Political Animal

Blog

June 03, 2014 4:20 PM Another Data Point Against False Equivalence

By Ed Kilgore

Via MoJo’s Molly Redden and Dana Liebelson, here’s a little taste of the conversation on a conference call held by Bishop E.W. Jackson on which the junior senator from Kentucky was a participant:

During the call, Paul generally gave routine answers to questions on abortion, border security, and the size of the military. One caller did ask Paul if he supported Obama’s recent declaration that June was LGBT Pride Month and if he believed homosexuality is an illness. The question was reminiscent of a tweet Jackson wrote in June 2009, when Obama designated June as Pride Month: “Well that just makes me feel ikky all over. Yuk!”
“I don’t think that there’s really a role for the federal government in deciding what people’s behavior at home should be one way or another,” Paul said. “It’s not something the federal government needs to be involved in.”
After Paul left the conference call, Jackson said he suspected the caller who asked about Pride Month was trying to harass them. “Thank god he was respectful,” Jackson said. “But I just want to encourage everybody, that they are going to talk about us like [we’re] dogs because all they know is hatred, because all they know is anger and bitterness, because there’s something wrong with them on the inside…And by the way, they also want to destroy us…We are in a fight for our very lives, for our survival.”
Jackson then discussed Obama’s announcement of the release of Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier captured in Afghanistan. He said that the president “could not help but smile” when Bergdahl’s father, Robert, said “allahu akbar—or whatever it is they say” at the press conference.
Jackson continued: “I have been roundly criticized for saying the president has Muslim sensibilities. That’s not my statement—that’s just a statement of fact…In this situation you would think he would have restrained himself. But he could not help but smile when that man said ‘Praise be to Allah.’”

None of this, of course, was particularly unusual for Jackson. So what on earth was Rand Paul doing on this conference call? And lest anyone of the False Equivalence tribe dismiss the incident as an example of the craziness that can be found in the “extremes” of both parties, let’s remember Jackson was a Republican nominee for statewide office in Virginia just last year. Is there anyone remotely “equivalent” to Jackson among statewide Democratic nominees anywhere? And even if you can scrounge up one, is there anything on the progressive side of the political spectrum remotely like the dozens of Republican pols who sound just like Jackson in their homophobia, Islamophobia, and crazy-talk about Obama every single day? And if there were, would any Democrat running for president do anything other than run away from these people as rapidly as they could, maybe attacking them for good measure?

No, no and no. And the sad thing is that we barely even notice any more that to an alarming extent the GOP is divided between these people and those who curry their favor and hasten to assure them they share their values and goals.

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.

Comments

(You may use HTML tags for style)

comments powered by Disqus