Sunday, March 09, 2008

The bigoted idiocy of Steve King

By Michael J.W. Stickings

This is both the Republican Smear Machine and Steve King's personal idiocy in action. The Iowa Republican Congressman said this on local radio yesterday:

I'll just say this that when you think about the optics of a Barack Obama potentially getting elected President of the United States -- and I mean, what does this look like to the rest of the world? What does it look like to the world of Islam?

And I will tell you that, if he is elected president, then the, the radical Islamists, the, the al-Qaida, and the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11...

It does matter, his middle name does matter. It matters because they read a meaning into that in the rest of the world, it has a special meaning to them. They will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name. They will be dancing in the streets because of who his father was and because of his posture that says: Pull out of the Middle East and pull out of this conflict.

Just before this, he said that he didn't "want to disparage anyone because of their, their race, their ethnicity, their name -- whatever their religion their father, father might have been," but, of course, that's exactly what he went on to do. Basically, according to King and the RSM playbook, Obama is the terrorists' candidate. They want him to win, and they'll be "dancing in the streets" if he wins. What's more, the smear goes, Obama may very well be a Muslim, what with that middle name of his, and, of course, all Muslims are terrorists, or at least supporters of terrorism, and too stupid to figure out just who Obama really is.

Such is King's naked ignorance and bigotry, such is the naked ignorance and bigotry of the Republican Party.

I don't want to take the time to respond to King's smear -- he is wrong about everything -- but let me say this: What an Obama victory this November would tell the world is that America is still a great country, that the American Dream is actually possible. The same can be said for a Clinton victory, I admit, as a victory for either one would be genuinely historic. It's not just that one is black and the other is a woman -- this isn't just (or even mostly) about identity politics. Rather, it's that they both stand for what is great about America -- for hope, for change, for a new direction. And I say this even though I continue to be deeply critical of Clinton and her desperate smear campaign against Obama.

Much of the rest of the world thinks of America as the reflection of Bush and Cheney and all that they represent. I don't think that another Clinton is the answer, that is, the way to turn America around, but Obama certainly is. As I have said before, he is the right leader for America at this critical time in its history, given the many challenges that the next president will need to deal with, as well as the right leader for a world that requires American leadership on the international stage.

The world, and not just the monolithic Muslim world imagined by morons like King, would celebrate an Obama victory in November not because of his middle name or because he is seen as an ally of terrorism -- the world would not make that much of his middle name and would not, unlike King, be so stupid as to think that anyone with that middle name and with Islam in the family would automatically side with the terrorists -- but because he would usher in a new and more hopeful period in American history, because it would mean that, for the first time in a long time, they could have hope in America, and because, at long last, America's credibility as the last, best hope on earth would be restored.

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