David Harsanyi, a syndicated columnist who writes for the Denver Post, starts his column today by asking the question “Is it bigoted to criticize religion?” and then proceeds to miss the point entirely.
There are those who continue to make the facile claim that any protest over Park51 is a display in un-American intolerance and contempt for the Constitution. This position treats criticism of faith — religious institutions and symbols included — as tantamount to “bigotry.”
Given that there remains overwhelming opposition to the ground zero mosque, this viewpoint would mean that 70 percent of Americans are impulsively hostile to freedom of religion and irrationally narrow-minded.
Do you see what you did there, David? First you set up the straw men by labeling criticism of the proposed Islamic community center “bigotry”, then you blithely referred to it as the “ground zero mosque” thus accepting the false premise that the argument is over a mosque being built on top of ground zero! Which it, um, isn’t and isn’t. But we’re now all ready to condemn the mean spiritedness that proclaims 70 percent of Americans are impulsively hostile to freedom of religion, irrationally narrow-minded and bigots to boot!
You then go on to compare the apple of the ginned up outrage over something that’s not what it’s being reported to be as *equivalent* to the oranges of community protests against Wal-Mart stores and a protest march by gays against the passing of Prop 8 that originated at a Mormon Temple in Westwood, CA.
And applying public pressure in an effort to shut down a project is as American as protesting the arrival of a new Wal-Mart. Religious institutions, as far as I can tell, are not exempted from these disputes.
In 2008, thousands of gay-rights activists protested the Mormon temple in Westwood, Calif., for its role in passing Proposition 8 — the ban on same-sex marriage. This grew into a national protest to undermine the influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — even though not every Mormon was involved.
Let’s start with the simple one. Wal-Mart, regardless of what its management may or may not believe, is not a church or a religion. Freedom to worship Wal-Mart is optional but not constitutionally protected. As a business enterprise it is subject to boycott by consumers who disagree with its labor policies and tendency to bulldoze existing small businesses into extinction. So far the company’s still around and still making profits. More power to it.
We will never forget—what sells!
At the end of Part One, we were trembling at the brink of a discovery: down a side street, but a mere two shabbily picturesque city blocks away from the northern perimeter of the future 16 acre complex of memorials, waterfalls, museums, office buildings, retail shops, and restaurants currently still known as “Ground Zero.”
Look! There in the crepuscularity of this avenue of sorrow, the perfidious zealots have already declared their devotion to the One True Way by putting up a sign!!
Over at Buckley’s Bughaus, K-Lo tags Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury as a teabagger:
Skedaddle, Midnight Cowboy! Something (conservatively) wicked this way comes!
But could the 90-year-old author be a few matches short of a book burning these days? Possibly:
“We should never have left there [the moon]. We should go to the moon and prepare a base to fire a rocket off to Mars and then go to Mars and colonize Mars. Then when we do that, we will live forever.”
“We have too many cellphones. We’ve got too many Internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now.”
“I was approached three times during the last year by Internet companies wanting to put my books [on an electronic reading device]. I said to Yahoo, ‘Prick up your ears and go to hell.’”
The article didn’t say whether or not Mr. Bradbury ordered the reporter off his lawn.
[Note to my descendant: If I ever start babbling about “We the People” after you stash me at the raisin ranch, kindly smother me with a pillow, umkay? Thanks in advance.]
Aiieee! What’s that at Ground Zero? A MINARET? ALREADY??
No, no, the Mooslins haven’t moved in yet. But now that the Tundra Torquemadam has got her polar panties in a knot over the groundless rumor of the Ground! Zero! Mosque! I thought it time to actually show the hopelessly daft Grand Inquisitrix some irrefudiable features of my ‘hood, which she and her followers are honoring by trying to turn a generous swath of lower Manhattan into Joseph McCarthy’s Tribute Morgue.
Here we are, starting directly across from Ground Zero, praying without ceasing, as it is said that each time somebody licks all the way around a bonnet cone, an angel gets a brain-freeze.
