I've spoken before about the utter contempt in which I held the media frenzy surrounding the Reverend Wright thing. I thought it was both ridiculous and ideologically inconsistent for folks to put so much onus on such a thing.
Ridiculous because I know plenty of folks who belong to congregations where the preacher or pastor is an advocate of things they might find disagreeable; and ideologically inconsistent because John McCain himself went looking for the endorsement of some equally crazy and offensive preachers, and seemed to be getting a pass.
Today, we learn that, while not too much has been made about the McCain/Pastor John Hagee relationship (at least relative to the Obama/Rev. Wright thing), the situation has warranted a similar disentanglement of association. The talking points are of a similar politically expedient variety, McCain having said - much like Obama when the offensive comments were 'brought to light' - "I condemn remarks that are, in any way, viewed as anti-anything."
I just don't get why a real candidate can't just say "well, I accept the endorsement on ________ grounds, because we agree on thus and such, while I absolutely do not agree with everything so-and-so has said." Much like the American voters, who, with perhaps a very tiny minority of isolated individuals, probably don't agree with everything their own family and friends say.
What really got my attention today was that one of John McCain's top political strategists is a cat who used to get paid money to make awful Third World Dictators more palatable to people who run our government.
Call me crazy, but I put a whole lot more emphasis on deeds than words. It may be problematic for Obama to have stayed in Rev. Wright's congregation while the former Marine-turned-preacher was ranting against America, but it really gets to me that McCain has such a close professional relationship with a guy who was paid by the likes of Ferdinand Marcos of the Phillipines, and Mobutu Sese Seko.
Matter of fact, didn't the US government's "anti-communist" support of such dictators and governments - and resulting oppression of all institutions possibly considered democratic (like voting, human rights and political parties) - actually encourage anti-American views both abroad and at home (possibly views held by such men as Rev. Wright)? Didn't the US government's support (at the hands of well paid lobbyists and Cold Warriors) for these types of governments, their corruption and their oppression of secular opposition parties give rise, at the end of the Cold War, to terrorist organizations (possibly ones that are currently planning the next big attack on America)?
Now, I don't want to venture too far into Noam Chomskyland, I know we did what we had to do to win the Cold War and I know a lot of those things weren't pretty. Realpolitik is a cold word for a reason. But with all the devastating problems that have arisen because of our behavior during that time, does it seem wise, now, to bring in folks who made money orchestrating our current unstable and dangerous world situation?
From the "experienced, national security" party and candidate?
Unfortunately, I doubt much will be made of this political relationship. For a very long time, a significant portion of our foreign policy (and voter motivation) has been to side with short term gains while running the risk of long term exposure.
But, for me, that seals the deal. McCain would be a better President than the current bunch of yahoos, but the philosophies on how to run foreign policy are being run by the same people that made this whole thing blow up in our faces.