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The Morning Plum

* The Imam speaks: This could give the "mosque" story new legs heading into a (very) slow news week: Feisal Abdul Rauf says he hopes Cordoba House will foster "an Islamic approach that allows for harmony and understanding among all religions," adding: "The U.S. Constitution is much better than what is found in many Islamic countries."

* Opposition to "mosque" energizes terrorists? And there's this: Jonathan Weisman reports that Islamic radicals are using the opposition to the "Ground Zero mosque" as a propaganda opportunity, and that U.S. officials are taking it seriously. Looking forward to seeing how the right explains this one away.

* Tea Party? What Tea Party? Don't look now, but Marco Rubio is quietly shedding that Tea Party skin, remaking himself as reasonable, moderate, and unthreatening.

* Florida Senate race comes into focus: A new Quinnipiac poll finds that Kendrick Meek is on track to win tomorrow's Dem primary, leading billionaire Jeff Greene 39-29, though 28 percent remain undecided.

* No dissent on doing the right thing: Glenn Thrush reports that none of Obama's top advisers dissented or objected when Obama informed them he wanted to publicly support Cordoba House, even though they all knew it was a lightning rod.

* Historical comparison of the day: Jeffrey Goldberg goes there:

"Anti-Muslim sentiment in America today has many of the hallmarks of the anti-Semitism of yesteryear. American Jews should be able to see that."

* Credit where credit's due: Paul Krugman gives Obama props for "standing firm" against Republicans and conserva-Dems who want to make the Bush tax cuts for the rich permanent, which would "cut checks averaging $3 million each to the richest 120,000 people in the country."

* Creative dodge of the day: Mitch McConnell says there's no need to explain how we'd pay for extending the Bush tax cuts, because the tax cuts are already in existence.

* And: McConnell said yesterday that he takes the president "at his word" when he says he's a Christian. Jonathan Chait deconstructs what he thinks is McConnell's "dog-whistle" cleverness.

* Hillary for Veep? David Ignatius makes the most able case I've heard yet.

* Not that facts matter, of course: Republicans continue bashing Obama for taking far less vacation time than his predecessor did.

* Not that facts matter, part two: A useful overview of what Feisal Abdul Rauf really believes.

* And here's the headline of the day: From the Associated Press:

Republicans hot, cold on Constitution

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  August 23, 2010; 8:28 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party , economy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Open Thread
Next: Jeff Merkley shows Dems how it's done on "mosque"

Comments

"Tea Party? What Tea Party? Don't look now, but Marco Rubio is quietly shedding that Tea Party skin, remaking himself as reasonable, moderate, and unthreatening."

I guess time will tell how well this goes over with those who brought him to the dance.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 23, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Re your first item up top, Greg, Tomasky quotes:

"The notion that something called "sharia" was widely imposed throughout the lands of Islam is an Orientalist fantasy. If Gingrich's Orientalism—sharia represents an all-encompassing totalitarian force—is of the negative variety, positive Orientalism asserts that Muslim societies were just and well-administered until Napoleon's 1798 invasion of Egypt and the colonial legacy that ensued...

...There is no comparing the Islamic sharia and the U.S. Constitution. The idealized notion of God's law as derived from the Quran and hadith does not guarantee freedom of religious belief, or freedom of expression, including blasphemy, as the United States does in practice. The same is true for concepts like freedom of association and political rights, including the right to form political parties. Americans have long enjoyed freedoms that many Muslims, including the Islamists, say they have aspired to for more than a thousand years. To claim that Muslim societies—in their idealized form—also promote the freedoms that Americans really enjoy is not a threat to the U.S. Constitution but a relatively shame-free way of engaging a subject that is embarrassing to a society extremely sensitive to shame.

But what's more embarrassing is that the political leaders of a free country imagine that our freedoms are threatened, not by real men with real weapons who are supported by states that claim to be our allies, but by a scare word whose real-world applications are obscure to Muslims and non-Muslims alike."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/aug/23/us-politics-islam

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

And on the Rubio piece, as I noted on the earlier thread, he kind of lets the truth of things tumble out with this sentence:

“The solution isn’t just to paralyze government,”

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"And on the Rubio piece, as I noted on the earlier thread, he kind of lets the truth of things tumble out with this sentence:"

As I noted on the earlier thread, is this an admission on your part that your portrayal of the GOP as doing precisely what Rubio says is "not the solution" has been wrong?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 23, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

And, as to the Jeff Greenberg quote you've included above:

"Anti-Muslim sentiment in America today has many of the hallmarks of the anti-Semitism of yesteryear. American Jews should be able to see that."

Thank you Jeff! (Greenberg has been pilloried from quite a few folks on the left. Very often, I find these criticisms wrong-headed.)

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

The Rubio interview. The "flashpoint" issues that the New York Times can think to ask and report about from a "extensive interivew" are about birthright citizenship and SB 1070. These are the "flashpoint" questions they ask a Latino candidate child of immigrants? Wow, color me not impressed by this one. Maybe they could have asked him something a little less obvious like an actual plan for the economy or to expand on what he would do if he thinks obstruction is not the answer? Maybe a question on Social Security or Medicare? But oh wait, if they asked that he would ahve given the Teaq Party answer and the entire framing they set up for their piece would ahve crumbled like a house of cards. Have to wonder if the interview drove the story or the desired story drove the interview? Maybe if the Times would release the rest of the questions and answers asked by the interview somewhere online we could find out what Marco Rubio thinks about things that don't directly involve his ethnicity.

Posted by: zattarra | August 23, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"Creative dodge of the day: Mitch McConnell says there's no need to explain how we'd pay for extending the Bush tax cuts, because the tax cuts are already in existence."

This man truly disgusts me.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie and Kevin W.

In case you do not return to the last thread I agree and readily accept both of your posts. I replied on the last thread but I'll repeat..guilty as charged Bernie..and yes Kevin you made excellent points.

Mea Culpa..Mea Culpa...Mea Culpa.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 23, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - your questions might not be clear.

Attempting to paralyze government is, of course, precisely the strategy of the GOP since Obama took office. It follows the model and ideas of Gingrich from his time as speaker. You may contest either assertion but I won't waste time arguing them with you.

What Rubio is attempting now (others as well, of course, included Jeb) is to try and make the GOP (or himself at least) look less extreme than the perceptions created by their Tea Part rebranding effort and by the total obstruction strategy mentioned above.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

@ru - hat tip to ya, buddy. We all screw up and it's very cool to see such a ready apology. My last apology was in March 1971.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I am very encouraged to see this bold headline and associated reporting at Ha'aretz this morning...

"Iran: If attacked our response will be wide-ranging and unpredictable"

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/iran-if-attacked-our-response-will-be-wide-ranging-and-unpredictable-1.309716

I'm encouraged not because Iranian leaders are a fine crowd. The modern crowd, like the puppet put in place earlier by Western powers wanting dependable access to oil, are a craven and ugly lot.

But a reality-based comprehension of what the consequences of such an attack are likely or certain to be is a saner way for humans to operate than, for example, what we heard from Cheney, Rumsfeld and the others who "rolled out" the war with the quick and easy and cheap propaganda campaign.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

If only we let them build a mosque where they murdered 3000 people, they would leave us alone and stop propogandizing.

Did you really think that one through, Greg?

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 23, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"Jonathan Weisman reports that Islamic radicals are using the opposition to the 'Ground Zero mosque' as a propaganda opportunity, and that U.S. officials are taking it seriously."

Now, how is this different than saying, essentially, that terrorists "supports" the "Ground Zero Mosque" and are threatening to recruit even more terrorists, if we don't build Park 51 where they want to.

Could supporters of Cordoba house (and detractors of the opposition) take a position that did any more to conflate the moderate Muslim backing of Park 51 and terrorists than those sorts of stories?

"Looking forward to seeing how the right explains this one away."

Um, they're probably going to explain it away as "terrorists support Ground Zero Mosque".

BTW, in all fairness (and, again, I'm not in opposition to Park 51 (frankly, I don't live in New York or Lower Manhattan and it's none of my gd business), but a modicum of objectivity should let us all see that terrorists will us anything, whatsoever, to recruit more terrorists. Appease them? You're weak, corrupt, a foul temptation. You must die. Don't appease them? You're obstructing the future world caliphate. You must die. Don't know about them? Ignorance is no excuse. You must die. Terrorists are not rational actors. That's sort of a pre-requisite for the career choice.

That terrorists object to the anti-Islam sentiment of the Park 51 opposition is perhaps the worst argument to be made in "support" of Park 51 that I could possibly imagine.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 23, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"What Rubio is attempting now (others as well, of course, included Jeb) is to try and make the GOP (or himself at least) look less extreme than the perceptions created by their Tea Part rebranding effort and by the total obstruction strategy mentioned above."


