Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Religious Right Upset With Bush Administration ... But Not For Charges Made By Kuo

Expectations were high that Christian Conservative leaders would show their disdain for the Bush Administration.

After all, a new book, Tempting Faith, was being released today. In that book, former special assistant to President Bush on faith-based issues, David Kuo, wrote that Karl Rove’s office referred to evangelical leaders as “the nuts," and that national Christian leaders were described behind their backs as ‘ridiculous,’ ‘out of control,’ and just plain ‘goofy.’

Pretty strong stuff. Certainly, it would be understandable if Christian conservatives took offense.

But while Christian conservatives acknowledged that they were upset with the Bush Administration, it had nothing to do with Kuo's allegations.

Instead, Christian conservatives are furious with the Bush Administration for appointing an openly gay man, Mark Dybul, as its Global AIDS Coordinator.Worse for them, First Lady Laura Bush was photographed as "smiling" during the swearing-in ceremony. Even worse for them, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice referred to the mother of Dybul's partner, Jason Claire, as Dybul's "mother-in-law."

"(T)he deferential treatment that was given not only to him but his partner and his partner's family by the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is very distressing," said Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council. "(F)or her to treat his partner like a spouse and treat the partner's mother as a mother-in-law, which implies a marriage between the two partners, is a violation of the spirit if not the letter of the .Defense of Marriage Act."

Sprigg also that in light of the recent scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), "it's inexplicable that a conservative administration would do such things."

It's amazingly ironic, considering that Bush-era conservatives have successfully rallied Christian conservatives with, as liberal commentator Al Franken suggests, a campaign of "fear, smear and queers."

***

Don't think that Christian conservatives were unaware of Kuo's work.

JABBS wondered how long it would take for the Bush Administration or its friends in the media to attack Kuo -- as they had previously attacked one-time Bush Administration members-turned critics, such as Richard Clarke, Paul O'Neill and Colin Powell.

Christian evangelical leaders James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and Chuck Colson have already criticized Kuo.

Typical of the attacks against Kuo is one from Jason Christy, publisher of The Church Report, who wrote an essay, "David Kuo: An Addition to the Axis of Evil."

Christy notes multiple times that Kuo is an "unimportant, disgruntled former employee" -- which makes one wonder why Kuo received so much attention -- and "naive," that he is doing the bidding of liberals, and that he wrote the book only to make big bucks.

Christy's evidence? Kuo once wrote nice things to his then-boss, President Bush, about the office of faith-based issues.

Christy suggests that means Kuo is a hypocrite and a liar. But truth be told, isn't it more likely that Kuo was at one point optimistic about the possibilities of administration support for faith-based issues, and then later disillusioned by what he saw as hypocrisy by the administration -- both in how it carreid out policies as well as how it ridiculed Christian conservatives behind their backs?

Christian conservative leaders are making a big and very public bet -- that Kuo is wrong, and that their (blind?) faith in President Bush is justified. One wonders if, behind the scenes, they aren't demandng more favorable (for them) policies and comments from the administration, especially in light of Rice's "distressing" comments.

19 Comments:

Anonymous Peter said...

When the GOP leadership sees evangelicals, they see people who will believe anything: the earth was created in 7 days, Rapture, the inerrancy of the Bible as a historical record. So can you blame them for taking advantage?

Here's my take on these people.

http://karavans.typepad.com/karavans/2006/10/david_kuo_the_f.html

1:27 AM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

If it's that obvious, shouldn't it be obvious to the evangelicals, too?

Is it possible their quest for power within a Republican Administration is forcing them to attack Kuo?

10:22 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

David R. Mark said...
"Christian evangelical leaders James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and Chuck Colson have already criticized Kuo."


And why shouldn't they? It's obvious that the timing of the release of this book is meant to hurt the Republicans in the November election by turning evangelicals off from voting.

It's one thing if Kuo was disappointed in the Bush Administration because it wasn't able to accomplish as much as it would have liked to with regard to faith-based initiatives, but to intentionally and spitefully try to affect the election this way is certainly a valid reason for conservatives to criticize the guy.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

So the truth doesn't matter -- the question of whether Kuo is telling the truth or not -- as the timing of the book?

Trinity, if Kuo is telling the truth, then it would stand to reason that the religious right wouldn't care if they hurt Republicans or not, because they would feel abandoned by the administration.

The problem is that the religious right -- at least publicly -- are a) assuming Kuo is wrong and b) smearing him to make that point.

