Friday, February 29, 2008

No Choice But McCain


The man whom everyone seemed to agree would be the strongest Repub presidential candidate, Senator John McCain, was speaking at a town hall meeting in Richardson, Texas on February 28, 2008 when, according to abcnews.com's Jake Tapper, he stated "I am a proud conservative, liberal Republica--- conservative Republican," he said, catching himself. "Hello?" he said as the crowd laughed. "Easy there."

Now, I don't think John McCain is a liberal. He has become a favorite of The Wall Street Journal, and the Wall Street crowd is quite comfortable with a President who pledges to extend the tax cuts for the wealthy. And if he chooses to keep American troops in Iraq for up to a hundred years, it should make Japanese bankers and the mainland Chinese government happy. And there is no telling the impact high spending coupled with low taxes, a budget underpinned by the Chinese, could have on our national debt, the value of the dollar, even national security.

Now comes word that Reverend John Hagee of the 17,000 member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas has endorsed McCain. In a news release, bombastic director of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights Bill Donahue alleges the Christian Zionist Leader has called the Roman Catholic Church "the great whore," an "apostate church," "the anti-Christ," and "a false cult system." In its press release on Sadie Hawkins Day, the Democratic National Committee sets out some other views held by Rev. Hagee:

Hagee on Hurricane Katrina
"All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]

Hagee on Islamic Beliefs
Fresh Air host Terry Gross asked if Hagee believed that "all Muslims have a mandate to kill Christians and Jews," to which Hagee replied, "Well, the Quran teaches that. Yes, it teaches that very clearly." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]

Hagee on African-Americans
The San Antonio Express-News reported that Hagee was going to "meet with black religious leaders privately at an unspecified future date to discuss comments he made in his newsletter about a 'slave sale,' an East Side minister said Wednesday." The Express-News reported:

"Hagee, pastor of the 16,000-member Cornerstone Church, last week had announced a 'slave sale' to raise funds for high school seniors in his church bulletin, 'The Cluster.'

"The item was introduced with the sentence 'Slavery in America is returning to Cornerstone" and ended with "Make plans to come and go home with a slave." [San Antonio Express-News 3/7/96]

Hagee on Catholicism
"Most readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews." [Jerusalem Countdown by John Hagee]

Hagee on Women
"Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist." [God's Profits: Faith, Fraud and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, Sarah Posner]

"[T]he feminist movement today is throwing off authority in rebellion against God's pattern for the family." ["Bible Positions on Political Issues," John Hagee]

Hagee on LGBT Americans
"The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know that there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]

Hagee on Iran
"The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty," Hagee wrote [in 2006] in the Pentecostal magazine Charisma. "Israel and America must confront Iran's nuclear ability and willingness to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons. For Israel to wait is to risk committing national suicide." [The Nation, 8/8/2006, http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060814/new_christian_zionism]

So John McCain jokes about being a liberal, is revealed likely to have had an "inappropriate relationship" (romantic or otherwise) with a lobbyist, and now accepts the endorsement of a man who appears to hostile to women, Roman Catholics, blacks, Muslims, and gay people. And all this after Mitt Romney (who as a Mormon himself failed to rally Republicans around his candidacy) drops out of the race. This leaves to challenge John McCain only a Southern Baptist clergyman who is (to the base) embarrasingly anti- abortion rights, anti- gay rights, pro- public education; and- worse yet to the economic conservatives who dominate the Republican Party- anti- greed. Which of course leaves the the GOP faithful with.... Senator John McCain.

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