So, this morning I was reading Chris Cillizza’s Worst Week in Washington, and I certainly agreed with him that far-right-wing, conspiracy nutjob and teahadist (but I repeat myself – lol) Michele “Crazy Eyes” Bachmann got the award this week for “turning [her]self into a modern-day McCarthy.”
It wasn’t just Bachmann, though; as Cillizza points out, the attacks on Secretary of State Clinton’s long-time personal aide Huma Abedin, supposedly that she’s some sort of Muslim fundamentalist mole within the bowels of the U.S. government, actually came from Bachmann “and four other House Republicans” – Trent Franks, Thomas Rooney, Louie Gohmert, and Lynn Westmoreland. In response to this appalling, despicable, insane letter, 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain took to the floor of the Senate to call the attacks “sinister,” while even John Boehner felt compelled to condemn the attacks as “dangerous.”
Good for them, although shouldn’t it be automatic for Republican leaders to condemn insane, destructive, vicious comments from leading members (Bachmann was a presidential candidate this year, leading in the primary polls for a while) of their party? Sadly, the answer is no; the responses of McCain and Boehner were definitely the exception, NOT the rule. Think about it: when was the last time any GOP leader condemned Steve King, Alan West, or any of the other (many) crazies in their party? As Dana Milbank points out, not only do Republican “leaders” like Willard “Mitt” Romney refuse to condemn the most vile, frothing-at-the-mouth conspiracy theories floating around out there, they actually flirt with them or even full-on embrace them.
Speaking of which, if the attack by several Republican House members on Huma Abedin was “dangerous” and “sinister,” how about attacks on President Obama, also questioning his citizenship, his education, his beliefs, his loyalty, you name it. The pathetic, sick joke of these attacks is that Obama has actually governed as the consummate moderate/pro-business Democrat (to a fault, many on the left would say), even an old-style moderate Republican in the mold of Dwight Eisenhower or Gerald Ford (or even George HW Bush). Obama also has decimated Al Qaeda – including “getting” Osama bin Laden himself. Must be that loyalty to radical Islam and hatred of America rearing its ugly head again, huh? (snark)
Yet, despite all the evidence – Obama’s tax cuts for nearly 100% of Americans and small businesses at home; a strong, assertive, unapologetically pro-American foreign policy abroad; Obama is accused by Republicans of being a commie/pinko/etc., a “Kenyan anti-colonialist” – whatever that means – not a real American, somehow overly apologetic for our country, blah blah blah. Oh yeah, and according to Teapublican fever dreams, Barack Hussein Obama (they emphasize his full name to emphasize the supposedly dark undertones they’re dog whistling at) is also supposedly a closet Muslim, which of course is a horribly bad thing in these warped peoples’ worldview. It’s also completely false, of course, as Obama’s a Christian. Not that it should matter in the least bit, of course, what religion one adheres to, or whether one adheres to no religion at all (gasp!). But, pathetically, in the minds of many Republicans, being a Muslim (or an atheist, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic, non-fundamentalist Christian, you name it) is a bad thing, ipso facto.
So, as we all know, Barack Obama’s been attacked relentlessly from the early days of his campaign for president as some sort of “Islamic radical,” (note: the Teahadists seem to believe that all Muslims are radicals), just as the loyal American Huma Abedin was recently attacked by Bachmann and Company. Yet I haven’t heard – maybe I missed it? – strong condemnation by Republican Party leaders (hello, Eric Can’tor?!?) of THOSE attacks as “dangerous” and “sinister.” Yet, aren’t the attacks on Barack Obama essentially identical to what Bachmann et al. said about Huma Abedin? If not, how are they different, or any less dangerous?
In fact, I’d argue that the attacks on Obama are potentially even more dangerous, as there are many unstable people out there who might be overly excited by outlandish attacks against a U.S. President and try something violent (god, or better yet Secret Service, forbid). Yet still, we get…absolute dead silence from Republican “leaders” on this. Crickets. Or even worse, we watch the Republican presidential nominee and his surrogates embrace some of the worst conspiracy theorists (Donald Trump) and hate mongers (John Sununu). Why is that any less “dangerous” or “sinister” than what just happened to Huma Abedin? Got me. Any ideas? I’ve got nothing.