That's a calculated risk, Trinity. I agree with JABBS -- "One wonders if, behind the scenes, they aren't demandng more favorable (for them) policies and comments from the administration, especially in light of Rice's "distressing" comments."

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob
Of course you agree with JABBS, just like a good sheep. Follow follow follow.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

No, anonymous, I agree with JABBS because the evidence is laid out, and I checked his links, and it appears he has correctly conveyed the information.

By comparison, you MLFers and Dittoheads agree with unsubstantiated opinions from your radio ranter of choice. Lots of vague generalities about "this is how the libs think" or name-calling as analysis, like "her thighness shouldn't be trusted."

I look at the news as objectively as possible -- but the key is, I look at the news. I don't just blindly trust opinions.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Angelina's Evil Twin said...

Anonymous said...
Rob
Of course you agree with JABBS, just like a good sheep. Follow follow follow.
>>

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

What IRONY. A Mark Levin CULTIST, who probably thinks Bush has NEVER made a mistake, suggesting that a liberal is a FOLLOWER?!?!? That's HILARIOUS.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Bernsteinschmuck said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

And why shouldn't they? It's obvious that the timing of the release of this book is meant to hurt the Republicans in the November election by turning evangelicals off from voting.
Meh, it's a lame argument. Books come out every election cycle, every time, to try to influence people to vote/not vote.

It's one thing if Kuo was disappointed in the Bush Administration because it wasn't able to accomplish as much as it would have liked to with regard to faith-based initiatives, but to intentionally and spitefully try to affect the election this way is certainly a valid reason for conservatives to criticize the guy.
But if the Rove types are playing those people for fools, why wouldn't that information be pertinent, Trinity? Why do you want to keep the blinders on? Of course Dobson et. al. have criticized this -- when you're playing poker and you're looking around the table for the sucker, and you can't find it, IT'S YOU.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous MrToffeeLovesYa said...

As Trinity noted, "To intentionally and spitefully try to affect the election this way is certainly a valid reason for conservatives to criticize the guy."

Wake up, liberals. Clearly religious conservatives believe Kuo has ulterior motives, just like Christy said. When can he rack up the biggest bucks? Right before an election, when he and his publisher hope that liberal, and possibly non-religious "book readers" are hungry for "facts" that they can use against the Bush agenda.

Is Kuo telling the truth? Religous conservatives don't know, and most probably don't care. They would have gladly taken a gander at Kuo's work in, say, January or February, after the GOP had successfully retained control of the House and Senate. And in private, such as a conference call or a special private e-mail session. Not in the pages of some book that Keith Olbermann and Air America can blast all over the country.

C'mon liberals. Isn't it obvious that Kuo, by setting up religious conservatives for embarrassment via Olbermann and AAR, lit a fire under those people, to stand by their man Bush and rally against liberals and their "facts"? Pow!

Dangerous stuff, Liberal America. Worse for liberals, Kuo's book gives religious conservatives something to talk about other than Mark Foley. Bam!

Liberals might be rejoicing, thinking Kuo's book is a magic elixir for their regaining control of Congress. It may be anything but, if religious conservatives have a say in the matter.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

rob of wilmington, del. said...
"So the truth doesn't matter -- the question of whether Kuo is telling the truth or not -- as the timing of the book?"


Well obviously, rob, neither of us have any way of knowing whether or not Kuo is telling the truth. Period.

And if it turns out that someone in Rove's office did say something like that, what does that mean? That the entire administration should be condemned for something some unnamed person did or didn't say? That conservatives everywhere should be punished by evangelicals helping Democrats win elections??? I don't think so.

Kuo didn't say that Rove said it, did he? No he didn't. So if someone else in Rove's office did in fact refer to some evangelical leaders as "the nuts", so what? Some evangelical leaders ARE nuts, imo, or at least appear to be at times.

In any case, this is purely political on Kuo's part. He's suggesting that evangelicals stay away from the polls, which is exactly what the libs and the MSM have been trying to effect ever since the Foley scandal broke. So to me, it looks as though Kuo, like David Brock before him, has gone over to the "dark side".

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Charles said...

So the left-wing liberals are disenfranchising evangalical Christians, now? Probably still stinging from the ground swell for President Ronald Reagan in 1980. American citizens are not to vote, but you demand that the illegal aliens have the 'right' to vote. Voting is not a right It is a privilege, exclusive to American citizens over the age of 18. Convicted felons may not vote and nor may illegal aliens. Americans who love God the Father and Jesus Christ his Son have the privilege of voting for their choice of candidate for office.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Dave G. said...
"Meh, it's a lame argument. Books come out every election cycle, every time, to try to influence people to vote/not vote."


