by Sam Winston
A double standard when it comes to covering the Republicans and their association with the religious right?
Barack Obama was questioned at Tuesday night's debate by Tim Russert and Hillary Clinton about repudiating Louis Farrakhan's endorsement which Obama said was unsolicited in the strongest terms possible. He was repeatedly badgered by Russert, and was forced to disown Farrakhan over and over again.
The very next day, John McCain appeared onstage in Texas with Pastor John Hagee, an influential activist in the Christian Zionist movement. Hagee's comments about world affairs can make Farrakhan seem pedestrian at times: He eagerly awaits the Armageddon, considers the Catholic Church to be the Anti-Christ, and has said that Jews brought their own persecution upon themselves." - TPM
The book on John Hagee goes way deeper in terms of racially-charged, radical statements. Here's what John Hagee had to say about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.
"HAGEE: 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 are -- were recipients of the judgment of God for that. 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. And I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans." -NPR interview (link via mediamatters.org)
Will McCain continue to get a pass seeking and accepting the support of someone like this? Farrakhan made an unsolicited statement that was "rejected" and "denounced" by Obama, yet the issue took center stage on national television and in print the following day. McCain was ON STAGE with Hagee accepting his endorsement and barely a ripple thus far.
It should be noted that although I'm an Obama supporter, I'm also an independent that would seriously consider voting for McCain. My hope was that both candidates would continue to make the fringes of their parties irrelevant, something they've both previously done in the early primaries.
I also don't actually believe that McCain agrees with much of what Hagee says (except the bomb Iran part, but that's another debate), and that McCain is taking free votes to "sure up" the religious right. Nevertheless, McCain needs to be made responsible for his association with such a bigot and an extremist. I certainly don't want someone in the White House that owes Hagee a favor.
UPDATE: McCain responds. Mildly.
Click here for more mind boggling Hagee quotes including his "Slave Sale" and his linkage of Hitler and the Catholics.