Friday, April 25, 2008

McCain and hate

The words “politician” and “hypocrite” so naturally fit together, that is seems almost unnecessary to mention it when a politician is a hypocrite. That’s particularly true among the Republicans in the US, of course. But their anointed presidential nominee, John McCain, is promoting himself as a “different kind of Republican”. Too bad it’s all meaningless hype.

McCain, aided and abetted by the right wing media, has been demanding that Barack Obama repudiate 1960s radical Bill Ayers. Obama and Ayers live in the same neighbourhood and served on a charity board together three years ago. Therefore, McCain and the media say, Obama must repudiate everything that Ayers has ever said, and even his very existence.

However, McCain apparently has no need to repudiate the beliefs of any right wing nutcases. Indeed, he’s refused to do so. McCain lobbied hard to get the endorsement of far right preacher John Hagee to deal with McCain’s weakeness among far right christians. But it turns out that Hagee has a history of spouting hate-filled rhetoric against Catholics and gay people.

Hagee, whose endorsement McCain was “very honored” to have, said in 2006 that Katrina was God’s judgment against New Orleans: “New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God” because “there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came.”

Hagee repeated this bile just this week when talking to a right wing radio host (Hagee didn’t even know what he was talking about: There was no plan for a parade or rally, but instead a social event). Hagee uses his religion to spout hatred against gay and lesbian Americans, but John McCain is still “glad to have” Hagee’s support, as he reaffirmed last Sunday when asked about Hagee's hatemongering.

The right wing media demanded that Obama repudiate Louis Farrakahn. They demanded that Obama repudiate Jeremiah Wright. Faux News has been crusading against Obama over the extremely tenuous, largely imaginary link to Ayers. But McCain can be “glad to have” the support of the hatemonger Hagee, and, well, that’s just fine and dandy.

The hypocrisy here is oozing everywhere: McCain for demanding what he himself will not do and the media for playing along with McCain and giving the Republican a free ride. The whole thing sounds to me like a typical Republican tactic, but this time we shouldn’t let them get away with it.

If McCain really is a “different” Republican, he has to prove it. He can’t say weakly that he “disagrees” with some of what Hagee says, he must repudiate Hagee’s hate-filled rhetoric. I won’t even demand he personally repudiate the hatemonger Hagee, though if the situation was reversed, McCain and the Republican media machine would be demanding full repudiation.

No, I just want to see McCain stand up to the thugs in his own party and repudiate—specifically and completely—the hate of Hagee. If he doesn’t we must assume he completely agrees with Hagee’s hate, and we’ll know that he’s just the same kind of Republican, that he's “John McSame” in every possible way.


Roger Green said...

More like John McShame. You may find this Bill Moyers piece on the Johns Hagee and McCain (primarily the former) here on the PBS website: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/03072008/profile.html

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Thanks for that, Roger. I always liked Bill Moyers and his persistence in "telling truth to power".