Mass behavior is a very interesting phenomenon and one interesting manifestation of it was the liberal reaction to the announcement that Rick Warren would be on the program for Barack Obama’s inaugeration. For a sample, here is an arbitrary list of the reactions from several high traffic liberalish/Obama-supporting blogs and sites:
The list could go on.
Basically, this seems like a disagreement over ettiquette, which I think is pointless. Obama’s ettiquette is to associate with and give voice to lots of people regardless of their ideology, while pushing his own agenda behind the scenes (This is why he’s called “No Drama Obama”). It seems that the prefered ettiquette of those criticizing this decision would be for Obama to shun all but a select few people whose view conform to some magical standard.
In fact, this whole thing seems reminiscent of the reaction to the Obama-Donnie McClurkin controversy, where a lot of over-the-top words were used by some in the LGBT community that Obama would dare tap someone with strange views to help him raise money. Except that in light of the fact that it was a campaign and people pressing this issue were largely Clinton supporters who had a real incentive to do so and in this case, the campaign’s over.
So, as an atheist and a liberal who supports same sex marriage, let me say that this pick, while perhaps a bit irksome, is essentially meaningless and not worth the inordinate amount of time that the news media and the blogosphere has spent on it (that includes this post).