Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Inmates Take Over

One thing about the whole Cordoba House/Park51 argument that I've tried to make clear all along is that while reasonable people can disagree reasonably, reason itself has been in woefully short supply through much of this mess (a mess, by the way, that the center's planners -- inexplicably! -- failed to anticipate). The folks who aren't boiling the whole thing down to a simplistic Manichean divide have instead dispensed with the rhetorical niceties altogether and gone straight for the hateful jugular, getting back to my point from last month that George W. actually kept the loonier elements of the right in check. 

Providing further proof (as if further proof were needed) of how the inmates have taken over the asylum in the conversation comes this nutty tirade from Bryan Fischer, so-called "issues director" for the euphemistically-named American Family Association, with the not-at-all euphemistic title of "No more mosques, period." Subtle, no?  If you click through and read the whole post -- and be warned, there's a whole mess of crazy to trudge through -- you'll see that Mr. Fischer does about as good a job as possible to paint himself and his fellow fringe-dwellers as the hate-mongering lunatics that they are.

We already know the blind political ambition that allows someone like Newt Gingrich to issue moral imperatives without any sense of self-awareness, but when politicos like Peter King and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, doing their level best to feed the most trollish portions of their base, tag Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf as "radical" -- a meme which has been thoroughly debunked by now -- when even the Bush admin thought him at least moderate enough to tout our country's religious pluralism throughout the world, it sheds a lot of light on the up-is-down/black-is-white world some people live in where "tolerance" equals "bigotry."  

On last night's Countdown, MN representative Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in congress (who was famously tasked by Glenn Beck in '06 to prove that he wasn't working with our enemies) discussed this very issue with Olbermann, starting with Mr. Gingrich and working his way down from there, and demonstrated quite effectively which side of this artificial divide the bigotry has most clearly manifested on.  It's instructive, if not particularly eye-opening.

(Vid after the jump)


Amira said...

How utterly ironic that this kind of hateful rhetoric would come from an organization that has "American" and "family" in its name...

The Mad Swede said...

Good clip. Thanks for linking to it.