David Corn reports on a man whom McCain has called "a spiritual guide" and who believes that America must destroy the "false religion" of Islam. McCain has not rejected Rod Parsley's endorsement and shared a stage with him. Of course, a twenty-year relationship with a preacher counts for more than a public political endorsement and embrace of a religious nut-job. But Obama kept Wright at a political distance for a reason; and when McCain keeps no distance and even embraces the religious far right, he has to be held accountable. If the religious left is now part of the politics of association, so too must the religious right.
And the truth is: the GOP is far, far more influenced by its religious fanatics than the Democrats by theirs'. And yet the right-wing extremist ranters are given a pass, as mainstream Republicans like McCain feel obliged to suck up to them. After what the right has done with Wright, they don't get a pass any more. The GOP needs to be held accountable for every religious extremist it panders to, especially when their sectarian rhetoric could impact the work of American foreign policy: