Bush Administration Disliked Religious Leaders?
Associated Press reports that David Kuo, who served as deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, is disputing the notion that the Bush administration was dominated by religious conservatives and catered to the needs of a socially conservative voting bloc:
"The reality in the White House is - if you look at the most senior staff - you're seeing people who aren't personally religious and have no particular affection for people who are religious-right leaders," Kuo said. "In the political affairs shop in particular, you saw a lot of people who just rolled their eyes at ... basically every religious-right leader that was out there, because they just found them annoying and insufferable. These guys were pains in the butt who had to be accommodated."
The key phrase here is "who had to be accommodated." Had to be. Accommodated. Whether or not George W. Bush and his gang of incompetents liked the shrill evangelicals who dictated public policy for the past eight years is irrelevant. It doesn't matter if (as Kuo insists) they rolled their eyes at right-wing Christians or even snickered behind their backs. The fact remains, religious conservatives convinced the GOP, the media, and a majority of Americans that they were solely responsible for electing the worst president in the history of our country, and George W. Bush showed his gratitude by embracing their narrow social agenda. It matters not one whit that Dubya may have found that embrace distasteful. He was beholden, and he gave them what they wanted. Now compare that with President-elect Obama, who appears to be genuinely fond of some religious nuts (and you'll be able to think of two right off the bat) but is unlikely to let them influence his decision-making.