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You Can Pick Your Friends, But…

But you can’t, if you’re running for president of the United States, always pick the lunatics who endorse you. Each of the candidates has learned this lesson by now, although some have had to learn it harder and faster and uglier than others. I am, of course, referring to Barack Obama and Reverend Jeremiah Wright. My feelings toward Rev. Wright, unfavorable though they may be, are not the issue here, and neither, frankly, are Senator Obama’s. I’d like to talk about a different candidate and his own crackpot reverend. Not sure who I’m talking about? Funny thing, that.

Maybe if, like some people I can think of, you’re addicted to the liberal media, you’re aware that the Pastor John Hagee has endorsed Senator John McCain in his bid for the presidency. Yes, Pastor John Hagee, leader of CUFI, the man who wants you, if you are Jewish, to move to Israel in order to hasten the Second Coming. The man who thinks God punished New Orleans for it tolerance of homosexuality by sending Hurricane Katrina. The man who has referred to the Catholic Church as “the great whore.” Didn’t know that? Weird! Because Jon Stewart has noticed some strange patterns in news coverage. Specifically, that while Obama has been slammed again and again for Wright’s endorsement of him, and while media meticulously documents the ferocious battle between the two Democratic contenders and how it’s, of course, tearing the liberal movement apart, there has been far too little interrogation of McCain, his policies (and the fuzzy math that far from explains how he intends to pay for them), his chummy relationship with the White House (at a time when you’d think any reasonable human being would want to distance themselves from a president with a 71% disapproval rating), his views of the war in Iraq, and his generally ability to be terrible for America.

I am so unbelievably tired of the arguments between Democrats. I am so tired of infantile, absurd threats that “If s/he gets the nomination, I swear I’ll vote Republican.” I am so tired of letting the media tell me that the story is Democrats fighting Democrats, and not the issue of how the hell the country could possibly survive (ptu ptu ptu) another Republican administration. I am tired of arguing over which Democrat is going to be better for women, and better for Israel. Of course there’s going to be continued fighting between Clinton and Obama. I understand that, and that’s fine. But for goodness’ sake! There are real issues at stake here, and most of the state primaries are over. So let’s focus on the bigger picture here, folks. Let’s get together and come up with real questions—not personality questions, but policy questions—and let’s demand that news coverage give us answers we deserve. The real fight has barely begun.

–Mel Weiss