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.