Well, this was inevitable. In her latest diurnal emission, Sarah shames the Framers with her trademark “It may be Constitutional, but it just ain’t right” re-imagining of America’s Founding Principles, as revised, amended, footnoted and circumscribed by T. Herman Zweibel, with a codicil by Glenn Beck—Legitimate Questions for the President:
Mr. President, should they or should they not build a mosque steps away from where radical Islamists killed 3000 people? Please tell us your position. We all know that they have the right to do it, but should they? And, no, this is not above your pay grade. If those who wish to build this Ground Zero mosque are sincerely interested in encouraging positive “cross-cultural engagement” and dialogue to show a moderate and tolerant face of Islam, then why haven’t they recognized that the decision to build a mosque at this particular location is doing just the opposite? Mr. President, why aren’t you encouraging the mosque developers to accept Governor Paterson’s generous offer of assistance in finding a new location for the mosque on state land if they move it away from Ground Zero? Why haven’t they jumped at this offer? Why are they apparently so set on building a mosque steps from what you have described, in agreement with me, as “hallowed ground”? I believe these are legitimate questions to ask.
Two can play that game, my little Nudnik of the North. So let’s consider some Legitimate Questions for Sarah Palin:
♦ Do you have a Plan for America, or are you content to snipe from the shadows with no responsibility for your actions?
♦ Since you believe tolerance, reconciliation and healing are Bad for America, are you embracing divisive, polarizing fear-mongering as an acceptable substitute?
♦ Do you intend to run for President in 2012, or simply continue to milk your supporters’ hopes that you’ll run in order to leverage lucrative Celebrity Speaking Gigs, Book Deals, TV Contracts and donations to your PAC?
♦ Should you decide to run for President, will Todd cancel his snow-machine team’s financial sponsorship by Venezuela’s Citgo petroleum group?
♦ Do you believe that running America would be a) more or b) less challenging than running your mouth?
Feel free to add your own Legitimate Questions in comments.
Meet Marg Baker, Teabaggy Candidate for Florida’s House District 48 (via the St. Pete Times):
“I was just a little girl in Miami, and they built camps for the people that snuck into the country because they were illegal,” Baker said. “They put them in the camps and they shipped them back. We can do that. We can do E-Verify. We must stop them.”
I know you’ll be SHOCKED to hear these remarks were made during a rally sponsored by Glenn Beck’s 9/12 project (apparently there’s YouTubes of her saying the same thing).
President Obama reaffirms the values of tolerance and equality on which the USA was founded:
Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities - particularly in New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. The pain and suffering experienced by those who lost loved ones is unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.
But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.
Mass murderers never have the right to prance and pose over the remains of their victims. If Barack Obama doesn’t understand that, he simply is not fit to be President, and is barely worthy of being called a citizen.
“Elena Kagan, a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, has defrauded the U.S. Supreme Court. As a result, her membership to practice before the Court should be revoked and the matter referred to the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. How, then can Ms. Kagan be confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a seat on the high court, when in reality she should not even be allowed to practice in front of it?
The rules of legal ethics require her disbarment and I intend to pursue it, to set an example that prospective and sitting judges, or anyone in the legal profession or otherwise, are not above the law.”
♦ Should Kagan be permitted to argue her own defense in front of herself?
♦ Should Kagan recuse herself from hearing her own defense and participating in the ruling on the case?
♦ Should Kagan initiate impeachment proceedings against herself in light of the obvious conflict-of-interest entailed in being both her own attorney and judge?
♦ Which other Supreme Court Justices have both argued SCOTUS cases and heard them at the same time?
♦ Is it possible to constitute a functional baseball team with only eight Supreme Court Justices?
♦ What is Larry Klayman’s major malfunction?
♦ Who’s smarter: Reed Richards, Doctor Doom, Orly Taitz or Larry Klayman?
In terms of symbolism, Moby Dick has more layers than an onion. But Sarah Palin only has one: The symbolism of The Common (Wo)Man.
Sure, she’s an Elite Media Pundit with a best-selling book and a lucrative cable TV deal who earns enough to buy a used Maserati Gran Turismo every time she re-reads her basic stump speech at a bowling convention. But, dammit, she’s just Plain Folks like you and me. She’s Tom Joad snorting Dust Bowl bitterness through a bendable straw at the Trump SoHo New York. She’s Horatio Alger hawking beluga in the Club Car of the Twentieth Century Limited. She’s Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring played by a hundred wingnut fundraisers on a hundred Golden Kazoos. She breathes goose-down, bleeds plaid, and she’s more choked with flannel than the lint-trap on a GE Profile dryer.
