For rightbloggers, of course, silliness is a year-round thing. But with the New York mosque controversy — a Burlington Coat Factory as “sacred ground“! Stop, yer killing us! — we have to say they found a way to raise the bar.
You’d think that would be impossible to top, but they’re doing a pretty good job with the recent Pew poll results showing that 18 percent of Americans — and 31 percent of Republicans — think President Obama is a Muslim, which is a new high.
While mopey liberals found the popularity of this delusion depressing, rightbloggers came up with a whole lot of reasons why it was great — which is no shock, since a lot of them helped spread this ridiculous idea.
The notion that Obama is not, as he professes, a Christian, but a Muslim hiding the truth for some nefarious reason — perhaps so that he can turn America Muslim without anyone catching on — is not a new one. It was scurrilously circulated throughout the 2008 Presidential campaign, and has since been kept alive by rightbloggers during Obama’s presidency.
Whenever Obama has said nice things about Muslims, rightbloggers have declared him a Musulman (“He’s tired of being President already… now he wants to be ‘Caliph'”). When he gave a shout-out to pilgrims on Hejira, this too was found proof of his Mohammedanism. Ditto when he sent an envoy to the Middle East (“MORE DHIMMITUDE FROM OBAMA”). Etc.
Our favorite is from December 2009, when several people, including Arlington, Tennessee Mayor Russell Wiseman, said that Obama allowed one of his speeches to preempt “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on TV out of allegiance to Allah.
So this latest spurt in Obama-Muslim belief can hardly be a surprise; when most poll respondents say they learned this nonsense from the “media,” they probably don’t mean major networks or newspapers (well, besides Fox and the New York Post), but rightbloggers. See — they’ve overtaken the Lame Stream Media at last! High-fives all around, bloggers!
When the Pew poll came out, some rightbloggers said out loud that they endorsed the result because they actually believed Obama to be a Muslim.
“I’ll just refer to an Egyptian Coptic Christian doctor that I know,” said Holy Coast. “He grew up in Egypt surrounded by Muslims and has said that without a doubt Obama is at heart a Muslim.” Well, that settles it.
“What BNI readers have known for the past two years and the rest of America is finally acknowledging,” cried Bare Naked Islam. “Barack Hussein Obama is now, and always has been, a Muslim.”
The brighter ones maintained some plausible deniability, and went with insinuation.
Dan Riehl pointed out that Obama was reported able to repeat passages from “the Arabic call to prayer.” Riehl left that one hanging, no doubt confident that his followers would put two and two together — unless they happened to be Christians who know some songs from Fiddler on the Roof.
“I can’t figure where they’re getting that idea,” said Jammie Wearing Fool, “unless they’ve noticed his relentless pandering to Muslims. The Democrats are usually openly hostile to religious types (except for their Muslim masters, of course) and may want to take note here.” Unfortunately JWF didn’t say whether the Democratic Party has “Muslim masters” because they are Muslims themselves, because they are paid servants, or because JWF is off his meds. (He also advises his comrades to watch out, because “the leftwing media is desperate to portray the right as a bunch of conspiratorial wackos…”)
Those rightbloggers unwilling to infer that Obama is a Muslim yet insisted that the misapprehension was Obama’s own fault.
“So maybe Obama’s embrace of his non-religious experiences with Islam helped cause this seven-point jump,” said the Weekly Standard. “Guess he hasn’t acted very Christian in the last 17 months,” said Don Surber. (Surber also blamed the perception on the New York Times, because the words “Senator Obama was born a Muslim” once appeared there — in a 2008 Op-Ed by conservative military strategist Edward Luttwak. Well, if they’re dumb enough to think Obama’s a Muslim, they’re probably too dumb to click links.)
neo-neocon said she didn’t know what Obama’s religion is, his own word for it not being good enough for her. This too was Obama’s fault, because her distrust of his policies (which distrust she attributed to the American people at large) required that she disbelieve even his simplest biographical facts.
“There is no other president about whom we’ve asked similar questions,” she said, “because in some essential way we’ve known who they are/were.” Why, just looking at George Bush, you knew there was no way he was going to lie to you about, say, his military record or Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. Then Obama came along, and made us mistrustful of politicians, curse him!
