Monday, October 22, 2007

Under the bus

The blogs are buzzing this morning about the news that Barack Obama has tapped none other than notorious "ex-gay" homophobe Donnie McClurkin (and a little more here) as part of his make kissy-face with the wingnuts tour, aka, the Southern Gospel Tour. Apparently getting scared of his lack of support within the black community due to their (possibly correct) suspicion that he's not quite qualified to be president, Mr. Obama is touring the south with his gospel choir, preaching the almighty word.

I knew it would happen sooner or later; an ambitious politician can only pretend to not care about courting the fundamentalists for so long before they have to give in. Is it not enough to try to sell yourself to the other 75% of the country that isn't completely insane? I guess I have little beef with the tour itself; what gets me is the choosing of this guy to represent Obama. I mean, is he the only singer that fits the bill? Couldn't someone a little less controversial have been chosen? And did no one on Obama's staff say, "Uh, hey dude, you might want to reconsider this guy, because it sure is gonna piss a lot of people off." If the comments I've been reading by enraged readers on various blogs are any indication, this will be a huge detriment to Obama's already somewhat shaky support with the gays. (Also let it be known that I think some of those people are pretty hysterical and self-absorbed.)

As I've said before, I'm not a one-issue voter, and I suspect at this point that he would be a powerful leader. I don't think Obama is a homophobe, nor do I think he would cynically claim to support a marriage amendment, but it speaks volumes to me about what kind of a person he is. I'm far from certain about Obama as it is, and this is just one more reason for me to keep my tentative distance. It kind of bums me out. I really wanna believe in the guy.


Anonymous said...


Two corrections.

1. Donnie McClurkin is one of four performers at one of three gospel concerts.
2. Obama isn’t scheduled to appear at the concerts.

Here is the official information on the Gospel Concerts:

Tom Drew said...

I was reading something on Salon last week that I thought was really interesting, and I've been thinking about it ever since. I shall now grossly paraphrase it:

Someone was saying that one problem with "liberal" American politicians at the moment is that they're a lot more moderate than the people who voted for them. Hence the lovely snail's-pace "progress" we've seen on so many important social issues.

I think this it what we're seeing with Barack Obama, who everyone I know was immediately smitten with in 2004 - even my mother was talking about him. This image of Obama as a potential unifier with liberal tendencies seemed too good to be true, and alas it probably is. It looks like he's just like the rest of them. Every time I think I just might be at the nadir of my disillusionment, surprise! Tomorrow just always makes it worse.

Can I remember what article it was? No. Am I sure it was an article and not a letter in response to one? No. Either way, I can't find it.