National Public Radio boasted an "evangelical Christian" commentary on Wednesday night's All Things Considered newscast – and that voice is conveniently trashing conservatives. Fresh from his last NPR commentary dancing on Jerry Falwell’s grave, turncoat former Bush aide David Kuo went at it again. Exploiting CNN’s biased decision to air a special with the leftist magazine Sojourners giving the Democrats an hour to proclaim their faith, Kuo declared that partisan lines are blurring on religion, that Democrats are conducting a "Jesus fair" and Republicans have "no compassion for anyone."
Last night in New Hampshire, Republican presidential candidates were long on conservatism and short on compassion. On immigration, on Iraq, on virtually every issue, the consensus was that America hasn't been tough enough. No compassion for anyone — particularly those 12 million Americans who got here illegally.
When it came to the hungry — or, more precisely, those the Bush Administration has categorized as "food insecure" — there was silence. So, too, on issues like poverty and youth violence and the epidemic of the uninsured. There was, in short, no evidence of the compassionate conservatism George W. Bush once promised would be his governing philosophy.
And Jesus made only the briefest appearance — first from Wolf Blitzer's lips in a question to Rudolph Giuliani and then from Mormon Gov. Mitt Romney, who declared his love for Jesus.
Romney doesn't really want an in-depth examination of his Mormon faith. Ex-mayor Giuliani certainly doesn't want to explain his penchant for marrying in a religious context. And Sen. John McCain, who once called religious right leaders "agents of intolerance", isn't leaping at the chance to play pastor, either.
How differently the Democrats are behaving. Monday night, the progressive religious organization Sojourners hosted the three leading Democratic presidential candidates at a forum on "faith, values, and poverty." It was a Jesus fair.
John Edwards talked about how his faith in Jesus saved his life after the death of his son. Sen. Barack Obama, playing theologian, talked about what Jesus required of men and women today. And Sen. Hillary Clinton adopted the use of Republican religious "code words" when talking about her faith. She spoke of "witness" and "prayer warriors" even as she suggested that her faith in Jesus is what gave her the strength to save her marriage despite the ease with which she might have divorced Bill Clinton after his adultery.
Notice Kuo's penchant for relaying Democrat talking points in (1) mocking Giuliani's multiple marriages as indefensible while (2) allowing Hillary to tout her adultery-stuffed marriage as a demonstration of her faith.
Kuo did not consider several obvious points on this score. First, CNN did not sponsor a forum that questioned Republicans specifically on their religious faith, but only the Democrats. Is Kuo claiming that when Democrats aren’t explicitly asked about their faith, they’re conducting a "Jesus fair"? Second, Democrats are trying hard to appear religious, but when Republicans make religion references, the same liberal media that love Kuo’s backstabbing see something dangerous. Remember Brian Williams in 2000? "The positions rather strident tonight: anti-gay, pro-Jesus, and anti-abortion and no gray matter in between?"
But then, Kuo’s not really trying to be a commentator that weighs factual considerations like this. He’s making it quite obvious that he’s playing David Brock, trashing conservatives to get the maximum media play for himself. And as taxpayers, you paid for it.