Patrick Hynes took offense at my post below, which pointed out his employment by “Straight Talk Express,” and said that I should retract and correct the post. He directed me to this post, in which he deplores that Jim Webb was playing the “victim card” when he blamed others for his own perverse writings. He added that Gov. Romney’s supporters shouldn’t play the victim card either by playing the “Mormon” card.
Of course, I linked to and quoted from the Article 6 blog, which said that Mr. Hynes had played into anti-Mormon bias. The accusation was that Mr. Hynes was less than altruistic in linking to GetReligion.org’s article on how the press will cover some Mormon doctrinal issues which mainstream Evangelicals will believe are “wrong or, at the very least, worthy of debate.”
Was Mr. Hynes simply pointing readers to an interesting article? Or did he believe that his client, “Straight Talk Express” would love for evangelicals to focus a bit on the Mormon issue? Mr. Hynes has a website which details what services he offers his clients:
Did Mr. Hynes believe he’d found something that might “turn them off?”
I don’t know, to be honest. In fact, when I read his post about how Jim Webb shouldn’t blame others for his “perverse writings,” I immediately suspected he was spinning the fact that people might soon discover that his client John McCain had actually endorsed Webb’s book. From the Washington Post:
[Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a Vietnam war hero who has endorsed Allen,
praises "Lost Soldiers" on the book jacket. "It captures well the lingering
scars of the war," he says. "A novel of revenge and redemption that tells us
much about both where Vietnam is headed and where it has been."
An aide to McCain said Friday she could not reach the senator.]
Maybe he didn’t have that in mind. Maybe he was just speaking his own mind, without regard for how it plays for his client. I, of course, don’t know. And I don’t know whether Mr. Hynes is a Mormon-baiter. But, please look at his blog to determine his angle. (UPDATE: please also see his book — which has an even longer title than mine — “In Defense of the Religious Right: Why Conservative Christians Are the Lifeblood of the Republican Party and Why That Terrifies the Democrats.”) I perceive Mr. Hynes the same way I perceive a lawyer who advocates for his client. His arguments definitely should be evaluated on their own merits, but you should never lose sight of the fact that he’s casting his client in the best possible light. It’s his job, and I think he’s doing it very well.