Yes, Dave, but they're put out there by people who are pushing their own special interests or Party. If this guy really cared at all about advancing a faith-based agenda, he would never be a part of trying to suppress the Christian vote in order to elect a bunch of secular progressives to office. Duh.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

MrToffeeLovesYa said...
"Liberals might be rejoicing, thinking Kuo's book is a magic elixir for their regaining control of Congress. It may be anything but, if religious conservatives have a say in the matter."


First sensible thing I've seen you say in a long time.

And it's not just "religious" conservatives who will be marching to the polls three weeks from today and pulling the lever for Republicans either.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

If this guy really cared at all about advancing a faith-based agenda, he would never be a part of trying to suppress the Christian vote>>

That's bull. He wants to get as many people as possible to notice his book. That includes evangelicals who he feels blindly support Bush.

You associate voting for Democrats as equal to some sort of anti-religoius effort. There is a "religious left," you know, which has made its main issue supporting the impoverished and the infirmed, rather than political issues that Jesus never dealt with, like abortion and gay marriage.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Charles said...
So the left-wing liberals are disenfranchising evangalical Christians, now?>>

No. The argument is that a former Bush Administration employee might be doing that. Liberals don't factor into the equation.

Probably still stinging from the ground swell for President Ronald Reagan in 1980. >>

Right. The current election is being decided by the electorate of 1980, even though more than half of current voters weren't eligible to vote in 1980. Very smart thinking, Charles.

American citizens are not to vote, but you demand that the illegal aliens have the 'right' to vote.>>

Show me any mainstream Democrat who says that. You can't do it. Just another conservative myth without any factual basis. You don't hate liberals, Charles, you hate "liberals" -- the straw men you create to knock down.

Voting is not a right It is a privilege, exclusive to American citizens over the age of 18. Convicted felons may not vote and nor may illegal aliens. Americans who love God the Father and Jesus Christ his Son have the privilege of voting for their choice of candidate for office. >>

No one is arguing against that Charles, except for the fictional "liberals" rattling around in your fact-challenged head.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Trinity, I can't believe you said something nice about Toffee.

Is that a pig I see flying by?

:)

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

So the left-wing liberals are disenfranchising evangalical Christians, now?
Disenfranchising? Do you even know what the word MEANS, Charles?



Trinity said:Some evangelical leaders ARE nuts, imo, or at least appear to be at times.
But they don't believe they're nuts. Leaving aside the fact that I haven't read the book, and as far as I know, too, you haven't read it either, Trinity -- to find that you've been played a fool for a long time doesn't feel so good. That's really the point here.

If this guy really cared at all about advancing a faith-based agenda, he would never be a part of trying to suppress the Christian vote in order to elect a bunch of secular progressives to office. Duh.
But is everybody a dupe in this world? Does everyone have a great unseen hand behind them that's pushing them to do some thing for a few more votes in Smallville? Because that's a reductive argument - you can say it about anybody. It's more that he wants as many people to see his book as possible, as Rob said. And right now the stock in trade -- "Books that bash Bush" are doing a reasonably good business, for right or wrong. This is part of that wave.

Again, there's more than enough evidence that the Bush people didn't care all that much about the evangelicals, and tried to ignore them as much as possible until they called in the Schiavo chit, which blew up in the GOP's face. And the words "voter suppression" shouldn't be thrown about so lightly, really -- especially in the Foley case, which isn't exactly some made-up smear here.

6:20 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Toffee said: "Wake up, liberals. Clearly religious conservatives believe Kuo has ulterior motives, just like Christy said. When can he rack up the biggest bucks? Right before an election, when he and his publisher hope that liberal, and possibly non-religious "book readers" are hungry for "facts" that they can use against the Bush agenda"

I am so tired of this knee-jerk argument from conservatives. They have used it on Woodward in the timing of the release of the Bush denial book as well.
Even if it were true, so be it. The public deserves to hear the truth from all sides from informed insiders like Kuo and Woodward in order to make an informed decision before an election. I think this is also a principal motivation of the authors and their publishers.
Certainly, Toffee, you must acknowledge if you authored a book you sweated over writing for several months and in which you believed in your heart told the truth about some problem with Liberals or whatever, you would want it to be released to the public at a time when it would have maximum impact, like before an election.

Although the Republicans rallied against the reporting of Bush's NSA wiretapping program, I'm also sure they saw no problem in the New York Times reluctantly agreeing with the Bush Administration to wait for an entire year until after the 2004 presidential election to report the story.

9:29 AM  

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