LLR Pages

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Salon's Juan Cole: "McCain = Bush"

Salon writer Juan Cole sums it up for McCain's quest for the Presidency: "John McCain is George Bush."

Here's an excerpt of the article here:

March 12, 2008 | The most important thing about the endorsements proffered to John McCain by George W. Bush and evangelist John Hagee last week was McCain's reaction to them. The freshly minted Republican nominee for president, who has had harsh words in the past for both Bush's policies and evangelical 'agents of intolerance,' meekly accepted their support. He knows he cannot win in November if the evangelicals and pro-war conservatives stay home. How far will McCain go in presenting himself as Son of Bush in order to energize his party's base? To date, based on his willingness to embrace the Bush agenda and to associate with religious extremists, the answer seems to be pretty far indeed.

When John McCain went to the White House last week, President Bush seemed to be offering him an out. Bush 'welcomed' McCain as 'the Republican nominee' in his official statement, but didn't initially use the word 'endorse.' It was McCain who leapt for the e-word. 'Well, I'm very honored and humbled,' said McCain, 'to have the opportunity to receive the endorsement of the President of the United States, a man who I have great admiration, respect and affection [for].'

McCain's strategists, meanwhile, are said to be privately plotting how best to deploy the deeply unpopular Bush, perhaps by quietly sending him to host fundraisers deep inside red states where he would not risk alienating the general population from McCain. But McCain is hewing so faithfully to Bush's legacy he may need no help from the man himself in alienating the population.

Whereas in his 2000 presidential bid, the Arizona senator sharply criticized Bush for appearing at the anti-Catholic Bob Jones University, which at that time also still banned interracial dating, he is less vocal about such matters now. He is himself behaving as Bush did then. McCain once dismissed evangelicals such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as 'agents of intolerance.' But last week the senator embraced Hagee's endorsement. Talk about an agent of intolerance! Hagee is like Pat Robertson on steroids.