Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

June 9, 2009

GAFFNEY CAN'T HELP HIMSELF.... How low are the Washington Times' standards? The conservative paper is willing to publish items like this one from Frank Gaffney, arguing that President Obama might really be a Muslim.

Pointing to the president's speech in Cairo, Gaffney insisted:

* Mr. Obama referred four times in his speech to "the Holy Koran." Non-Muslims -- even pandering ones -- generally don't use that Islamic formulation.

* Mr. Obama established his firsthand knowledge of Islam (albeit without mentioning his reported upbringing in the faith) with the statement, "I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed." Again, "revealed" is a depiction Muslims use to reflect their conviction that the Koran is the word of God, as dictated to Muhammad.

* Then the president made a statement no believing Christian -- certainly not one versed, as he professes to be, in the ways of Islam -- would ever make. In the context of what he euphemistically called the "situation between Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs," Mr. Obama said he looked forward to the day ". . . when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) joined in prayer."

Gaffney went on to argue that the president has "aligned himself with adherents to what authoritative Islam calls Shariah." He added that Obama and ACORN may also orchestrate a conspiracy to inflate the number of Muslims in America in the next census.

Instead of responding to the "substance" of this nonsense, I'd just like to ask the same questions I always ponder when I see Gaffney gain attention from major media outlets: is there nothing conservatives can say that would force them from polite company? Just how nutty must a far-right activist be before he/she is no longer invited to share their ridiculous ideas?

This is the same Gaffney who was on national television in March, arguing that "evidence" exists connecting Saddam Hussein to 9/11, the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, and the Oklahoma City bombing. In September, Gaffney argued that Sarah Palin has learned foreign policy through "osmosis," by living in Alaska. He's argued that U.S. forces really did find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but the media covered it up. He's used made-up quotes and recommended "hanging" Democratic officials critical of the Bush administration's Iraq policy. He even believes there's "evidence" suggesting the president is not a natural born citizen of the United States, and once recommended a military strike on Al Jazeera headquarters.

Gaffney is certainly entitled to believe obvious nonsense, but that doesn't mean he deserves a platform.

Steve Benen 12:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (41)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Gaffney is certainly entitled to believe obvious nonsense, but that doesn't mean he deserves a platform.

Let's not give him one.

Posted by: qwerty on June 9, 2009 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

God damn, but that's ACORN's strong and its tentacles are far-reaching. I guess having Satan on your side gives you quite a little power boost.

Posted by: shortstop on June 9, 2009 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

I doubt that The One is a Muslim because he only worships himself, but if you think that all his positive talk about Islam isn't dangerous, you lefties are even blinder than usual.

While you're all busy being loving and accepting and open minded, these people are plotting to kill you.

There's just no reaching some people.

Posted by: Myke K on June 9, 2009 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

be great if gaffney had his own daily one-hour cable news show.
got my vote... maybe newt'd be on as a regular...

Posted by: neill on June 9, 2009 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

... and that myke k could use an audition...

Posted by: neill on June 9, 2009 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Gaffney is certainly entitled to believe obvious nonsense, but that doesn't mean he deserves a platform.

Since the Washington Times is not much of a platform but the Washington Monthly is, bringing Gaffney's nonsense to these pages is doing precisely what you are deploring...

Posted by: dcshungu on June 9, 2009 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

There's just no reaching some people.

Epic irony....

Posted by: TonyB on June 9, 2009 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Gaffney's just good Party cadre, the kind that the state-controlled broadcast media can count on, can air without risking embarrassment.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on June 9, 2009 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

"...I'd just like to ask the same questions I always ponder when I see Gaffney gain attention from major media outlets: is there nothing conservatives can say that would force them from polite company?"

If I were trying to get kicked out of *certain* Republican circles, I'd try speaking-in-tongues at political events, because while the assholes still yield to the craziest, they'd be aghast if the snake-handling constituency showed up.

Then again, maybe not...

Posted by: MissMudd on June 9, 2009 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, you just keep getting frustrated on this! I think if I had a dollar for every post you made about this issue........ (and I would donate it back to you!)...well you know.

If you can't beat them... why not join them.

Top Ten Democratic Replies

You know it's certainly true that Newt's father is an alien.

I think before Sarah was governor of Alaska, she was part of a cult that wanted Alaska to secede.

Why can't Mitt Romney acknowledge his other wives???!!

Michael Steele is Gay.

I have on good authority that Osama Bin Laden is really holed up in Arizona.

Those black helicopters have returned, saw a bunch at the RNC.

I invite other posters to contribute....

Posted by: mike reilly on June 9, 2009 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Is there any better example that the right wing mindset is a tribal and sectarian? In the right wing worldview, a president is a glorified tribal chieftan who only weakens his own tribe when he seeks to build bridges with rival tribes. The only legitimate role of the chief in the conservative worldview is to maximize the loyalty of the members of the tribe and promote mutual defense. The best way to do that is to remind his tribe of the dangers presented by rival tribes. What Obama has done is heresy to the Right because he has weakened his tribe, though to the rest of us Obama has strengthened our position by lowering the temperature on Islamic hatred and creating openings for agreement. To right wingers this is naive, and appeasement. Better to just drop the Bomb and be done with it.

There is a direct correlation between the criticisms Obama is getting from the unhinged right over his attempt to reach out to the Muslim world and the attacks that Judge Sotomayor is getting for her remark that "empathy" is an important quality for a judge to have. Empathy implies respect and acceptance of "the other," those who are different from you. And accepting or respecting those who are different from you is something that our tribal right wingers believe we must never, ever do.

Posted by: Ted Frier on June 9, 2009 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Instead of responding to the "substance" of this nonsense..."

You don't respond because the truth is impossible to refute.

Wake up America, or some day soon the only meat McDonald's will be allowed to serve will be halal.

Posted by: Al on June 9, 2009 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

I know this hardly bears repeating but Mike k you have SHIT FOR BRAINS. There are about 6 billion people on the planet of which almost 2 billion are muslims. Now I really don't think that all 2 fucking billion of them are plotting to kill us. I don't doubt that just as many non-muslims would like to see us dead. God your stupid.

Posted by: Gandalf on June 9, 2009 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

The fake Als make me giggle but I kind of miss the realy one.

Posted by: Chocolate Thunder on June 9, 2009 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

"---is there nothing conservatives can say that would force them from polite company?" Apparently not. Tiller's murderer was meandering around 'polite company' for years, and nothing was done.

Posted by: -jlinge- on June 9, 2009 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Continuing the earlier thread regarding Gingrich's "contributions" in the media, what the hell is the matter with some of you? PA isn't giving Gaffney a platform. He's challenging him, his nonsense, and those that give him a forum to spew it. Sadly, unchallenged, such nonsense can and often does become part of the conventional wisdom--sometimes even among the left. Blogs (including this one) can be, and frequently are, quite successful in this regard.

PA is doing his/their part to undermine message and credibility of those who distribute such crap, and I say keep up the great work.

Posted by: CJ on June 9, 2009 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Just saw that crackpot actor Voight on TV saying how we had been a force for good, liberating people. I guess they could not get Joe the Plumber for last nights repub bash!

Posted by: Joan on June 9, 2009 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

And here I thought the Washington Times was making some gestures toward respectability... Oh, well.

Posted by: MattF on June 9, 2009 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

hey ted, absolutely brilliant analogy -- thanks!

Posted by: neill on June 9, 2009 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Why wouldn't a believing Christian reference the story of Isra?

Mike

Posted by: MBunge on June 9, 2009 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK
... is there nothing conservatives can say that would force them from polite company? Just how nutty must a far-right activist be before he/she is no longer invited to share their ridiculous ideas?

Well, mAnn Coulter has advocated assassinating elected leaders and judges ... Gaffney is a Birther nutcase ... O'Reilly sexually harassed a woman and threatened to rub a sandwich over her body ... Newt cheated on his first pair of wives while complaining about Clinton, and was then run out of town as a national embarrassment ... Pat Buchanan is an anti-Semite and racist pig ... and the likes of Kristol and Krauthammer have been wrong about EVERYTHING the past eight years and advocate bombing anyone they don't like ...

Yet each and every one of them is on TV at least once a week, portrayed as a serious and thoughtful commentator on the day's/week's events.

So, um, yeah. Conservatives can say whatever whacked out, despicable, barely-human, and disgusting crap they want without any fear of being cast aside.

