The “McCain standard” and the rise of the Calphalon Candidate
If you’re following America’s electoral theater at all, you know that we have a candidate with a preacher problem. And that the candidate in question has been put in the uncomfortable position of having to repudiate some of said preacher’s remarks (while not alienating those voters in the flock who actually, you know, agree with what the Reverend was saying). In case you haven’t been paying attention, the controversial cleric has pronounced God’s doom upon certain of the nation’s citizens, and the backlash against him and his favorite for the White House has significantly damaged the candidate’s chances.
Of course, I’m talking about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama. Errr, wait … that’s not right. That’s not who I’m talking about at all.
No, I’m talking about the Rev. John Hagee and His Maverickness, John Dubya McCain.
You might recall (or you might not, since the Fourth Estate has devoted so few column inches to the story) that Preacher Hagee, a many-jowled man who does little to explode cheap stereotypes about fundamentalist Texans and whose public pronouncements are a living indictment against every academic institution he ever attended, decreed that Hurricane Katrina was a divine smiting against the city of
Sodom New Orleans because it was planning to allow a public parade by a bunch of queers. To be sure, Preacher Hagee believes a great many interesting things (I mean, come on, he called the Catholic Church â€œâ€˜The Great Whore,â€™ an â€˜apostate church,â€™ the â€˜anti-Christ,â€™ and a â€˜false cult systemâ€™â€) so in context his New Orleans theory is actually fairly tame.
Besides, he’s been called to account for the outrage, with the nation’s top journalistic watchdogs walloping him no less than 8% as often as it has the Rev. Wright.
A Media Matters for America Nexis search* found that since February 27, the date that televangelist John Hagee endorsed Sen. John McCain for president, The New York Times and The Washington Post combined have published more than 12 times as many articles mentioning Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. and Sen. Barack Obama as they have mentioning Hagee and McCain. The Post published 53 articles during that period that mentioned Wright and Obama, compared with three articles mentioning Hagee and McCain. The Times published 46 articles since February 27 mentioning Wright and Obama, compared with five articles mentioning Hagee and McCain.
Additionally, during the same period, the Post published 40 editorials or opinion pieces that included Wright and Obama while publishing two editorials or opinion pieces that mentioned McCain and Hagee. The Times published 22 editorials or opinion pieces that included Wright and Obama, compared with two editorials or opinion pieces that mentioned McCain and Hagee.
Now that’s fair and balanced!
Still, none of this matters because McCain is having nothing to do with Hagee. Ummm, hold on. No, no … that’s not right, either. McCain said he was right honored to have the good Reverend’s endorsement. Of course, he’s repudiated Hagee’s New Orleans remarks. But he’s still glad to have the endorsement.
I know what you’re probably thinking: here comes a “flip-flopper” crack. Nope. Flip-flopping is when you say/do one thing and them come back later and say/do the opposite. It hardly counts as flip-flopping when you’re saying/doing both things at the same time (and please watch the video). No, that’s some other kind of advanced forked-tonguery that the noise machines haven’t coined a catchy name for yet (although “Double-Talk Express” does have a certain ring to it). In the meantime, let’s just call it “lying.” Never mind having his cake and eating it, too – he’s having my cake and eating it, too.
In any case, at least Hagee has calmed his ass down lately. What? I’m sorry, hold on a sec …. he said what? You have got to be kidding me.
In a sermon given at his San Antonio, Texas Cornerstone megachurch that was telecast and available in up to ninety million homes worldwide, controversial pastor John Hagee, who has endorsed the presidential bid of Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, Jr., claimed that American public schools provide abortion services. Hagee stated, “Your daughter can get an abortion in public school without telling you but she can’t get an aspirin without your approval.” The pastor also claimed that public school teachers can force their students to study a “precursor to witchcraft” and suggests that America has invited “satan” and demonic spirits into its public school systems by failing to display the Ten Commandments on classroom walls.
One of Ronald Reagan’s nicknames was “the Teflon President,” because no matter what he said or did, and no matter how many cookie jars his people got caught looting, nothing ever stuck.
Are we now seeing the ascendance of The Calphalon Candidate? McCain flips and flops like a live trout on a hot griddle. He’s got a temper like an adolescent with roid rage. He called his wife – in public, with witnesses (and brace yourself for some intemperate language, if you would) – a “cunt.” Since no reporters are willing to ask about this bit of immoderacy, an attendee at an Iowa Town Hall event did.
No normal rabble rouser was the questioner, by the way. He was a Baptist minister. And he got tossed from the event for having the temerity to utter such blasphemy in the presence of, you know, adult voters.
I’m not sure what to say here that isn’t obvious. Maverick is clearly less the straight shooter than he wants us to believe and the nation’s press has no interest in holding him to the same standards it holds his opponents to. Welcome to The McCain Standard. Had he and Hagee been subjected to the same scrutiny that Obama and Wright have endured how very interesting these past few weeks would have been.
I’ve been resisting the urge to question why white Christianity is getting a pass while black Christianity gets pummeled. Why white whack-jobs of the first order can say any goddamned crazy shit that pops into their heads while distinguished military veterans with – and let’s be honest here – fairly legitimate questions about the plight of blacks in America get demonized like they thought up 9/11 all by themselves.
Of course, now I’ve gone and done it, I guess, but explain to me, if you will, how I’m being any less fair to the American press than they’re being to America.
I have no illusions that our nations reporters, editors and obscenely rich (and occasionally Australian) media moguls are going to act in the best interest of the country. Right now I guess I’d count it as a victory if they’d just pretend a little harder.