John McCain hearts Falwell

John McCain announced his candidacy for president of the United States yesterday. Well, okay, he didn't actually announce his candidacy. What he did was to compromise any shred of respectability he once had to suck up to the most abhorrent elements of the Christian Right and to prove once and for all that THE REPUBLICAN PARTY MUST ACCEPT BIGOTS TO WIN.

I write in caps so you don't miss that shocking revelation.

On Meet the Press yesterday, when asked point blank if Jerry Falwell, the man who called Mohammed a terrorist in 2002, was "an agent of intolerance," he replied: "No, I don’t." [VIDEO]

When asked if his ideas were good for the Republican Party, McCain replied:

"I believe that the 'Christian Right' has a major role to play in the Republican Party. One reason is because they’re so active and their followers are. And I believe they have a right to be a part of our party. I don’t have to agree with everything they stand for, nor do I have to agree with everything that’s on the liberal side of the Republican Party. If we have to agree on every issue, we’re not a Republican Party. I believe in open and honest debate."
Translation: votes dude. Don't matter who you hate, castigate or oppress. I need their votes.

Sung in vaudevillian fashion: And that's the Graaaaand Ooooold Parrrrrty. (ThinkProgress)

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