I see. So GOP member Rubio says "X is not the solution" and you take that as a "truth" that confirms that the GOP is employing X as a solution. Hmmm....

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 23, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Re the Mosque controversy...

If the Park 51 was an isolated situaton the protesters would have more credibility. If Newt hadn't compared Muslims to Nazis there would be less to gripe about.

But anti Muslim fever has spread and engulfs our entire nation...what sacred site is in Murfreesboro Tn...or California..or Wisconsin..or Florida? What are our excuses in those locales.

This was a true nontroversy for the people in NYC..even noted "liberal" snark snark Laura Ingraham pronounced it fine until the right wing smear machine took off behind Geller's hateful "Atlas Shrugged" website.

It's simply another sad chapter in American history. Jeff Greenberg is dead on...and of course anybody who saw Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" realizes this has been going on for a long, long time in our nation. But we seem to eventually work our way through these assaults on our values, just as we'll work our way through this time.

Alas it's hard to know how much damage we create each time we have one of these hatefests. In this case it could actually impede our "War on Terror".

And simply try to imagine what it's like this morning to be a Sufi Muslim. You believe in tolerance, and peace but ignoramuses like Palin and Gingrich lump you into the same group as the Wahhabbi terrorists. If you're a young Muslim boy your mother doesn't say to you what my mother told me...America is a great country and if you work hard you could grow up to be President one day.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 23, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

@rukidding: NP. I get where you're coming from. The fact is, hang around with a group of conservatives and Republicans, and all they'll talk about is the bad things liberals do and all the bad legislation Democrats have approved. Sometimes there will be a wistful wish for a JFK or a Scoop Jackson style Democrat. But they generally don't spend any time giving Clinton credit on NAFTA or for signing Welfare Reform. Spending time thinking about the good things that come from people we generally disagree with, or the good reasons they might have for doing something, etc., makes everything seem so much more ambiguous and untidy.

Or, yeah, I've done exactly the same thing. No biggy. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 23, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

If you attempted some higher degree of honesty, Scott, discussion could become worthwhile. The unspoken and logically necessary preface to his statement is "We can't continue to operate in the manner of..." or (your certain choice), "We can't permit our side to be portrayed in the manner of...". His words have a context and you know it so if you want to engage, don't play dumb.

The open question here is the degree to which Rubio might believe what he's saying.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Kevin - For years Al Quada has been saying America is at war with Islam. This mosque nonsense feeds that arguement.

I get that you disagree with the experts. You, after all, know far more about this subject than they do. Right?

Posted by: nisleib | August 23, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Rubio's behavior is to be expected. He embraced the Tea Party as a way to beat Charlie Crist in the R primary. In fact it was his ONLY chance at the time. He was a non factor in the race until the Tea Party made him a golden boy and gave him name recognition. Alas his plan worked out too well and too soon. Crist saw the writing on the wall and became an Independent. This freed him to govern rationally and not from the far right. This also gave Crist the freedom to point out how extreme Marco is...which has resulted in Crist moving swiftly ahead of Rubio in all the polls.

Now Marco is stuck in a stew of his own making. He has to figure a way to tack back to center to have a chance at winning in the general election. This is going to be a conundrum played out..not just in Florida..but in every state where the Tea Party had an inordinate amount of influence in selecting an R nominee.

BTW as far as Rubio. It couldn't happen to a more deserving scumbag. He is a classic political con man crook...quadrupling his income in just a few short years as speaker of the Florida house by passing out favor after favor and turning the Florida legislature into a joke that is owned by the special interests. Rubio's protege Ray Sansome got caught and ousted as the Speaker and is now under indictment and hopefully on his way to jail.

An example of how Marco takes care of those Tea Partiers tax dollars...millions of Florida tax dollars to a small community college in South Florida and then after leaving office Marco boy accepts a six figure job with the same college. Conflict of interest? WTF is that in the state of Florida?

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 23, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

RE" Rubio's comment

“The solution isn’t *just* to paralyze government,”

I find the "just" to be an admission.

Posted by: cintibud | August 23, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

@rukidding: "If you're a young Muslim boy your mother doesn't say to you what my mother told me...America is a great country and if you work hard you could grow up to be President one day."

