The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The “Mosque” controversy and bigotry

Ok, enough.  As Glenn Greenwald points out, this ginned up controversy is now about bigotry.  Or, to put it another way, it’s about who the acceptable out-group to hate is in America.

Apparently it’s Muslims.

This is turning into a propaganda coup for Islamic fundamentalists, who are able to point at this controversy and say that Americans hate Islam.   And, frankly, from what I’ve seen, with even some of my readers saying they oppose the “Mosque” (really a chapel in a community center), they’re right.  Americans do hate Muslims.

As many people have pointed out, even George goddamn Bush made sure that this sort of bigotry didn’t burn out of control, but lacking his leadership, it is now acceptable to hate Muslims and say they shouldn’t exercise their constitutional rights.

Meanwhile, employment is sucking wind, the economy is heading into a second downleg of the Depression, the war in Afghanistan continues its disastrous course, Mexico is turning into a failed state and on and on.  America has a 1,000 real problems it isn’t dealing with, but it has time for a ginned up bullshit controversy of a “Mosque”.

This is a step down from the usual celebrity gossip and missing blondes who usually serve as American escapism from reality because it reveals something really fucking ugly about Americans and their hatred of a religious minority. Glenn’s right about that.  Let’s let him have the last word:

Obviously, not all opponents of Park51 are as overtly hateful as those in that video — and not all opponents are themselves bigots — but the position they’ve adopted is inherently bigoted, as it seeks to impose guilt and blame on a large demographic group for the aberrational acts of a small number of individual members. (my emphasis)


State of the Economy


No, the Fed doesn’t need to “press” Credit Card companies to live up to the law


  1. Tom Hickey

    This is all about the GOP/conservative strategy of using wedge issues to distract from real issues. They know that the the hot button is bigotry, whether it be Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists, i.e., non-Evangelicals, and anyone one whose skin isn’t white enough. It is really sick and should be called out for what it is. Instead, the media amplifies it.

  2. Formerly T-Bear

    @ Tom Hickey

    You forgot both DFH’s and Liberals in your mention.

  3. Tom, the GOP made the bed, but the Harry Reids and Howard Deans decided to lie in it. Ain’t bipartisanship grand?

  4. Celsius 233

    America/Americans have lost the grace that used to carry them so well in this world; and the death spiral is ugly.

  5. jo6pac

    Yep and when they’re done rounding up all the Muslims, who will be the next group? Hate is working over time and is just what the elite have in mind, divide and steal the little people blind. It’s working really well so why change or just more change we can believe in.

  6. Jeff W

    Thom Hartmann today was saying this cooked-up controversy is part of a GOP/corporate strategy to create the equation “9/11=terrorism=Muslims=Obama=Democrats” (roughly that) so that the Republican base is all riled up in time for the midterm elections in November and the Bush tax cuts can be preserved. That seems about right to me. It’s sort of the Southern strategy of modern times. The Republicans can’t win on the issues—but, come to think of it, neither can the Democrats.

  7. Cloud

    Indeed, America of today is far less likely to deal with its crisis of capitalism peacefully, sensibly or democratically than Germany of the 1920s ever was.

  8. Cloud

    I guess, one expects some amount of xenophobia and bigotry in old-fashioned agricultural communities, as a sort of constant throughout history. It’s something one can certainly see past.

    It’s the people who manage to live in middle- or even upper-middle-class suburbs with high speed internet and public universities, and yet still be nasty and bigoted as all hell, apparently out of sheer cussedness, who really bug me.

  9. Kim Kaufman

    (Note: with correct email) I heard Thom Hartmann, too, and I thought this was far more interesting (and insidious):
    Note the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as “supporters of MLT (Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow).” David Rockefeller was an initial planner of the World Trade Center.

    This article is more of the same as the two above — except for last paragraph:

  10. “even George goddamn Bush made sure that this sort of bigotry didn’t burn out of control, but lacking his leadership …”
    [Homer]It’s funny, ’cause it’s true.[/Homer]

    *sigh* While I’d like to say that this sets the leadership bar high enough for an ant to have some difficulty, there is the other hand to consider. IOKIYAR

    While Prezident Codpiece was in office, this sort of thing was a ‘Nixon going to China’ moment. As long as he did not condemn attacking swarthy folks that looked Muslim, he was golden.

