn't made.  Some is legitimate criticism.  Some is perhaps election withdrawal, and putting too much focus on non-events because during this interregnum there aren't many real events happening.  Regardless, there is outrage aplenty.  And even with each other.

A lot of it is, I suspect, simply that we've been so outraged, for so long, by so much, that a lot of us don't know how to feel anything else.  But we need to learn, or we'll not only render ourselves irrelevant but damage the progressive movement in the process.

The Republican Revolution began as a political and social insurgency.  From Franklin Roosevelt's victory in 1932 to the end of Lyndon Johnson's term in 1968, the U.S. had seen only one Republican president ... the former Allied supreme commander who led the defeat of Germany in the west.  That victory was hardly an encouraging sign, as the GOP didn't have a reserve of former Allied supreme commanders to put up when Ike left office.  Kennedy narrowly defeated Nixon, but Johnson routed Goldwater.

Meanwhile the federal courts were ever-increasingly stacked by Democratic appointees.  Racial integration had come first to the military and then to public schools.  Martin Luther King Jr. and others had peeled back the ugly scab of Jim Crow, so much so that even J. Edgar Hoover had been forced to step in and use the FBI to crush the KKK.  Women liberated as Rosie the Riveters chafed under the postwar return to domestic servitude, and their daughters were invading college campuses and graduate schools with the radical notion that they should be able to pursue dreams other than wife and motherhood.  Science was displacing religion as holding the keys of knowledge.  Three decades of liberalism in politics and the arts had pushed to the fringes ideas of dutifully worshiping the wealthy, and blaming the poor for every ill of society.

In short, 1968 was nearly a mirror image of 2008.  The long-established order of things, where white males ruled the country and claimed the bulk of her benefits for themselves while everyone else took the leavings, seemed to be doomed.  But Lyndon Johnson was hamstrung by the quagmire in Vietnam, so much so that he declined to run again.  And into the vacuum stepped Richard Nixon with the now-infamous Southern Strategy, playing on white male anxieties to peel away the Dixiecrats, turn the South red, and lay the foundation for three decades of conservative dominance.

Of course, conservatives didn't see it that way in 1968.  They were political insurgents, railing at the manifest injustice of a world where even women and blacks were allowed to compete for jobs, education, and political power.  And rail they did.  Outrage was their tool of choice.  They even had their own Warren to be outraged about, though theirs was named "Earl" and was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  Impeach Earl Warren was their battle cry, painted on barn roofs and handmade posters in rural areas and conservative cities around the country.

Richard Nixon set the table, but his personal flaws prevented him from leading the revolution.  That task fell to Ronald Reagan, funded by the wealthy elite but powered by an outraged army of Moral Majoritists.  The GOP's honey pot was on Wall Street, but its worker bees droned in hives built around evangelical churches.  The churches were for the Republicans what the internet would later become for the Democrats, a place to gather and be righteously outraged at the venality and stupidity of government.

The Republicans' failure lay not only in their politics, but in their reaction to political success.  Even after twelve years of Reagan/Bush, the end of the Cold War, and a near complete lock on power, they clung tight to their insurgent outrage.  Legitimate questions of whether a Supreme Court nominee had sexually harassed a former co-worker were described as "a high-tech lynching."  Court decisions holding that the majority could not force every student to bow his or her head in prayer at high school graduations were "violating freedom of religion."  When Bill Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush in 1992, the still little known Rush Limbaugh introduced each show as "Day [number] of the Raw Deal" before dragging discourse down to the most divisive denominator.  Lest anyone give in to complacency, the conservative Reader's Digest had a monthly feature, "That's Outrageous," inevitably cherry picking and often caricaturing the horrors of liberal government run amok.  When it became apparent that Bill Clinton had a fondness for women other than his wife, the Republican Congress set loose Kenneth Starr with a mandate to keep investigating until he found something, anything, to serve as a new pretext for more full-throated outrage.

Then came George W. Bush, and in the wake of 9/11, Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress.  In the long years of conservative rule, within which fate and savage political opposition had denied Clinton the opportunity to appoint progressive judges, the federal judiciary was for Democrats what it had once been for Republicans: a forum dominated by the opposition party where our cases faced a difficult fight merely to evade dismissal, let alone achieve victory.  "Liberal" had become an epithet to be renounced even by Democrats.

And still conservatism clung to its outrage.  A business' decision to say "Happy Holidays" became "The War On Christmas."  Objection to even the most absurd or egregious administration lies - and the media objected to little else - was proof of "liberal media bias."  Though they were riding a wave that had been rising for thirty years, Republicans clung to their preferred role as victims, pledging to nurse and voice their outrage as the oppressed, so long as even a single dissenting voice remained audible amidst the conservative din.

But "blame it on the Left" quickly became transparent.  After years of conservative dominance in every branch of government, conservatives kept talking as if they would not be able to govern until the last liberal was cold in the grave.  Outrage-mongers assured true believers - and tried to convince the rest - that manifest failures in Iraq and New Orleans were really successes, if only the liberal media would tell the real story.  When it became apparent that their "real story" was pure fantasy, those outrage-mongers shifted to blaming liberals for undermining conservative brilliance by our dissent.  Merely speaking in opposition, they said, was enough to undo their efforts.

The American people, often easily distracted but never stupid, saw through the charade.  The GOP - "the Party of Big Ideas" - was revealed as a party devoid of any idea beyond being outraged against the Left.  And merely being outraged against one's opposition is not a platform for effective governance.  It's not enough to say "Put us in charge and we'll make things better."  Once put in charge, you have to stop whining about the opposition and get down to the difficult business of governing.  Or you find yourself losing both the House and Senate in 2006, followed by the White House in 2008.  And that's exactly what Republicans did.

