Last night HBO said that it didn't broadcast Gene Robinson's invocation because the Obama team scheduled it before the broadcast was set to begin. Today the Obama team says...
“We had always intended and planned for Rt. Rev. Robinson’s invocation to be included in the televised portion of yesterday’s program. We regret the error in executing this plan—but are gratified that hundreds of thousands of people who gathered on the mall heard his eloquent prayer for our nation that was a fitting start to our event.”—PIC communications director Josh Earnest
Yeah, that would be nice—if those hundreds of thousands had actually heard Robinson. But sound and video were cut as Robinson approached the microphone yesterday. Only folks at the very front, right up against the Lincoln Memorial, heard Robinson speak.
And I could give a shit about prayers, or Robinson frankly. What matters here is that the Obama crowd really stepped in it with the Warren invite, shitting all over a part of the Dem base, then held up the Robinson invite to make amends, and insisted that Robinson would have as prominent a platform as Warren... so why don't you all stop bitching about Warren, okay? But that's not what happened. The Obama transition has been seamless—it's hardly hit a bump. Except with the gays, where it's hit bump after bump after bump. It starts to look intentional after a while. Says Queerty...
There's no easy way to say this: We were hoodwinked. Cynics will say, "Well, what did you expect?", but the answer is, "We expected more." The concert itself was inspiring, hopeful and a media event, but the exclusion of Robinson once again highlights the reality that gays and lesbians sit at the back of the American political bus.
Gays and lesbians were promised a great deal by the last Dem to win the White House—Bill Clinton—and then screwed royally when he got into office. Clinton promised to end the military's ban on gays and lesbians; he wound up signing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which was worse than the old ban. (The old ban was policy, and could've been undone by executive order; DADT is law, and it has to be rescinded by Congress.) DADT lead to more witch hunts, to more gays and lesbians being tossed out of the military. So this is why gays and lesbians—burned the last time—are scrutinizing the incoming Obama team's actions. Like I said yesterday in comments: We will ultimately have to judge Obama based on what he does after he's actually the president. We have to give him two years to make good on some of his promises to us, not two months, and we can't expect him to realize all of his promises. But a lot of gays and lesbians lost found our hope-ons going a bit limp after the Warren pick, and the slighting of Robinson isn't playing too well.
But we'll see. I'm anxious to have all the great things Obama does to advance gay rights rubbed in my nose a year or two from now by folks who remember my Warren-induced doubts.