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Anti-Muslim Bigotry: The New Flavor of the GOP

Politics • Views: 1,603

Politico’s Ben Smith has been collecting statements from possible Republican presidential candidates about the Park51 project (please stop calling it the “Ground Zero Mosque,” people — it’s a deliberately misleading phrase coined by bigots), and it’s a disturbing snapshot of the current state of the GOP.

George W. Bush had many flaws, but he did one thing very right: following the 9/11 attacks he resisted demonizing Muslims and instead called for tolerance. Bush consistently, unequivocally rejected the idea that the US was in a religious war with Islam itself, even though it would have been tremendously advantageous politically for him to encourage that idea in the right wing base.

But now, the governor is off the populist motor, and the current crop of GOP leaders, rather than standing up for the Constitution and American values, are all jockeying to exploit the raging prejudice.

2012ers on the mosque.

Palin (7/18): “Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. .”

Gingrich (7/21): “There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.”

Pawlenty (8/6): “I think it’s inappropriate… From a patriotic standpoint, it’s hallowed ground, it’s sacred ground, and we should respect that. We shouldn’t have images or activities that degrade or disrespect that in any way.”

Huckabee (8/4): Even if the Muslims have the right to build it, don’t they do more to serve the public interest by exercising the responsible judgement to not build it, given that it’s really offensive to most New Yorkers and Americans? Or is it just that we can offend Americans and Christians, but not foreigners and Muslims?”

Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom (today): “Governor Romney opposes the construction of the mosque at Ground Zero. The wishes of the families of the deceased and the potential for extremists to use the mosque for global recruiting and propaganda compel rejection of this site.”

In another post, Ben Smith notes that Tim Pawlenty, who suggested the Park51 project is unpatriotic, is refusing to moderate his position even after coming under heavy criticism. Pawlenty and his fellow Republican front runners see bigotry and demagoguery as a winning tactic.

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 Frank says:

Throwing objects such as this are capable of damaging expensive musical equipment and musicians. Any more of this and there will be no more music. -- FZ, Autumn 1981 at Northrup auditorium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After someone threw a plunger on stage about two-thirds of the way through the show, he stopped the band with a wave of his hand speaking in the general direction that the dangerous object was thrown, while holding it in his hand. This did not prove to be an amusing act and Franks mood hardened. - It was, however, an evening of excellent, serious musicianship around the release of 'Shut up and play your guitar'