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Duncan Hunter: Questionable Candidate, Worse Advisors

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It's less than 700 days to the 2008 elections, and with the seat being vacated by a lame duck President, it seems like everyone but Lyndon Larouche and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man have tossed their hats into the race. This is good news, as it provides voters with a diverse field to choose from. And it's better news for would-be powers behind the throne, as there's lots of would-be throne owners to stand behind.

Not that all such powers are the sort of people you'd want on your side. Former Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards had a bit of a kerfuffle when it turned out two of his campaign hires were bloggers whose past work was a bit foul-mouthed and histrionic. The Right Wing blogosphere had a field day - however hypocritical - with the twosome's back catalogue of astute observations ("f@#$ Bush-Co!" being one of many). And in the end the two bloggers decided to slide out, stage far-left, while the getting out was good.

An early campaign victory for the Right against the ridiculous excesses of the wacky, far-Left? Perhaps. But the first rule of karma is that everything balances out, and now it's time for some payback, times three.

Enter Duncan Hunter: Republican Rep. from California and candidate for President. He talks tough on illegal immigration and fair trade, thinks hate crimes shouldn't be punished any worse than other crimes, and has Chuck Yeager's vote.

He's also got some unwanted baggage on board. It's just been announced that he's named Dr. Henry Jordan as a campaign advisor.

Who's Dr. Henry Jordan? Rep. Hunter calls him a "great conservative, Republican leader." However, ten years ago Jordan was proving himself to be a pathetic religious bigot.

While serving on South Carolina's State Board of Education, he infamously announced - when asked about offending students of different faiths by displaying the Ten Commandments in public school - "Screw the Buddhists and kill the Muslims -- and put that in the minutes!"

Of course, he apologized when the heat was turned up under his bottom, but he kept his post. And four months later, he insulted a Muslim who wrote to criticize his comments, saying "If you are not smart enough to read through the news and see what really transpired from this news event, it is no wonder you think salvation can be obtained by good works and having faith in Allah."

Has time moderated him? Well, no. When he ran for Lt. Governor of South Carolina, last year, Jordan told the AP "I mean you've got to be stupid to believe in evolution, I mean really," which no doubt endeared him to the reality-based community of his home state.

Rep. Hunter says he is unaware of Dr. Jordan's comments. And a look at where Hunter stands on a number of issues shows an environment in which such comments really shouldn't thrive... unless he's not serious about protecting religious freedom here and abroad.

But then, Hunter seems one of those conservatives who think religious freedom means the majority religion should have the right to impress itself on all minority religions within its sphere of influence. And yet he has the chutzpah to say "The greatest protection of human rights in this decade has been the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan"!

What makes this worse than the John Edwards blogger debacle - other than Catholic League president Bill Donohue staying mum about Dr. Jordan's past indiscretions - is that Edwards' now-former people were just staffers. Sure, they'd get to press virtual flesh (and whistle up virtual money - big virtual money, at that) but in terms of actual power over the campaign's direction, it's doubtful they'd be higher than maybe 9th or 10th banana. "Thrallslave! Write me a blog entry... and order some mocha latte while you're at it, okay?"

Dr. Jordan, on the other hand, is one of Rep. Hunter's campaign advisors: perhaps 2nd banana, for all we know. And is that the sort of person we need advising someone who may actually show at the Republican Primaries, and could be tapped to be Vice President if he makes a strong enough showing?

If you're the sort of person who thought our current Veep should have been called out by his colleagues for dropping the F-bomb on the Senate floor, the answer should be no. But just as one wonders where the Right's indignation was when Dick Cheney lost his temper, one has to wonder when they'll ask Rep. Hunter to reconsider his powers behind his throne.

Wonder loudly, and often.
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J. Edward Tremlett is a lot of things, currently. He's back in the states after a seven-year stint in Dubai, UAE. He's been published in such diverse places as The American Partisan, the International American, The End is Nigh, Pyramid Magazine (more...)

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