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Tilting at Windmills

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February 29, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

THE HAGEE FACTOR....I don't usually have much use for Bill Donohue, but at least he's bipartisan in his thundering denunciations:

Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement today that [John] Hagee has written extensively in negative ways about the Catholic Church, "calling it 'The Great Whore,' an 'apostate church,' the 'anti-Christ,' and a 'false cult system.'"

"Senator Obama has repudiated the endorsement of Louis Farrakhan, another bigot. McCain should follow suit and retract his embrace of Hagee," Donohue said.

Plus this, of course:

In "Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude To war" Hagee has stated that Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves by rebelling against God and that the Holocaust was God's way of forcing Jews to move to Israel where, Hagee predicts according to his interpretation of Biblical scripture, they will be mostly killed in the apocalyptic Mideast conflict Hagee's new lobbying group seems to be working to provoke.

This is what is quaintly known as "pro-Israel" in conservative circles. And McCain is delighted to have Hagee's support. Because, you know, he's such a maverick.

Kevin Drum 12:47 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (59)

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Bill Donohue is a conservative blowhard who went the extra mile in 2004 to lambast Senator Kerry at every turn (over the Senator's long history of supporting the right to choice).

If Hagee had kept his mouth shut about Catholicism (in general though, a bigot in one thing is a bigot in all things), I'm sure Donohue would be telling us about what a stand-up guy Hagee was, for a Protestant.

Posted by: sdh on February 29, 2008 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

McCain should follow suit and retract his embrace of Hagee,

So McCain should retract the embrace of his base? It ain't going to happen. Being Republican means never having to say your sorry.

Posted by: tomeck on February 29, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Don't hold your breath waiting for Timmy to notice.

Obama's strategy is brilliant as it is necessary: be the safe black person every white person can relax around. McCain's strategy is the same: let the media demand servility among blacks so whites can feel comfortable.

Posted by: walt on February 29, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

I just love watching them eat their own.

Posted by: anandine on February 29, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

IOKIYAR

and what tomeck said.

Posted by: John McCain: More of the Same on February 29, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Don't just complain here about it.
I put up action diary at Kos this morning, with built in links to send emails to the anti-defamation league and letter to the editor of newspapers around the country:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/29/82751/9928/618/466195

And the following draft letter (feel free to use it; change it; write your own):

"Like the ADL in Oct 2007, I remain concerned by John McCain's unresolved false statement that the constitution established the U.S. as a Christian Nation, and now his embrace of Pastor John Hagee. As you know, Hagee is religious bigot, who has said the Holocaust was part of God's master plan to corral Jews into Israel; that Jews had been responsible for their persecution throughout history because of a failure to properly accept God. Hagee believes that 25% of Jews will convert and the rest will be slaughtered by Jesus and spend eternity in hell. Hagee has referred to the Catholic Church as The Great Whore, an apostate church, the anti-Christ, and a false cult system. Hagee said New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they recipients of the judgment of God for that. In Jan. ADL said it was satisfied with Obama's rejection of Farrakhan. Despite it being unsolicited, Obama has again rejected Farrakhan's support. Meanwhile, McCain has sought and now embraced Hagee’s support; isn't that worse?"

Posted by: dr.steveb on February 29, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Pastor Strangelove by Sarah Posner | May 21, 2006

...Hagee, who serves as head pastor of the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, hosts his own television program that is seen twice a day on TBN. He argues that the United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West. Shortly after the release of his book last January, he launched Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a lobbying organization intended, he says, to be a Christian version of the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee. With CUFI, which Hagee has said will cause a political earthquake, the televangelist aims to put the political organizing muscle of the conservative evangelical movement behind his grand plan for a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ....

Donohue and Hagee are both reprehensible. They deserve each other.

Posted by: Mike on February 29, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

What Walt said.

The GOP's been hanging with crazies for 30 years now, and before that they were hanging with bigots. But only pols on the left side of the spectrum are ever asked to disavow, repudiate, etc. their bad actors.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on February 29, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

walt on February 29, 2008 at 12:54 PM:

Obama's strategy is brilliant as it is necessary: be the safe black person every white person can relax around.

