Cry baby politics or the shoe is now on the other foot

Republicans can dish it out but they can’t take it, or so it seems.  Earlier this week when the Obama campaign unleashed some Spanish speaking political advertisements which took pot shots at the McCain campaign and featured excerpts from  Rush Limbaugh’s program where Limbaugh does his usually good job of inserting his own foot in his own mouth, Limbaugh took offense and fired off a response which spoke of Obama’s divisive “racism”.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black……Then there was the racism card pulled by the Republicans when it came to Oprah’s refusal to have Sarah Palin on her show which had to be muted until the McCain campaign finally decided before they could criticize Winfrey for not having Palin on they first had to make her “available” to the press! The Repubs will resort to this tactic of “crying” how they are being misrepresented or misinterpreted alot during this campaign season and into the next four years if the lose.  Of course they weren’t willing at all to entertain the idea that their opponents could have the same problem when inflammatory quotes were exhibited to demonstrate their opponents lack of patriotism.

Glen Greenwald does an excellent job of demonstrating the Republican’s hypocrisy in his blog on the latest Sarah Palin controversy surrounding her email account that was “hacked”.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a part of the GOP’s dirty tricks to get sympathy for their candidate, and it would have worked had  Greenwald not pointed out some of the problems in the Party’s protestations.

The same political faction which today is prancing around in full-throated fits of melodramatic hysteria and Victim mode (their absolute favorite state of being) over the sanctity of Sarah Palin’s privacy are the same ones who scoffed with indifference as it was revealed during the Bush era that the FBI systematically abused its Patriot Act powers to gather and store private information on thousands of innocent Americans; that Homeland Security officials illegally infiltrated and monitored peaceful, law-abiding left-wing groups devoted to peace activism, civil liberties and other political agendas disliked by the state; and that the telephone calls of journalists and lawyers have been illegally and repeatedly monitored.


Shouldn’t these same people be standing up today and insisting that if Sarah Palin has done nothing wrong, then she should have nothing to hide? If Sarah Palin isn’t committing crimes or consorting with The Terrorists, then why would she care if we can monitor her emails? And if private companies such as Yahoo can access her emails — as they can — then she doesn’t really have any “privacy” anyway, so what’s the big deal if others read through her communications, too? Isn’t that the authoritarian idiocy that has been spewed since The Day That 9/11 Changed Everything — beginning with the Constitution — to justify vesting secret and unchecked surveillance powers in our Great and Good Leaders?


And then there’s the McCain campaign, protesting this “shocking invasion of the Governor’s privacy and a violation of law” even though the GOP nominee has supported every last expansion of surveillance power and stood by the President’s every last violation of our surveillance laws. I wonder if the laws which the Palin hacker violated are similar to the federal statute that makes it a felony — punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each offense — to eavesdrop on the communications of Americans without warrants, or the multiple statutes (.pdf) which expressly outlaw the telecoms from allowing government spying on their customers without warrants from a court?


All these privacy fetishists and (to use Joe Klein’s term) “civil liberties extremists” screeching today over Sarah Palin’s “privacy” need to get some sense of proportion. If Sarah Palin has nothing to hide, if she’s not a Terrorist, why would she mind anyone going through her emails? And just because these things — those things that some overly-earnest people call “statutes” or “laws” or whatever the new trendy Leftist term for them is today — say that you can’t invade people’s private communications without committing a crime, does anyone other than shrill Leftists really take that seriously, really think that someone who does what the law says you can’t do should get in trouble or — more absurdly still — be arrested? Isn’t it time — just like David Broder and so many other of our Elite Guardians have directed — that we stop criminalizing our politics?

‘Attaboy…sic ’em Glen.

Gone to Hell in a handbasket

Every Ramadan, since 2001 which occurred AFTER 9/11, the White House has been the scene for the breaking of the fast for Muslims; the last 8 Ramadans! This time Bush hailed the event as a celebration of Muslim professionals who’ve made outstanding strides in their chosen line of work and one of them honored was an…..are you ready for this……..Iranian American! No, he’s not trying to build centrifuges to make nuclear weapons.  He’s a biomedical engineer, named Maysam Ghovanloo.  You can read about him here.  What strikes me is people who dislike the Muslim presence in this country decry certain institutions they claim cave in to Muslim traditions, like companies or institutions that allow time off for Muslim holidays, but they re-elected a President who’s been doing the same thing throughout his presidency!  What next, Muslims praying in the White House?

Opps, appears that’s already happening.

Oh no they don’t!

I saw this editorial and thought how naive of someone to write.   The GOP doesn’t have to accept ANY group of people, and especially Muslims.  I still shake my head at the way the Republican Party treated Sami al-Arian who urged the Muslims of Florida to vote for George Bush in 2000 and then spent the last five years in prison, persecuted by the very party he supported. The GOP has had one major policy battle success after another on the backs of “Islamophobia” and its announcements of the arrests of various Muslim groups and personalities here in the US and abroad.  As for the US arrests, very few of them have amounted to much in the way of revealing a terrorist base, instead they have ended up as immigration violations that merely amounted to paperwork issues.  That hasn’t stopped the Republicans from sounding the alarm over the Muslims in our midst, as we have seen with this latest shameful approach.  I’m a little disappointed by some who stand outside a political establishment banging on the door to be let in or crying to be included.  It’s really a little unbecoming.  I understand where it comes from, however.  Minorities in America have always wanted to participate in American politics, and this very act is a sign of their respect for the institutions this country holds dear, so it’s a good thing to see a Muslim writer say they should be included in the American political process, but it’s beneath human dignity to demand inclusion with those who are oppressing you.  What Muslims should do, and any other group that thinks it is not welcomed among the two major American political parties is what other progressive Americans who are equally interested in the “process” do; form their own party which addresses their concerns and those of other dispossessed groups in America.  As the writer of the editorial mentions, the Republican National Convention was held in a city that elected the first Muslim Democrat to the US Senate who had a broad enough appeal to get elected in a state with a Muslim population of less than 5,000.  So grassroots politics is what Muslims of America should get involved in, but with the goal of defining a party that suits their needs as citizens of the US, not asking for inclusion with a party that exploits and persecutes them.  The former takes a lot of work, the latter is laziness.  Muslims would do well to remember the verse from the Quran, ‘for every difficulty there is relief.’