Frank Rich on the New York Times attempts to link John McCain to Pastor John Hagee, as a means of lessening the impact of Jeremiah Wright's hatred of America on the Obama campaign. In the end, all he succeeds in doing is demonstrating that the Pastor Wright story has legs.
...those who try to give Mr. McCain a pass for his embrace of a problematic preacher have a thin case. It boils down to this: Mr. McCain was not a parishioner for 20 years at Mr. Hagee's church. [....]
...it is disingenuous to pretend that there isn't a double standard operating here. If we're to judge black candidates on their most controversial associates - and how quickly, sternly and completely they disown them - we must judge white politicians by the same yardstick.
Double standards? No. McCain has had contentious relationships with the Christian right in the past. There are no signs that Obama had disagreements with Wright's views for the past twenty years. More importantly, Rich is comparing apples to oranges -- talk about double standards. The strength of the ties between Obama and Wright are clearly stronger than those between McCain and Hagee. Has McCain ever described Hagee as his "sounding board", "confidant", and "moral compass"? Has McCain raised his children in Hagee's church? No and no. Rich is absurd in trying to link McCain to Hagee, who merely endorsed McCain. Did McCain give any money to Hagee, let alone make Hagee's church the number one beneficiary of his charitable funds?
Since Rich mentions Romney (who is no longer a candidate) and the story of his father marching with Martin Luther King, Jr why doesn't he mention the tale Obama told about his parents being inspired by King's march at Selma to marry and conceive him, despite the fact that he was already four years old at the time.That clearly is a double standard, one sneakily applied by Frank Rich.