Sure she does. She just appends: "Just, don't do it near Ground Zero. It is a First Amendment Free Zone."

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 23, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Nikki Haley was born a Sikh. Her real name is Nimrata Randhawa. Does that mean she has the seed of Islam too??

So how do the GOP in S Carolina justify voting for her as their next govenor?

Why are no reporters asking her what she thinks of the Muslim bashing by her party?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikki_Haley

Posted by: jn2375 | August 23, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin...

"Spending time thinking about the good things that come from people we generally disagree with, or the good reasons they might have for doing something, etc., makes everything seem so much more ambiguous and untidy."

This is why you are so welcome on this blog. What you have just expressed would be such an excellent exercise for EVERYONE in our nation...left..right..and center. Kudo's to you Kevin for trying to post in a fashion that shows you can handle such untidiness and ambiguity.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 23, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"And it's the first sentence that precisely reflects the mode and strategy of the modern GOP and movement leaders allied."

Let me understand...are you finally admitting that, in contrast to what you and your fellow travellers have been claiming, the mode and strategy of the modern GOP and movement leaders is NOT simply to paralyze government?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 23, 2010 8:43 AM |

.....................

"Fellow Travelers"

ScottC, The Bastard Child, from a sexual relationship between Senator Joesph McCarthy, and Roy Cohen.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 23, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

So, how would it go if you had the opportunity to sit down with some senior Obama administration people and just talk about what you really think of their policies and they treated you as an equal?

http://www.interfluidity.com/v2/933.html

h/t Yglesias

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@nslieb: "Kevin - For years Al Quada has been saying America is at war with Islam. This mosque nonsense feeds that arguement. I get that you disagree with the experts. You, after all, know far more about this subject than they do. Right?"

I'm sorry, I didn't say: "I disagree with the experts". In this context, I'm not sure which experts I'm supposed to be disagreeing with.

I also didn't say that Al Qaeda doesn't claim that the U.S. it as war with Islam (in all fairness, according to them, we've been at war with Islam since at least 1912, if not dating back to Thomas Jefferson and the Barbary Corsairs).

I made two main points: terrorists will recruit, no matter what (this is the minor point). That making a big deal over how the terrorists are in direct opposition to the Park 51 opponents is a very poor argument against them, viewed at any sort of distance whatsoever, is my larger point.

I don't dispute that Al Qaeda claims that we are at war with Islam, either dating back to Thomas Jefferson or the declaration of the "War on Terror".

It's just this particular "terrorist recruiting up in face of Ground Zero Mosque opposition" meme is very similar to saying, "Terrorists support Cordoba house. The opposition should stand down, so that terrorists will do less recruiting."

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 23, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Folks; keep it simple.

Bin Laden wants to ignite a global holy war.

So does New Gingrich, Quitter Palin, Rudy Giuliani, Charles Krauthammer, and many other prominent Republicans.

They are all on the same page as Bin Laden.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 23, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"Anti-Muslim sentiment in America today has many of the hallmarks of the anti-Semitism of yesteryear. American Jews should be able to see that."

Not just Jews....from the Native Americans, to the Irish, to the Africans, to the Chinese, to the Catholics, to the Jews, to the Japanese, and especially these days to Mexicans, Muslims, and gays....

White Christians have always tried to oppress minorities, and ALWAYS end up apologizing it later. There's never been any behavior of ours toward minorities that we look back upon fondly. Haven't we learned from that yet?

Posted by: SDJeff | August 23, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

From TP:

"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the country’s largest business lobby, has pledged to spend a record amount of $75 million in the 2010 elections. On top of the $190 million spent on lobbying since President Obama’s election, the numbers “give the group clout as a virtual third party and a powerful voice in what laws are made and who’s elected to write them.”'
internal link to here - http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hrA5cmTXNFDiNuo6DOFLvMEC-kMQD9HNUP6G2

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@jn2375 Wow I'm still working on learning some of the nuances of Islam...not just the difference between Shia and Sunni but Sufi and Wahhabbi...aggressive and peaceful...

And now you introduce Sikh's into the mix?
LOL

You'll have to educated me first...alas my knowledge is limited to guys in turbans and beards...not sure what they believe..I always thought they were from India and closer to Hindu beliefs than Muslim...but somebody here will certainly enlighten me...perhaps we have a Sikh who can explain. Maybe our Muslim friend Mag3 can help with this.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 23, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"If only we let them build a mosque where they murdered 3000 people, they would leave us alone and stop propogandizing.

