In 2000 George W. Bush decided he ought to run for POTUS. He had good reason. God wanted him to be president. W. had no qualms at all about announcing the Almighty's endorsement (or the anointing, if you will) publicly. America needed to know what God intended and George W. was kind enough to tell us. After all, when you're one of the true Born Again elite, you know what God's thinking. You know exactly what He wants.
Whatever God might have been thinking, whatever it was He wanted, He failed to deliver New Hampshire into the hands of His chosen candidate. Senator John McCain, without divine support, won that primary and W. was furious. Clearly, running as the Lord's favorite compassionate conservative was not going to be enough to win the White House.
The South Carolina primary loomed and McCain--the 2000 version of the Agent of Change--had the Big Mo. Another Bush loss spelled the end of his crusade for the Oval Office. George W. needed a miracle. Fast. Vietnam war hero John Sidney McCain was targeted for virtual annihilation. If he couldn't be beaten on the issues, he had to be destroyed. The Karl Rove/Tucker Eskew version of Intelligent Campaign Design? Lying for the Lord in the Palmetto State. And this version of God's will was very personal.
We South Carolinians had a front row seat in the coliseum when the GOP lions were loosed on an unarmed McCain. Poisonous push-polling, conceived and implemented under the tutelage of Bush campaign architect Rove and his South Carolina communications director Eskew, it swept the state like forty days and nights of foul weather.
"Would you still vote for John McCain if you knew...he has fathered an illegitimate black baby...he is a liar and a cheat...his wife is a drug addict..."
They were all lies. They were bald-faced lies told purposely with no intent other than the demonization of a man's character and his candidacy. Bush & Co. lied shamelessly. They sinned, ignoring the Word of God, breaking the ninth commandment: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." Bush was certain the smear attack, false or not, was justified. Horrific lies, told in the name of God, were surely acceptable in His sight.
Biblical scholars, Christian leaders, should have risen up, en masse, in protest . There is no Biblical "pass" for the liar who harms another child of God.
They didn't object. The sin was sanctified by the Religious Right. With the full support of Falwell, Reed, Robertson, et al, Lying for the Lord as a political tactic worked. McCain not only lost the South Carolina primary, he lost all hope for the Republican nomination. McCain, the candidate, was not only bloodied, he was mortally wounded. And he was bitter about it.
He had every right to be. John McCain, after bitter personal experience, promised us a loftier campaign for the presidency. An honorable one.
Now, eight long years and a 2004 campaign of lies (again embraced by the Religious Right) later, John McCain has evolved. He's a new creation. He's thrown his arms around Bush, Falwell, Hagee, Parsley, Dobson and Karl Rove. He's recruited Tucker Eskew, who so skillfully demonized McCain in South Carolina, to teach vice presidential hopeful Palin the ropes. He knows, first hand, what the Rove/Eskew ropes are intended to be. A noose. On the issues, with his fawning support of the dismal Bush Doctrine surrounding his candidacy like a plague of locusts, John the Maverick will lose. Again. If Camp McCain has its way this won't be an issue driven campaign; it will be a lynching.
The lies are out there: Obama doesn't love his country. Obama isn't a real Christian. Obama will hand the United States over to the Muslims; he's the Manchurian Candidate. Obama wants to lose a war to win an election. Obama wants to coddle terrorists. Obama wants to kill babies--even when they're born alive. Obama will raise your taxes. Obama is responsible for $4-a-gallon gasoline. Obama wants to corrupt kindergarten kids with federally sanctioned pornography. Obama hates rural Americans and poor people. Obama is not like us. Obama isn't as brave as McCain, as honorable as McCain. Obama isn't as experienced as McCain's choice for Veep. Obama's wife hates America. Obama and his wife are uppity; they're elitists. An Obama presidency is "more of the same".
Obama is a sexist who called Sarah Palin a pig.
If you're a good, right-minded Christian, you know God doesn't want this heathen in the White House.
They're lies. They're lies. They're more of the same shameless lies.
"Thou shalt not bear false witness..."
From Mosaic law: "Whatever is hurtful to you, do not do to any other person."
From the Sermon on the Mount: "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you."
Heaven help us. John McCain has adopted the vicious, dishonest Campaign 2000 South Carolina Smear Syndrome and gone national with it. Like George W. Bush, he's corrupting faith and deeply held moral values for the sake of winning. He's corrupting scripture.
John McCain is trying to do unto Barack Obama what George W. Bush did unto him.
And that's a sin.