Thursday, 19 July 2012

Find them! Make them say the words! After a series of answers in which Speaker Boehner distances himself from Michele Bachmann’s paranoid concerns about the infiltration of our government by agents of the Muslim Brotherhood, this exchange occurs: Q: Would you consider taking her off the Intelligence Committee? Congresswoman Bachmann? JOHN BOEHNER: I don’t know that that’s related at all. Nor do I. It’s not like the Intelligence Committee is tasked to oversee “the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of 17 elements of the US Government, and the Military Intelligence Program.” It’s not as if a person on said committee sending a letter full of undocumented slanders and strange accusations of cultural capitulation has anything to do with intelligence — either in its governmental or colloquial sense. It’s not like the letter to Inspector General Charles McCullough contains material lifted from the splash page of this website or anything. It’s not as if the letter to Acting Inspector General Lynne Halbrooks demonstrates a “serious concern” about how the government labels things. Except the Halbrooks letter demands an investigation into: The failure of the Army in the aftermath of the Fort Hood massacre to characterize the jihadist motivations of the alleged shooter, a self-declared “Soldier of Allah” Major Nidal Hassan. This was compounded by the after-action investigation which did not even describe the incident as an example of “violent extremism” — the government’s approved euphemism for obscuring jihadism. The use of euphemisms, this letter contends, “may even pose security risks for this nation, its people, and interests.” This makes perfect sense: if I say nothing when they come for my language, I won’t be able to complain when they impose shariah law because they already took my language. Policing language is very important to the authors of these letters, as evidenced by a demand for a corrective action, consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States , to ensure that no Muslim Brotherhood associated entity or individual is placed in a position of honor or trust within the programs and operations of the Department of Defense unless he or she has publicly condemned and disclaimed previously stated goals of the Muslim Brotherhood. They must “publicly condemn.” They want to make some unnamed (and all future) people prove they’ve uprooted some thoughts from their heads. In words. (Presumably before the Brotherhood takes them away.) Failure to do so might “unnecessarily expose U.S. personnel [in Afghanistan] to hostile action and diseases.” They must be made to say the words, or Our Troops might catch diseases. The vector of these hypothetical diseases? Doesn’t matter. It could happen. If none of this makes much sense to you, consider it a compliment, because none of these letters make sense. The boilerplate questions that conclude all of them can be summed up thus: Is anyone under you a Secret Muslim, and if so, has he or she publicly renounced their commitment to “civilization jihad”? What is the current relationship of your Secret Muslims to the Muslim Brotherhood? Have you taken the “corrective action”...
Glenn Reynolds Demonstrates How to Avoid Politicizing a Tragedy As everyone who pays attention to political blogging knows, tragedies are too tragic to politicize. Discussing gun control in the wake of a tragic shooting is despicable political opportunism. Discussing the discussion of gun control in the wake of a tragic shooting, however, isn’t politically opportunistic because it’s a morally neutral, second-order discussion about a discussion. It’s a meta-discussion about the propriety of having a political discussion in the wake of a tragic shooting, meaning it’s an apolitical discussion whose participants are immune to the charge that they’re violating decorum by politicizing a tragedy. For example, here’s Glenn Reynolds’s first post about Aurora: A TRULY AWFUL mass shooting in Denver. At the Batman premiere. UPDATE: More here. It doesn’t exploit the tragedy by using it to score cheap political points, so no one could accuse him of political opportunism. But here’s his second post on the tragic shooting: POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM: CNN’s Piers Morgan, First to Use Colorado Tragedy to Assault Second Amendment Rights. I’m sure he won’t be the last. Others may blame Hollywood. In both cases, it’s a mix of opportunism and a desire not to confront the existence of evil. Well, okay, in Piers Morgan’s case, it’s not much of a mix, really. UPDATE: Left Blames Aurora Shooting On Rush Limbaugh. Of course they do. Hey, never let a tragedy go to waste, when you might use it to smear an opponent. Every time something like this happens, they roll out the blood libels. Because conservative bloggers have established that it’s not political opportunism to discuss political opportunism, this technically doesn’t qualify as an exploitation of the tragic shooting, because pointing out other people’s political opportunism isn’t politically opportunistic—even though the people doing the pointing are ideologically opposed to the people they’re pointing at. Every conservative blogger knows that. Reynold’s next post qualifies as non-opportunistic for the same reason: FIRST, ABC NEWS CONNECTS THE COLORADO SHOOTING WITH THE TEA PARTY, now Brian Ross says oops, sorry about that. Reaction: “Brian Ross must be fired by the end of the day.” What’s pathetic is that every time, they so clearly want to blame tragedies like this on the Tea Party. I don’t generally like these calls for firings, and Ross was no doubt just reading what a producer sent him, but . . . They know how to be exquisitely sensitive and non-prejudgey when it might be a Muslim or some other protected minority, so maybe the only way to encourage them to show better judgment the rest of the time is to cost some people their jobs. Who was the producer? Meanwhile, I look forward to the libel suit. . . . UPDATE: ABC News goes into “Damage Control Mode.” ANOTHER UPDATE: Jim Treacher on Twitter: “It’s not even about @BrianRoss. It’s about a subculture with a view of the world in which @BrianRoss’s assumption there is only natural.” MORE: Here’s an interview with the man ABC News libeled. MORE STILL: A roundup of “progressive” scapegoating, some of...

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