Remember when the McCain campaign said it was taking a "hands off approach" to writing of the GOP platform? Turns out they weren't telling the truth. Again.
The Minnesota Independent is reporting that the McCain camp directly tapped right-wing fundie Gary Bauer, the president of American Values (a non-profit organization committed to "defending life, traditional marriage, and equipping children with conservative values") to consult on the campaign's behalf on what many are touting as "the most socially conservative platform in the party's history." Bauer appeared on the Focus on the Family radio show and explained his involvement, saying:
I was immediately amazed, surprised and happy to hear them say, "Look, we think it's a great platform already, it's pro-life, but we know people might want to strengthen it and we're open to that."
Much more after the jump...
Bauer proudly talked about how the McCain Campaign was completely open to "strengthening" the platform to reach ultra-conservative voters:
I got appointed by the McCain campaign to be their adviser on the platform. It was an interesting assignment. I arrived there, usually I'm on the outside beating on whoever the nominee is to do better, but when I got there and met with the McCain staff people I was immediately amazed, surprised and happy to hear them say, "Look, we think it's a great platform already, it's pro-life, but we know people might want to strengthen it and we're open to that. We want to work with people, we don't want to alienate anybody and we'd like you to go back and forth between the delegates and us and see if we can work these things out." I think that Kelly will affirm that, other than a few places, there really weren't many brutal fights. Most of it was done in a very collegial way with the McCain people being very open to the kind of changes that made the platform draft even better than it was when it started.
McCain is some maverick, huh? I guess what he previously called "agents of intolerance" should now be called "agents of McCain."
In case everyone has forgotten, here are some of the "highlights" of the Republican Party Platform:
Same-sex marriage: "Because our children's future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it. In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives."
More same-sex marriage: "A Republican Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of states not to recognize same-sex "marriages" licensed in other states. Unbelievably, the Democratic Party has now pledged to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which would subject every state to the redefinition of marriage by a judge without ever allowing the people to vote on the matter."
Sex education: "We renew our call for replacing 'family planning' programs for teens with increased funding for abstinence education, which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and expected standard of behavior. Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS when transmitted sexually. We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception."
Activist judges: "We also urge Congress to use its Article III, Section 2 power to prevent activist federal judges from imposing upon the rest of the nation the judicial activism in Massachusetts and California. We also encourage states to review their marriage and divorce laws in order to strengthen marriage. As the family is our basic unit of society, we oppose initiatives to erode parental rights."
A constitutional amendment banning all abortion even in the matter of rape, incest or a threat to the life of a woman: "We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life. At its core, abortion is a fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life. Women deserve better than abortion. Every effort should be made to work with women considering abortion to enable and empower them to choose life."
Gays in the military: "To protect our servicemen and women and ensure that America's Armed Forces remain the best in the world, we affirm the timelessness of those values, the benefits of traditional military culture, and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service."
Discrimination in hiring by faith-based organizations receiving federal funding: "We affirm every citizen's right to apply religious values to public policy and the right of faith-based organizations to participate fully in public programs without renouncing their beliefs, removing religious objects or symbols, or becoming subject to government-imposed hiring practices. Forcing religious groups to abandon their beliefs as applied to their hiring practices is religious discrimination."
How much more do we need to learn before we realize that McCain has completely sold his soul to the religious right to get elected? Palin may have re-energized the conservative voting base recently, but McCain was hopping into bed with the fundies while she was still frying moose burgers in Wasilla.
The fact that the McCain Campaign not only tapped Bauer as their consultant to the GOP platform, but also asked that it be "strengthened" to be more anti-gay (all the while playing the "hands off" card to keep his Maverick image intact) only shows how completely dishonest and mean-spirited this campaign is.
We have already seen what 8 years of religious right rule in the White House has done. Can we really afford 4 more years of the same?