“What I feel like saying is, sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies, and I know you’re not. I’m not accusing you of being an enemy. But that’s the way I feel and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.” Glenn Beck, interviewing Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress, in 2008.
With the exception of Anne Coulter, I think most rational people today accept that McCarthyism was a bad thing. So we are waiting for the correct label for this kind of behavior by Glenn Beck, if it’s not simply McCarthyism. Well, it is McCarthyism. And it is as ugly and contemptible as we always thought McCarthyism was. And as it was in the era of Joe McCarthy, the majority (probably) of respectable conservatives are standing by silently because they are terrified of taking on these assholes.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if someone like James Dobson or Billy Graham or Ted Haggard posted an editorial saying that while he is a God-fearing Christian and principled conservative, he won’t stand for this kind of bullying or baiting or personal attack and he urges all citizens to show some respect for each other? And while he’s at it, he might mention that every night he prays for Obama to be safe, and for his children to be blessed with a father, and for his wife to feel deeply the richness of a good family life.
This is not trivial. As a Christian, the fact that the most prominent “leaders” of the church in the United States will never in a million years say anything like that is a theological and philosophical problem that I can’t solve.
Was there a race issue involved with Joe Wilson, calling Obama a liar?
Do we even need the race issue to recognize stunningly bad manners? Do we need a box of kleenex to deal with the fact that his election campaign fund-raising went up after the incident?
How long before a scary new political party is formed in the U.S.? Wait– is there a need for a radical, far-right, extremist party? Can’t the Republicans fit the bill?
The Toronto Police recently discovered some strange pipes and wires in the back of a van. The owner, apparently, told them that he had an alternative fuel system installed in the vehicle.
In the mistaken belief that you can’t be too careful (I believe that you can, in fact, be too careful), they cordoned off about 1.6 kilometers around the vehicle, barred people from their homes and businesses, and called in the bomb squad.
They then announced the bomb squad had defused the bomb by the early evening.
The owner of vehicle was charged with violation of his probation and possession of a bomb. Six hours later, they announced that it was, indeed, an alternative fuel system, and the charges would be dropped but the owner was not released.
The next day, the owner was released and the police announced he would not be charged.
My question is this: what did they “defuse”?