John McCain wants to win. The fact is, he wants it so badly that he is willing to do anything, be it through sheer panic or thanks to the purest of Rovian masterstrokes Most frighteningly, the most recent version of John McCain willingly sold his soul to the American religious fundamentalists, shedding what little remained of the old maverick carapace and leaving in its place a mere shell of a man, a man who traded what is best for the country for the energy of the Religious RIght voting bloc. No patriot, he.
In no area has the McCain transformation been as blatantly opportunistic and irresponsible as in the figurative bedding down with a prime Agent of Intolerance, the remarkably unqualified Sarah Palin. Faustian bargains, though, come with strings attached and Mr. McCain is presently learning that the devil always returns to collect his due.
Tony Perkins is President of Family Research Council, "founded in 1983 as an organization dedicated to the promotion of marriage and family and the sanctity of human life in national policy." Mr. Perkins has used the past twenty five years to quietly solidify his political power as evidenced by his and the other far right religious ideologues ability to play their strongest hand in the selection of a running mate for John McCain. As Perkins told the Washington Times on August 14, 2008, "I think McCain has to have a running mate that clearly connects with social conservatives in the party," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. "That is where he is lacking. So if he picks a pro-choice running mate, I don't see how he can win this race."
Last Tuesday, the devil made his reappearance, once again in the body of Tony Perkins who fired off yet another shot across the bow in response to concerns that Palin's church was hosting James Dobson's pray away the gay group, Love Won Out.
In a newsletter, Perkins let his minions know that " . . . a biased Associated Press article (which) attacked her (Palin's) church for promoting Focus on the Family's "Love Won Out" conference . . . held this Saturday in Anchorage. The conference will teach a biblical message on sexuality and assist those seeking to overcome same-sex attraction . . . "How the McCain campaign responds is critical in maintaining the intensity and enthusiasm that swept through social conservatives after Gov. Palin's selection as the VP nominee.
The warning could not be clearer: should Senator McCain even think about pulling back to feed the moderates in the party by signaling anything less than spiritual one-ness with the Religious Right, things will not go down well.
Perkins continued, "The McCain campaign must stand firmly against efforts to make Gov. Palin's faith a disqualifier. There should be no reluctance in any party to be identified as someone who holds "deeply held personal beliefs." Running away from Gov. Palin's faith will only send the message that there is something to hide. If Senator McCain backs away from Gov. Palin because of these attacks, expect to see many evangelicals who recently joined the straight talk express get off at the next exit"
Although political platforms supposedly do not matter, this year's GOP words, co-penned by platform VP Ken Blackwell, should scare the bejeesus out of anyone even remotely left of the Middle Ages. A Christian Nationalist platform combined with the Religious Right's breathtaking influence over McCain's vice-presidential pick, leaves one with only one conclusion: not only has the power of the Religious Right not waned, but it is, if anything, stronger than it has been at any other time in modern history.
Over a week since the Perkin's threat, McCain's silence has been deafening.