Ahoy hoy, Wizbangers, sorry I haven't rapped at you in a while but I've been busier than a cat burying crap on a frozen pond. First off was getting a new roof on the old Casa de Ottomatic and the big price tag that came with it, plus there have been contractors in my house moving a couple of walls and doors then retexturing all the walls and ceilings. I sort of ran out of money at the end of it all, which means rolling primer and paint was next on my agenda. That gets old fast and I decided to draw flies today...so here I am.
The title of today's ditty is lifted verbatim from Toby Harnden's editorial in the UK Telegraph. Verbatim meaning not just the text itself but also the "not capitalizing every word in an article title" style. If it's good enough for a newspaper in England - birthplace of English - then it's good enough for me. (Inside joke alert!) Anyway, the gist of the editorial is how the Build An Islamic Center That's Not a Mosque At a Site That's Not Really At Ground Zero foofaraw provided a perfect opportunity for Barack Obama to extol America's tolerance. As is his custom, Obama chose to vote present. A few choice snippets:
It took a Manhattan taxi driver called Ahmed Sharif to speak out for America, which is being vilified as bigoted and Islamophobic because of the controversy generated by opposition to the so-called "Ground Zero mosque".I hope that's not so many snippets that we run afoul of fair usage statutes.
The United States was his dream country, he enthused, and he loved New York City. "I feel like I belong here. This is the city actually [for] all colours, races, religion, everyone. We live here side by side peacefully."
Which was a pretty noble sentiment coming from a man whose throat had been slashed by a drunken, deranged passenger who had inquired whether he was a Muslim before pulling out a knife and shouting "Peace be upon you" in Arabic.
America's liberal elites have been falling over themselves to denounce their country and fellow citizens as anti-Muslim xenophobes who don't understand that it was not all followers of Islam who were responsible for the atrocities of 2001.
Certainly, some Americans opposed to what is now known as the Park51centre (its previous name of Cordoba centre, a reference to a mosque built in Spain on the site of a Christian church to symbolise a Muslim victory, did not quite strike the right public relations note) are motivated by bigotry.
To want to debate such matters, however, is judged as beyond the pale. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York tried to shut down discussion by saying that opponents of (the centre's Imam Feisal Abdul) Rauf's initiative "ought to be ashamed of themselves". Presumably, that includes Bangladeshi-born Sharif, who doesn't support the Park51 centre.
President Barack Obama said that the US constitution guarantees religious freedom (which no one disputes). The American mainstream media and commentariat has stridently and almost uniformly championed Rauf's cause. In doing so, they've happily trashed their fellow Americans, stating they're motivated only by intolerance.
In fact, most evidence points to the US being one of the most tolerant countries in the world.
Obama's ill-judged intervention, and the shrill outrage of his allies in the intelligentsia, has damaged America's standing in the world by fuelling anti-American stereotypes.
Aides to General David Petraeus, commanding troops in Afghanistan, say he is livid about the portrayal of the US as a hotbed of anti-Muslim bigotry and fears it may undermine the war effort, which is based on partnership with an Islamic regime.
Many Americans are incensed by the way that legitimate protest and questioning of Obama's policies is routinely branded as racist or ignorant. They are tired of being told what to think and when to think it.
Harnden doesn't address the why question, he just sets the stage for a discussion. I think the reason he hasn't told the world about American tolerance is pretty clear to anyone who's been watching the Obama machine for two years on the campaign trail and nigh on two years in the White House. Just as he stated there's no real American exceptionalism, Obama doesn't believe American tolerance exists.
Throughout Obama's entire adult life his whole raison de etre has been "us" vs. "them", with "them" being some powerful, nebulous, nefarious group motivated solely by prejudice working to deny "us" what we deserve. Hell, he even thought his own white granny just couldn't help herself but be a typical black-hating Klansman at heart. Does anyone believe he doesn't look at any situation involving an ethnic minority on one side and 70% of Americans on the other without seeing it through a prism of bigotry?
Obama can't tell the world about American tolerance because he doesn't believe it. And Barack Obama cannot tell a lie. No, but seriously, if it had been Barack Obama and the cherry tree he'd have told his father the white man chopped it down. Then he would have organized the community to demand the government give every disadvantaged family free cherry trees.
But that's only part of the equation. Harnden touched on "the way that legitimate protest and questioning of Obama's policies is routinely branded as racist or ignorant." It's not just the way Obama thinks, it's the only club he's got in his bag. It's pretty safe to assume that when a doctrinaire liberal nee radical black man attends a swanky prep school in Hawaii, and Occidental College, and Columbia, and Harvard Law he's able to a) immerse himself in like minded liberals who wouldn't question his assumptions anyway because they are in 100% agreement or b) never have his assumptions challenged because everyone is hyper-cautious about offending a black person's sensibilities.
Ten years of constant reinforcement that anything with which Obama disagrees is driven by prejudice.
From there it's on to community organizing on the South Side of Chicago, where once again he's surrounded by people who have no qualms with blaming prejudice and bigotry for any disagreement. Obama believes most Americans - down to own grandmother - are prejudiced, he's spent his whole life surrounded by others who have the same belief (including his wife), and when challenged the first thing that pops into his head is "it's because I'm black."
Combine that with a worldview that equates "equlity" with "equal outcomes" and you've got a president who simply cannot fathom that America is probably the most tolerant nation on Earth.
Assuming Republicans take back the House and knock on wood the Senate, that too will be viewed as white folks lashing out at the black man in the White House. The last two years of his presidency will be a non-stop cavalcade of finger-pointing rooted in baseless accusations of bigotry. Americans are a tolerant lot, but we won't tolerate a president who only sees the people who question his policy choices through a lens of intolerance.