Kathleen Parker

Cunningham couldn't resist repeatedly mentioning Obama's middle name. Thrice he crowed "Hussein" as he stoked a Cincinnati crowd before a McCain appearance. After the rally, McCain expressed regret for "any comments that may have been made about (Hillary and Obama) who are honorable Americans."

McCain also was forced to reject Hagee's endorsement after learning of the minister's comments that Adolf Hitler was actually fulfilling God's will by advancing the Jews' return to Israel. Hagee repudiated his repudiation, saying that his comments were mischaracterized.

Next the Council on American-Islamic Relations insisted that McCain repudiate the endorsement of the Rev. Rod Parsley, an Ohio minister who has said that Islam is "an anti-Christ religion that intends through violence to conquer the world." McCain, who once had referred to Parsley as a "spiritual guide," caved under pressure and rejected his endorsement as well.

Other calls for repudiation came when Rep. John Lewis of Georgia condemned the GOP for "sowing the seeds of hatred and division," which, though not untrue, prompted conservative black leaders to denounce Lewis' remarks.

With no one left to denounce or repudiate, the American electorate repudiated everything else. Not just Bush's presidency and the GOP, but America's benighted past. Obama is Repudiation Personified. Given his cult status throughout the known world, it may be a matter of time before Washington becomes a western Mecca for Denunciations and Repudiations. Already the line is forming.

Human Rights Watch wants Obama to repudiate the Bush administration's counterterrorism measures. The Taliban wants Obama to repudiate Bush's "war-mongering" policies.

Given a likely future rich in such demands, Obama might consider creating a new Cabinet position -- a Department of Repudiations to evaluate requests and make recommendations.

Alternatively, the president-elect could denounce denunciations on demand and repudiate repudiations as the impotent posturings of a pandering past. He could punctuate his point by, say, inviting a controversial, divisive evangelical minister to deliver the inaugural invocation.

Oh, wait.


Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker is a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.
 
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