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McCain: How Does Guilt by Association Work?

April 24, 2008

The American voting public learned the lesson that being associated with someone is the same being that person. Remember Obama’s Pastorgate scandal? Barack Obama was inseparably linked with Pastor Wright and anti-American remarks because he was a long-time member of Pastor Wright’s church.

John McCain wants America to see him as a compassionate, mainstream politician. Today, Mr. McCain is going to New Orleans for a photo-op in the 9th Ward. He has been fighting the dark blight that the Bush presidency inaction during Hurricane Katrina has cast on his campaign. Like the other candidates, he is working to shore up his political base. This past Sunday, he welcomed the support of evangelist John Hagee, who said “Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.” John McCain sought out and embraces Hagee’s support. At least a few folks find this objectionable and bad or worse than any pastor scandal.

The guilt by association card has been played against John McCain. Will it stick?

Hagee has a history of what many Americans see as bigoted comments. Like George Bush, John McCain’s strategy has been to garner support from religious leaders like John Hagee in order to once again corner the Christian vote. Ultimately, the Christian vote is what put George Bush in office, notably in his second term. When Mr. McCain was pressed about Hagee’s views about New Orleans, McCain claimed that he was “glad to have his endorsement.”

Some Democrats, notably the Move On organization is concerned and upset about John McCain’s stand with religious leaders that express minority views while working to capitalize on the fate of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. John McCain obviously wants to play both sides of the New Orleans debate. Will the media pick up on this take?

Most Americans see Hurricane Katrina was a terrible reminder of the consequences of bigotry and exclusion. The flood protection infrastructure was ignored and improperly maintained in the most impoverished areas of the city. People without resources or political power sank beneath the waves while the administration fiddled and delayed.

Today is the fourth day of his planned tour of America. He is checking out the damage and progress since Hurricane Katrina. “I’ll fix FEMA, I’ll fix our ability to care for people and it is a federal responsibility,” McCain said. He also told reporters he was not sure if he would rebuild the lower 9th ward as president. McCain seems to be walking on shaky ground.

To compound matters, he seems to be unsympathetic to the plight of so many Americans in the job market. McCain said “education and training” and not “the siren song of protectionism” would help revive economically troubled areas while he was visiting yesterday in depressed regions of Ohio state. He clarified that he supports free trade, but that other nations have violated the terms of free trade. Since McCain openly admits that the free trade contracts have been violated, how is the United States expected to continue to adhere to such meaningless contracts? Mr. McCain has unwittingly opened a new can of worms in free trade land.

So far presidential candidate John McCain is not offering solutions or any differing views from the current administration. He seems to be exploring while making up his mind what he will support. Unfortunately, his observations don’t appear to be very promising for the nation.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2008 4:27 pm

    Thank you, Dennis. That’s my point: McCain wanted Hagee’s endorsement AFTER he heard the Pastor’s comments. He knew exactly what he was buying.
    And, Russ, enough with the abortion flag. This isn’t 1980, nobody’s buying it anymore.

  2. April 24, 2008 4:50 pm

    Obama is being judged by the words of someone with whom he is associated. McCain is being judged by his association itself.

    He actively sought Hagee’s endorsement, long after Hagee had made his positions very clear.

  3. April 24, 2008 4:45 pm

    And attending someone’s church (ie Wright) doesn’t mean that you agree with them 100%. Look at all the “cafeteria Catholics” who go to Church, take the Eucharist, yet don’t agree with even 50% of what the Pope decrees.

  4. April 24, 2008 3:11 pm

    What passes as endorsement for the gander has to pass as endorsement for the goose……….

    Endorsement implies that the endorser is familiar with the endorsee, and is satisfied that the methods, actions, and goals of the endorsee match those of the endorser.

    However, I fail to see any similarity between the “endorser-endorsee” relationship and the “association” relationship. I’ve said here before that just because someone lives in the same area as someone else, or goes to the same church or supermarket or library, doesn’t necessarily imply that their philosophies have any similarity. Two people can live next door to each other, and be on totally opposite ends of the political (or any other) spectrum. They may talk with each other, even swim in each other’s pools, for all we know, but that “association” is just that; a physical “nearness” that implies nothing else.

    Just my humble opinion………

  5. April 24, 2008 2:46 pm

    By embracing Hagee and Parsley, McCain embraces their rhetoric and ideas. Unless anyone can point me to where he has spoken out against their hateful words?

  6. Russ permalink
    April 24, 2008 11:40 am

    I think there is a big difference between being endorsed by someone who has made “bigoted comments” and sitting and listening week after week, year after year and thus agreeing with someone who has made bigoted comments.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am not a fan of McCain nor Hagee. Fact is, I don’t have a candidate.

    If I vote for McCain, I am voting for ??? years more of the war. If I vote for Hillary Or Obama, I am voting for abortion.

    Either way, I am voting for death in one form or another.

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