Josh Marshall wants some answers on the “Ground Zero” mosque story
For most of us who are anything but quite young, we grew up in America where Islam, as a domestic social or cultural reality, was close to invisible. That doesn’t mean there weren’t any Muslims in the US. The fact that some of our most searing and for many of us some of our first experiences with Islam came in the form of a catastrophic terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals and creates a situation ripe for exploitation. And here we have it. We’re in a midst of a spasm of nativist panic and raw and raucous appeals to race and religious hatred. What effects this will have on the November election strikes me as not particularly relevant. What’s important is compiling some record of what’s afoot, some catalog for understanding in the future who was responsible and who was so willing to disgrace their country and their principles for cheap advantage.
Justin Elliott provides some of those details in a War Room post here. The backstory is certainly disgraceful, but it’s also a good lesson in how this stuff works.
Back in December, no less than Laura Ingraham on Fox News thought that the mosque was a good idea when interviewing Daisy Khan, whose husband is leading up the project. However, after a New York Post article in May, things went haywire on right-wing blogs. None of the criticisms of the mosque had even a remote connection to reality, but no matter – eventually Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich were all pandering to this firestorm of ignorance.
And then yesterday, I watched Village idiot Matthew Dowd on the Sunday morning shows trying to claim that “tolerance runs both ways” and that Obama really stepped in it – by taking a position that was more conservative than what Laura Ingraham said only 8 months before. The fact that bigots with blogs can have this much influence over our national discourse should give everyone pause about what’s happening in this country right now.