Thursday, April 24, 2008

More about John Hagee!

Dear MoveOn member,

Right-wing pastor John Hagee says Katrina was New Orleans' fault. John McCain sought out, and embraces, Hagee's support. MoveOn members are trying to deliver a petition to McCain in New Orleans just a few hours from now: will you sign?

Here's the background: McCain wants America to see him as a compassionate, mainstream politician. So he's going to New Orleans today for a photo-op in the 9th Ward.

But he's still trying to shore up his right-wing base—so this past Sunday, he again welcomed the support of right-wing evangelist John Hagee, who said "Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans."1

MoveOn members in New Orleans have organized an emergency rally outside McCain's event today. With the media looking on, they'll try to deliver our petition asking him to stop pandering to right-wing bigots like Hagee. They'll announce an up-to-the-minute number of signatures, and we'll have a real impact if we can say that hundreds of thousands have signed in only a few hours. Clicking here will add your name:

The petition reads: "John Hagee continues to blame the people of New Orleans for the catastrophe of Katrina. Senator McCain: If you reject intolerance and bigotry, reject Hagee's political support and stop courting hate-mongers like him."

This is not a gaffe or a "gotcha." Hagee has a history of bigoted comments and he stood by his New Orleans remarks just days ago.2 And McCain's strategy is intentional—he's been working hard to court far-right leaders like Jerry Falwell and John Hagee, despite their hateful views.3 Even when he was pressed about Hagee's hateful views, McCain said he was "glad to have his endorsement."4

Hagee's words matter. Katrina was a terrible reminder of the consequences of bigotry and exclusion. People without resources, without political power, literally sank beneath the waves while our government did nothing.

John McCain is relying for political support on a man who preaches bigotry and exclusion, who spreads the kind of hate that allowed Katrina to become a man-made tragedy. While the media is focused on his New Orleans visit, we need to call him on it.

The more folks who sign the petition in the next few hours, the greater our impact. Clicking here will add your name right now:

We need to let Senator McCain know that he can't use New Orleans for a photo-op while still courting the political support of hate-mongers like Hagee. New Orleans deserves better and America does, too.

Thank you very much for all you do.

–Eli, Justin, Lenore, Patrick S., Anna, and the Political Action Team
Thursday, April 24th, 2008


1. "Will MSNBC devote as much coverage to McCain's embrace of Hagee's support as it did to Obama's rejection of Farrakhan?" Media Matters, February 28th, 2008

2. "Hagee Says Hurricane Katrina Struck New Orleans 'Because it was 'Planning a Sinful Homosexual Rally,'" Think Progress, April 23, 2008

"Will MSNBC devote as much coverage to McCain's embrace of Hagee's support as it did to Obama's rejection of Farrakhan?" Media Matters, February 28th, 2008

3. "Hagee: McCain 'sought my endorsement,'" ThinkProgress, March 20th, 2008

"McCain Gets Into Bed with the Religious Right," People For the American Way, February 28th, 2008

"McCain Woos the Right, Makes Peace With Falwell," ABC News, March 26th, 2006

4. "McCain Flip-Flops In 30 Seconds: Hagee Endorsement A 'Mistake,' But 'I'm Glad To Have' It," ThinkProgress, April 21st, 2008

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