Obama's Triangle Problem

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Obama's victory over Hillary Clinton in the primaries was supposed to be the death of Clinton-style triangulation. Triangulation, in theory, is supposed to move beyond traditional left-right politics and act above it, while in reality it's the practice of selling out your base to appear bipartisan. Well, like so much of the Clinton administration, Obama now seems to be appropriating those tactics himself, perhaps in a much worse way. And before he even takes office Obama-syle triangulation finds itself intertwined with another controversial triangle. That upside down, pink one.

Obama invited Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, ruffling the feathers of the GLBT community and progressives alike, because Warren supported California's proposition eight and has compared gay marriage to pedophilia. Obama, of course, just wants to bring "together all sides of the faith discussion in search of common ground," according to some leaked talking points. Oh great, triangulation with God! Excuse Riptide, but since when is it the President jobs to act as America's faith counselor? Where's that in the Constitution? That's not what Obama is trying to do here anyway, he's just trying to shallowly score points with the Right, and ease any remaining redneck fears that he's some secularist Muslim Anti-Christ or whatever. Good for Obama. Bad for the people who helped elect him and hoped that this kind of political pandering would end, and bigoted "religious" voices would no longer be given the national spotlight.
Not that we should be surprised. Look who he's surrounded himself with -- half the Clinton administration. Plus, you just know this move has Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel's nine finger prints all over it. He has a particular fetish for pissing off the left in order to come across as bipartisan. Obama, too, has had no problem with this kind of crap either. FISA, anyone?

The problem here, unlike other bits of triangular maneuvering, is that Obama is pissing off a community that has already taking a lot of shit this year. A community that isn't concerned with complicated things like trade issues, environmental regulations, or welfare, but with basic things like love and equality. A community that voted for him at a rate of 70% to boot. And here is Obama throwing them under the bus to appear bipartisan, to score points with the right, and to send a loud and clear message that pissing of the left is alive and well in the Democratic party.

It's also the first sign that maybe Obama's rhetoric really was empty and self serving. Back in 2007 he sent a clear shot at Clinton by declaring that "we've had enough of ... triangulation and poll-driven politics." You were right then Mr. President-elect, we have had enough of it.

--Kyle Munzenrieder

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