Donald Trump had a big weekend. On Saturday, he told a rally of his supporters in Birmingham, Alabama that “we have to surveil the mosques.” After a half-dozen white attendees at that rally knocked a Black Lives Matter protestor to the ground and kicked him for a while, Trump went on This Week and told George Stephanopoulos that “maybe he should have been roughed up.” In the same appearance, he called for the return of waterboarding and said he would “not at all” rule out a database of Muslims living in the United States. Sunday afternoon, he tweeted “statistics” claiming that 81% of white murder victims are killed by blacks. According to the FBI as reported by the Daily News, it’s actually about 15%.
Donald Trump was in Iowa this weekend, enriching the soil of my ancestral homeland with speeches at Urbandale High School and the state fairgrounds. His remarks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Forum included a reference to a kerfuffle last Thursday, when one of his supporters declared President Obama a Muslim not born in America and Trump did not correct him. It eerily resembled one of the most dignified moments of John McCain’s career, except for the dignity part. “Remember the famous day when John McCain just ripped that microphone out of the woman’s hands?” Trump told the Faith and Freedom Forum, arguing he handled the scenario much better. “Does anybody really think that’s harsh?” The crowd applauded. Grim assessment after the jump.
Clearly god exists, because Rick Santorum is the front-runner for the Republican nomination. He’ll do really well in the general, too, except for with women, homosexuals, hispanics, people on public assistance, recipients of student loans, libertarians and atheists. But he’s got the white male Christian high school graduate vote sewed up. If you draw a Venn diagram of all the bias groups in the United States—straight, Christian, male, dumb—the region where they overlap is the Santorum constituency. It’s a group that defines itself by what it is not, and the word for what it is not is elite. Santorum gave us a usage example yesterday, when he described the Obama administration to his audience at a campaign rally:
They don’t believe that you can make these decisions. They need to make these decisions for you…Don’t you see how they see you? How they look down their nose at the average American. These elite snobs.
Props to Ben al-Fowlkes for the link.
Last week, we took brief pause at a report that the Tea Party was “even less popular than much-maligned groups like atheists and Muslims.” It’s nice to know that those of us who profess no religion are still beating those who profess religion loudly at school board meetings, but man—Muslims? They’re holding Congressional hearings about those guys. Then, on Sunday, as I was resting, Smick sent me this blog post about plans to compile a national registry of atheists. The unattributed “they”—”they are comparing atheists to child molesters” and “they want a list of all the atheists in their area”—is the kind of ace reporting that has made the reputation of the Daily Kos. “They” turn out to be various Christians on internet message boards, but the phenomenon is still troubling. They are the same people who published George Tiller’s home address, after all. Putting aside the betting line on a list-making and planning war between evangelical Christians and atheists in this country, I think it’s time to address a salient question: do we get minority status now?
Despite continued objections that it is not nineteen goddamn fifty-five, Rep. Peter King (R–NY) convened Congressional hearings today on the “radicalization of Muslim Americans.” King is the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, which is why he considers it his obligation to respond to “repeated and urgent warnings which the Obama administration has been making in recent months.” Of course, the White House has been making those warnings about radicalization of libertarian separatists, white supremacists and other ultra right-wing groups, but we all know what religion terrorists are. “I remain convinced that these hearings must go forward, and they will,” King told Politico. “To back down would be a craven surrender to political correctness and an abdication of what I believe to be the main responsibility of this committee to protect America from a terrorist attack.” Ah, yes—political correctness is why you don’t launch a congressional inquiry into whether Americans of a particular religion are doing enough to fight terrorism. At least we’re not being craven.