Weekend pandering?

There’s nothing like campaign pandering to really get me going. 

Both candidates have agreed to attend a forum at Rev. Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA on August 16th.   Rev. Warren contacted both McCain and Obama personally with the invitation. 

Not knowing much about Rev. Warren, I decided to do a little research.  In December, 2006 Time magazine did a story The Real Losers in the Obama – Warren Controversy.

In this article, Rev. Warren invited Senators Sam Brownback and Barack Obama to speak at Warren’s Saddleback Church at the second annual AIDS conference.  Obama’s speech supported his positions: 

“Let me say this loud and clear — I don’t think that we can deny that there is a moral and spiritual component to prevention — that in too many places all over the world where HIV/AIDS is prevalent — including by the way right here in the United States — the relationship between men and women, between sexuality and spirituality, has broken down, and needs to be repaired.”

Obama’s appearance in 2006 bothered both the far-left and the religious right. 

I am impressed that Rev. Warren discusses the important issues – AIDS research, the Environment and poverty.   This is different from the usual mega-church issues I hear about: abortion and gay marriage.  

When Warren was asked about his opinion of Obama he said:

“He’s an amazing man … I think he has good character.”

The August 16th forum does come at a time when Obama is working to reach out to the religious right as he recently said that he would expand the Faith-based Initiatives Program and McCain finds himself looking for strong religious endorsements after the Revs. Hagee and Parsely’s endorsements proved to be problematic for McCain.


James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family, wants to see if he can get the candidates to jump through hoops-on-fire by tempting McCain with the possibility of his endorsement.  “I never thought I would hear myself saying this.  While I am not endorsing Senator John McCain, the possibility is there that I might.” 


This weekend brought further pandering from McCain as he called for a longer ‘Gas Tax Holiday.’ 

“I think we ought to seriously look at whether we need to have it be longer or not depending on what the economy (does).  I think we have to consider all options but the fact is we need a gas tax holiday. We need it, we need it, we need it very badly. The Americans that are hurt the most are low income Americans that are driving the oldest automobiles.”

I guess we must need it very badly if he said it 3 times.

We’ve been over this one before.  Economists call this idea horrible.  It won’t save consumers any real money (about $25 over 3 months) and most Americans realize that it is just a cheap campaign trick.  Since the taxes generated would go to pay for infrastructure construction, think of all the people this would put out of work and all the small construction businesses this would bankrupt.  Obama would be smart to put an ad out explaining what a terrible idea this is and explaining to America that McCain really doesn’t understand how to repair the economic problems we face.


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