Power Line’s John Hinderaker attributed the result to “fallout from the Jeremiah Wright affair.” Wright, you may recall, is Obama’s incendiary former preacher, whose abrasive comments were going to cost Obama the election in 2008, rightbloggers assured us at the time. Apparently the Wright poison was very, very slow-acting.
But wait — wasn’t Wright a Christian preacher? “Jeremiah Wright is no Christian,” said Hinderaker. “His ideology of hate disqualifies him.” A preacher disqualified for hatefulness? They must have changed the rules since, oh, yesterday.
Hinderaker finally devolved to outright gibberish. “Obama has defined himself as literally exotic,” he extemporized. “Small wonder that some Americans attribute exotic qualities to him. We’re not sure who he is, exactly, but he certainly isn’t one of us.” I mean, just look at him!
“Just the other day, an American president celebrated Ramadan in the White House and held an… how do you spell it? ‘Iftar dinner’ in the State Dining Room,” raged Never Yet Melted. “While American troops are in the field fighting against Islamic fanatics, that president praised Islam… It is not typical of American presidents to make a point of celebrating the holidays of foreign adversaries in the White House..” Actually it is typical — at least since 2001, when President Bush instituted the Iftar Dinner.
(But if you were thinking of bringing up Bush’s tolerant attitude toward Islam the next time some yahoo pretended not to know about it, be advised that rightbloggers already have a schtick for that: It means you admit Bush was a better president than Obama! This is mainly achieved by out-of-context quotations, but like we said: If they’re dumb enough to think he’s a Muslim…)
Freedom Eden said it was Obama’s fault because he doesn’t talk incessantly about being a Christian, as real Christians do. “In spite of the fact that Obama seems to sit down for televised interviews more than any president in recent memory,” she said, “he doesn’t talk about God and his faith.” Also, “Obama certainly isn’t shown going to church, because he doesn’t.” And you can bet she knows, because she probably paces in front of the White House every Sunday, waiting to see if he comes out.
Byron York echoed Freedom Eden’s suspicion: Maybe people think Obama was Muslim, York said, because “they read the White House press pool reports, which often describe Obama heading out to play basketball or golf on Sunday mornings.” There’s another thing Christians never do: Skip church for golf!
Some said they thought people were saying Obama was Muslim because they hate Obama and, well, everyone hates Muslims, right? After attributing a list of offenses to the President (including “hostile to entrepreneurs and capitalism,” “is loathe of criticism,” and “cigarette smoking”), Left Coast Rebel yelled, “Why the hell should it come as a surprise to anyone as well that almost 20% of Americans think Obama is a Muslim?” Maybe next time they’ll say he’s gay. Has a pollster thought of asking them that?
First Things’ Spengler took the abuse further, saying “President Obama Is Not Even A Muslim… he is not a Muslim, only the thrice-abandoned child and step-child of Muslims…” Whoa, wicked burn! The take-away was that Obama hates America, and if you don’t love America then you can’t have any religion at all; it’s in the Bible.
Perhaps the boldest move was that of NewsBusters, who blamed the uptick on… the liberal media. “By consistently using questions about Obama’s faith and his citizenship as fodder to demean conservatives, specifically the Tea Party movement,” claimed NewsBusters, “and thereby creating a general mistrust by saying vile things, have the mainstream media perpetuated the very allegations they are abhorred by?”
Maybe we should have said “the boldest move so far.” Because, though this edition of the story will disappear with the silly season, that doesn’t mean it will cease to exist. Rightbloggers will just take it back into workshop, and bring it out when another confluence of Obama and Islam comes up.
That could be a new poll. Or a story like the one floated this week by Kathleen McKinley that “when Michelle Obama visited Spain she mostly toured Andalusia, the region with the most visible remains of the Muslim occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. They said she wasn’t interested in any of Spain’s magnificent churches or monasteries…” Or a picture of Obama walking under a crescent moon, which is totally a Muslim symbol. Etc.
And whenever they do bring it back, trust us: It’ll be even crazier.