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MSM looks for a Jeremiah Wright in McCain’s Occasional Associations

It seems Democrats and their allies in the MSM will do anything to diminish the relationship between their likely presidential nominee, Barack Obama, and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his demagogic pastor of twenty years. Liberal bloggers and MSM reporters act as if they’re breaking some earth-shattering news every time they uncover some crazy statement by a socially conservative pastor who has endorsed his rival this fall, Republican John McCain

This morning when I followed the link on Yahoo!’s front page to this ABC News article, McCain Pastor: Islam Is a ‘Conspiracy of Spiritual Evil’, I thought I’d be reading a piece about a recent statement by the pastor of a church the Arizona Senator had attended for many years. Instead, the network was only reporting on some anti-Islamic comments made by Pastor Rod Parsley who had endorsement McCain’s White House bid and whom the candidate praised.

The article provided no evidence the Senator had even attended the pastor’s church, much less heard any of his sermons.

These comments led former CIA intelligence officer John Kiriakou to claim, “If there is a McCain presidency, he will start with a serious handicap in the Arab world . . . the handicap is that it is already assumed in Muslim countries that they will not get a fair shake from a McCain administration.” Um, it only becomes a handicap if the media suggests, as does this article, that the next President of the United States had a close association with this pastor.

To be sure, McCain had praised Parsley, but his campaign “said the senator ‘obviously strongly rejects such statements. . . . . Just because someone endorses John McCain doesn’t mean he endorses all of their views.

While Yahoo! headlined this ABC article earlier in the day, by the end of the day, it would lead with a headline referencing another pastor who had endorsed the Arizona Senator, reporting that the presumptive Republican nominee had rejected another evangelical leader over Nazi remarks.

Soon after learning that John Hagee “believed the Nazis did God’s will by chasing Jews from Europe,” the presumptive GOP nominee said, “Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them . . . . I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee’s endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well.

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Hillary as the anti-Reagan?

A number of bloggers and pundits have compared Barack Obama’s rise this year to that of Jimmy Carter in 1976 Hugh Hewitt did so today, Glenn did so yesterday, I mentioned it last month building on Rich Lowry’s National Review cover story in December.

The rise of an obscure, inexperienced politician pushing change, hope and a new brand of politics is not the only similarity this year’s presidential campaign has with that of 1976. Back then, one party saw its contest for the presidential nomination continue through its convention, with the popular vote nearly evenly divided between the two candidates.

With a similarly close vote this time and Hillary’s recent threat to carry this all this way to the Democratic convention in Denver, it’s no wonder at least a number of bloggers, pundits and journalists are comparing the Democratic race in 2008 to the Republican contest in 1976.

After losing the battle for the GOP nomination in 1976 to then-President Ford, Ronald Reagan, once he had won the Republican primary in New Hampshire four years later, advanced pretty effortlessly to GOP nomination, then defeated in a landslide Jimmy Carter, the man who had narrowly bested his erstwhile Republican rival. Should John McCain defeat Obama this fall, would Hillary be able to come back in 2012, arguing in part that she could have prevented four additional years of Republican rule had she been the Democratic nominee?

I wonder.

While she certainly does have a solid base of support in her party as he did in his, she is, in many ways, the opposite of Ronald Reagan. Where he excelled at speaking to large crowds, she is at her worst there, seeming wooden and forced. She has become better in one-on-one exchanges (see e.g., her recent O’Reilly interview), a format where he was relatively weak. Where he was a man of vision and ideas, she is a master of policy and details.

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Pat Buchanan: Nazi Sympathizer*?

As Jonah Goldberg observed in his book, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, we conservatives are often subject to the epithets, “Nazi” or “fascist,” merely for expressing our political point of view. Rarely do the labels even come close to representing our ideology or opinions, indeed are usually at odds with our commitment to freedom and opposition to government programs, serving primarily as a mean for those who so label us to dismiss our ideas.

Well, earlier this week, I read a column by a man who calls himself a conservative, while the ideas he expresses there makes one wonder if Pat Buchanan is, as some have described him, a Nazi sympathizer. Buchanan has long since abandoned the principles which have defined American conservatism (if he ever supported them).

As I’ve noted before, he showed so little regard for the leader of American conservatism, Ronald Reagan, that he chose to speak for far longer than the time allotted him at the 1992 Republican National Convention, bumping the Gipper’s subsequent speech out of prime time.

No one who would show such disrespect for the Gipper should consider himself a conservative. And no paper which seeks to promote serious conservatism would print (or offer pixels to) his columns.

This ex-conservative now claims that President Bush “made a hash of history” when he referenced the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 as an example of the danger of appeasement.

Actually, it’s Buchanan who’s making a hash of history, as he’s pretty much made a hash of every serious idea he’s tried to consider for the past sixteen years or so. He contends that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s September 1938 Munich “deal with Hitler averted a European war — at the expense of the Czech nation.” Well, at least he acknowledges the abandonment of the Czechs.

“German tanks,” Buchanan observes “did not roll into Poland until a year later, Sept. 1, 1939.” And why? Oh, not because they thought the West was weak, having offered up Czechoslovakia to the Nazis, but because Poland “refused to negotiate over Danzig,” then an ethnically German city under Polish sovereignty (but officially a “free city” administered by the League of Nations).

“Hitler,” Buchanan claims, “had not wanted war with Poland.” He did try to negotiate. But, the meanies in the Polish government forced his hand because they were intransigent. The Nazis, you see, just had to invade. They were forced into it because how else could the Nazis include this German-speaking territory in their pan-Germanic Reich?

Does he really believe that Hitler would not have sought to dominate Europe had Poland sat down to negotiate the status of Danzig?

Buchanan takes it as a given the the Nazi idea of uniting all German territories under one regime is a good thing. That he was only driven to evil because the West prevented him from achieving this goal.

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