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Who cares about Rick Warren?

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Carla over at BlueOregon thinks, perhaps, we're all wasting our time focusing on Rick Warren:

There are a lot of excellent bloggers who know how to take the fight to the halls of DC and beyond. The ability to stir things up is a hallmark of what some of us love to do. But the ability to do this stirring has its limits. Our political capital is finite. Do we really want to spend it in an attempt to influence Obama to dump Rick Warren's Inaugural invocation? Really?

...I understand the chafing at the symbolism. And if our country weren't in such deep shit then maybe these symbolic things might be worthy of a cut of political chits. But frankly, we don't have the luxury of bemoaning these gestures when there are issues of greater heft and necessity than this, including the ACTUAL ACQUISITION OF CIVIL RIGHTS for the GLBTQ community. To burn through political influence on Warren seems frivolous in the face of the monumental problems on our collective plate....

[W]e've got bigger fish to fry. There are some very big, very serious fights in the coming weeks (both locally and nationally). This doesn't seem like the smart battle to pick.
There won't be any fish frying at all if, as a community, we aren't respected in Washington, DC. People in Washington, DC don't like us as a civil rights community. Sure, they like us as people, one on one. But they don't like our legislative agenda - it gives them the cooties, on the left and right.

There is a reason no openly gay person made it into Obama's cabinet, and I doubt it had anything to do with gays being less educated, less over-achieving, and therefore less qualified for a cabinet post. Rick Warren got chosen to make the invocation at Obama's inaugural, not because Obama was trying to take a slap at us in order to curry favor with everyone else. Rather, Obama picked Warren, I fear, because no one even thought about us at all. It's the same reason Obama picked homophobe "ex"-gay Donnie McClurkin to headline his gospel rallies during the campaign. It didn't cross anyone's mind that sucking up to homophobes was perhaps a bad thing. Or at the very least, they weighed the options, and pissing off the gays wasn't seen as costly enough to merit worrying about.

We need to make it costly enough. Or we won't be seeing any fish fries at all. Obama's perception of the gay community - our bite and our bark - will directly affect whether, and to what degree, he helps our community during his time in office. There's a reason that certain lobbies on the right and the left get their way in Washington, DC. It's because they scare the hell out of politicians. I still consider Barack Obama a friend of the gay community, in spite of his various transgressions, but I don't think he or his staff fear us enough. (I think the same is true of Obama's, and the Democrats' overall, perception of the blogosphere and the Netroots. A lack of sufficient fear breeds a lack of respect.) And until they do, all the good speeches in the world won't get us any closer to securing our freedoms.

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