Perhaps the way to solve our political problems is for all of us, on the left and right, to hold our candidates accountable for what they do.
For instance, when a surrogate does something deplorable, we need to have the candidate repudiate the surrogate and cut off their oxygen. The surrogate needs to get the message that they cannot do the dirty work for the campaign with a wink and a nod.
All of our candidates should be held to this standard. I don't want Hillary, Obama, or Edwards doing hatchet jobs, just as I don't want Guliani, McCain, or Romny doing it.
So when Edwards hires bloggers that disparage Catholics, we need to have him make a statement and hold him accountable. When Duncan Hunter does the same, we need to hold him accountable. I am not saying that these people need to resign. I am saying that they need to apologize and send a message that such remarks will work against all politicians in the future. We need not bash a persons of faith if we are voting for a person to represent us in a secular government.
The only time we need to consider a person's faith is when they infuse it into our secular government. Until then, it is their faith. Let it inform them in their spiritual life. Let them run for office in their secular life. Most rational people can understand the difference
"February 24, 2007
Meet Henry Jordan
Posted 11:10 am Printer Friendly Spotlight
Digg this • Add to del.icio.us • Email this
In 1997, shortly after I finished grad school, I started working at Americans United for Separation of Church and State. My very first project, literally in my first week, dealt with a Republican member of South Carolina’s Board of Education, who wanted to impose Christianity on public school students. When one of his colleagues on the board alluded to concerns about religious minorities in the state, this board member said, on tape, “Screw the Buddhists and kill the Muslims. And put that in the minutes.”
The guy’s name was Henry Jordan. I got to work trying to force his resignation, but to no avail. I helped drum up some media interest, but the GOP establishment in South Carolina stood by Jordan, the response from local voters was tepid, and he kept his job looking out for the educational needs of children.
This week, my old friend Jordan got a new political gig.
Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter on Thursday named … former state Rep. Tom Marchant and Dr. Henry Jordan campaign co-chairmen. Jordan made headlines nearly a decade ago for his disparaging comments about Muslims and Buddhists.
An unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor both in 1996 and last year, Jordan said in May that science does not support Darwin’s theory that man evolved from monkeys. He said students should learn “intelligent design” along with evolution. “I mean you’ve got to be stupid to believe in evolution, I mean really,” he told The Associated Press then.
Duncan called Jordan “a great, conservative Republican leader” who agrees with him on strengthening the border, national defense and protecting jobs from going overseas.
Let’s take a moment to consider this in the context of recent presidential-campaign events.John Edwards’ campaign endured a week of negative headlines because he hired a couple of fairly low-level staffers who’d written some intemperate blog posts about religious fundamentalists. The outrage in certain conservative circles was overwhelming — what kind of candidate would want to associate himself with writers who’d said vaguely rude things about people of faith? What does this say about his judgment? Doesn’t this speak to the left’s inherent animosity towards religion?
In contrast, Duncan Hunter has given a high-level position to a man who once publicly announced his belief that Buddhists and Muslims should be “screwed” and “killed.” As far as I can tell, there’s been no outrage from Bill Donohue, religious groups, the media, or the political establishment.
As my friend Melissa, who has some first-hand experience with this issue, noted:
Golly, after conservatives went completely apeshit over a low-level staffer’s use of the word “Christofascist,” I can’t wait to hear what they have to say about that!
Indeed. Conservatives seem to believe that it’s deplorable and offensive to say anything that might disparage people of faith, unless it deals with religious groups they don’t care for, in which case everything’s fine.
Put it this way: if Henry Jordan had said “Screw the Baptists and kill the Methodists,” I suspect Duncan Hunter would have some explaining to do. A political reporter might even raise an eyebrow.
Interesting double standard, isn’t it?"