Did you really think that one through, Greg?"

Osama bin Laden is building a mosque at Ground Zero?

Did you really think that one through, QB?

Posted by: SDJeff | August 23, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Is an Irish Cultural Center where mass is occasionally served, and people sometimes hold rosary prayer sessions, a Catholic Church?

Mind you; they never ring an Angelus Bell, so is it A Catholic Church?

I know of at least two such places, in one city, and no one has ever called them churches.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 23, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@SDJeff

"There's never been any behavior of ours toward minorities that we look back upon fondly. Haven't we learned from that yet?"

Great observation and I'm afraid the answer to your rhetorical question is what truly saddens me.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 23, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@Liam - I began (but decided not to bother)writing a note to Scott re the "fellow travelers" cliche (Scott was apparently born about 1930). Perhaps one of us should toss out a "running dogs of capitalism" to achieve fairness/balance in the time-warp.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I think the protestors have learned from history, and want to make sure that it is never repeated.

The Nativists feel that America would be a much better place today, if they had never allowed the Native American Indian Tribes to enter the country.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 23, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"The Nativists feel that America would be a much better place today, if they had never allowed the Native American Indian Tribes to enter the country."

That's funny Liam. Perhaps you've seen the political cartoon that features two Native Americans peering from behind the bushes at the Pilgrims...they exclaim.."Damn anchor babies."

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 23, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

@Liam - I began (but decided not to bother)writing a note to Scott re the "fellow travelers" cliche (Scott was apparently born about 1930). Perhaps one of us should toss out a "running dogs of capitalism" to achieve fairness/balance in the time-warp.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 23, 2010 10:07 AM |

.................

ScottC throwing one of his customary Alger Hissy Fits.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 23, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@SDJeff: "There's never been any behavior of ours toward minorities that we look back upon fondly. Haven't we learned from that yet?"

As we determined last Friday, American Exceptionalism has devolved into GOP Except-them-ism. All are welcome except brown people, black people, immigrants, Muslims, LGBT, and anyone living outside "real america," where ever that is.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 23, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

@SDJeff: "There's never been any behavior of ours toward minorities that we look back upon fondly. Haven't we learned from that yet?"

And we may not. The sins that flesh is heir too, etc, etc. But always a good point to make.

@Liam-still: "Bin Laden wants to ignite a global holy war. So does New Gingrich, Quitter Palin, Rudy Giuliani, Charles Krauthammer, and many other prominent Republicans."

These folks think that there is already a holy war being waged against us by radical and apparently not-so-radical Islam. Thus, their positions are defensive. This view may not be accurate, but saying that they all uniformly want to start a holy war (because they're just so much fun) may not be entirely accurate.

"They are all on the same page as Bin Laden."

Now, I may be wrong, but I always feel like those kind of arguments ("Obama is on the side of the terrorists!") amount to vacuous rhetoric, and are thus easily dismissed. Or, at least, should be.

@bernielatham: conservatives often refer to liberals as "fellow travelers". It's ruk's "the fright wing" or others "rethuglicans" or "repiglicans" or what have you. It's a short hand for assert the people being talked about are not just liberals or progressives, but serious socialists. However, it's not exactly unusual, and certainly not confined to the 1930s in it's usage. Same with "useful idiots".

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 23, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"The Nativists feel that America would be a much better place today, if they had never allowed the Native American Indian Tribes to enter the country."

That's funny Liam. Perhaps you've seen the political cartoon that features two Native Americans peering from behind the bushes at the Pilgrims...they exclaim.."Damn anchor babies."

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 23, 2010 10:13 AM

..................
Rukidding,

I did see that one. I also recall a cartoon from around 1960. It showed the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, just off shore; and two Native Americans gazing out at the three strange vessels.

One said to the other:

Well, there goes the neighborhood.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 23, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

By Mitch McConnell saying that he takes Obama 'at his word', he is really saying that he doesn't.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 23, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@Sue ""real america," where ever that is."


Surely Kalamazoo is in "real America" :-)

In fact I always feel as I'm in Sister Sarah's fake America here Tampa Bay...although the R convention is coming to Tampa so perhaps not. At any rate when we go to Michigan and the U.P. then I certain I'm in real America!!!

