Just when I start to feel a little hopeful about the future, jackasses screw the whole thing up.
Witness John Hagee's endorsement of John McCain. Look, I was giving McCain a lot of slack. I even had moments of Obama-doubting in which I toyed with the idea of voting for Mr. Straight Talk on the basis of some pretty significant foreign policy considerations. Not anymore.
He's a piece of shit, straight up.
I'm not going to play compare and contrast with Hagee/McCain and Farrakhan/Obama. Anyone smart enough to read this post is smart enough to figure out why the two episodes are different and how each candidate responded in different ways. Besides, this post isn't a defense of Obama's approach to the Farrakhan issue. It's a direct response to John McCain's behavior.
Here are a few indisputable truths...
ONE: John Hagee is a complete asshole and a walking Evangelical freakshow that should creep out everyone with 1/4 of a functioning brain.
Yeah, I guess the anti-Catholic thing bugged me a little bit. I'd hate to think that my wonderful late great-aunt was servicing the Whore of Babylon during all her years as a nun. I'm not quite willing to believe that my grandparents and their parents were doing Hitler's bidding, either.
Honestly, though, that kind of Pope-hating is the LEAST of my problems with Hagee. It's weird. It's over the top. It's undoubtedly unnecessarily offensive to millions of decent folk (whose theology, by the way, I don't adhere to), but my position on Hagee goes past the Bill Donahue argument. Which reminds me... This is the first time I've ever agreed with Bill Donahue that I can remember. Sign of the pending apocolypse?
Speaking of the apocolypse, Pastor Hagee's unwavering support of Israel--which appears to be one of the primary reasons so many politicos love his fat ass--isn't like some sort of pro-Jew thing. Oh no. To the contrary. Hagee is in that Coulter camp that believes Jews fall a little short of heaven's standards, if you know what I mean. Hagee is pro-Israel because a unified Israel is a precondition to the rapture.
The rapture? You know, that notion that God is gonna swoop up all the good people and leave the rest of us behind to fend for ourselves through some predetermined period of shittiness. That rapture. It's all part of the apocolypse that features Russians backing Islamic states in a war against a unified Israel after someone nukes Iran.
By the way, I am SERIOUS. Hagee preaches this crap. He wants to nuke Israel to usher in the apocolypse and the ensuing rapture, which apparently features Jesus Christ showing up on a white horse somewhere. No, really. I am SERIOUS. He's not pro-Israel, he just wants the unified Israel ingredient in his end times recipe ready.
Hagee also thinks that God gave us Hurricane Katrina as a punishment. A punishment for what? Depends on when you ask him. He's said that it had something to do with our policy in the middle east (if you aren't going all-out pro-Israel, the big guy will hand down an ass-kicking). He's also said that it was sent to beat the shit out of New Orleans because of all the sin there.
I've been to New Orleans. On my last trip, there was sin a-plenty. I had an awesome stripper volunteer to whip me in a VIP room with a piece of rawhide that would've done Rowdy Yates proud. I saw underaged drinking teen girls flashing boobs for beads, which gave me an understanding of how the Europeans were able to let go of morality to buy Manhattan for a few trinkets.
I took a piss next to a dude who was wearing a skirt and heels while I sucked nitrous oxide out of a balloon I purchased from a one-armed street urchin wearing a tattered old NWA t-shirt. New Orleans had some sin. Agreed.
But I don't think God got so pissed off at the eaters of king cake that he decided to obliterate them with a hurricane. I know this sounds crazy, but I think it might have had something to do with weather patterns and meteorological stuff. You know, science. Hey, it's not en vogue with Hagee's crowd, but science sometimes does explain stuff. Like hurricanes. Or, I suppose Jesus got really upset about an upcoming gay pride parade and decided to wallop the gulf coast. You tell me which sounds more reasonable? Hagee votes gay pride = hurricane. You?
Hagee also thinks that every Muslim (yes EVERY Muslim) is under order from the Koran to kill infidels like me. Every last one. Intense.
There's this Roger Waters solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitchiking. The narrator has this horrible dream in which he awakes to find "Arabs with knives at the foot of the bed". This is Hagee's world. Those Islamic dudes are hellbent on killing everyone else.
I know what you're thinking... "Well, that seems silly. History and even every day life teaches me that not all Muslims are committed to killing everyone who doesn't buy into the Allah thing." Well, buddy, your logic and ability to draw inferences from empirical evidence has no place here. The guy who's all simpatico with Jesus says it's true. Hey, you might want to get busy nuking Iran and getting the Good Lord back here pronto.
Otherwise, Cat Stevens is gonna pop out of your bedroom closet at 3:00 a.m. and behead you with a Tea for the Tillerman LP. You won't have time to call Hillary or anyone else before your whole family is jihad-ded. Decapitation by sensitive 70s pop is part of Mohammed's evil plan. Just ask John Hagee. Even if he won't confirm the scriptural accuracy of that scenario, he won't deny its possibility.
There are many other reasons to put the Hagee file in the asshole cabinet, but I'm gonna stop here. I think that's enough for now. Anyone who wants to stick up for this bozo should be aware, however, that these observations are the tip of a very big iceberg. To repeat, John Hagee is a complete asshole.
TWO: John McCain sought out and then expressed his appreciation for the support of the giant dickwad known as John Hagee.
