Democratic Cross?

The LA Times ran a story last night about an upcoming book from a former White House aide. But in the current political climate, this won’t be just any book and this isn’t just any aide.

A new book by a former White House official says President Bush’s top political advisers privately ridiculed evangelical supporters as “nuts” and “goofy” while embracing them in public and using their votes to help win elections.

The former official also writes that the White House office of faith-based initiatives, which Bush promoted as a nonpolitical effort to support religious social service organizations, was told to host pre-election events designed to mobilize religious voters who would most likely favor Republican candidates.

The assertions by David Kuo, the former No. 2 official in the faith-based initiatives program, have rattled Republican strategists already struggling to convince evangelical voters to turn out this fall for the GOP.

The book, “Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction,” due out in stores on Monday is another example of GOP disarray. This time the sniping isn’t coming from the center of the Republican party, but from a side not normally expected, the religious right. This book is being written by a former Republican aide. According to what I am reading, the Foley scandal was leaked by a former Republican aide. Do you see a pattern here?

Keith Obermann started the whole thing by stealthily obtaining a pre-release copy of the book. (Someone from his show walked into at bookstore and asked for it. That’s investigative reporting!) Olbermann continues with the raking of the muck.

Kuo, who has complained publicly in the past about the funding shortfalls, goes several steps further in his new book.

He says some of the nation’s most prominent evangelical leaders were known in the office of presidential political strategist Karl Rove as “the nuts.”

“National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as ‘ridiculous,’ ‘out of control,’ and just plain ‘goofy,’” Kuo writes.

So if I read between the lines correctly, Kuo has written a book describing his experiences in the Bush administration where he seems upset that the faith-base initiatives were politically motivated. Well – DUH!

Did anyone really think Karl Rove was a wondering preacher? I would have been surprised if he had said, “Office of Faith –Based Initiatives? How many people and how much money do you need?” Instead he is being quoted with “I don’t know – just get me a f#cking faith-based thing! Got it?” Well, yes Mr Rove, I think I do. (Aside: The New Republic  is saying that Rove pressured Mark Foley into running again even though Foley was thinking about retiring. Oops. His bad!)

Of course this isn’t new news. It isn’t even newish. From a story on Stateline.org from March 15, 2005

The Rev. Jim Dickerson is founder and pastor of the New Community Church, a highly active, interracial congregation in Washington’s inner city. He should be a perfect candidate for George Bush’s faith-based initiative, a soldier in the president’s “army of compassion.”

[snip]

I listened,” he says, “but it was quickly obvious this was just a smokescreen to recruit blacks and minorities into the Republican party by bribing them with money and access to power — even while covering up cuts in vital social programs and giving big tax cuts to the wealthy.”

Will the Democrats use this to crucify Bush? Probably not.

This book will be released four weeks before the election. Another bullet in the Democratic political revolver. And it does make a nice silver bullet. (Now, do the former Republican aides Democrats have three bullets left?)

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