Perhap's we could try Mapquest to find out exactly where "real" America is located.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 23, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, that's all fine and dandy but unfortunately for us, the Republican initiatives you speak of have been drowned out by Koch's astroturfing and the Chambers push to label any sort of regulation as big govn't encroachment.

There is no room for reasonable discussion any longer.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 23, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

Bin Laden wants all Muslims to hate all Americans. Newt, Palin, Krauthammer, etc, want all Americans to assume that is already the case, and act accordingly.

That leaves Newt, Palin, Krauthammer, etc calling shots from Bin Laden's playbook. Of course he must love that.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 23, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

"Looking forward to seeing how the right explains this one away."


Why would they want to? They've been Bin Laden's handmaidens since 9/12.

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 23, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

All, check out this absolutely terrific defense of the mosque from Senator Jeff Merkley:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/jeff_merkley_shows_dems_how_it.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 23, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"conservatives often refer to liberals as "fellow travelers". It's ruk's "the fright wing" or others "rethuglicans" or "repiglicans" or what have you."

I don't think it is remotely close to being the same as those. Those are little more than name-calling insults and intended to be exactly that. The term "fellow travellers" simply means "others who think like you" and implies, as you suggest, socialist inclinations. Is that really an unreasonable or insulting thing to imply when speaking of Bernie and those that think like him?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 23, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@SDJeff: "White Christians have always tried to oppress minorities, and ALWAYS end up apologizing it later"

Except for the "apologizing for it later" part, it's worth mentioning that most human beings try and do discriminate against and/or oppress minorities within there cultural context. Whether it's the Ethnic Chinese and the Maylaysians or, well, the Jews and Everywhere They've Ever Lived, it has happened a lot. Indeed, the storied history of Islam has included the oppression and enslavement of a variety of different groups (including other Muslims considered not-Muslim-enough).

It may seem like a crude artifact of White Christians (or, if you're a conservative, white liberals) in the present-day US, but it's a uniquely human flaw that we should be reasonably vigilant for, and critical of, wherever it may manifest. In my opinion.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 23, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

From Muhammad Ali after 9/11

“I am a Muslim. I am an American. As an American Muslim, I want to
express my deep sadness and anguish at the tremendous loss of life
that occurred on Tuesday (September 11, 2001).

Islam is a religion of peace. Islam does not promote terrorism or the
killing of people.

I cannot sit by and let the world think that Islam is a killing
religion. It hurts me to see what radical people are doing in the name
of Islam. These radicals are doing things that God is against. Muslims
do not believe in violence.

If the culprits are Muslim, they have twisted the teachings of Islam.
Whoever performed, or is behind, the terrorist attacks in the United
States of America does not represent Islam. God is not behind
assassins. Anyone involved in this must pay for their evil.

Hatred caused this tragedy and adding to the hatred that already
exists in the world will not help. Instead, we should try to
understand each other better.

Americans are warm, loving and hospitable people, and we share many of
the same values. I ask that churches and synagogues all across the
nation invite representatives of the Islamic faith into their places
of worship, to better understand Islam. This could help us all respect
each other more.

I pray that God blesses the people and families of those who were
killed, and our great country.”

Posted by: adsdan | August 23, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

From Muhammad Ali after 9/11

“I am a Muslim. I am an American. As an American Muslim, I want to
express my deep sadness and anguish at the tremendous loss of life
that occurred on Tuesday (September 11, 2001).

Islam is a religion of peace. Islam does not promote terrorism or the
killing of people.

I cannot sit by and let the world think that Islam is a killing
religion. It hurts me to see what radical people are doing in the name
of Islam. These radicals are doing things that God is against. Muslims
do not believe in violence.

If the culprits are Muslim, they have twisted the teachings of Islam.
Whoever performed, or is behind, the terrorist attacks in the United
States of America does not represent Islam. God is not behind
assassins. Anyone involved in this must pay for their evil.

Hatred caused this tragedy and adding to the hatred that already
exists in the world will not help. Instead, we should try to
understand each other better.

Americans are warm, loving and hospitable people, and we share many of
the same values. I ask that churches and synagogues all across the
nation invite representatives of the Islamic faith into their places
of worship, to better understand Islam. This could help us all respect
each other more.

I pray that God blesses the people and families of those who were
killed, and our great country.”

Posted by: adsdan | August 23, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "Is that really an unreasonable or insulting thing to imply when speaking of Bernie and those that think like him?"

