Guess who is not happy with the Rick Warren invocation? Barney Frank, one of the country's three openly gay congresspeople.
“Giving that kind of mark of approval and honor to someone who has frankly spoken in ways I and many others have found personally very offensive, I thought that was a mistake for the president-elect to do,” said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, today on CNN’s “Late Edition.”
Of course no one needs to please Barney Frank and his constituency, because you can pretty much take them for granted (liberal Massachusetts residents, not all the gays). Hooray for politics! Of course it's only symbolic and we can all have disagreements as proud loyal Americans but still get along, right? Whatever, fuck that.
In "symbolically" "reaching out" to someone you "don't necessarily agree with on everything" you are actually legitimizing his bigotry as acceptable. Which it isn't. Furthermore however "purely symbolic" this little invocation is, Warren has done tangible, actual, real-life non-symbolic work fighting against gay rights, and this sort of shit just increases his political capital and ability to do more actual non-symbolic work fighting against gay rights. It sucks. It's also not too surprising, because Obama doesn't support gay marriage, which is a stupid and wrong position, but he's an incrementalist, so it's understandable, even if we all wish he was a big hippie utopian radical free-love socialist. But the Warren pick is an incremental step back, when there are a thousand gay-friendly pastors and ministers out there who could use the publicity more.
If "no red or blue America" post-partisanship means the explicit endorsement of a bigot pastor, a useless pork-happy Republican heading the DoT as we embark on the biggest infrastructure program of a generation, and an economic team full of the guys who found common ground with the Reaganites back in the day only to then scorch and salt that common ground, the ground we were all trying to grow money in, then we'll take the divisive and damaging politics of bitter partisanship, Mr. President-elect!