As this is written, voters in three more states are voting to select GOP delegates, and the Republican Party is facing serious damage through its belated discovery that it (the party of Lincoln, amazingly) has harbored bigotry and prejudice for decades without much effort to cast it out.
As this is written, voters in three more states are voting to
select GOP delegates, and the Republican Party is facing serious damage
through its belated discovery that it (the party of Lincoln, amazingly)
has harbored bigotry and prejudice for decades without much effort to
cast it out.
A strong statement? Not really. After all, Democratic candidates never
go to Bob Jones University to seek votes and the support of its leaders;
Rev. Pat Robertson has never contributed his anti-black, anti-Catholic,
anti-Semitic sentiments to the support of a Democrat.
It has fallen to the lot of Sen. John McCain to rip off that scab and
open the old wound, but he has hardly kept much dignity for himself. The
message of tolerance doesn’t come easily, after all, from a candidate
whose profile in courage was also badly blurred in South Carolina and
While George W. Bush was basking in the approval of the racism and
anti-Catholicism of his hosts at Bob Jones U., McCain was telling us
there was nothing wrong with South Carolina’s flying the Confederate
flag over the state capitol. It meant ’heritage’ to him, he explained,
And now Governor Bush, in a deftly placed letter to New York’s Cardinal
John O’Connor, has apologized for not challenging the bigotry of Bob
Jones University while he was there or, for that matter, since. In the
letter, Bush called it a ’missed opportunity’ he regretted.
He also - and here’s where the tin PR ears of both campaigns can be seen
- chose in the letter to the Cardinal to attack McCain. (’Get a life,’
the prelate must have thought). Bush resented, he said, attempts to make
him seem anti-Catholic or to share anti-Catholic sentiments. His staff
regularly attacks McCain’s conduct in sponsoring phone calls in Michigan
citing the Bob Jones appearance as evidence of Bush’s own prejudice -
but why repeat it in the letter?
The fact that McCain first denied responsibility for the calls but then
admitted it when the polls were closed only added to the public
impression that McCain cared more for the smear than for the issue
This all points up two troubling PR matters. Where have the Republicans
been all this time that they’re only now seeing the dangers in WASP
And who’s advising these guys? Even a belated letter to the Cardinal may
help Bush, but so would a letter to House leaders urging them to drop
the anti-Catholic bias and let the priest who was the choice of their
committee become the House chaplain. An admission and apology from
McCain for his far-less-than ’Straight Talk’ would also be appropriate