On Tuesday, Focus on the Family released audio of a special James Dobson radio program, recorded last Friday after John McCain's announcement that Sarah Palin would be his running mate. Containing analysis of the decision from Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Tom Minnery, and Kelly Shackelford, the group of right-wing heavyweights discussed everything from the elation at the announcement felt among those gathered for the Council for National Policy meeting to Gary Bauer's role as the McCain campaign's surrogate to the Republican Platform Committee in crafting the "the strongest pro-life platform in the history of the Republican Party."
Among the most striking information was Gary Bauer's revelation that, contrary to the McCain's campaign's claims that it was taking a hands-off approach to the platform, they were actively involved and supportive of the Right Wing's efforts to craft the hardline document that emerged. In fact, Bauer reports that he was tapped by the McCain campaign to be their surrogate and that the campaign was "very open to the kind of changes" the Religious Right was pushing.
You can hear the audio at RWW. It just goes to show what a craven, do-anything-to-get-elected slimeball McCain is. The same people that "Mr StraightTalk™" called "agents of intolerance" he will now cozy up to in his desperate bid to be President.
Bauer: I got appointed by the McCain campaign to be their advisor on the platform. It was an interesting assignment. I arrived there, usually I'm on the outside beating on whoever the nominee is to do better, but when I got there and met with the McCain staff people I was immediately amazed, surprised and happy to hear them say "look, we think it's a great platform already, it's pro-life but we know people might want to strengthen it and we're open to that. We want to work with people, we don't want to alienate anybody and we'd like you to go back and forth between the delegates and us and see if we can work these things out." I think that Kelly will affirm that, other than a few places, there really weren't many brutal fights. Most of it was done in a very collegial way with the McCain people being very open to the kind of changes that made the platform draft even better than it was when it started.
Dobson: Would you agree that this is the strongest pro-life platform in the history of the Republican Party?
Shackelford: There's no doubt. I was on that sub-committee and every pro-life leader who was there watching from Phyllis Schlafly to you name the pro-life group, they were all watching and they all said this is the strongest pro-life platform ever in the history of the party. We not only kept the famous plank that was put in during the time of Ronald Reagan, but we added additional strong language that made it even stronger.
And the saddest part of this? These Religious Right voters actually are dumb enough to think that it will be different under McCain...just like they fooled themselves into believing that Bush was one of them as well, and would abolish Roe v. Wade. I honestly don't think that Dobson or Bauer even believe it themselves...they're savvy enough to realize that the Republicans need the wedge issue to get out the vote. They're doing it to wield power themselves within the party.