This was not one of those "accidental endorsement" things. McCain pursued the Hagee thumbs-up. John McCain apparently felt as though he needed to shore up support among those right-wing evangelical types and figured a vote of confidence from Pastor Hagee was just what the doctor ordered. After all, Hagee is a big hit on TV (well, at least in the realm of tele-preachers, although I think re-runs of Flo's Yellow Rose still pull in better Nielsen numbers) and he heads a big ol' church that has damn near 20,000 members.
With everyone on the right pissed off at the McCain asendency, he needed to secure a little street cred with the so-called base. He got it from Hagee. And he took it. In person. Smiling. Thankful.
Oh, yes. He actually took the endorsement while staring a stage with the goon. McCain stood by the preacher man, nodding along with his jibber-jabber and then expressing his appreciation for the endorsement. He was honored. He was proud. He was downright fucking giddy that this giant supreme asshole endorsed him. And don't even think he didn't know what kind of asswipe Hagee was. All it takes is Google and about 20 seconds to figure that out.
THREE: It's hard to resist another Straight Talk Express joke when you consider this thing carefully...
The Straight Talk Express ran into a ditch, lost its wheels, had a faulty GPS system, was recalled by the manufacturer, was a lemon, was part of a DUI incident, wrecked, derailed, etc., etc. etc. Take your pick.
No matter how you slice it, McCain sold out like a cheap fucking whore in order to get some creepy evangelical mojo from Pastor John Hagee.
McCain used to have the guts to look at these religious freakshows and call bullshit. He called out GW Bush for going to Bob Jones University because the school was anti-Catholic and racist. Now, he's buddy-buddy with the dipstick who thinks the Catholic church is a tool of the anti-Christ and who makes slavery into a joke at church-sponsored events.
Once upon a time, John McCain said:
"I recognize and celebrate that our country is founded upon Judeo-Christian values. And I have pledged my life to defend America and all her values, the values that have made us the noblest experiment in history. But political intolerance by any political party is neither a Judeo-Christian nor an American value.
The political tactics of division and slander are not our values. They are corrupting influences on religion and politics and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country.
Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right."
Now he's pandering to a guy who makes Pat Robertson look sane. I don't know if you've ever listened to or watched Pat Robertson. It's hard to make him look sane. John Hagee, however, makes Robertson look like a fucking well-adjusted Rhodes scholar of some sort. McCain used to have the guts to call these guys out for what they are--assholes--now he's crawling around with his mouth open like Jessica Hahn during a late night work session with Jim Bakker.
John McCain once argued:
"We are the party of Ronald Reagan not Pat Robertson. We are the party of Theodore Roosevelt not the party of special interests. We are the party of Abraham Lincoln not Bob Jones. Join us. Join us."
Straight talk, my ass.
Let's call this whole thing with Hagee exactly what it is: it's pandering to get votes. It's about putting an opportunity for victory above and beyond principle. It's about making deals with the devil (couldn't resist) in order to get a shot at the top job. It's about whoring yourself, tarnishing your reputation, skull-fucking the severed head of your personal credibility and turning yourself into a weak liar who smells worse than the standard-issue diseased sycophantic politician.
When you stake your popularity and your believability in your penchant for honesty and straight talk, it's a wee bit disturbing to sell out to a guy who stands in direct contrast to your expressed beliefs.
It's sad, John McCain. Really sad. You went out there and worked to get this douchebag's support so you could shore up your support among (what I hope to be) fringe republicans. I wasn't even rooting for you and I'm depressed.
FOUR: Half-assed retreats don't play well...
After people started noticing and commenting on the fact that John Hagee is a freak that would make Barnum's mouth water, McCain shuffled a little bit.
He didn't repudiate, reject, denounce, renounce or otherwise wave off the Hagee endorsement. Nah, he just said that he didn't necessarily agree with everything Hagee preached and that he couldn't be expected to line up with every supporter from top to bottom on every issue.
That's true, in a way. Hey, I'm supporting Obama and I doubt that means he wants to support some of my more controversial beliefs (Although my Mexican stripper plan would kick ass. Barack, call me.) I get that.
However, there are limits to that argument. You cannot buy a bag of shit with the stink removed, people. It comes with the deal.
After that Bill Cunningham goofus went all Barack HUSSEIN Obama on a McCain rally crowd, McCain huddled the press and distanced himself from the prick. Good move. The guy is a complete ass-hat, after all. At the time, I was really cool with McCain. I was excited to have a stand-up and decent guy running for President, even if he wasn't MY guy. I respected him and his willingness to do that.
There were people who claimed it was bullshit. They said McCain put Cinci Willy out there on purpose to get folks rallied and to give a wink of recognition to the far-right crowd, planting some anti-Obama seed in the process. He only backed away, they argued, after the damage was done. It was intentional and calculated dirty pool, they said. I gave McCain the benefit of the doubt. I believed in his decency.
A few days later, though, and he's french-kissing John Hagee in front of the world. Then, he's called on it and all he can do is say that he doesn't agree with "everything" Hagee says.
Not good enough.
John McCain, I expect more from you.
This is not some minor thing to me. Seriously. No matter what happens from here on out, I will think of John McCain as the guy who teamed up with John Hagee in hopes of scoring a couple of percentage points in the polls. That's bad no matter who you are, but it's even worse when you've been an outspoken critic of his ilk up until the point when you felt you needed them to get you over the hump in November.
You see, like a lot of other people (I suspect), part of what I'm looking for in a President is some honor, integrity, honesty and open-mindedness. Putting your lips on the ass of John Hagee as part of some Faustian political bargain communicates none of these traits. It sucks and it's depressing.
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