A standard has been set for the presidential race:
If you have attended a church at which a particular pastor speaks,
Even if you have not obtained the pastor’s endorsement,
Even if you have not sought the pastor’s endorsement,
Then it is assumed your beliefs correspond to the views of the pastor.
Even if you have rejected the content of the pastor’s words,
Even if you have denounced the content of the pastor’s words,
Even if you have devoted an entire nationally televised speech to doing so,
Your presidential candidacy can and will continue to be judged by the words of that pastor.
That standard has been set for Barack Obama. This weekend, seven days after a statement in which Barack Obama repudiated Jeremiah Wright’s views, and four days after a speech in which he explained why he rejects Wright’s views, 11,738 news media articles were written regarding Barack Obama and the former pastor of his church, Jeremiah Wright.
The standard has been set and is still being followed for Barack Obama.
Let’s apply that standard to John McCain.
Where Barack Obama has maintained distance, moderation, judgment, temperance and independence from Jeremiah Wright, John McCain has failed to do so regarding John Hagee, the radical right-wing Christian pastor. No, John McCain sought — actively sought — the endorsement of John Hagee. John Hagee confirmed this in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine: “It’s true that McCain’s campaign sought my endorsement.”
John Hagee has said that non-Christians are deserving of eternal torture. John Hagee has said in no uncertain terms that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment against New Orleans for planning a large gay pride march. John Hagee has called the Catholic Church the “great whore of Babylon.” John Hagee has called for a war against secular Americans. John Hagee says that the Jews are to blame for their persecution, that God is punishing them for the worship of false idols.
John McCain has spoken out against the “Great Whore” comment. The rest are apparently OK by John McCain.
John McCain actively pursued the endorsement of John Hagee, and when he got it, he crowed back to Hagee, “God bless you, God bless you for your commitment.” Then he gave John Hagee a big, public bear hug.
Barack Obama has repudiated, denounced and criticized his pastor. John McCain, on the other hand, has actively courted the political endorsement of John Hagee. Yet John McCain has got only about a tenth of the coverage for his continuing, ongoing stronger, affirmed, political, unrejected pastoral connection this past weekend as Barack Obama got for his past, twice-repudiated, twice-rejected, non-political association with a pastor.
One standard has been set for Barack Obama.
Another standard entirely has been set for John McCain.