Posted 9:53 am | Printer Friendly
Guest Post by Morbo
Among the flurry of resignations from the White House this week, I would not want one to get lost in the shuffle and go unnoticed: James Towey is leaving — and it's high time.
Towey ran the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Under his watch, the "faith-based" approach, always of dubious constitutionality, degenerated into a vehicle to attack the church-state wall and energize the kook right's fundamentalist base as well as became a slush fund to lure black and Hispanic pastors away from the Democratic Party.
Don't take my word for it. A chief backer of the initiative, Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) recently told The Washington Post that the program took on a partisan cast because Republicans needed to see some payoff at the polls or they would not support it.
"Quite frankly," said Souder, "part of the reason it went political is because we can't sell it unless we can show Republicans a political advantage to it, because it's not our base."
Towey denied the partisan angle. But he cannot deny this: During the 2002 and 2004 election seasons, he appeared alongside Republican candidates at rallies aimed at religious voters. The message wasn't even subtle: Vote Republican and your congregation will get a slice of the faith-based pie!