Wednesday, October 3, 2007

?No surrender? McCain surrenders

"No Surrender" John McCain has surrendered—to desperation.

This is panic for the politician who endeared himself as the "Straight Talk" maverick. Was "Straight Talk" just political shtick?

McCain made headlines over the weekend by declaring the United States be a Christian nation and expressing his preference for a Christian president.

McCain preceded this by reconciling with right-wing evangelicals he once called "agents of intolerance." Then he disclaimed his Episcopalian upbringing, saying he now goes to a Baptist church and, just for good measure, announced he'd undergo a total water immersion baptism.

Even McCain sympathizers saw through this crude appeal: Baptists constitute the second largest U.S. religion; evangelical Christians make up 30 to 35 percent of Republicans, and heavily-Baptist South Carolina is an important primary state for McCain.

It was only a matter of hours before McCain backpedaled on his "Christian nation" pitch. Heck, he'd even vote for a qualified Muslim for president, McCain insisted irrationally.

American Jewish groups were bewildered. McCain was the 1987 recipient of the Anti-Defamation League's "Torch of Liberty" award in Phoenix. In 2006, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs bestowed the Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award on McCain. And McCain has been an unstinting ally of Israel in the Senate, plus an almost inseparable political sidekick to Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Jew with onetime presidential dreams.

McCain's lust for Christian right support is so shameless former White House deputy director of the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, David Kuo, said McCain has "gone over the religious edge."

Wrote Kuo for the Web site, McCain "is a man pandering to what he thinks the Christian conservative community wants to hear. It is a sad performance."

Whether McCain is Episcopalian or Baptist and whether he wrongly believes the United States is a "Christian nation" is not what's most troubling. McCain's obsessive belief there's a military solution to Iraq, no matter how long it takes, would commit the United States to an almost endless war with McCain as president.

If McCain means no end until al-Qaeda is crushed, he's daydreaming. Al-Qaeda is now operating in some 60 countries and stepping up recruiting.

If McCain means no end to military operations in Iraq until warring Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis embrace as brothers, he's a flunked student of history. Shiites and Sunnis have been at each other's throats for hundreds of years.

Americans have had enough of the Christian right's control over the current president and they've had their fill of the Iraq war.

John McCain would be too much for America on any count.

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