MSNBC reports on David Kuo's book 'Tempting Faith':
More than five years after President Bush created the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, the former second-in-command of that office is going public with an insider's tell-all account that portrays an office used almost exclusively to win political points with both evangelical Christians and traditionally Democratic minorities.Strange, Karl Rove and I agree on something...
"Tempting Faith's" author is David Kuo, who served as special assistant to the president from 2001 to 2003. A self-described conservative Christian, Kuo's previous experience includes work for prominent conservatives including former Education Secretary and federal drug czar Bill Bennett and former Attorney General John Ashcroft.
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.
This is going to cause problems. The time of the release of Tempting Fate, October 16th, just weeks before the November election, guarantees coverage by the media. On top of the Foley situation and a growing perception that the GOP hasn't done enough to turn America into a theocracy, this might keep some of the fundies home on November 7th.
Crooks and Liars has video and a transcript of Keith Olbermann's coverage of "Tempting Faith."
When President Bush touched on Iraq at his news conference this morning, he may have been revealing more than he knew.So it appears that the Republicans are now having to pay the piper for stringing along a huge block of voters with unfulfilled promises and empty rhetoric. At least that's the angle that always leads in stories on Kuo's new book. But the most important allegation in the book is one that doesn't receive as much attention. From the MSNBC piece:[video] BUSH: The stakes couldn't be any higher, as I said earlier, in the world in which we live. There are extreme elements that use religion to achieve objectives.He was talking about religious extremists in Iraq. But an hour later, Mr. Bush posed with officials from the Southern Baptist Convention.
It is described as the largest, most influential evangelical denomination in a new book by the former number-two man in Bush's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives.
Author David Kuo's conservative Christian credentials are impeccable; his resume sprinkled with names like Bennett and Ashcroft. Now, as the Foley cover-up has many evangelical Christians wondering whether the G.O.P. is really in sync with their values, "Tempting Faith" provides the answer: No way.
Kuo, citing one example after another of a White House that repeatedly uses evangelical Christians for their votes — while consistently giving them nothing in return;
A White House which routinely speaks of the nation's most famous evangelical leaders behind their backs, with contempt and derision.
Furthermore, Faith-Based Initiatives were not only stiffed on one public promise after another by Mr. Bush — the office itself was eventually forced to answer a higher calling: Electing Republican politicians.
Kuo's bottom line: the Bush White House is playing millions of American Christians for suckers.
More seriously, Kuo alleges that then-White House political affairs director Ken Mehlman knowingly participated in a scheme to use the office, and taxpayer funds, to mount ostensibly "nonpartisan" events that were, in reality, designed with the intent of mobilizing religious voters in 20 targeted races.Once you get past the shock that BushCo. would break the law to use it's position for private political gain (I know I'm shocked, I'm sure you are too) you realize that this is a pretty big offense.
Kuo goes so far as to attributes Bush's win in Ohio in 2004 to these illegal efforts.
As Shakespeare's Sister notes (in a story she got posted before I finished mine!) it's kind of curious that David Kuo put all of this in a book which from which he'll probably make gobs of cash instead of going to the media back when it was happening. I guess I can kind of understand it, though. You know what BushCo. does to whistle blowers...
What has all of this lead to? The GOP's Hold on Evangelicals is Weakening.
Tempting Faith David Kuo George W. Bush Office of Faith-Based Initiatives Christianists Karl Rove