Obama’s rainbow may not be your rainbow but it looks good to me

In my hometown of Middleboro, Massachusetts some local bloggers consider me a liberal, a moonbat in the vernacular. This is as opposed to a conservative, or a wingnut. If I was, I’d be enraged at Obama. I’m not. The latest furor among progressives (moonbats) is over Barack Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to preachify at his inauguration. Other progressives are critical of some of his cabinet choices and other executive positions because they aren’t liberal enough. Meanwhile all the wingnuts can come up with is to attack Obama because of the non-existent Blago-taint. I find this all one guffaw short of side-splitting hysterical.

Obama was portrayed by John McCain and Sarah Palin as a secret socialist and who knows, a “true patriot” who might be a card carrying communist meeting secretly with Bill Ayers plotting to cede the United States to Cuba.

How often did we hear about Obama’s “most liberal voting record” during the campaign?

We were supposed to believe he’d populate the Executive Branch with members of nefarious radical groups like ACORN, the ACLU, and the Harvard faculty.

Instead we are getting a rainbow of Republicans and moderate Democrats and slightly liberal Democrats.

Those who proudly fly the rainbow flag in support of gay rights have reacted with disappointment to rage over Obama putting the national spotlight on Rev. Warren by giving the opening prayer. I understand this, and would have preferred he’d have conducted a national online search for a people’s choice minister and had the speaker selected by lottery of the top 50 candidates.

But I think there is method in what may seem like madness on the Warren choice. I don’t know what the method is, but I think Obama plays politics like Boris Spassky plays chess, thinking about his check mate move before the game has barely started.

My hunch is that Obama didnt tell the truth about his position on gay marriage, knowing it would be political suicide to do so. I think he believes it is right, but wants to let it become more socially acceptable as more states legalize it.

Obama needs two terms to accomplish his goals. He knows that to win in 2012 he has to make good on the majority of his promises. He has to get us out of Iraq and stabilize the economy. He has to restore trust in the presidency.

He also knows that he has to assure that the Republican Party implodes on itself by becoming the Party of the Palin wingnuts. Getting a very popular conservative pastor to praise him is a good start.

Not only will this make them easily beatable when he runs again, but will make it more likely for his successor in 2016 to be a Democrat.


Check mate.

Hal Brown is a clinical social worker and former mental health center director who is mostly retired from his private psychotherapy practice. He writes on the psychopathology of public figures and other topics that pique his interest. He can be found online at www.stressline.com . He also publishes a website about his hometown of Middleboro, Massachusetts (aka Middleborough) called Middleboro Matters. Archive: of previous columns.

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  1. sherry

    I wonder if Warren voted for Obama… Warren said of McCain,
    “I could never vote for an adulterer” which in the strictest of church definition McCain is, since he was married to his first wife when courting Cindy.
    Apparently, Warren doesn’t believe adulterers can be forgiven.

    o dear.

    Obama may hold positions with which Warren disagrees, but Obama is the husband of one wife, and aligns more closely with those “traditional values”

    You have to love the irony here Hal. That “liberal” omg candidate meets a higher moral standard than the conservative guy.

  2. christinel69

    For the past year, I have been listening to the “wingnuts” in my family blather on about the liberal,socialist, communist, muslim that is Barack Obama. One of my kooky family members even informed me that Obama got into Harvard because of his contacts in community organizing. I know, wierd.
    Howver, I believe like you do. Obama is a planner and strategist, the likes of which we have never seen in the office of the President. We are looking forward to a bright future with a brilliant president who is placing country before both ego and party. A man who will bring us a united government, in other the real Uniter.
    I like to think that four years from now, the wingnuts will just look down at their shoes, keep their mouths shut and vote for what they believe best for this country…another wingnut vote cast for Obama.

  3. Flapsaddle

    It’s déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra supposedly said.

    Obama is a planner and strategist, the likes of which we have never seen in the office of the President.

    I believe that the emotionally over-invested said essentially the same thing of FDR, JFK and – believe it or not! – Bill Clinton. I believe that the only true genius to have ever actually occupied the White House was Thomas Jefferson.

    We are looking forward to a bright future with a brilliant president who is placing country before both ego and party.

    I heard exactly the same thing said by starry-eyed Camelot votaries and dazzled Clintonistas. I don’t think I’ll hold my breath waiting for Mr. Obama to walk on the water and calm the storm.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  4. Hal Brown

    I don’t know if Warren could discuss moral relativism knowledgeably, but I have no doubt Obama could. That would be an interesting debate.

    The comparison between Obama who believes in monogamy and McCain the adulterer is a good one.

    Another example:

    What is worse of these two:

    A same sex committed couple being faithful and truthful to each other, loving each other sexually and every other way;

    or a homosexual man who marries a woman, is faithful to her, loves her as a friend, but lies about being sexually attracted to her and is unhappy for the rest of his life because he yearns to be with a male?

    On Obama the International Grand Master (being just a chess Grand Master is passe these days) – I think he has a vision far beyond what he expressed (and was mocked for expressing eloquently and with the slogan “Change we can believe in” ).

    I think he kept it to himself knowing if he revealed it he’d REALLY be seen as grandiose, although you can see it in his last book.

    He wants to entirely reshape the way the country is governed and undo completely the damage Bush did, and knows he can’t do it in only eight years. It will take 16 years, which means turning the far right into an impotent fringe.

    It means he has to govern more from the middle and build consensus. He has to make unusual, if not strange, bedfellows of disparate groups like pro-fliers and pro-choicers.

  5. sherry

    Hal, I believe the far right has long since died. O sure you can hear the screeches from time to time, but be honest, did you really hear that much from the pro life, anti gay marriage crowd? No. Even McCain in his most desperate moments didn’t really go there.
    The conservatives didn’t feel they had a voice in McCain because McCain was considered to be “too liberal” (don’t ask me, I have no idea what made him “liberal” as I sure didn’t see it.
    As for gay marriage, I believe it should be left to the states. Obama apparently feels the same way.
    As I tell my fellow Christians regarding abortion, if woman doesn’t want to have a child, she won’t. The most humane thing to do is to allow her a safe method with which to carry out her wishes. I do believe late term abortions should be restricted due to the health risks to the mother.
    And late term fetuses who can live outside the mother’s womb, should have all the rights of an American citizen, just imho.
    As for the righties (and BHO had to have their support or he couldn’t have won), I think they realized we have such huge issues facing this nation, no one can afford to be a one issue voter.
    I also believe they realized Bush is no conservative. Look at the deficit. For Pete sakes, that liberal, corrupt, moonbat Clinton did better than that!!! lol
    Hal, say what you will, but your guy ain’t no liberal as they say in the south.
    I believe he is pulling a Clinton. Run for the liberals, but govern from the center. At the end of the day Hal, that’s where most of us are, squarely in the middle.

  6. gazelle1929

    The way I look at it if Obana is pissing off everyone equally across the spectrum he is doing exactly the right things.

  7. AustinRanter

    As my grandma use to say, “Proof is in the pudding.”

    Hal, “Moonbat” is an interesting name for “liberal” and I see in Wikipedia that political epithet for the right side of the spectrum is “Wingnut”. Maybe “Batnut” (smile) would be appropriate for Independents?

    It’s pretty clear that Obama has attracted a fairly eclectic array of Americans who voted for and support him.

    I label myself “Independent”. When discussing party affiliations, I always like to add that I am a “Recovering Republican”. Yep, I’m a mature Texan who saw the light long about 2000. And, for the first time in my voting life, which goes back to the early 60’s…I voted for a Democrat for President this past November. At the 2000 and 2004 elections I voted against both the Dem and Repub parties and voted Libertarian.

    In the last Queen Elizabeth “Golden Age” movie there was a line in which Ms. Blanchett (in the role of Queen Elizabeth) said, “I won’t condemn my people for their beliefs, but rather their deeds.” Maybe that’s a tenet that is worth all our consideration. In the most fundamental way…isn’t this idea or tenet something that we should expect of ourselves as we consider making judgments regarding our next president…especially before he’s inaugurated?

    I do confess that even though I voted for Mr. Obama, and I did so because I genuinely believed that he was the better choice, I still remain extremely cautious and skeptical. I openly admit that thus far I have, at times, been over-the-top critical of Mr. Obama. But for me, I have an incredible fear of Mr. Obama being surrounded by political hacks (who he selected)…those who live and breathe for politics and which there is a substantial chance that at some point-in-time during their participation in politics…they’ve most likely become tainted.