Along the way, though, we Democrats became the political insurgents.  Shut out of power, we turned to outrage.  We railed against the venality and stupidity of government.  When the 2006 midterms proved insufficient to overturn thirty years of conservative dominance - and they were - we split our outrage between the party still in the White House and our own leaders in Congress, as if narrow majorities in the House and Senate were or should have been enough to change the course of government.

We did more than rage, of course.  We raised enough money to fund the largest and most expensive presidential campaign in U.S. history, and we knocked on doors, made phone calls, staffed campaign offices, and the other grunt work required to turn hope into history.  We froze in the Iowa winter and sweated in the Florida summer.  We worked as if our very lives and futures depended on it, because we believed they did.  And at 11pm on November 4th, 2008, we heard something many of us thought we'd never hear in our lifetimes: the name of a black American preceding the words "has been elected the next President of the United States."  We wept.  We hugged.  We'd won.

But so had California Proposition 8.  And Florida Amendment II.  And we LGBTs realized that while we as a nation had won the White House and a return to adult leadership in Washington, victory had not been total.  Even while riding a rising wave of hope, it seemed, there was still time to kick your local queer.  Even if we can finally allow a black man in the White House, we dare not let an LGBT couple - as a married couple - buy the house next door.  For all that we'd won with Obama and stronger Democratic majorities in Congress, we felt gut-punched.

And worse, we felt betrayed that other Democrats didn't realize how hollow that made the other victories feel for us.  We hurt, and even the most cautious and reasoned objection to our cries of pain sounded like "Oh just get OVER it!  Obama won!  Haven't you heard?"  Yes, we heard.  Obama won.  Democrats won.  But LGBTs lost.

And now another Warren.  Our Rick to their Earl.

It's still ten days until Christmas and still a month to the inaugural.  There won't be a lot of real political news happening, so we'll focus on what little does happen.  And our Warren, virtually the poster child for everything we LGBTs lost while the rest of you were winning, seems like a very big thing indeed.  We're outraged.  And with good reason.

But I hope that two months from now, when the inaugural is a memory and we're a third of the way through President Obama's first hundred days, we will have found something to replace outrage.  I hope we'll have learned from the Republicans' mistakes, and we won't cling to outrage as our only mode of political expression.  I hope we'll recognize that governing well requires not outrage but calm, disciplined focus on the tasks at hand.  And there are plenty of tasks at hand.  Ending the Iraq War.  Restoring the our constitutional liberties.  Coming together to invest in jobs and pushing for national health care.  And fully integrating our military to include men and women who are not only courageous and proud, but also gay and lesbian.

I'll settle for that in Obama's first term.  Oh, I'd like more.  I'd like full legal and social equality.  But just as Harry Truman jump started racial equality by integrating the military, maybe Barack Obama can jump start equality for LGBTs by the same brave act.  And if he does - and ends the Iraq War, restores constitutional liberties, leads us to invest in jobs, and finally breaks through the logjam of national health care - I hope that by 2012 we'll have forgotten Rick Warren and we can celebrate the success of the Democratic Party in reshaping America.

If we can't ... if we can never get beyond outrage ... then like the religious right we will doom ourselves to political irrelevance.  And we'll bring down the progressive movement with us.

Originally posted to NCrissieB on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 05:15 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for good government. (25+ / 0-)

    Rick Warren is an outrage.  But Rick Warren is not the President-Elect of the United States.  He will not, as some have suggested, "preside at the inaugural."  He'll give a prayer, probably one that will be forgotten within a month.  Let's not make him into more than he is.

    Let's get beyond outrage and work together for good, effective, progressive government.  Please.

    Comments and criticisms welcome.

    •  Glad you did this diary rather than, (8+ / 0-)

      as you suggested in the opening line, relegated it to a comment in similar diaries, because this is by far the best of them.

      'I can't understand why people are afraid of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.' - John Cage

      by jedley on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 05:33:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  i don't feel especially outraged (10+ / 0-)

      I wake up each morning thinking that the economy sucks, but that the GOP got what it deserved, and that everyone woke up to what a disaster Bush has been. We and America are about to do better.

      I agree with the diaries that suggest we need to internalize that we - erm - won. And I think we need to get used to Obama's reaching out. Every time he does that isn't a betrayal.

      But he does not have carte blanche.  I think Obama will need us to hold his feet to the fire, but that's cool.

      So here's my take. Read the comments here and tell me who the hyperventilators are. Hint: they are usually self-described Republican consultants.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 05:33:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "arguably abominable"? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KathleenM1, homogenius, NCrissieB

        Would you use the same mild terms to describe a racist or antisemite?  just curious...................

      •  I agree, Greg. (6+ / 0-)

        I'm actually more concerned for how we treat each other here at DKos than what we say about President-Elect Obama.  He has both the guts and the wisdom to look beyond passing slights at longer term interests.  Some of us, though, aren't quite as adept at that.  I'd rather we didn't burn quite so many of our internal bridges along the way to encouraging Obama and the Democrats to govern well.

        •  It's very nice that you feel comfortable (6+ / 0-)

          with this choice.  I don't and I won't be browbeaten into saying so.  

          Choices matter.  Words matter.

          After Prop 8, I am not going to be silent anymore.

          Sorry if that rocks your world.

        •  This is how I was treated (10+ / 0-)

          My Comment:

          right now I'm a little upset with Rachel Maddow.  She's using Rev. Wright as a weapon against Obama.  Obama did not take away any of her rights,  Obama did not disparage gays.  It's the same thing all over again - guilt by association.


          Hey kitty -- blow me.  Maybe that will turn you off more.

          Addendum from this poster

          So because you don't agree with what "the gays" are doing to protect their rights of not having some hate-spewing fat ass give the invocation, that you are willing to turn your fat ass on gays?  We don't need fair weather friends like you.  Go to hell.

