As we wrote last Friday, October 6, David Kuo's new book, Tempting Faith, is appearing at the worst possible moment for Republicans. The book, scheduled for release on October 16, contains some hard-hitting allegations about how the Bush administration, which privately referred to evangelical leaders as "the nuts," used the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for political projects, while directing a minimal amount of money to charities, faith-based or otherwise. Kuo served as the Office's deputy director during Bush's first term.
Keith Olbermann obtained an advance copy of the book and is doing a two-part analysis of its contents. The first was aired this evening.
Kuo writes, "“White House staff didn't want to have anything to do with the Faith-Based Initiative because they didn't understand it any more than did congressional Republicans. They didn't lie awake at night trying to kill it. They simply didn't care."
Instead the White House used the office for political purposes, sponsoring campaign events under its aegis. The Machiavellian uses of the faith-based initiative, once described by Kuo as the "cross around the White House's neck," appear to be amply documented in the new book.
This is a video everyone should definitely watch. Even more than the Foley affair, Kuo's explosive book promises to drive a deep wedge between Republicans and their religious base, by exposing the cyncism and contempt with which Republicans treat that base. (Urgent criticism of Olbermann: Stop comparing the Southern Baptist Convention to Islamic extremists. That's not Kuo's point and it's not helping.)
Video (wmv) and transcript at Crooks and Liars.