McCain Mispeaks, Hagee Hems and Haws

Republican Presidential candidate John McCain has gotten himself in hot water lately by toadying up to a couple of the “agents of hate” peppering the religious right. One of these is John Hagee, who believes that God destroyed Katrina because of gay dancing, called the Catholic Church “the great whore,” and is a good buddy to Israel… in the fond hope that the Second Coming will imminently roast it, and all non-Christian Jews, off the face of the Earth.

Hagee has now apologized, sort-of, for the “Great Whore” remarks.

When it comes to the comparison between Obama and his pastor’s Wright’s nutty, anti-american sermons, I think McCain comes out worse here. A church is a faith community, a family, not a magazine subscription that one cancels when someone in it, even a leader, says something you disagree with. McCain, on the other hand, actively courted these people in an explicitly political fashion: gaining their support specifically, wanting people of their views to endorse his campaign’s positions.

McCain’s response to these charges has been characteristically evasive, bristling with irritation that anyone would even bring anything critical up, and then wont to make lazily grandiose dismissals that don’t make a lick of sense. Case in point, when asked by George Stephanopoulos if seeking Hagee’s support was a mistaken, McCain replied:

“Oh, probably, sure. But I admire and respect Dr. Hagee’s leadership of the — of his church,” McCain said, later adding: “I’m glad to have his endorsement. I condemn remarks that are, in any way, viewed as anti-anything.” (emphasis added)

So McCain is anti-anti-anything? Does that mean he’s for everything? Come on. Obviously this statement is nigh incoherent, particularly for a politician who is anti-plenty of things. The sweeping nonsense of this statement comes, I think, from simple disinterest in thinking or addressing the specific controversy and his place in it. As far as I can tell, the man who once thoughtfully lambasted “agents of intolerance” in his own party no longer exists.

4 Responses to McCain Mispeaks, Hagee Hems and Haws

  1. mikerucker says:

    the frightening thing about hagee is that he reads the book of revelation and sees his name rolling by in the closing credits…

    were i mccain, i’d have said thanks, but no thanks, to hagee.

    you know what’s even more frightening about people like hagee? the things they don’t say in public, but believe and speak quite strongly about when in the company of those with like (narrow) minds. ‘everything goes up in smoke in the end’ – and, man, it can’t happen soon enough for them…

    mccain should keep his distance from hagee – let him and his ilk go on arguing privately about who gets to sit closest to Jesus in heaven…

    mike rucker
    fairburn, georgia, usa

  2. Bad says:

    were i mccain, i’d have said thanks, but no thanks, to hagee.

    That would be a little awkward at this point, because McCain is the one that initiated the outreach in the first place: it wasn’t a case of Hagee just up and asking to be part of McCain’s endorsements.

  3. parallelsidewalk says:

    Honestly, what Wright said is less nuts than what almost any white evangelical leader says weekly.

  4. mikerucker says:

    well, well, well… looky here.

    i’ve got some free time, johnny mac, if you need me on your staff of advisors…


    mike rucker
    fairburn, georgia, usa

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