In his short political career, Obama has deftly manipulated political symbols to his advantage, but he’s never been one to pay homage to one of the most sacred regulations of identity politics, which is that one must take care of one’s own kind before turning outward. His mind operates differently. Obama does believe, as many of his supporters do, that there are uncrossable demarcation lines between the reasonable and the profane. But he doesn’t believe that Warren, someone he admires for reaching outside his (Warren’s) comfort zone on AIDS, is all that different from himself. Obama is simultaneously capable of admiring Warren while disdaining Warren’s oogedy boogedy appraoch to gay relationships and his uninformed response to torture. Warren’s views might be hurtful to gays; Obama does not think they are harmful.
Ambinder’s right to suggest Obama ahem, blew the politics of this particular decision, but you can see how the decision fits within the broader framework of his political instincts. On the other hand, I tend to sympathize with this argument as well.
Warren also supports the assassination of foreign leaders. Appearing on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes on December 3, Warren agreed with Sean Hannity’s assertion that “we need to take him [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] out,” saying that stopping evil “is the legitimate role of government.” He added, “The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers.”
A lot of observers tend to view rhetoric coming from foreign leaders — and especially of those in Iran — as adducing a radical extremism and general implacability. It evinces some pretty blinkered thinking then not to realize that elevating the views of a guy like Warren sends the wrong message.