Why We Are Still Talking About This

« August 2010 »

Memo to the entire socio-political infrastructure in America: FUCK OFF.

To truly understand the scope of the clusterfuck that is the ginned-up Cordoba House controversy, you first need to understand one simple, incontrovertible fact:

There is nothing wrong with the Cordoba House project.

To prove this, we first need to identify the two strongest arguments the wingnuts have against Cordoba. A good example of this is yesterday's column from John Nolte at Big Hollywood. Upset that Jon Stewart called Cordoba opponents a bunch of ignorant bigots, Nolte did his best to provide the official sanctioned non-bigoted arguments against the project. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"And maybe before he divides us further with his hateful soda strawing, he should find a moment to think about the 9/11 families, and maybe even do a little Googling about this Imam instead of waiting for the MSM to do it for him."

Before you ask, no, I don't know what the fuck Nolte means by "soda strawing", other than it's a reference earlier in the column when he blames Stewart for using the "soda straw of bigotry". It's possible that Nolte doesn't know what the word "straw man" means, and it's also possible that he's just insane.

Even so, Crazy Nolte manages to encapsulate the essence of the sanest arguments the anti-Cordoba crowd have to offer - that it's somehow insensitive to the 9/11 families, and that the imam behind the mosque is actually an evil radical terrorist.

The truth, of course, is that only a few of the 9/11 families are actually opposed, that even if they all were, we never actually granted them the privilege to make zoning decisions covering sixteen to twenty five square blocks of Manhattan (based on the "two blocks away" rule), and that if the imam is a radical, then the last two presidents really shouldn't have sent him as an emissary to moderate Muslims on three separate occasions.

If the most rational opposition to Cordoba is demonstrably irrational, then there is no rational opposition. Q.E.D. If there is no rational opposition to it, then everyone who opposes it is wrong. Whether they're wrong for political gain, or wrong because they're irrational from the loss of a loved one, or wrong because they're bigots, they're STILL WRONG.

Now, here's the part that really drives me up the fucking wall. The Democrats' "support" for Cordoba has ranged all the way from blatant opposition (Harry Reid) through non-compromise "compromise" (Howard Dean) to qualified quibbling (Barack Obama). They're following the same losing pattern they always follow.

First, the Republicans invent some offensive fake controversy that appeals to the worst in people. Since people generally suck, that means the controversy has broad appeal. Democrats are loathe to oppose anything that has broad appeal, no matter how wrong it is, so they find some mealy-mouthed technical objection, like Obama's refusal to speak to the "wisdom", just the legality. They do this in the hopes of not losing votes by not confronting the worst in people. The Republicans win. Lather, rinse, repeat, emphasis on the "lather".

Pushing back against this bullshit is not easy. Swaying Americans away from their natural xenophobia is hard. But every fight like this the Democrats concede simply reinforces and strengthens the xenophobia and makes the next fight harder, while winning over absolutely nobody. It's politically stupid and it's ethically offensive to boot. At least if you're going to violate every principle you ostensibly stand for, you could get something out of it.

For fuck's sake, Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove are throwing around Nazi comparisons like their boy-whores were giving away free boxes of Nazi comparisons with each paid hour of oral. Timmeh took the evidence that the imam was a moderate, turned it on its ear, saying that sending him on these diplomatic missions was "quite quite dangerous, quite concerning".

The rhetoric is once again getting ramped up to insane-squared, and the fringe is empowered and radicalized, just like it did last summer with the health care town halls, and any number of times since then. They will keep pulling, and in a tug of war, if you refuse to pick up the rope and pull in the opposite direction, you'll never win. And in this case, pulling back even means actually standing up for what's right. You can consider that a bonus.