          This helps the gay cause how?

          •  Of course it doesn't. And no one (4+ / 0-)

            at least on this diary is using such nasty and ridiculous invective.  We CAN disagree without being disagreeable.

            •  Tackle (5+ / 0-)

              I don't hold these comments against all gays.

              When it was first announced that Warren was invited, I was upset. I emailed Obama and told him that he was tone deaf and that he blew it big time.  I still feel that way but I don't hate Obama.

              I am so very disappointed in Maddow though,   I knew all along that Obama was never her candidate but I never thought that I would see the day that a solid liberal would attack Obama with Rev. Wright. The wingers must be overcome with joy.

              •  Rachel Maddow is as bad as Lou Dobbs... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                in my opinion.  Two ends of the extreme.

                Do you know what "cheese in my pants" means?

                by David Kroning on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 06:41:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  i saw this - and actually, thought maddow (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                at least made the correct analogy - she didn't bring up wright's content, but brought up obama's reaction to wright in a political sense (calling, i think, for a similar reaction to warren - i.e., disinviting him).

                i, too, was alarmed at seeing pics of wright next to warren on the screen... but at some point, i have to shake my head and say, that's what we get for accepting candidates who are eager to make religion part of their agenda.  i didn't like it when obama (and hrc, and edwards) did it in the primary, and i don't like it now.  perhaps that's a political reality; but if so, it's a sad one.

                Obama 44! So why are we moving to the right again?

                by jj24 on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 07:34:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Considering, Obama sat in Wright's pew for 20 (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  years and then kicked him to the kicked him to the curb to embrace Rick Warren, I believe Obama will not remember his friends in the progressive community either. So I guess we better get used this this for the next 4 years!

                  Meet the new boss, same as the old boss!

                  •  oh, please. (0+ / 0-)

                    i'd prefer you unrecced my comment as well.  i have no use for this ridiculousness.

                    Obama 44! So why are we moving to the right again?

                    by jj24 on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 09:56:00 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Then get over yourself (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      ...and move along! Don't tell me to take my place at the back of the bus and be silent about it!

                      •  back of the bus, my ass. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        go to red state with that stupid shit.  if you can't treat your fellow democrats with respect on this issue, you're the one who needs to move along.

                        Obama 44! So why are we moving to the right again?

                        by jj24 on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 11:34:59 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Sorry, but I'm a queer Democrat... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          not a Democratic lemming! I don't have to respect anyone, regardless of party, that tells me I need to be respectful of their views and ignore my own!

                          My civil rights are not your preferred cause of the day to be championed one day and then cast aside the next because it's poltically expedient to do so.

                          Obama can kiss the ass of the right wing all he wants, but it's not going to win them over...unless of course, kicking queers to the curb is enough to placate them!

                •  Warren is not Obama's pastor (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mjd in florida

                  and Obama did not disown Wright till Wright "doubled down" on his hateful remarks.

                  Rachel looked positively livid and vindictive last night.  I know that she never cottoned to Obama but using Wright to beat up on him is going too far.

                  •  as rachel pointed out - (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    obama disinvited wright from his announcement speech, before anyone knew who he was.  i think that was her point - that obama should do the same to warren.

                    i love reverend wright, and don't think any of his comments were hateful.  they're reality.  but that's another subject (probably a far more worthwhile one, at that).

                    i don't think it was an unfair news item, and i'm not bothered by her comparison or her tone.  i'm bothered by the fact that we're talking about our president's actions within religious terms - still - and this with a new one.  i'm a christian, but i'm also a secular governmentalist.  it really makes me cringe, for that reason, much more than the substance of what any pastor stands for.  frankly, it should be irrelevant.

                    Obama 44! So why are we moving to the right again?

                    by jj24 on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 10:06:14 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Not a bit, nor the progressive movement. (6+ / 0-)

            I didn't say those things, but on behalf of LGBTs I'll apologize for them.  That was uncalled for.

            •  The way I see it is that Obama (5+ / 0-)

              can't call Warren off now or all the media and rightwing bloviators will make the entire inauguration about Warren and religion, elevating Warren to even higher status.  Obama needs many people on board to get thru his programs and I am sure that he would take back that choice if he realized all of the hurt that it would inflict.                                                                                                                                             I am very restless with waiting for January 20th too!  We have relatives/old neighbors losing their jobs, again, in mid-Michigan and the U.S. auto manufacturing and affliated industries totally closing down was too scary to contemplate.  My National Guard SSG son is beginning preps for their next deployment overseas and we sure have been on pins and needles worried that Bush/Cheney and their neocon, war profiteering handlers don't manufacturer another one of their international conflicts before leaving the premises after witnessing their recent attempts with Iran, Russia and their old business buddy, Pakistan.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Thanks for the thoughtful diary.  I have been upset with the tone on Daily Kos lately too and also, with many of the longtime commenters saying they are taking a break or leaving because of the vindictiveness among members lately.       peace, mjd

              Obama/Biden '08 "to represent all Americans"

              by mjd in florida on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 06:57:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hugs for you, prayers for your son. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kitty, Nova Land, mjd in florida, jj24

                I've done the mom-worrying-about-son-in-a-war-zone thing and it ain't pretty.  Now I'm aunt-worrying-about-nephew-in-a-war-zone.  I want this war to end so all of our kids can come home and begin to heal.  My prayers are with your son.

                And hugs to you, my friend.  We need to remember who the good guys are ... at least politically ... and who we've come to turn to for partners in action and hope and history.  Rick Warren isn't worth tearing our community apart over.

              •  From Marc Ambinder (5+ / 0-)

                The Obama team probably misread the situation a bit, but it's easy to see how they might do so: the transition team obviously wanted two contrasting religious voices for the invocation and the benediction. Seen in this light, the Warren pick is far less controversial.

                The deeper dynamic, though, is this: liberal groups are used to being treated like stepchildren in Washington. They are used to being under seige at all times, and it's going to take some adjustment to realize that gay rights are probably not in danger because of things like the Warren pick.   (An Obama adviser, discussing this matter with me, urged patience, saying that Obama is committed to the substance of his campaign promises to expand gay rights.)


              •  good morning mjd (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mjd in florida

                I have been upset with the tone on Daily Kos lately too and also, with many of the longtime commenters saying they are taking a break or leaving because of the vindictiveness among members lately.

                I understand, it was the same thing during FISA

                •  Obama sure is getting a shitload (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kitty, NCrissieB

                  of problems to start resolving.  The magnitude of damage that the Bush-Cheney-Rummy cabal inflicted on our country and the world is staggering.  Have a great holiday Kitty!  I have a whole afternoon of last minute errands today, especially if I am going to get much baking done.  I hate shopping with a passion, even off-season!  I blame my mom for dragging me from store to store as the only daughter while I would have rather been playing sports with my big brothers and wondering thru the woods.  :0)  My daughter loves to shop so she and 86 year old Grandma have a great time when they get together!

                  Obama/Biden '08 "to represent all Americans"

                  by mjd in florida on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 07:58:59 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I got HR'ed and called a bigot all day yesterday. (8+ / 0-)

            For daring to denouce the same kind of hate speech against Warren that was used against them.

            Do you know what "cheese in my pants" means?

            by David Kroning on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 06:40:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  NO NO NO! (12+ / 0-)

    I will not ignore this choice.

    I am tired that homophobes like Rick Warren are considered to be acceptable members of the high political class.

    In 30 years this choice will look almost like inviting an avowed racist or antisemite to give the inaugural prayer.

    Try substituting Jew or Black for gay in some of Warren's invective and see how it reads.

    I for one am not going to sit down quietly and shut up and seeth.

    •  Feel free to scream yourself hoarse. (10+ / 0-)

      Just don't be surprised when a lot of people - including progressives - decide they're tired of being screamed at and start ignoring you.

      •  Thank you. I will now shut up about homophobia. (9+ / 0-)

        Sorry to disturb your morning cofee.

      •  Sure, and vice versa . . .. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DelRPCV, NCrissieB

        have we all forgotten 2000 already?

      •  Commenter was not screaming- (5+ / 0-)

        just insisting on his/her right to oppose the Warren selection.
        I'm old enought to remember when these "don't make waves or you'll lose our support" warnings were issued to civil rights activists.  Still makes me sick.

      •  In the same vein, enjoy your Kool-aid. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KathleenM1, homogenius

        Your sarcasm, NC, is very hollow.

      •  So sorry to piss on your corn flakes, sweetie! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KathleenM1, ExStr8, NCrissieB

        You may now, however, resume your life as an American with all the rights and benefits attached thereto...I, however, as a gay American, I guess, am supposed to shut up, pay my taxes and not make waves in the new Messianic age of Obama, who apparently can do no wrong in your eyes!

        This bird's for you, pal!

        •  Which part of "lesbian" didn't you read? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kitty, jj24, NWTerriD

          Or did you read the diary at all?

          •  Oh, I'm sorry...I guess as you shuffled off (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KathleenM1, homogenius, ExStr8, NCrissieB

            to the back of the bus, I lost sight of that.

            •  My LGBT rights don't matter to Obama. (0+ / 0-)

              I knew that when I decided to support him and began to donate, canvass, and phone bank for him.  There was only one pro-LGBT candidate this year - Dennis Kucinich - and he never stood a chance.

              When it was apparent after Iowa that the media and most Democrats had tossed Kucinich in the "far left loon" box and would never give him a real hearing, I decided it was time to look at the not-pro-LGBT candidates.  I chose Barack Obama because I thought he was: (a) no more anti-LGBT than Hillary Clinton and John Edwards; and, (b) better than Clinton or Edwards on every other issue.  But I knew my LGBT rights weren't on Obama's agenda.  He'd never pretended otherwise.

              That's why I don't feel betrayed over the Warren invocation.  I didn't donate to, volunteer for, and vote for Barack Obama because I thought he'd make a big difference for LGBTs.  I knew he wouldn't.  If you thought otherwise, I'm sorry you didn't listen more closely to his campaign speeches.  We LGBTs just aren't that important to Barack Obama, and we ought not to claim some mandate on him, or to feel betrayed when he's the same candidate we chose only grudgingly to begin with.

          •  Hillary Rosen has her say (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            She still doesn't like Warren but wants to move forward.  Please read the whole post


            Beyond Rick Warren:

            So despite my view that Inauguration day is a celebration that shouldn't be marred by the messy process of political compromise, I accept that for President-elect Obama, Inauguration Day is his first day of governing. Barack Obama will own this inauguration, not Rick Warren. And I still believe in Barack Obama.

            I still believe that he will lead our country to greater prosperity; health care for all; an energy policy that promotes a clean environment and a new economy. And I still believe that President Obama will work to enact public policy for to improve the lives of LGBT Americans. There will be missteps and compromises along the way. And those that simply don't understand what it means to be different in this world will have far more influence that I'd like in the debate. But the messy process of governing will also bring about progress in an Obama administration that will propel equality forward.

            •  That's her choice. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ExStr8, sternsieger, NCrissieB

              She doesn't choose for us and neither do you.

              The more you tell us to sit at the back of the bus and be quiet AND BE HAPPY ABOUT IT, the more we're gonna come back in your face.

              We're not gonna "take one for the team" any more. That train has left the station.

              There's no dumping Rick Warren. But Obama just poured salt in our very raw wounds after Prop H8. We're pissed and telling us not to be pissed only makes us more pissed.

              "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

              by homogenius on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 08:34:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Just be pissed at the right people :) (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Be pissed at Obama, sure.  But please try not to dump that on other Kossacks, the vast majority of whom do support us LGBTs and think we should have full legal and social equality.

                If Obama wants to "make up" for Rick Warren, he can exercise his constitutional power as Commander in Chief of the U.S. military and end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on his own authority.  If he doesn't do that, I'll be disappointed.  But I won't feel "betrayed," because I never thought my rights as a lesbian were high on Obama's agenda anyway.  I donated to, volunteered for, and voted for Obama despite his stance on LGBT issues, not because of it.

                •  NCrissieB (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  If you are still checking up on your diary please let me know what you think of this take on Warrengate


                  •  I think he's ignoring Occam's Razor (0+ / 0-)

                    Occam's Razor is a principle of analysis that says: given two or more models to explain a set of phenomena, and if the models predict the phenomena with equal completeness, we should first test the model with the fewest variables.  (Occam's Razor does not, as many claim, "prove" that the simpler model is true.  It just says we should start testing there.)

                    In exploring why Rick Warren accepted the invitation to give the invocation at Barack Obama's inaugural, I see no need to look beyond self-interest.  For any cleric to be offered that opportunity is a big time ego stroke.  In Warren's case, it's also advertising for his church, its broadcasts, his books, DVDs, and other business interests.  To go beyond that, lacking any compelling evidence that we must, adds variables to an already complete explanation.

              •  That is not how I read Rosen (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                She's pissed but is going to move forward to get her (and Obama's) agenda passed.  

                Not quite sure what you hope to accomplish - she's going to work for equality with the congress and president that she has.  She's the smart one.

                P.S. I never said this

                telling us not to be pissed only makes us more pissed

              •  Amen, brother or sister!!! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I love this by the way!

                "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

  •  "yeta another meta" (10+ / 0-)

    I like that.

    Anyhoo, I find the distress over the Warren furor curious. It's as if people have forgotten the FISA flare up. This is what happens: Obama does things that piss people off, we say we're pissed off, then another issue comes along. In a few weeks, when Obama pushes through a stimulus package, many of the people who're now blasting him will be cheering. Indeed, if not for the Warren stuff, there would've been a lot of rec'd diaries celebrating the excellent new Labor Secretary. There's still an enormous amount of support and good will for Obama here. Outrage is the exception.

    There's no crisis in the netroots, we're not having trouble transition into an era with a Democratic president: Obama did something we don't like, and we're saying so.

    •  There's a crisis when you eviscerate Jeff Lieber (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JFinNe, JaxDem, NCrissieB, SpawnOfJerry

      for saying the same thing Crissie just said, then treat her differently for some reason.
      The crisis is selfsame as that selective, coalition-threatening, gut-level hostility that we all sometimes fall into, each for our own reasons.
      Let's not forget we're all on the same side.  

      'I can't understand why people are afraid of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.' - John Cage

      by jedley on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 05:40:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Warren fuss is the result of accumulation of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beckstei, NCrissieB

      feelings of let down, beginning with FISA, perhaps.  It looks like life with Obama will be one compromise after the other.  One wonders whether if he really had a war vote, he would not have compromised on that too.  

      Oh, I know compromise is part of life and even more in politics.  That's why the Inauguration is such a let down, because it could have been a real celebration, but despite an 70+ approval, he felt the urgent need to reach out to the extreme right, apparently knowing full well that he would upset the base.  The intent was laudable, but the attempt was ham-handed and created an unnecessary distraction from what should have been an awe-inspiring start to his Presidency.  

      I still hope he is as successful as possible in everything he has promised, as we cannot afford failure.

      •  I don't call McClurkin and Warren "compromise". (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        homogenius, sternsieger

        I call them betrayal@

        •  Oh blessed purity.... (4+ / 0-)

          As it happens, I adore Donnie McClurkin.  He has a beautiful voice, and his music transforms me in ways I can't begin to describe.  And yes, I know he's a homophobe.  I know he'd probably hold me in contempt if he knew me.  That's his decision.  It's not mine, and I'm not going to walk away from beautiful music because I don't like the musician.

          That's no different from people who wanted to ban the "1812 Overture" when it came out that Tchaikovsky was gay, and I'm old enough to remember that episode.

          More's the point, though, Rick Warren is not worth fracturing the DKos community with all the vicious invective we've been spewing on each other lately.  He isn't worth the spit it'd take to spit on him, and he's certainly not worth spitting on each other.

        •  And speaking of "betrayal...." (4+ / 0-)

          Betrayal implies that Obama made some special commitment to LGBT rights.  He didn't.  He's not big on LGBT rights and anyone who listened to him should have known that.  It's not "betrayal" when he never pretended otherwise.

          Barack Obama didn't expend an ounce of political capital on Prop 8.  He hasn't promised to reverse "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  He's said, repeatedly, that he doesn't support full marriage equality.  It's not a betrayal for him to go right on doing and being what he's always done and been, because he made no promises to the LGBT community.  (Unlike Clinton, who made promises and then sold us up the river at first opportunity.)

          I didn't contribute to, canvass and phone bank for, and vote for Barack Obama because I thought he'd be good for LGBT rights. I knew my rights as an LGBT are not high on his agenda.  I made a choice to balance that against the probability that the only truly pro-LGBT candidate in 2008 - Dennis Kucinich - would ever get out of the "far left loon" box in the media's scorecard.

          Kucinich never stood a chance, and that meant looking at the non-LGBT-friendly candidates.  Among those, I chose Barack Obama, because I thought he was: (a) no more anti-LGBT than Clinton or Edwards; and, (b) a lot better than Clinton or Edwards on every other issue.

          If you voted for Barack Obama thinking he stood for LGBT rights, then you weren't listening.  He is not in our corner, never was, and never pretended to be.

        •  And I call Lowery and Warren compromise. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          January 20th can't get here soon enough.

          by NWTerriD on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:53:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I hope you're right, David. (4+ / 0-)

      I'm just concerned that the invective around here - toward each other! - has reached a frightening level.  We need each other, and we ought not to throw away what we've built with each other, here in this community, over someone as ultimately trivial as Rick Warren.

  •  Obama is no bigot. (9+ / 0-)

    I saw Obama at the  2006 Miami book fair and someone asked him about gay marriage. He framed the issue along movement politics. Obama's attitude toward gay marriage is that you first work on things like discrimination against gays in jobs, housing and visitation rights. Once those are achieved then work on gay marriage. He said that's what happened in the civil rights movement. Since the late 40s Civil Rights groups first worked on desegregating schools, buses, public spaces and housing. Voting rights came later. And then finally the fight against anti-miscegenation laws came about.  

    •  I agree, but inviting bigots to a place of honor (4+ / 0-)

      is a funny way of demonstrating your beliefs.

      •  I agree (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sternsieger, elie, NCrissieB, gramofsam1

        In fact I am still scratching my head about that. As a black woman I cannot understand how anybody would be okay with Warren giving the invocation at the inauguration. If Obama was concerned about social justice then Jim Wallis would have been a better pick.  IMHO, Jim Wallis is more sincere about social justice than Warren.

        At this moment, I am trying to apply the key points  in his race speech to this issue.

        •  Absolutely. Or have the Reverand Lowry give both (5+ / 0-)

          prayers.  He is a true man of faith, not like that huckster Rick Warren.

        •  Because here we live in an echo chamber (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NWTerriD, NCrissieB, Micheline

          with everyone around us feeling the way we feel, but it's not true. Many Americans believe what Warren and other evangelicals like him preach. I say give them a voice, include them, how else do you expect to engage them in an adult discussion about gay marriage and gay equality. Exclusion only makes people mad and whatever gains that are made by one side will be overturned once the other side regains power.

        •  Jim Wallis (0+ / 0-)

          would have been an absolutely brilliant choice.
          And I'm scratching my head along with you (better than banging it against the wall, I guess.)
          And I love the idea of revisiting his race speech and trying to apply the key points to this fiasco.  Most beautiful speech he ever gave-- let's see if we can fit any of this into those ideals....

      •  and that causes you to conclude about obama... (0+ / 0-)


        Obama 44! So why are we moving to the right again?

        by jj24 on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 07:39:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Seeing a destination and route planning.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, jj24, winterbanyan

      Seeing a destination and planning the route to get there are different skill sets.  I think Obama sees the destination, and I agree that he seems to have good navigational skills.  That doesn't mean we LGBTs can't justly feel very hurt by the invitation of Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inaugural.

      I just hope that two months from now, and even more a year from now, we've forgotten Rick Warren and are once again focused on working on the nation's many and manifest challenges.  There is plenty of work to do, and I hope the Warren episode doesn't get so many of us so angry at each other that we forget why we're here....

      •  Let me be clear. (7+ / 0-)

        I support Obama and think that there are many things that need to be done.  Things of vital importance.  Issues of actual life and death.

        I can live with the ongoing slights and disrespect that have come with being gay in America.  As my friends have noted, I am a tough SOB.

        However...I know lots of LGBT folks who aren't as tough as me.  The constant invalidation of their self worth has contributed to their alcoholism, drug abuse, depression and suicide.

        For those who can no longer speak for themselves, I am committed to action and public discourse.

        Respectfully, I hope, but loudly and vociferously.

    •  That's the guy I voted for. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And, with the right pressure, I still think he can be pushed to do the things he said he was going to do (unlike, say, filibustering the FISA amendments).  But twice bitten and you have to start wondering why he makes a point of reaching out to anti-gay clerics and whether that is where his comfort zone really is.

      Anyway, it doesn't matter.  He has enough of a track record for us to see that he responds to the squeaky wheel and doesn't want to make waves on anything.  If you want change on any issue, you'll have to demand it.  

      •  It's more than that.... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kitty, jj24, winterbanyan, Micheline

        If you want change on any issue, you'll have to demand it.

        That's not Barack Obama.  Merely demanding change won't get it done with him.  He promised that, in fact, as the centerpiece of his campaign.  He told us not to be like little babies screaming and waiting for Mama Government to stick a teat in our mouths.

        If you want change, you have to make it happen or, at the very least, make it more possible.  Obama warned us that we'd have to do the grunt work ourselves, in our local communities, creating the groundswell for positive, progressive changes that Washington can then endorse and support.

        With regard to LGBT rights, especially as regards the Obama Administration, I think we need to be realistic and focus on what Obama has the constitutional power to do: follow the lead of Harry Truman and end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  Obama can do that, and we should expect no less.

        •  I think we're saying the same thing. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It's not enough for individuals to demand it in an unorganized fashion.  They have to get organized.

          Now, for him and Pelosi to claim they can't lead public opinion on issues is awfully disingenuous, and I disagree strongly with them on that.  But, those are the cards we're dealt.

  •  Generational arguments? (5+ / 0-)

    Among the 12 or more Warren/Obama/Gay Rights diaries today, there is one by a 29 year old man who, like Tackle, vehemently doesn't want to wait anymore for his rights.  Do older people put this issue into another perspective than younger people?  The LGBT community (as well as their straight supporters) want the same conclusion: Equal Rights, but the approach to achieving that end seems to generationally differ.

    "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

    by JFinNe on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 05:37:12 AM PST

    •  I don't want to wait either. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, mjd in florida, jj24, JFinNe

      I don't want to wait for the right to marry Herself.  I don't want to wait for the Iraq War to wind down on its own, or for the American people to rediscover the virtues of living frugally and responsibly, or for national health care, or for a state-of-the-art mass transit system, or for any of our nation's many other pressing needs.  I've been waiting my whole damn life to not live in the world's Bully Country.

      That said, I'll be two years from fifty in a few days, and age has taught me the value of patience.  I doubt I'll be able to marry Herself in my lifetime, but perhaps my children will attend LGBT weddings.  One of my daughter's best friends is an openly bisexual young man who is also a respected leader in her school.  That's a hopeful sign.

      Obama can bring us one step nearer that by ending the travesty of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and ensuring that brave and courageous young Americans who also happen to be LGBTs can serve their country with pride and honor, and not have to hide as I did.

      I'll settle for that from his first term.  And if that and the other positive changes I listed in my diary happen, Rick Warren will be nothing more than the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question in terms of the Obama Administration.

      Is it generational?  Or merely being old enough to see a longer lens?  I don't know.  I do know that a lot of people I respect and admire here have been quite hurt by some of what's been said here in the past few days.  And Rick Warren isn't worth that.

  •  Still support Obama -- with the economy and other (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida, cadejo4, NCrissieB

    troubles around the world, cannot do anything else.  Sincerely hope he will be successful and handle those problems, if not always with success, with more finess than he handled the invocation farce.

    That being said, I am not looking forward to any inspirational speeches from him -- just facts will do.


    •  I'd like action :) (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, mjd in florida, jj24, pamelabrown

      End the Iraq War.  Close Guantanamo.  Restore our Constitution.  Bring real national health care.  Help us create new jobs and restore a sustainable economy based on real production rather than speculation.

      And end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," so that brave and honorable young men and women who also happen to be LGBT can serve their country with pride.

      Do all of that, please, President-Elect Obama.  Then I won't give a rat's backside about who gave the invocation at your first inaugural.  I'll be too busy celebrating your second....

    •  I am so with you on that (3+ / 0-)

      My own response to this problem surprised me. When a clip of Obama appeared on the evening news last night, I found myself flipping the channel. I'm tired of pretty words. If he's a "fierce defender" of gay rights, I'll happily examine the facts of the case and draw my own conclusions. But just saying it doesn't make it so anymore.

  •  Well said, thank you! (9+ / 0-)

    This is the sort of thinking and writing that keeps folks coming back to Dkos day after day. To say this diary is well-reasoned and insightful doesn't do it full justice. Once again, thank you!

  •  Considering he's done this before (8+ / 0-)

    with Donnie McClurken, let's face it, we gay people, and the straight people that support us, are obliged to protest, and protest loudly. If not, we are just like abused wives, forgiving him bad behavior hoping it won't repeat a third time, despite evidence to the contrary.

    It's no show of "inclusion" to include a minister that won't let me join his church. That's insane.


    Hi Res here

    Brokenhearted by another hot black man, when will I learn?

    by Scott Wooledge on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 05:56:18 AM PST

    •  Thank you. This was a bad choice. (8+ / 0-)

      It needs to be stated and restated.  Obama was my choice for president, not god head.

      When he makes mistakes, as he himself has said he will, he needs to be held accountable.

    •  If "inclusion" means only those who welcome LGBTs (5+ / 0-)

      Then the Obama Administration will be a very, very exclusive group.  We're really not that welcome by many Americans, and Obama is their president too.

      I wish Obama had chosen differently.  I abhor Rick Warren.  I understand Obama's reasoning here, but I don't like it.  That said, if his having done this makes it more possible for him to garner the support he'll need to end the Iraq War, close Guantanamo and restore our Constitution, bring real national health care from debate to action, restore an economy based on production rather than speculation, and end the ugly "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" official bigotry of the U.S. military ...

      ... I'll consign Rick Warren to the dustbin of memory.

    •  Dr. King said it best... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExStr8, NCrissieB

      I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality.

  •  You've nailed it Crissie. (4+ / 0-)

    Everyone here poured forth so much enery and left nothing on the field to help elect Obama and now what is left is a postpartum-like feeling.  Most concerns being voiced are valid and deserve an avenue in which to vent, however I believe we need to direct our energies in more positive ways rather than engaging in all this outrage drama.   Great diary :-) Excellent points as always from you.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. -John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 06:27:18 AM PST

    •  Thank you for the kind words, as always :) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, jj24, JaxDem

      I don't care what we say about Obama here.  I'd rather we didn't criticize him foolishly - e.g.: the critics who say this or that cabinet pick reveals how Obama "really feels" about some issue he's already spoken loudly and repeatedly about - but I can live with it.

      I do care what we say to and about one another.  We are a community and we need not to let an idiot like Rick Warren fracture that community.

  •  Well (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExStr8, japangypsy

    we won't cling to outrage as our only mode of political expression.

    Its appropriate to respond with outrage at the outrageous.

    I demand prosecutions for torture.

    by heart of a quince on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 06:38:41 AM PST

  •  Words in our favor... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...directed towards not us or the press, but the American public, would go a long way towards soothing hurt feelings.

    It's been over a month since the people of 4 states voted to take away rights from us and there has been no comment from him.

  •  I find myself convincing myself (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winterbanyan, NCrissieB

    to continue to believe in Obama. I put myself in NChrissieB's camp, but I still wonder if I'm sacrificing too many principles. FISA compromise was upsetting, Warren for invocation stinks (I mean on top of everythng else, Warren is a name caller), and the jury is out on some cabinet picks (just how much have Summer and Gaithner learned).

    One more time self -- he's a million times better than Bush

    •  The expectations game.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A big part of the problem we're facing is unrealistic expectations.  As I noted twice above, as a lesbian I never thought Obama cared much about LGBT rights.  I saw only one Democratic candidate in 2008 whom I thought was truly committed to LGBT rights - Dennis Kucinich - and he never stood a snowball's chance of getting anywhere near the nomination.

      That left the not-pro-LGBT candidates, and I thought (and still think) Obama was the best of that lot.  He is no more anti-LGBT than were Hillary Clinton or John Edwards, and I think Obama is much stronger on the other issues.  I don't regret my support for him, even in light of his choosing Rick Warren, because I never believed Obama cared about LGBT issues anyway.  I donated to, volunteered for, and voted for Barack Obama for other reasons.

      It's not betrayal when he doesn't do something he'd never promised to do anyway.  It's just Obama being Obama.

      I've diaried and commented here several times that progressives will find a lot of reasons to be very disappointed with President Barack Obama.  He is not a progressive ideologue, and he'll happily take a conservative policy stance if he thinks it's the best choice available.  He won't be "betraying" us progressives when he does that, because doing that was a centerpiece of his campaign platform.

      Obama has progressive principles, but he is and campaigned as a hard-core pragmatist.  He will take the best policy choice that is also politically possible.  He'll measure "best" by a progressive yardstick in terms of the policy's effects, but he won't fall on his political sword just to take the progressive position.

      That's what he promised, and it seems silly to me to call it "betrayal" when he does exactly what he promised he'd do. ::shrugs::

  •  You lost me at 'Warren is arguably abominable' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExStr8, sternsieger
  •  thank you so much ncrissieb... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida, NCrissieB

    i think you're right, the tone that has fomented has the potential to derail not only the lgbt equality issue, but could take the progressive movement down with it.

    i find myself commenting, then erasing, because i want to say what i feel, but know it will be met with such vitriol, such irrationality, that it makes me just not care.  but i also find myself stopping because i believe in equality for everyone, and the uprising is organic (which i respect in principle).  after the past 8 years, however, i can't believe that this divisive issue has trumped all else, and has become the focal point, the priority, of our entire side's politics.  say it ain't so.  

    thank you for the call to unity, and for providing the big picture of what we were all working toward, once upon a time.  as long as we faction ourselves off, and turn on each other, it makes our effectiveness that much less and depletes our collective energy.  i hope it doesn't fall on totally deaf ears.

    Obama 44! So why are we moving to the right again?

    by jj24 on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 08:18:06 AM PST

    •  jj24, read noweasel's diary on the rec list (0+ / 0-)
    •  Thank the Mormons, and Rick Warren, and.... (2+ / 0-)

      I hope you understand why we LGBTs are so upset, despite Obama's victory.  I worked harder for Obama than I ever have for a political candidate, though not as hard as I worked when LGBT rights ordinances were on the agenda in my local communities.  I worked hard for Barack Obama despite, not because of, his stance on LGBT rights.  I don't feel "betrayed" over Rick Warren only because I knew LGBT rights were not high on Obama's agenda.

      California Proposition 8, Florida Amendment II, and a couple of other state initiatives that passed this past November have put LGBT rights very high on our agenda here at DKos, and I'm glad of that.  But those Kick Your Local Queer referenda did not push LGBT rights any higher on Barack Obama's agenda.  And we LGBTs need to recognize that we have no special mandate over or claim on Barack Obama.  Obama never campaigned as "our" candidate.

      •  i have been reading a lot of personal comments (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        about this, and feel i wouldn't understand if not for some of those.  i understand the pain and hurt; but i certainly do not understand why fellow dems are being attacked.  and i don't understand why the prop 8 vote, as well as votes in other parts of the country, aren't interpreted as "this is where the country is at," instead of aiming the full force of the anger at institutions and their representatives.  these citizens aren't lemmings; they vote their conscience.  while the origin of religio-political conservatism was borne in the republican party and the McChurch™, at this point, it's not institutions we're up against; it's our fellow neighbors.  

        isn't this what obama has been talking about his whole campaign and now?  telling us, basically, that none of us have a preemptive right over another; that we're one people, together, and we have to be to make the changes we need to see work?  instead of aiming the statement at the lgbt community, aim it at the evangelical community.  it's the same.  this is an equalizing strategy - and one, excuse the cliche, that i believe in.  in this view, the warren pick is as much about lgbt equality as anyone wishes it to be.  as much as i could make the warren pick about the rejection of socially-liberal christianity, or an embrace of neoconservatism, or any other such slant i'd care to place on it, depending on my view.

        it reminds me of my college history professor, when we spent a week studying different revolutions.  he provided the hypothesis, then proved the point, that revolutions rarely work - because you can gather a lot of people up to be against something for a number of reasons, but once that's won, then it becomes factions demanding their own version of the solution.  i hope that we don't find ourselves in the same predicament.

        what hurts to read most is your "kick the local queer" referenda comment.  it's so harsh, so hard.  i'm so sorry that's how it feels, i'm so sorry that's what it is.  you can count on me to be on your side to do what we can to put an end to it.  i do think obama's recipe is the right one.  it sounds beautiful in a speech, but it smarts like hell in reality - even so.  i am on board.

        Obama 44! So why are we moving to the right again?

        by jj24 on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 09:24:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  When people hurt ... (0+ / 0-)

          When people hurt, as we LGBTs have a lot since November, people tend to lash out at whomever is nearest.  In that sense it's not much different from the man or woman who comes home from a horrible day at work and yells at the family.  It's not fair, but it's not rare either.

          I just hope we can all be forgiving enough to see that the things that were said here over the past few days were spoken in pain and anger.  And contrary to conventional wisdom, words spoken in pain and anger are not the "real truth" of how someone feels all the time.  They're just how someone felt when he/she was hurting and angry.

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