Maybe. It could be that Obama's really above the whole idea of using pride in your ancestry and cultural heritage as an excuse for demeaning others...Or not; the strategy you mention worked for Jackie Robinson; be steady and let other people prove themselves to be the assholes that they really are...It's hard because of the amount of crap a person has to endure is huge and won't change things immediately. Over time?...

Having said that, it's real entertaining watching right-whinge buffoons like Donohue and Hagee gnaw on each other.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 29, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

that Jews had been responsible for their persecution throughout history because of a failure to properly accept God.

In which he agrees with the (Jewish) prophets, and with observant Jews today.

Posted by: SamChevre on February 29, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Just another screaming example of the double standard that is applied to liberals. Obama's connection to Farrakhan will grow legs and dog him his entire campaign, but any complaints about Hagee will be ignored, because the wingnut noise machine has succeeded in redefining what is mainstream so far to the right that the hate filled bigotry that fuels their base is acceptable, while a less virulent form of hate speech uttered by a non-white/non-Christian supporter on the left is evidence of the liberals being dangerously out of step with mainstream America.

I figure Farrakhan is a reasonable analogue on the left for Pat Robertson on the right. So forget about Hagee, who is so far out on the finges that he doesn't even register in the same solar system. McCain should already be defending his embrace of the looney religious right based on his obsequious courting of Pat Robertson. But that won't happen anytime soon.

Posted by: majun on February 29, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

This will only be meaningful if Donohue gets to repeat this on FOX or MSNBC.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Obama's strategy is brilliant as it is necessary: be the safe black person every white person can relax around.

This is pretty much where I'm at right now. It's a double-edged sword for McCain. Embrace the hate and lose the independent veneer. Reject the hate and lose your base, while pointing out to the rest of the country how crazy they are.

I call it Dr. Huxtable vs. Dr. Strangelove, although on my blog, I use a lot more foul language. :)

Posted by: enozinho on February 29, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

"This is what is quaintly known as "pro-Israel" in conservative circles."
_________________________

Which conservative circles would those be? The fringe of any party or movement has its share of nuts. To say that the nuts represent the mainstream of any movement is just plain wrong.

Support for Israel is in keeping with the best of our democratic principles.

Posted by: trashhauler on February 29, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

yes. i love how fundies are pro-Israel, in that they're building a stairway to heaven on their dead.

an have ya'll noticed the fundy lack of faith in G-d? I mean, set up a lobbying group to prompt the apocalypse? I mean, talk about tempting Him. Either G-d is gonna frag the world or he ain't, but isn't it a tad feeble hearted to be assured that the rapture is coming but worry that somehow it won't if they don't kill enough Muslims, manipulate enough Jews, get enough republicans elected? Seems like they're not only moral hypocrites, but betrayers of their own faith. So if you see Hagee and his peeps coming, you know all they are is an empty shell full of self-righteousness and violence. Pretty simple really. And Mac's his friend. If he really believed in the apocalypse he wouldn't be so worried he won't get it unless Mac's in the White House to give it to him.

Posted by: Trypticon on February 29, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

In which he agrees with the (Jewish) prophets, and with observant Jews today.

And yet, Hagee's definition of "a failure to properly embrace God" is a little different than the Jewish prophets' and observant Jews', isn't it?

BTW, not only is McCain not denouncing or rejecting Hagee, he openly sought the guy's endorsement (as did Huckabee), and he has formally accepted it. I feel certain this will soon be all over the MSM.

Posted by: shortstop on February 29, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

And yet, Hagee's definition of "a failure to properly embrace God" is a little different than the Jewish prophets' and observant Jews', isn't it?

Not really. If my memory serves me correctly, he's one of the minority of Christians who think that Jews do not need to believe in Jesus Christ.

Posted by: SamChevre on February 29, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

If that's true, I stand corrected, Sam. Worth checking out...I'll do so.

Posted by: shortstop on February 29, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Vote McCain, or else the world might not end, and all the Jews and Muslim might not die! And that would be anti-American and would make Jesus cry.

nothing to reject or denounce here...

Posted by: Trypticon on February 29, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

SamChevre.... so, anti-Semitism, then, is just the fulfillment of prophecy? Nice.

And, I'll believe that Hagee doesn't believe Jews need to accept Jesus when I see a quote.

If the fundies want to really get all Israel, or better yet, all Hebrew on us, why doesn't Hagee endorse Yahweh ben Yahweh?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on February 29, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Donohue: as whores go, the Catholic Church is not so great.

Posted by: Glenn on February 29, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

People, people! Hagee et al love Isreal, and love the Jews who live there! They don't want the Jews to convert, they want them to live in Israel as Jews so they can all be killed in the Apocalypse so Jesus can bring love to the world. Hagee never didn't meet a Jew he wouldn't love in principle, as a bloody skid mark on his rearview mirror on the road to paradise. Praise Jesus.

Posted by: Trypticon on February 29, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Al. You are off base again. McCain may not have the power to get Hagee to shut his mouth, but McCain certainly can choose not to accept the endorsement at a news conference. From Reuters:

"I'm very honored by Pastor John Hagee's endorsement today," McCain said at a news conference. "He has been the staunchest leader of our Christian evangelical movement in many areas, but especially, most especially, his close ties and advocacy for the freedom and independence of the state of Israel."

Hagee, standing beside the candidate, said he admired McCain's pro-Israel stance, commitment to nominate conservative judges and opposition to abortion."

Posted by: jm on February 29, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Donohue hasn't endorsed me, but I denounce him anyway.

Posted by: Grumpy on February 29, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Donohue: as whores go, the Catholic Church is not so great.

LOL. They get credit for the outfits, but the repertoire of tricks is strictly limited.

Posted by: shortstop on February 29, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

it never ceases to amaze that the vast majority of conservative evangelicals in the US are precisely the sorts of people Jesus would have thrown out of the temple. He would say of them, "Let the dead bury the dead." They defile who they think they praise. It is a wonder.

Posted by: Trypticon on February 29, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

I guarantee that you will never see Tim Russert or any of the other bought-and-paid-for corporate shills for the Republican Party challenge McCain with this, let alone use it for relentless, aggressive character assassination in a nationally televised "debate" as Russert did to Obama regarding Farrakhan.

As in the 2000 election campaign, the single most important factor in the 2008 campaign will be the corporate media's onslaught of character assassination against the Democratic nominee. Which, as in 2000, will make the election close enough for the Republicans to steal it.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 29, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

I still say that we -- and everyone with a brain -- should point out that 'mavericks' are un-branded cattle, and, since John McCain proudly wears the "Brand W" label, John McCain is NO maverick!

Say it again, and loud!

John McCain is NO maverick!

... and his associates and supporters include many, many ranting nutjobs, such as the two 'clergymen' involved in this latest upheaval.

Ed

Posted by: Ed Drone on February 29, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Few developments provide greater schadenfreude for liberals than division and conflict among the ranks of the American Taliban. So watching the Catholic League's Bill Donahue burst a blood vessel over John McCain's embrace of the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee is must-see entertainment for Democrats. But when it comes to his End Times vision of conflict with Iran, John Hagee is no laughing matter.

For the details, see:
"McCain, Hagee and Armageddon as Foreign Policy."

Posted by: Angry on February 29, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

All's fair in love, war and relgious extremists I guess.

Donohue just wants to be the Catholic version Jesse Jackson. He's in it for the publicity, nothing more.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on February 29, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

The Reverend Hagee makes my bile boil.

Posted by: Brojo on February 29, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

I feel certain this will soon be all over the MSM.

I wish I had your confidence Shortstop.

To say that the nuts represent the mainstream of any movement is just plain wrong.

Trashhauler, that "fringe" of which you speak consists of Huckabee, McCain, Tom Delay, Elliot Abrams....


Posted by: ckelly on February 29, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

I was being sarcastic, ckelly. Guess that didn't come through.

Posted by: shortstop on February 29, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK
I don't usually have much use for Bill Donohue, but at least he's bipartisan in his thundering denunciations

Yeah, well, I'm a Catholic, and I still don't have much use for Bill Donohue. But, yeah, the tactical alliance right-wing Catholic extremists and right-wing Protestant extremists in the U.S. is undercut by the history of mutual bigotry and persecution going back in unbroken succession to the Reformation, this is hardly news.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 29, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

I was being sarcastic, ckelly. Guess that didn't come through.

