Monday, September 12, 2011

Republicans fire up NY-9 race with their usual anti-Muslim bigotry

Here's what the GOP mailed to voters in NY-9 -- Anthony Weiner's district, where a special election will be held tomorrow:

And here's Politico with the details:

New York Republicans have sent out a kitchen-sink mailer in the hotly-contested Queens congressional special election depicting a mosque superimposed over the scarred Ground Zero site on one side, and Democrat David Weprin alongside President Barack Obama on the other.

The mailer is one of a string that the New York State Republican Party sent out in this close race between state Assembly member Weprin and Republican businessman Bob Turner for the 9th congressional district seat that was held by scandal-singed Democrat Anthony Weiner.

But it's also one of the more incendiary fliers in the contest that was supposed to be a lock for Democrats in a reliably blue district, but has turned into a dogfight in which Turner has the momentum.

The front of the flier features a golden-domed mosque rising in front of the demolished World Trade Center site, a shell of metal rising near a photo of Weprin and a quote of his from last September, saying: "I support the right of the mosque to buid..."

The reverse page is a picture of Weprin juxtaposed against a photo of the president, and text reading: "Weprin stands with Obama — and they stand together in support of the mosque at Ground Zero."

The piece was received by a registered voter in NY-9 in the past week, landing in the days leading up to the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Yes, incendiary is one word for it. Exploitational is another, but, then, when have Republicans ever shied away from exploiting 9/11 for personal or political gain?

And anti-Muslim bigotry is just part of who they are these days. They hardly shy away from that either (with a few exceptions, like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who went way out on a limb to distance himself from so much of the rest of his party).

And make no mistake, the virulent right-wing opposition to Park51, the proposed Muslim community center near Ground Zero, was essentially about anti-Muslim bigotry.

With a possible upset/pickup in sight, Republicans are returning to that well, exploiting 9/11, pandering to the basest prejudices of voters, and saying that a vote for the Republican, Bob Turner, is a vote against Muslims.

And therefore a vote against religious freedom, and freedom generally, particularly freedom for the "Other" as defined in narrow terms by these bigots.

A vote, that is, against all that America is supposed to stand for.

That's Republican America.

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  • You'll not be surprised, Michael, to find Weprin is hardly the unabashed G.Z. Mosque fan. The original quote:

    “I support the right of the mosque to build on that site, but I think something can be worked out … where even though they legally and constitutionally have full right to build a religious institution on private land, there can be an accommodation worked out … where it can be built in a place that is less offensive to these 9/11 families.”

    Not that the truth matters, of course. There are Others to bash, elections to win. If this doesn't demonstrate how selfish and destructive Weiner's behavior really was, I don't know what does. Should have been his district for another 10 years.

    By Anonymous toma, at 6:26 AM  

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