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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Robertson Digs Himself Deeper

It’s clearly time for Pat Robertson to retire from politics altogether. Having committed a gaffe that rose to the level of a diplomatic problem for the United States (calling for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez), Robertson issued a couple of “clarifications” that made the whole thing worse. First off, he tried to pretend he hadn’t said anything about actually murdering Chavez; the phrase “take him out,” said Pat, might mean a kidnapping or something. Yeah, right. Informed he actually used the word “assassination,” Robertson finally recanted, but then negated the gesture by comparing himself to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who was executed for his role in a plot to assassinate Hitler. This is an old and very disreputable ploy for members of the Christian Right, posing as persecuted victims of those they attack; identifying their enemies as Nazis; and identifying themselves with the Confessing Church resistance to Hitler. James Dobson has made a real habit of this kind of self-glorifying series of lies, and now here’s Robertson doing the same thing instead of admitting his mistake and simply apologizing.As my colleague The Moose pointed out today, Robertson has a long history of outrageous statements. Maybe it’s finally time for him to retire from punditry and engage in a little prayerful reflection on his attenuated connection with the faith he has dragged into the political mire.

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