Whoops sorry, my snark meter is on snooze - it's been a long week.

Posted by: ckelly on February 29, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain is NO maverick!

More of a gelding I'd say.

Posted by: ckelly on February 29, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

jm, Al's even more wrong than you suggest. Not only did McCain accept the endorsement (in person at a news conference), he has been actively courting Hagee's support for a year (going back to CUFI meeting with Lieberman at least). Obama most certainly did not seek the endorsement of Farrakhan. McCain can't claim as Obama did that you can't control who supports you. He *can control* whose support he actively seeks.

All Dems and independents who think McCain is a good guy (we all know somebody who thinks that way) worth liking should have to deal with his obvious religious pandering toward the worst of far-right religious conservatives.

Posted by: Don on February 29, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

I hate it when Bill Donahue is portrayed as any kind of official spokesperson for Catholicism just because he calls his group The Catholic League.
He's just the self-annointed Bishop of blowhard.

Posted by: on February 29, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Trashy wrote: Support for Israel is in keeping with the best of our democratic principles.

Including its assault on Lebanon, Trashy?

Support for the existence of the State of Israel of one thing. Uniform and unblinking adherence to the Likud party line -- when there's vigorous dibate and disagreement in Israel itself -- in unconscionable.

Which is why I'm hardly surprised to see you embrace it so dishonestly. Shame on you.

shortstop wrote: They get credit for the outfits, but the repertoire of tricks is strictly limited.

I went to Catholic high school, and I don't have any complaints. ;)

Posted by: Gregory on February 29, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

If you want to see the Hagee clip Donahue is referencing, you can see it on YouTube - link at the end of this post. It's even freakier than it sounds in Donahue's press release.

Posted by: Don on February 29, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Yet another one of these :

"...On August 26, 1960, Hagee married Martha. They had two children, Christopher and Tish. In October 1966, Hagee founded Trinity Church in San Antonio, Texas. He resigned his pastorate in May 1975. Hagee and Martha divorced on grounds of Pastor Hagee's infidelity in September 1975, and Hagee married Diana on April 12, 1976...." - Wikipedia

"Against stupidity, the very gods themselves must contend in vain." - Friedrich von Shille

Posted by: daCascadian on February 29, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

When will Amy Sullivan renounce and reject John Hagee?

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on February 29, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

My wonderful, but very right wing, in-laws are always claiming how anti-Christian much of America is. Being ultra-Catholic, they take it another step, pointing out any bit of pop culture that could be construed as anti-Catholic. Funny thing, as Hagee amply proves, they've been worrying about the wrong folks. The entire evangelical wing of the GOP is convinced my in-laws are hell-bound cultists.

Posted by: NHCt on February 29, 2008 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Telling Catholics about Hagee's infidelity and divorce is almost as much fun as telling a vegetarian where Jello comes from.

Yeah, I know, I'm mean sometimes.

Posted by: Tripp on February 29, 2008 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp wrote: "Telling Catholics about Hagee's infidelity and divorce is almost as much fun as telling a vegetarian where Jello comes from."

I am a vegan. Once a friend invited me over for dinner. She went to a lot of trouble to prepare a very nice meal that was entirely vegan (no foods of animal origin including eggs & dairy) ... until ... dessert, which was Jello.

It was not fun to have to tell her where Jello comes from.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 29, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Yet more scandal related to the fake straight talker McCain:

Hagee’s tv show, “John Hagee Today,” is also broadcast on Cornerstone Television. In 1999, McCain wrote to the FCC on behalf of campaign contributor Lowell “Bud” Paxson, urging a deal that would have made $17.5 million for Cornerstone.

from thinkprogress.org

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 29, 2008 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Trashhauler wrote: "Support for Israel is in keeping with the best of our democratic principles."

US support for Israel is in keeping with the USA's longstanding geostrategic policy to control the oil supplies of the Middle East.

It has no more to do with "democratic principles" than does US support for Saudi Arabia.

