Sunday, January 25, 2009


In a 12 January New Yorker profile by Jeffrey Toobin, Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank grumbles about Barack Obama’s selection of Rick Warren to lead the nation in prayer at last Tuesday’s inauguration ceremony.

Not mollified by Obama’s choice of pro-gay rights minister Joseph Lowery to offset Warren, whose choice was meant to represent Obama’s willingness to bridge the partisan divide, Frank quips, “I didn’t vote for a tie.”

That remark puts succinctly half my beef with Obama’s otherwise remarkable style: his apparently fair-minded tendency, to invoke Hegel, to balance thesis and antithesis—yet his synthesis is often remarkably like the old conservative thesis.

And, oh yes, for the curious, the other half of my beef is Obama’s insistent mix of religious and political rhetoric—though I give the President bonus points for including “nonbelievers” in his inaugural address. Thank you … and at last!

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