Rev. Hagee is not a person whose political endorsement should be solicited by any candidate, much less "proudly" accepted.
A broken clock is right twice a day and Obamamaniacs occasionally make a valid point.
My preference for John Sidney McCain over either of his prospective Democrat opponents, Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. and Hillary Rodham Clinton, is based on their being worse than he is, not his being an ideal candidate.
As an orthodox Catholic, I would not vote for either Obama or Clinton as a result of their positions on abortion. Clinton supports partial-birth abortion and Obama is even more extreme, embracing infanticide.
NO KIDDING: As an Illinois state senator, Obama wanted to deny Fourteenth Amendment protection to babies born alive as a result of botched abortions.
Not even Clinton has been THAT extreme.
As an American who is realistic about the terrorist threat and the consequences of the United States leaving Iraq too soon, I definitely prefer McCain to either Obama or Clinton, neither of whom served in the United States military, much less made the kind of sacrifice for the United States that McCain did.
As an ardent advocate of constitutional fidelity and opponent of judicial activism, I would much rather have McCain nominating judges than either Obama or Clinton. I believe that the Constitution clearly contemplates that presidential nominees receive an up-or-down vote on confirmation from the United States Senate within a reasonable time, regardless of who is nominating and who is nominated, and criticize McCain and the other thirteen members of the Gang of Fourteen for blocking a change in the Senate rules than would conform to the Constitution's provision for confirmation by a simple majority instead of a super-majority. But both Obama and Clinton are much worse on judges, as demonstrated by their opposition to now Chief Justice John Roberts and now Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. (each of whom was supported by McCain).
But Obamamaniacs are right that the a summer federal gas tax holiday is not even a realistic possibility, much less the best economic stimulus, and therefore proposing it under the circumstances smacks of political pandering, even if it is not tied to a windfall profits tax.
Obamamaniacs also are right that McCain's expression of pride in winning the support of Rev. John Hagee was shameful.
It also was foolish.
Former Democrat presidential hopeful Rev. Al Sharpton claimed that McCain's solicitation of Rev. Hagee's political support was worse than Obama's fidelity for nearly twenty years to the man whom he claimed brought him to Jesus Christ, Rev. Jeremiah A. "God damn America" Wright, Jr.," still Senior Pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ (which is still the Obama family's church of choice).
Rev. Sharpton's claim is political spin.
But the truth is that political opportunism explains both the McCain-Hagee and Obama-Wright relationships and McCain would be wise to make his positions on Rev. Hagee's controversial positions crystal clear.
David Duke is a white racist whom the national Republican Party rightly disavowed on principle when Duke ran in the 1991 Louisiana gubernatorial race against a crooked Democrat named Edward Edwards. (It was yet another amazing episode in Louisiana's amazing political history, with bumper stickers reading, "Vote for the Crook. It's Important," and "Vote for the Lizard, not the Wizard.")
Obama notably refused to disavow Rev. Wright, even after his most outrageous public statements had been publicized, insisting that doing so would be like disowning the black community or his white grandmother, even though Rev. Wright hardly personifies the black community and is not a relative of Obama. (Rev. Wright may be a political godfather of Obama, but he's not one of Obama's godfathers.)
Then Rev. Wright appeared at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and, on national television, not only clung to his bizarre views, but claimed that criticism of himself was an attack on the Black church and Obama's distancing himself from Rev. Wright had been politically necessary and not sincere.
The next day Obama publicly severed his ties with Rev. Wright (and, curiously, Rev. Wright has not spoken publicly about Obama since).
Of course McCain explained that he does not necessarily share all the views of people who support him and he never chose Rev. Hagee to be his pastor, much less chose a pastor to facilitate his political ambitions and then stayed a loyal parishioner for many years while his pastor spewed anti-American and racist venom from his pulpit.
McCain also explained that he is NOT anti-Catholic and cited his children's attendance at Catholic school as evidence of that.
But Rev. Hagee is not a person whose political endorsement should be solicited by any candidate, much less "proudly" accepted.
Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights president William Donohue issued the following statement regarding McCain’s ties to Rev. Hagee:
"Now that he has secured the Republican nomination for president, and has received the endorsement of President Bush, McCain will now embark on a series of fundraising events.
"When he meets with Catholics, he is going to be asked about his ties to Hagee. He should also be asked whether he approves of comments like this: 'A Godless theology of hate that no one dared try to stop for a thousand years produced a harvest of hate.'
"That quote is proudly cited by David Brog in his recent book, Standing with Israel. Both Brog and Hagee clearly identify the Roman Catholic Church as spawning a 'theology of hate.'
"This is nothing if not hate speech. There are so many good evangelical leaders in this country—Dr. James Dobson, Dr. Richard Land, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Dr. Al Mohler, Chuck Colson—and none has ever insulted Catholicism."
The "Godless theology" quotation is taken from Rev. Hagee's 1987 book, Should Christians Support Israel?.
McCain's expression of pride in receiving Rev. Hagee's endorsement contrasts sharply with his condemnation of the North Carolina Republican Party for running an ad showing Rev. Wright fulminating and Obama's admission that his long relationship with Rev. Wright is a "legitimate" issue.
The sooner McCain admits he made a mistake in specifically courting Rev. Hagee's support, the better.
If Obama is the Democrat presidential nominee, McCain will receive the smallest percentage of the black vote for a Republican presidential candidate in history, as the turnout when McCain went to Selma, Alabama and the breakdown of the black vote between Obama and Clinton shows. (McCain's famous expression of shame over his position on the Confederate flag in the 2008 South Carolina Republican primary won't win him an appreciable share of black votes.)
Therefore, it behooves McCain, if he wants to win instead of place in the presidential race, to express shame over taking pride in Rev. Hagee's endorsement and to embrace the wisdom of Mitt Romney's fabulous Faith in America speech.
Fact: Obama is weak among churchgoers and strong among atheists.
Fortunately for McCain, the people of the United States are still overwhelmingly religious.
McCain's path to victory lies in (1) contrasting his respect for religion, life and constitutional fidelity and ample military and legislative experience with Obama's elitist (and no longer secret) contempt for religion, extremism on abortion and embrace of infanticide and complete lack of military experience and small legislative experience and (2) choosing a pro-life running mate with a record of accomplishment and ample executive experience who is ready to be President of the United States on day 1, NOT by undercutting his own huge experience advantage by suggesting that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (who will be 37 this coming June 10) is a possible vice presidential nominee in 2008 and considering persons without either military experience or years of successful service in high public office.
Ironically, if McCain doesn't do the job of exposing his Democrat opponent himself, the 527's may do it for him, much like the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth told the truth about 2004 Democrat presidential nominee John Kerry.
In 2004, the Swiftboat Veterans devastatingly played the tape of young John Kerry condemning his fellow veterans in Congressional testimony.
In 2008, 527's can play that tape of Obama confiding at a closed-door fundraiser in San Francisco that the people in small-town America "cling" to "religion and guns" out of "bitterness" over economic circumstances as well as point out that Obama would nominate judges who would strike "under God" from "The Pledge of Allegiance."
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.