A new book, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œTempting FaithÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? by David Kuo, is about to come out…and it’s bad news for Bush. Really bad news.
Why? Well, this has the potential to be the most damning of all political portraits about the administration to the bookstores this campaign season because it paints Bush and his staff as mere opportunists who use and discard the Religious Right simply for political gain.
More importantly, though, is a systematic campaign by Bush operatives to decieve the entire American public by using the faith-based intiatives to fund organizations who would get out the vote for their side.
Kuo alleges that then-White House political affairs director Ken Mehlman knowingly participated in a scheme to use the office, and taxpayer funds, to mount ostensibly ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œnonpartisanÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? events that were, in reality, designed with the intent of mobilizing religious voters in 20 targeted races. […]
Kuo quotes Mehlman as saying, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ (I)t canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t come from the campaigns. That would make it look too political. It needs to come from the congressional offices. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll take care of that by having our guys call the office [of faith-based initiatives] to request the visit.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?
In fact, when Bush asks Kuo how much money was being spent on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œcompassionÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? social programs, Kuo claims he discovered ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œwe were actually spending about $20 million a year less on them than before he had taken office.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? […]
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œMany of the grant-winning organizations that rose to the top of the process were politically friendly to the administration,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? he says.
More pointedly, Kuo quotes an unnamed member of the review panel charged with rating grant applications.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œBut,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? she said with a giggle, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“When I saw one of those non-Christian groups in the set I was reviewing, I just stopped looking at them and gave them a zero ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ a lot of us did.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?
My question to all of you is how many more administration insiders are going to come out and systematically dismantle their image?