Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why Obama Picked Rick

For a good ten minutes, I puzzled over why President-elect Barack Obama would select an anti-gay conservative preacher, Rick Warrant, to give his invocation speech. Several reasons occurred to me.

Perhaps Obama wanted to distance himself from Bill Clinton, who began his presidency on a pro-gay note by loosening restrictions on gays in the military. That didn’t turn out well for Clinton, so Obama may be taking a different tack. Maybe Obama enjoyed the controversy over his last pastor, Jeremiah Wright, so much that he wanted another brouhaha. After all, that contretemps led Obama to give a moving and well-regarded speech on race in America; maybe we’ll get a gay rights speech this time. Or possibly the soon-to-be President wanted to prove that he could pander to conservatives as well as John McCain. Watch out: If Biden gets tired of the vice-presidency, maybe Sarah Palin will get her chance after all.

As awful as these possibilities are, I soon realized that there was a more logical explanation: Obama, Warren, and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich must have crafted a three-way deal! It’s simple, really:

(1) Blago has obviously promised Obama that he’ll appoint whoever Obama wants as Senator, if there’s anyone left who will accept an appointment from the tainted Governor…

(2) Obama, in turn, selected Warren to give the invocation…

(3) … and Warren, for his part, will give Blagojevich a no-show job at his Orange County mega-church. Blago gets to collect his loot, live in Southern California, and take sanctuary in the church if the feds try to haul him off to prison.

This is a smart strategy. It’s sophisticated and elegant, and it sure keeps everyone off balance, liberals and conservatives alike. No elementary quid pro quo for this Administration. Instead, welcome to the era of quid pro quo pro quid. Now that’s change we can believe in.

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