Strangely, for a media that's allegedly "liberal" in its bias, I don't recall seeing anyone from the true left on all the time like these rightwing clowns are. No Code Pink folks. No Truthers. Not even sane lefties are invited on to give their take.

But, you know, the media is liberal. Because conservatives keep saying so ... in the media they dominate, no less.

Funny that.

Posted by: Mark D on June 9, 2009 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

CJ, I completely agree.

Keep up the good work, Steve!

Posted by: GiggsisGod on June 9, 2009 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Frank Gaffney is one of the original founders of The Project For A New American Century. That he and the other PNAC founders still have readily available platforms within the corporate media speaks loudly of the 'liberal media'. Gaffney is frequently on CNN & MSNBC & Fox Noise to spout the PNAC belief in amerikan domination of the world and their belief that 'war is the answer' to every problem.

If you look at the list of the signers of the original PNAC 'Statement of Principles' (www.newamericancentury.org), you will find the power brokers and warmongers who brought us Iraq. They continue to have voices that are provided platforms to spew their venom, seemingly whenever they want to.

The original PNACers are:
Elliott Abrams / Gary Bauer / William J. Bennett / Jeb Bush / Dick Cheney / Eliot A. Cohen / Midge Decter / Paula Dobriansky / Steve Forbes / Aaron Friedberg / Francis Fukuyama / Frank Gaffney / Fred C. Ikle / Donald Kagan / Zalmay Khalilzad / I. Lewis Libby / Norman Podhoretz / Dan Quayle / Peter W. Rodman / Stephen P. Rosen / Henry S. Rowen / Donald Rumsfeld / Vin Weber / George Weigel / Paul Wolfowitz

Just your normal group of war criminals and hangerons!

Posted by: AngryOldVet on June 9, 2009 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Wait, so does Gaffney mean that no believing Christian would ever want to see Jews, Christians, and Muslims living together in peace? Does he mean that no believing Christian would ever mention a story in the Qur'an? That's not professing belief, mind you, just referring to a story as a story.

Either way, I don't see any way to read that part that isn't fairly insane.

Posted by: Master Mahan on June 9, 2009 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Steve talks more about Republicans than even Fox News does. Look at the posts up now: Victor Davis Hansen, Frank Gaffney, Bob Smith, Ricahrd Burr, Charlie Crist, Michael Bloomberg, Ethan Hastert, David Brooks, Newt Gingrich, Neil Cavuto, Sarah Palin -- that's just today by 1pm!

I guess Democrats have fallen off the face of the Earth, 'cause they can't be found here.

Posted by: Joesbrain on June 9, 2009 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly, unchallenged, such nonsense can and often does become part of the conventional wisdom--sometimes even among the left. -CJ

A-fuckin'-men. Cancer won't just go away because you ignore it.

In addendum to CJ's point about why Steve should address this, let me further add the following thoughts, especially since there has been an unusual amount of whining today:

I'm so sick of the backseat bloggers questioning the what, how, and why concerning the topics Steve and Hilzoy write about in every single comment thread.

Nothing is more tedious, absolutely nothing, than reading the same caterwauling bitches moan incessantly. Even the loony trolls are far less obnoxious and repetitive.

We get it. You don't like the topic, you don't like the writing, bitch, bitch, bitch, but honestly, address that with the writers via email and stop spamming the damn comment sections with tripe.

Not all blogs are created equal, and I loathe suggesting anyone should go away, but if you're that consistently unhappy with it, why not read and comment somewhere else?

Posted by: doubtful on June 9, 2009 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Wake up America, or some day soon the only meat McDonald's will be allowed to serve will be halal.

That could only be an improvement.

Posted by: thalarctos on June 9, 2009 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

This was in the Washington Times? But isn't that owned by Reverend Moon? Are we supposed to take anything in that newspaper seriously? I thought it was just another parody of the news media like The Onion or "Fox News".

Posted by: Observer on June 9, 2009 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

I cracked open a walnut,
just to see what I would see..
Imagine my amazement,
upon expecting to see
a shriveled up little nut...
I found Joesbrain!

Plus - A rebuke to Gandalf...
In your comparision of Myke K & shit for brains, you are insulting to shit for brains.

