Monthly Archives: August 2010

“The Waterworld of White Self-Pity”

Hitch on the Glenn Beck rally:

In a rather curious and confused way, some white people are starting almost to think like a minority, even like a persecuted one. What does it take to believe that Christianity is an endangered religion in America or that the name of Jesus is insufficiently spoken or appreciated? Who wakes up believing that there is no appreciation for our veterans and our armed forces and that without a noisy speech from Sarah Palin, their sacrifice would be scorned? It’s not unfair to say that such grievances are purely and simply imaginary, which in turn leads one to ask what the real ones can be. The clue, surely, is furnished by the remainder of the speeches, which deny racial feeling so monotonously and vehemently as to draw attention.

Quote of the Day

Adam Serwer, on a poll showing that more than 50 percent of Republicans believe that “Barack Obama sympathizes with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law around the world”:

The poll result is also another example of the remarkable ability of the conservative base to hold two entirely contradictory impressions of a person at the same time — on the one hand Obama is a social libertine who wants to teach sex ed to children, end discrimination against gays and lesbians in the armed forces and allow women unfettered access to abortion, and on the other he’s part of a global conspiracy to institute a repressive interpretation of Islamic law that would prohibit all of those things.

He’s also both a milquetoast weakling, and a rough Chicago political hack.
The Onion got this right earlier in the week.

Quote of the Day

Serwer, again:

Rauf’s statement about Iraq sanctions is not a religious statement. It is a political statement. Rauf could have said this while being an extremist, he could have said it while scarfing down a half smoke covered in chili and cheese and washing it down with a Red Stripe. If Douthat wants to read Rauf’s books and have a theological argument about Islam, or argue with Rauf about his views of American foreign policy, that’s fine. But what conservatives are doing at this point is not looking for evidence of religious extremism but policing Rauf’s political views for things they find objectionable and then presenting them as evidence of religious extremism... These are two completely different things, but conservatives need to conflate them because “man with lefty views on American foreign policy tries to build community center in Lower Manhattan” isn’t as objectionable as “Islamic extremist builds mosque at Ground Zero.” Agreeing with the Republican platform shouldn’t be a prerequisite for building an Islamic community center without the threat of widespread, organized political opposition. We don’t hold any other kind of religious leaders to those kinds of standards.

Quote of the Day

Daniel Larison on the idiocy of the mosque opposition:

It has been an exercise in manipulating public anger and using it for the purpose of waging an ostensibly anti-Islamist political campaign by organizing against harmless Muslims and their organizations. A distinctive American culture isnt under threat from this mosque, the Cordoba Initiative or Imam Abdul Rauf. Rauf and those like him do represent a threat to lazy conservative anti-jihadism that treats every Muslim to the right of Ayaan Hirsi Ali as a potential fifth columnist and would-be enforcer of creeping sharia.

The Pam Geller definition of “Sharia” appears to be “Muslims actively practicing Islam without shame.” How dare they.