Political Animal


September 17, 2012 5:16 PM Brother Bigot

By Ed Kilgore

Kevin Drum has noted a development that’s happened so quickly it’s hard to comprehend: many conservatives have gone from yelling about Barack Obama not defending “American values” by failing to champion the free speech rights of anti-Islamic bigots, to a completely gratuitous solidarity with anti-Islamic bigots, indeed the very ones that have caused so much unecessary trouble for the United States during the last week. He calls it the “The Remarkable Martyrization of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula:”

[I]t’s certainly been fascinating to watch Nakoula morph into a right-wing hero within a matter of days. Initially, even the most zealous conservatives merely claimed that the Obama administration wasn’t defending free speech strongly enough. The reasons were slightly obscure, but when pressed they usually said that a defense of free speech should have been in the first sentence of some statement or other, rather than the second. Or something. But they didn’t actively defend Nakoula.
But now he’s a conservative martyr. Not because the Obama administration did anything to him, but because they can weave some kind of weird conspiracy theory linking probation officers in Los Angeles County to the White House. Within a heartbeat, Obama was Hitler and Nakoula was a “Christian filmmaker” who was being persecuted.

If you’ve exposed yourself to even a few moments of Innocence of Muslims, you are probably aware that Nakoula is a nasty piece of work with about as much artistry as a child drawing with stick figures, and as much to say as your average Klansman. It says a great deal that anyone this side of the deep Islamophobic fever swamps would have anything good to say about this man. If Nakoula is a “Christian filmmaker,” the word “Christian” really has lost any connection with the Prince of Peace.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Leopold Von Ranke on September 17, 2012 5:36 PM:

    Just a guess, here,but isn't the message of Middle-Eastern monotheism, "Stay the eff away from religion!"?

  • Objective Dem on September 17, 2012 5:37 PM:

    It is also important to note the level of fraud involved in creating the film. I read an account of an investor in the film believing it was intended to fight religious intolerance not promote it. An actor in the film said that the actors believed they were filming a different story and that some of their lines were dubbed over after filming.

  • Ron Byers on September 17, 2012 5:42 PM:

    Ed you need to fix your link to the video.

    I happen to agree with Ed about these nuckleheads having lost connection with the Prince of Peace. Just imagine these people having a serious influence over our foreign policy. I can just imagine a formal crusade. The image sort of makes you sick doesn't it.

  • SadOldVet on September 17, 2012 5:47 PM:

    I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ. Gandhi

  • stormskies on September 17, 2012 5:52 PM:

    Yep, and this creep also made soft porn movies. Sure sounds like the 'prince of peace', eh ? And now they are aligned with this guy ? Perfect actually ...... the actual reality versus the 'fiction' they create for themselves, and live within ........

  • Peter C on September 17, 2012 5:54 PM:

    Nakoula isn't a Christian filmmaker, he's a Republican Filmmaker. They can have the slimeball; he fits right in.

  • Jose Hipants on September 17, 2012 5:54 PM:

    They have to find a way to be victims of the brutal Obama, Worst Dictator Ever.

  • Leopold Von Ranke on September 17, 2012 6:07 PM:

    Interesting comments re: "The Prince of Peace." Seems to me the monotheistic trilogy of myths end up as an excuse for mayhem against the "other," from Joshua's mythic slaughter of the Canaanites at Jericho and Ai to the Crusades and Inquisition to the excesses of Jihad and the Muslim conquest of much of Europe. When denizens of one branch (or in the case set out in the article above, one extremely peculiar sub-branch) of the trilogy slaughter (either actually or metaphorically) those of another branch, circle the wagons, point the fingers and unsheath the swords.

  • bigtuna on September 17, 2012 6:14 PM:

    WHAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do these morons even know about "the internet" and "wikipedia?.

    A simple moral compass for me is - if, in two clicks, I am looking for someone who appears on the Federal Bureau of Prisons database as

    Name Register # Age-Race-Sex Release Date
    1. NAKOULA BASSELEY NAKOULA 56329-112 55-White-M 06-22-2011 RELEASED

    it means HE WAS A FEDERALLY PROSECUTED INMATE> !!!!!!!!!!!!! AND I am not going to make him into a martyr, etc. I WON"T even discuss him!!!!!!!!! Good grief!!!

    HE was convicted of intent to make meth; Has been through tax liens and bankruptcy, and a Federal convict for fraud.

    [last accessed 9/17/2012 16:10 mountain daylight time].

  • Leopold Von Ranke on September 17, 2012 6:24 PM:

    bigtuna --

    Obviously, rehabilitation has become more important for conservatives in the "Age of Romney," than it has been heretofore. My understanding is that with his "film," Nakoula has been issued a bright orange "Get Out of Jail" free card.

  • c u n d gulag on September 17, 2012 6:28 PM:

    If Charles Manson pissed-off Liberals, they'd be the biggest Charles Manson fans on the planet.

    These people are nucking futs!

  • AgentX on September 18, 2012 4:54 AM:

    Do these conservative martyr-dogs realize that the purpose of probation is to PROVE YOU CAN STAY OUT OF TROUBLE. Which this guy failed, obviously.

    When a video you direct and jump-cut results in world-wide protests, then yeah you've failed the stay out of trouble part of the equation.

  • boatboy_srq on September 18, 2012 9:45 AM:

    I can just imagine a formal crusade.

    We've already had one of those: Iraq. I'm still not sure whether the Xs in Exxon stand for oil-fueled Xtianity, or the mark on the map where the "treasure" is "buried," but it works either way.


    Obviously, rehabilitation has become more important for conservatives in the "Age of Romney," than it has been heretofore.

    What we're seeing is the reinvention of Paul. You remember Paul: the former prosecutor, who oversaw the stoning of Xtians, whose conversion was the biggest event in post-Pentecost Xtianity. If Xtians can rehabilitate him, they can rehabilitate anyone.