Posted by: AmusedOldVet on June 9, 2009 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, you lost me after the very first sentence:

How low are the Washington Times' standards?

Since when does the Washington Times have standards?

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on June 9, 2009 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Well done, doubtful. The constant bitching by some is tiresome. Thanks for saying what needed to be said. Y'all don't like what Steve covers then go somewhere else - or maybe start your own blog. At least do us all a favor and fight the urge to post a bitchy comment.

Posted by: GiggsisGod on June 9, 2009 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Announced his intent to work for "Mad" magazine didn't he? He's a natural.

btw...SCREW U SENATOR LANDRIEU. I hope you have a need so great that heath care ins won't even help...then maybe you'll understand. You shame the dem party and all Americans... selling out for money.

Those who oppose a not for profit single payer or even a public option for health care ins have only one motivation for doing so...money...they've been bought.

Posted by: bjobotts on June 9, 2009 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Bush issues Ramadan greeting

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/nov/16/afghanistan.terrorism18

Posted by: daedalus1564 on June 9, 2009 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

I assert that Gaffney is draft-dodging, bitch coward. Is that an as hominen attack? Well, no. Because Gaffney received draft deferments and (of course) supported the war in Vietnam. (And he, like Bolton--a system manipulator, i.e., National Guard--never saw a war he didn't hink someone else should fight.)

So should we hang Gaffney. No!!

But a couple of sessions of waterboarding shoukld suffice. I'm sure after two sessions, Gaffney will shit himself so many times, he'll die of dehydration. (Yes, I think Gaffney this that big a coward. Correction. I know so.)

Posted by: tec619 on June 9, 2009 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

My husband once served on a jury poll with Frank Gaffney. The man literally did come in and explain in great detail why he couldn't serve on the jury because he was too important. When pressed he really did say that he couldn't talk more about what he did because "If I tell you, I would have to kill you."

The court people loved it. They made sure he DEFINITELY served.

Posted by: Eagle on June 9, 2009 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

re: tec619's passion of the Gaffney post

If Gaffney were being waterboarded while suffering from dysentery couldn't he just gulp water to stave off dehydration?

Posted by: angler on June 9, 2009 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Angryoldvet writes:

Frank Gaffney is one of the original founders of The Project For A New American Century. That he and the other PNAC founders still have readily available platforms within the corporate media speaks loudly of the 'liberal media'. Gaffney is frequently on CNN & MSNBC & Fox Noise to spout the PNAC belief in amerikan domination of the world and their belief that 'war is the answer' to every problem.


If you look at the list of the signers of the original PNAC 'Statement of Principles' (www.newamericancentury.org), you will find the power brokers and warmongers who brought us Iraq. They continue to have voices that are provided platforms to spew their venom, seemingly whenever they want to.


The original PNACers are:
Elliott Abrams / Gary Bauer / William J. Bennett / Jeb Bush / Dick Cheney / Eliot A. Cohen / Midge Decter / Paula Dobriansky / Steve Forbes / Aaron Friedberg / Francis Fukuyama / Frank Gaffney / Fred C. Ikle / Donald Kagan / Zalmay Khalilzad / I. Lewis Libby / Norman Podhoretz / Dan Quayle / Peter W. Rodman / Stephen P. Rosen / Henry S. Rowen / Donald Rumsfeld / Vin Weber / George Weigel / Paul Wolfowitz

Just your normal group of war criminals and hangerons!

It bears repeating as this is the most ignored story of the past decade.

Posted by: G.Kerby on June 9, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Myke K is parody, people, and very good parody, too, when everyone mistakes him for a troll.

Posted by: msmolly on June 9, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Gaffney is a true Republican. Facts don't matter to them. He's also proof why we should never put them in charge of our country, because they always try to "create their own reality."

Posted by: FitteDon on June 9, 2009 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Furthermore, it's illegal for the Bureau of the Census to ask about religious affiliation, so that just shows how powerful and devious ACORN is. Or how Gaffney pulls stuff out of the air.

http://www.census.gov/prod/www/religion.htm

Posted by: jmg on June 9, 2009 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

This kind of garbage is really getting old.

Posted by: Mark E on June 9, 2009 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly