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December 18, 2008

None of the people, none of the time

Obama_warren President-elect Obama is quickly learning what happens to politicians who attempt to make unifying gestures: They get shot down from all sides. Gay leaders are infuriated by his choice of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his Inauguration, because they think Warren is too conservative. At the same time, some of the conservative Christians to whom he was presumably trying to appeal are angry because they think Warren is selling out.

(While I understand what they're saying, I disagree. A Christian leader given the opportunity to stand up and pray for the nation in public on an important occasion should generally take it, I think, no matter who's doing the asking. In case Warren should get up and launch into a panegyric about how Obama is The Most Holy Anointed Faultless Messianic One, I reserve the right to rescind my statement, but for now that's how I feel about it. Besides, it's not like I wanted to see the Reverend Wright up there on that platform.)

(Image © Richard Vogel/AP)

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The old cliche is that a leopard cannot change his spots. But a chameleon can. Should Obama turn out to be the latter, there is hope.


I was kinda hoping for Tony Evans, because they can pillory Warren and not be seen as racist, but...

Benjamen R. Meyer

True, a leopard cannot change his spots, but at least you know what he is. And while a chameleon can change his spots, he's always doing whatever it takes to fit in, regardless of the morality, ethics, or even simply whether it is the 'right thing' or not.

I'd much rather have a leopard in office than a chameleon. Otherwise, you don't have someone who will do whatever it takes.

That's not to say I'm opposed to change - we all know W.D.C. needs change. But we need lions (real leaders) to come in instead of leopards or chameleons.

Jason Taylor

Benjamen, lions have more of a capacity for eating people then chameleons.

Jason Taylor

Perhaps the ideal President is neither a chameleon nor a lion. It is a Border Collie. Which follows it's bosses orders, watches the sheep but otherwise lets them graze.

Jason Taylor

Or how about a house cat for President, which is cynically indifferent to flattery, scares rodents away, and does not demand much of an upkeep?
Let's try that: "Garfield for President".



(Voice rising to falsetto in liberal hysteria) Are you suggesting someone should try to assassinate Obama, Jason???!!?

:-), kinda

Rolley Haggard

Gina, if I’m not mistaken, the discussion here has degenerated to the point where posting this additional digression may actually be justified. But as with everything, you are the final arbiter.

My apologies to Abbott and Costello for this pathetic rip-off of their classic “who’s on first” routine.


Dorcas and Nimrod
© Rolley Haggard

Dorcas: “Says here in the encyclopedia that the American chameleon is an anole.”

Nimrod: “An ‘oly what?”

Dorcas: “An anole.”

Nimrod: “An ‘oly what? And why are you stuttering? Stop it.”

Dorcas: “’Anole’ is the name of the American chameleon. And I’m not stuttering.”

Nimrod: “Ok, one last time – and you ARE stuttering – An ‘oly what?”

Dorcas: “An ‘oly …aw, forget it.”

Nimrod: “Offer Gittit? What’s that, Celtic?”

Dorcas: “What did you call me?”

Nimrod: “Nothing. I didn’t call you nothing. But I think I should tell you, you’re starting to act like an ‘oly…”

Dorcas: “Anole? Don’t tell me we’re back on that again? You know, one of us needs to get a life.”

Nimrod: “Yeah, and I know who.”

Dorcas: “Yeah? Who?”

Nimrod: “Both of us.”


Looks like we should petition Gina to change the BreakPoint poll to "what animal is most desirable as President of the United States?"

How about it, editor-on-high?

I find Jason's housecat most unlikely - a leader "indifferent to flattery" would never seek high office, though one could be forced into it, like, say Gerald Ford (and even he campaigned for his Senate seat).



Regarding the (blush) original topic, it seems that Rick Warren is simply the first example in probably a long series of issues where many will insist that compromise is only possible when the other side abjectly capitulates and offers repeated apology. But I think Warren should pray loudly over the boos and heckling.

On presidential animals, I think our choices have long been limited to elephants and jackasses, no? (JT will be quick with the bull moose, but I remembered it first, haha.) But if forced, I would prefer a rhinoceros blindly charging at any movement over an opossum rolling over "dead" all the time.

Oh, and Steve, thanks (I think) for the inspiration for a pseudo-Rolley moment:
Ed'tors we have heard on high,
Striking out a favorite phrase,
And the writers in reply
Echo back in voices raised:
That one has to stay-oh!

Benjamen R. Meyer

"Benjamen, lions have more of a capacity for eating people then chameleons. " --Jason

I was trying to capture their status as "kings of the jungle", so perhaps something else is a better analogy. There's a lot more to being a leader than just taking polls, and often it means taking a real stand for what is right regardless of what the polls say, which is what a chameleon would live by. We'll see if Obama is up to that, but I doubt it.

@Rolley Haggard
- Just need to throw in a good New Yorker accent and it comes out great! Thanks for the laugh!


Besides, I think President Garfield has been used once before... oh yeah, so was President Bush...

Gina Dalfonzo

As my dad would say, y'all are nuts. (In a good way. :-) ) Steve, that's an interesting poll idea. I'm just worried it would become a hassle having to keep explaining it to people!

Jason Taylor

How about a lungfish for president? They can be quiet for the longest time.

Revd Ken Day

Cut all the garbage and get to the real issue. The real issue is that a Christian leader will get the opportunity to pray for the President in public. What a blessing. It doesn't happen here in Australia unfortunately. Rick Warren will represnt God and all the faithful around the world. Whoever is asked to do this should accept. The Angels are rejoicing. Ken Day. Australia.


Revd Ken Day wrote: "Cut all the garbage and get to the real issue."

Steve, this is more evidence that Australians named Ken whose last name has three letters, with the middle one being "a", are rather... uh, "forthright and plainspoken", as it were.

But his point is well taken; we should be delighted that our presidential inauguration has not one but two preachers, and that at least one is relatively conservative. Worse to have two liberals, or only one preacher, or (as in Oz) none at all.

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