  11. Daniel De Groot

    Glenn is right that the issue is important but he is possibly wrong in one regard. There is some distraction going on. The “mosque” is not a distraction from the economy or climate change or the wars, it is a distraction for the bloodthirsty base away from hating hispanics as they were fast helping Democratic long term fortunes by driving hispanic GOP support levels down to be comparable to black GOP support. It’s also all the other usual Southern Strategy stuff, but I think changing the subject away from the Hispanic menace is at least convenient for the GOP whether (as is likely) they orchestrated this fracas from the start or just leaped onto it when it emerged.

    The GOP strategy types know enough to pick on minorities that are too small to hurt you when they leave the tent. Muslims are safe targets (like gays were until the public began to stop fearing them). Sure, the actual terrorists might launch another terrorist attack, but that works for the GOP too if it happens on Obama’s watch.

  12. jeer9

    The job of Democrats is to save Republicans from their own incompetence which is why they inevitably play along with these fake controversies. For the two parties to rule in perpetuity, neither party can let the other one become too pathetic. Obama’s bipartisanship should be seen as a key aspect of this strategy. Crony capitalism thus rules, no reform is possible, and the voters are left without a choice. America, fuck yeah!

  13. Eureka Springs

    Of course it’s the hate machine at work. Anyone else hear the Koch Brothers laughing with Murdoch over cigars right about now?

    I must say I still think the whole thing is largely manufactured… the video at Greenwalds, once again, clearly showed very few demonstrators were involved. This has much more to do with those who buy ink by the barrel and air space by multiple networks for all the evil reasons.

    And I would really like to know who is funding PEW (charitable and trust, my ass) and Rassmussen’s endless stream of horror show polling these days. The very least they could do is count the number of people who simply hang up on their idiotic questions.

  14. beowulf

    While Prezident Codpiece was in office, this sort of thing was a ‘Nixon going to China’ moment.

    Oh don’t remind me of Nixon, frankly I miss the old bastard. Just read his 1971 State of the Union address. Imagine if we had a GOP president who talked like this– hell, imagine if we had a Democratic president who talked like this:

    So let us place a floor under the income of every family with children in America-and without those demeaning, soul-stifling affronts to human dignity that so blight the lives of welfare children today. But let us also establish an effective work incentive and an effective work requirement. Let us provide the means by which more can help themselves. This shall be our goal…

    We should take no comfort from the fact that the level of unemployment in this transition from a wartime to a peacetime economy is lower than in any peacetime year of the sixties. This is not good enough for the man who is unemployed in the seventies. We must do better for workers in peacetime and we will do better. I will submit an expansionary budget this year–one that will help stimulate the economy and thereby open up new job opportunities for millions of Americans. It will be a full employment budget, a budget designed to be in balance if the economy were operating at its peak potential. By spending as if we were at full employment, we will help to bring about full employment…

    I will propose a strong new set of initiatives to clean up our air and water, to combat noise, and to preserve and restore our surroundings… I will propose programs to make better use of our land, to encourage a balanced national growth–growth that will revitalize our rural heartland and enhance the quality of life in America… And not only to meet today’s needs but to anticipate those of tomorrow, I will put forward the most extensive program ever proposed by a President of the United States to expand the Nation’s parks, recreation areas, open spaces…

    I won’t belabor the point, you can click through to read about his plans to provide universal healthcare, reorganize and consolidate cabinet departments and provide revenue sharing to state and local governments (the last with a caveat, “Neither the President nor the Congress nor the conscience of this Nation can permit money which comes from all the people to be used in a way which discriminates against some of the people.”).

  15. Lori


    Thanks – that actually makes some sense.

    I’ve been absolutely bewildered by this mess and have wondered how I could have, at this late date, over-estimated the convictions of my fellow countrymen so radically.

    Nixon was flawed and did some very bad things. But Nixon, unlike Bush, Obama and Reagan, had a conscience and was interested in governing for the benefit of everyone – with the possible exception of wealthy Democrats. 😉 The latter three seem primarily interested in using the office to drive wealth to their friends and to corporations whose board they hope to sit on once they leave office.

  16. anon2525

    For those who haven’t seen it, here is yesterday’s Daily Show episode in which Stewart briefly discusses the situation (“my weekend!”) in NYC, “follows the money”, and then debates the eternal question “Evil or Stupid?”.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén