Now that I’ve started my sabbatical, I thought I’d see if I can keep my blog going for a decent time. I’ve rarely commented on current events because of my position as a dean and then as a full time Vice Provost. I think I have greater license to speak for myself without others thinking I am speaking officially for NYU or that I am insisting that others have my viewpoint. I speak here only as a tenured professor with the normal free speech traditions behind me.
I have to comment about the troubling connection between Obama, Rev. Wright and Rick Warren. [See Richard Cohen from Washingtonpost.com. Also, my dear Elle, of ellenfoto.blogspot.com, says that we should add to the list of mysteries about Obama—such as how can this clean cut guy smoke—his bad taste in men of the cloth.] I’m far from giving up on Obama for choosing to have an open homophobe speak at his inauguration. That’s only because I never drank the Kool Aid. My support of Obama was cold eyed—I think that’s a saying. There will be many things [particularly around foreign policy] about which I will disagree with him deeply; some of those things have preceded his choice to replace his connection to Rev. Wright with Rick Warren.
I believe that, by far, Obama is the best we can do. I don’t mean this as he’s the best of the bad. More, I mean that his positives far outweigh his negatives for me so far. I am deeply excited about Barack’s election and even wish I could be transported to the inauguration by some kind of transponder. But I am angry about his coziness with Rick Warren and the apparent decision to ignore the protests of gay and gay-friendly supporters. This is one of the most important civil rights issues of today, and, Obama has sorely disappointed me.