. . . I am a pro-life, pro-family fiscal conservative, an advocate of a strong defense, and yet Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and a few Washington leaders of the pro-life movement call me an unacceptable presidential candidate. They distort my pro- life positions and smear the reputations of my supporters. Why? Because I don't pander to them, because I don't ascribe to their failed philosophy that money is our message.
. . . Just as we embrace working people, we embrace the fine members of the religious conservative community, but that does not mean that we will pander to their self-appointed leaders. Some -- some prefer to build walls and exclude newcomers from our support. Apparently, appeals to patriotism can only be held by card- carrying Republican, and only certain Republicans at that, not the kind of Republicans who might dissent from the soft-money ethics of a tired party establishment. . . . Governor Bush is a Pat Robertson Republican who will lose to Al Gore.
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.
. . . We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, not Bob Jones.
(Emphasis supplied.) Scheduled to speak tomorrow at Liberty University, the heart of Falwellville, the no longer Straight Talking John McCain. Can you say pander?
U.S. Sen. John McCain - a likely 2008 presidential candidate who once labeled the Rev. Jerry Falwell an "agent of intolerance" - will be Liberty University's graduation speaker on May 13.
"I was in Washington with him about three months ago," Falwell said. "We dealt with every difference we have. There are no deal breakers now. But I told him, `You have a lot of fence mending to do.'" . . . McCain's visit to the LU campus is, at the very least, an attempt to make peace with conservative Christians prior to the presidential campaign.
While running against then- Gov. George W. Bush in the South Carolina and Virginia primaries in 2000, McCain denounced Falwell and Virginia Beach televangelist Pat Robertson in what was seen as a move to lure more moderate voters to his campaign. . . . Falwell said McCain's appearance at LU's graduation is another sign that McCain is wooing evangelical Christians. "He is in the process of healing the breech with evangelical groups," Falwell said.
Falwell said McCain has expressed a willingness to support a Federal Marriage Amendment, an issue dear to conservative Christians. The amendment would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Straight Talk wasting away in Falwellville.
More on the flip.
Sadly, our millionaire pundits are lowering standards for their great champion, sainted solon John McCain. This weekend, McCain will speak at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University (something we think is completely appropriate). But will he display his great authenticity? Yesterday, in the Washington Post, David Broder set the bar rather low:
BRODER (5/12/06): The presumption of authenticity--the assumption that what he says, he actually believes--is John McCain's greatest strength going into the 2008 presidential race. That presumption will be tested this weekend when McCain speaks at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, and I will be surprised if he fails the exam.
My guess is that, rather than pandering to the fundamentalist's social agenda, McCain will challenge the Liberty students to bring their moral energy and religious conviction to bear on the struggle for political reform, immigrant rights and environmental improvement--the causes with which he is most identified.
But did anyone think that McCain would "pander" to Falwell's social agenda at Liberty? To Broder, if McCain avoids saying that gays caused 9/11, his reputation for straight-talk is intact.
Heh. Yes, they love that McCain "straight talk" don't they? Even when he panders, lies, dissembles, spews nonsense, and wastes all over himself in Falwellville, they will still love him.
But those Angry Left bloggers, what do they know? Listen to those liberal pundits like Broder, Joe Klein and the objectively Left Richard Cohen. They'll tell you. America LOVES the straight talk, even in Falwellville.Update [2006-5-13 20:17:21 by Armando]: What McCain Said:
McCain defended the rights of those who disagree with him and argued that "Americans deserve more than tolerance from one another." "We deserve each other's respect, whether we think each other right or wrong in our views, as long as our character and our sincerity merit respect, and as long as we share, for all our differences, for all the noisy debates that enliven our politics, a mutual devotion to the sublime idea that this nation was conceived in — that freedom is the inalienable right of mankind, and in accord with the laws of nature and nature's creator," he said. McCain's address made no direct mention of the political divide that separated McCain and Falwell after the Baptist preacher opposed his campaign for the GOP nomination in 2000 and supported George W. Bush. At the time, McCain labeled Falwell and others on the right and the left as "agents of intolerance." The two reconciled last fall while still acknowledging that they disagree about some issues. McCain said recently that he no longer considers Falwell an agent of intolerance. Falwell has said no apologies were asked or offered. On Saturday, McCain received a standing ovation from the capacity crowd of 10,000 in the university's Vines Center. Falwell awarded McCain an honorary doctorate of humanities and praised the sacrifices he made for the country as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. "The ilk of John McCain is very scarce, very small," Falwell told the graduating class of 2,458. The evangelist has denied that his invitation to McCain to be Liberty's commencement speaker meant he was supporting him for president in 2008. Should McCain be the GOP nominee, however, Falwell has said he could support him. . . . McCain made no reference to family values in his commencement address, focusing instead on global concerns.Oh the Straight Talk. It's a wonder McCain could be heard having to shout between his legs . . . Klein was enthralled. Broder ecstatic. Cohen had an authenticity orgasm. . .