    I also realize there is a double-edged sword for Obama. If he were to appoint totally green individuals to serve him as staff and cabinet members who don’t have some level of expertise and built-in connections with the Washington hardcore clan…these folks wouldn’t most likely be able to move swiftly and effectively to help Obama dig our country out of a hole unlike any seen before in our nation’s history.

    So, I guess Mr. Obama is damned if he does…and damned if he doesn’t when it comes to getting the approval of all for his selections of staff and cabinet members who must be ready to hit the road running on day one.

    I don’t have the wisdom or the expertise to make any reasonable predictions about Obama’s presidency. I’m still stuck in my out-of-control emotional disarray.

    We are still in “future tense” when we are drawn to question all that we do about Mr. Obama’s abilities. However, he must show extraordinary strength in his first 100 days. There is a lingering sense of impending doom that continues to background in the minds of many Americans.

    There’s so much in the balance for Mr. Obama to not only bring to the forefront and seek out almost speed-of-light solutions, but to make demands on Washington’s most hardcore politicians to take action. If he fails to move Washington’s hardcore…then he will collapse into a Carter type presidency, leaving this country with a staggering set of horrid social problems.

    Today was the first time that I’ve heard Mr. Obama speak about promptly addressing the root failed legislative acts that were voted into law over the last decade, which have clearly lead to the systematic theft of the American pocketbook. The legalization of financial and market related institutions to literally steal vast sums of money from people around the world, and so far without any sign of future consequences, is beyond comprehension. I don’t want to just see new regulations; I want to see a type of justice that’s impossible since all of the thieves are protected under the laws created by Congress.

    I hope like hell that we find out that there is zero connection between Mr. Obama and Blago. There would be no redemption for Mr. Obama. Any faith and confidence in him by the American people would evaporate right before our eyes.

    I do wish for President-Elect Obama all of the courage and fortitude that he can muster.

    If I haven’t said something stupid, contradictory, or inflammatory in the comments above, then at some point in the near future I will. And, most likely I already have in the past…repeatedly.

  8. Hal Brown

    Great addition to the comments Austin, thanks for the thought and care that went into putting together an essay which could be a column unto itself.

    I’d be surprised and disappointed if there was any connection between that lightweight cartoon of a governor and Obama. I mean any connection at all aside from a polite obligatory nod or handshake if their paths crossed.

    I can’t imagine Obama and Blago even having a cup of coffee together and discussing the Cubs and the White Sox.

    Back to Pastor Warren. I admire Rachell Madow and find her new show interesting and enjoy watching her refine her interview skills and develop stylistically as a prominent liberal pundit.

    However I disagree with her take on Obama’s choice of Warren. She said “It begs the question as to whether Obama thinks the right spiritual clarion for the nation to start his presidency is from a man who has been so immoderate in taking up his position in the culture war, Comparing gay relationships to child abuse is an admittedly strange model of ‘civility,’ but that’s his point.”


    “We’re left with the cold, hard political fact that this is a lose-lose proposition for Barack Obama, the first big mistake of his post-election politicking…When human rights activists look back decades–centuries from now on the first presidential inauguration of an African-American, [landmark achievement], won’t they be thinking, ‘What a great moment…but what was that guy who compared homosexuality to incest doing there?'”

    I really don’t think historians will look back in that way fifty years from now like that. I think they will look at a nation where same sex marriage is legal in half the states and say that Obama help set a tone of tolerance and acceptance during his presidency that helped this along more than any other president.

    I doubt Warren’s name will even come up.

  9. DejaVuAllOver

    “The waiting is the hardest part.” — Tom Petty, Socrates and others. We’re all on the edge of our seats wondering who he REALLY is. If the ideas is to keep us constantly guessing and/or confused, Obama’s doing a GREAT job.

  10. incog99

    I voted for Obama, Sarah “just say no” Palin was just too sickening. I donated money to Obama 4 times until I couldn’t anymore. As a matter of fact, each time I saw Sarah on TV I had to redonate since she made me wince.

    Now, if Obama does a half way decent job, I will vote for him again. I will no longer donate to him however because he looks too much like more of the same.

    Finally, I will not be tuning into his big ole ball in Washington and that is MY prerogative too. I don’t have to watch it. I’ve lost interest.