Well, I certainly don't think so, but I'm not sure they feel the same way. In any case, I did want something better than "rethuglicans" but I just couldn't think of anything on demand (stupid brain). But there are less epithetical references to conservatives on the part of liberals that suggest similar allegiances, I'm pretty sure.

Anyhoo, I meant no offense. My larger point is that "fellow travelers" as a descriptor of liberals is presently in fairly broad use amongst conservatives, and is not some obscure reference from the 1930s.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 23, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"My larger point is that "fellow travelers" as a descriptor of liberals is presently in fairly broad use amongst conservatives, and is not some obscure reference from the 1930s."

Agreed.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 23, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"Fellow Travelers" is the Republican code word, for implying that Liberals are all "communists". Republicans have smeared Progressives for decades, with that claim.

"Collective guilt" is what Republicans have always used, to discredit any group that dares to disagree with them.

When that does not work, then they trot out their other ploy of making people afraid of an entire ethnic group, race, or religion, just because one person, or a small number of people, from one such group has done something evil.

That is what the Willie Horton ploy was all about. Be very afraid of all Black People.

We are now seeing the same ploy being used against American Muslims. Four or five hijackers, who professed to be Muslims, crashed two planes, into the Twin Towers, so people like Newt, now use that fact to incite fear and hatred of all Muslims.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 23, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who says the United States of America has anything in common with Muslim countries should search the latest wedding between MANY girls who look to be under age 10 to MEN - not teens, but MEN in a mass wedding. Here they would be arrested. Further, anyone who says 'Allah' is the same as God, has not done their research. Think pagan - moon god.

One more thing: Plum Line? What's that?! Typo?

Posted by: lrg13 | August 23, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who says the United States of America has anything in common with Muslim countries should search the latest wedding between MANY girls who look to be under age 10 to MEN - not teens, but MEN - in a mass wedding. Here they would be arrested. Further, anyone who says 'Allah' is the same as God, has not done their research. Think pagan - moon god.

One more thing: Plum Line? What's that?! Typo?

Posted by: lrg13 | August 23, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Tea Party? What Tea Party? Don't look now, but Marco Rubio is quietly shedding that Tea Party skin, remaking himself as reasonable, moderate, and unthreatening.
----------------------------------------------

It's called pivoting to center for the general election. Everyone tries to do it after the primaries are done and the one who does it most successfully usually wins. But I don't think the Tea Party will like it much -- unless Rubio proves very deft at dog-whistle politics and probably not even then. My guess is that they very much consider him to be ~their~ candidate and they're damned tired of always being the back door relatives in the Republican coalition. I don't expect they'll take being sidelined very quietly. Not this time.

I also think that Crist has the center pretty firmly staked out at this point and is unlikely to give up the slice that Rubio will need to win without a fight. This should be an interesting race.

Posted by: CalD | August 23, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

"Hillary for Veep? David Ignatius makes the most able case I've heard yet."
----------------------------------------------

I read that Ignatius piece yesterday and I really thought he must have been smoking rope when when he wrote it. For one thing he led with the very flawed premise that Clinton is somehow a better politician than Obama. Obviously if that were true she'd be the one with the word "President" in front of her name.

For another, I haven't heard Biden making any noises about retiring. I'm aware that he'll be turning 70 in 2012 and as hard as it is for me to picture him slowing down, I suppose it's possible he might decide not to re-up. But if he did, then I'd presume that his replacement would be a party up-and-comer, because the VP slot is basically good for two things: balancing the ticket and grooming presidential candidates.

Now that the starry-eyed left has lost their illusions about Barack Obama and the more pragmatic among us have had our initial assessment confirmed that the two of them were always pretty close politically, there really aren't a lot of other constituencies Clinton appeals to and Obama doesn't. Not much balance there. And unless you think she's going to be up for another presidential run at age 68 -- and she of all people knows very well what that job does to a person -- then the grooming thing is out. So with all respect due David Ignatius, I'm really inclined to file that one under, "Huh?"

Posted by: CalD | August 23, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone who says the United States of America has anything in common with Muslim countries should search the latest wedding between MANY girls who look to be under age 10 to MEN - not teens, but MEN - in a mass wedding."

The populations of all of the above are composed of Homo sapiens, not that you seem to care much about that. You seem to think it's much more important for everyone to understand you're a bigot.

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 24, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

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