Which is why—after tripling-down on the same strawman arguments and bogus numbers that drew howls of derision the first two times she floated them—the Kween of Kommon Sentz felt compelled to remind her Facebook pals that, however hare-brained and spurious her challenge to the Evil Liberal Fact-Checkers, it had been righteously issued by a hard-working person on an actual fishing boat with, like, hooks and shit:
(By the way, the Left sure gets wee-wee’d up when they’re called on something like this, eh? And here I am, thousands of miles away from DC out on a commercial fishing boat, working my butt off for my own business, merely asking the Democrat politicos and their liberal friends in the media: “What’s the plan, man?”, and they seem to feel threatened by my question. So, I’ll go back to setting my hooks and watching the halibut take the bait, and when I come back into the boat’s cabin in a few hours, I’ll log back on here to read their reply. I’ll have succeeded if they’re forced to finally reveal to Americans how they plan to increase taxes, and what they intend to do with our money. In the meantime, I’m catching fish.)
Steve M at the excellent No More Mr. Nice Blog has an interesting analysis on the right’s relative silence (so far) on the overturning of Prop 8. As Steve notes, Maddow addressed it on last night’s show.
There are wingnuts flipping out about the Sodom and Gomorrah-ization of America, of course. They include what passes for the intellectual voice of the conservative movement over at William F. Buckley’s desecrated online grave.
But the response has been strangely muted. Even Palin declined to tut-tut the destruction of the family when spoon-fed a line by Sean Hannity during her bizarre appearance on his show earlier this week. She claimed she hadn’t had time to read the ruling. Since when has ignorance ever stopped Palin from opining?
The theory is that the tea-hadists appeal to swing voters on a libertarian basis and that overt social conservatism would drive independents back into the arms of the relatively sane Democrats. All true, I think. Steve speculates the word has gone out to keep the insane homophobia under wraps until the election is over so as not to frighten off moderates.
As we’ve all noted before, the tea-hadi element is the Bush dead-enders rebranded, led by lunatics like Glenn Beck. If the nutty discussions on their message boards are any indication, I’m not sure they can keep the homo-hatred under their tri-cornered hats until November.
And that’s one reason it’s a crying shame Obama chose to react to the overturning of Prop 8 in such a tepid, illogical and unhelpful manner. I didn’t expect him to hail the ruling or undergo an epiphany on marriage equality—he’s been clear about his position.
However, the fact is, he’s where most moderates are on the issue, which is not where we lefties are, but not where the far right (including the tea-hadis) are either. This might have been a good time to bring attention to that distinction and simultaneously goad the homophobes into overplaying their hand. It’s not too late, Mr. President.
Sometimes your ex-governor gets on my balls. Then she makes me laugh and I stop hating you (via WaPo):
Brian Murphy, a little-known Republican candidate for Maryland governor, unexpectedly won an endorsement Wednesday from one of the biggest names in national politics: Sarah Palin. [Biggest names? It would be biggest joke if you assholes would stop treating her like she’s more than a two-legged collection plate for Sarah Palin Charities, Inc. - ed]
Here in Maryland, we’re a diverse bunch. Even our most infamous modern-day fReichtard is an African-American.
We do not make a habit of electing complete frothing psychos to office [Looks at Texas]. When we do elect Republicans we tend to elect guys like Wayne Gilchrest, an early victim of the GOP’s shift from a quasi-functional party to a bunch of lunatics writing conspiracy theories on the wall with their own shit. And to be perfectly fair, Ehrlich is no Rick Perry. Or Sarah Palin.
All of this is a long winded way of saying, if I were going to make a list of states that are screamingly obvious no-go areas for teabagger candidates, I’d put Maryland at #1. (D.C. isn’t a state.) I know this, anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows this. Palin ... Well. She’s dense as a block of government issue cheese, slightly less intelligent and a tap-dancing attention addict to boot, isn’t she?
Palin’s decision to side with Murphy over former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) in September’s GOP primary prompted plenty of head-scratching in Maryland political circles. But it remained unclear what impact the endorsement might have in a state where the “tea party” movement has not packed nearly as much punch as elsewhere. [“Head scratching” is Neo-Con fearing reporter speak for great BWAHAHAs of laughter - ed.]
The teabaggers haven’t packed a punch (or a flailing slap) in Maryland, because we’re not crazy. And I’m not sure Mr. Murphy is crazy enough. The only thing I see on his issues page that isn’t boilerplate GOPese is his desire to start homes for unwed mothers.
OK, maybe that is crazy enough.
Or maybe Palin is just jealous of ex-governor Ehrlich because she’s the only goshdurn ex-governor anyone should pay attention to also.
Ah, you’re right. She’s got the political acumen of a stunned pigeon and has come to associate flapping her yapper with a rain of $$$, God bless her. She just made the GOP goobernatorial race interesting.