I will gladly argue, and have repeatedly, that the Warren invitation is a mistake, and I'd hoped Obama and his team would have known better, but Cloud's criticism strikes me as excessive, not because it's intemperate, but the disparagement doesn't match the error. Obama, to my mind, is poised to become the most progressive president in history on social/cultural issues, including gay equality.
That would have been true with or without Warren, and would have been true of any Democrat at this moment in time, so Dems who buy into this line are being bribed with their own money. The question is, does elevating Warren make it harder for Obama and his successors to push a progressive agenda? Clearly, to the extent that Warren's stature as some kind of moral authority is enhanced by all this, it does. Warren stands against the entirety of the left's social and foreign agenda -- Obama is basically building up Warren, already a speedbump, into something that could become a wall. And Warren, as a moral authority, will be around for a lot longer than Obama, as a president (Billy Graham has been "pastor to the presidents" since 1950). Is the tradeoff here worth it? I don't think so. I think you can go too far in trying to appear "reasonable," and Obama has done it with Rick Warren.
Overall, unless you're gay or a woman, this is no big deal -- and who cares about those minor interest groups, anyway? But the left has got to draw the line, or watch it continue to be obliterated. Anyone who wants to just let this stuff go in the name of expediency and clever political maneuvering needs to answer a question: If endorsing Rick Warren isn't crossing the line, what is, and how long do you think it will be before Obama does it?
If Darwin was right, which is survival of the fittest then homosexuality would be a recessive gene because it doesn't reproduce and you would think that over thousands of years that homosexuality would work itself out of the gene pool. -- Rick Warren on evolution
We all have biological predispositions. I'm naturally inclined to have sex with every beautiful woman I see. But that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. -- Rick Warren on homosexuality