It has everything to do with the US desire for a nuclear-armed regional military superpower ally that is wholly dependent on US support for its existence, in the heart of the world's last, greatest, richest supplies of high-quality oil.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 29, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

The Church hierarchy may be a Great Whore, but not the whole Catholic Church.

Don’t underestimate the wrath of Catholics, including those that have long lapsed. It may be one fucked up church, but it is our fucked up church, and God help the non- Catholic mother fucker that attacks the Church.

McCain is toast. Those images will be run again and again. If the Democrats play it right, McCain will be lucky with 30% of the Catholic vote.

Posted by: on February 29, 2008 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

"it is the height of hypocrisy of you to demand it when Obama says the same thing also."

No, no, no, no, Al.

It is the height of hypocriy for TIM RUSSERT to demand it of Obama when he doesn't demand it of McCain.

It's the PRESS, don't you see, which is being (as usual) partial to the Republican'ts.

Posted by: Cal Gal on February 29, 2008 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

At 2:43 pm :___All Dems and independents who think McCain is a good guy (we all know somebody who thinks that way) worth liking should have to deal with his obvious religious pandering toward the worst of far-right religious conservatives.____

I've had the same feeling listening to him on Right Wing interview programs. He doesn't seem to understand that his association with them might reflect badly on him because of whom he chooses to give respect. But he probably figures it will all fade away, and he can reinvent himself for the actual campaign.

Posted by: cdmn on February 29, 2008 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

US support for Israel is in keeping with the USA's longstanding geostrategic policy to control the oil supplies of the Middle East.Posted by: SecularAnimist

Seeing how Israel has no oil but it's very presence, even when it's not harassing or killing the Palestinian majority or invading Lebanon, offends every oil sheikdom in the region, our buddy-buddy relationship with the nation is actually a hindrance when it comes to oil politics.

Our foolishly tight relationship with Israel is a dated legacy of the Cold War and the continued strength of the Israel lobby in the U.S.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 1, 2008 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

I tend not to focus on past rational. Israel is sixty years old and needs to move out of mom and dads house.

Posted by: Jet on March 1, 2008 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

I love you son, but its time you take care of yourself.

Posted by: Jet on March 1, 2008 at 2:41 AM | PERMALINK

Dr Steveb-
i just added emails to the ADL to the ones i sent to WaPo, MTP and Nightly News yesterday.
thanks for the links
E

Posted by: Sedentary Barbarian on March 1, 2008 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on March 1, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp: Telling Catholics about Hagee's infidelity and divorce is almost as much fun as telling a vegetarian where Jello comes from.

Why? Hagee's a Catholic hater. Telling them is more likely to confirm their pre-conceptions -- that divorce and rejecting the truth go hand in hand.

Posted by: sj on March 1, 2008 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Well, McCain said the other day that he sees the United States getting into even more wars, so no wonder Hagee, and his crackpot religious followers, are all for McCain being the next president...since McCain is just as much a hawk as Bush and Cheney.

Of course, I doubt that Bush and Cheney are done yet. Indications are that they might just starting bombing Iran in the next two weeks, or at least by the end of March.

Posted by: The Oracle on March 1, 2008 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

While it is true that catholicism overflows with false teachings, heresies, etc., etc., etc., it is also true that John Hagee has been revealed apostate in the fall of 2007 with his release of the first printing of his book "In Defense Of Israel" in which he renounces Jesus Christ as The Messiah.

Is it really any surprise that an apostate would endorse McCain?

Living Hope In Jesus
www.livinghopeinjesus.com

http://www.livinghopeinjesus.com/JOHNHAGEEISNOWAPOSTATEREADITFORYOURSELF.dsp

Posted by: Living Hope In Jesus on March 1, 2008 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Hey "living Hope" Catholicism isnt Heretical!
Did it ever occur to you that perhaps YOU ARE ?
So many of these holier than thou types cannot wait to start up a villification of the "pastor of the week"
It happened to Jimmy Swaggart, Billy Graham,
Charles Colson, the Promise Keepers Founder, Charles Stanley, now Hagee. (they all turn on the current one in vogue) Very STRANGE behavior from the "annointed"they deny their leader

Posted by: "living Hope wrong" on March 2, 2008 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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