Some Republicans are worried that the anti-Islamic furor being stirred up by their candidates could backfire on them.
“One of the biggest dangers in politics is to overplay an issue,” said former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie, who warned that voters could conclude that Republicans who oppose the New York mosque are taking a stand against Islam in general. “It’s very important that, as Republicans talk about this issue, we be thoughtful and careful about making those distinctions,” he said.
Yet some of the party’s most visible figures have taken the opposite approach in reaction to President Obama’s declaration that Muslim Americans have a right to build the center.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) told the Fox News Channel that building a mosque so close to where terrorists killed thousands of Americans would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Here’s a clue: when Pat Buchanan thinks you’ve gone too far, you’ve really gone too far. And Grover Norquist — the “drown the government in the bathtub” guy — says that the aftermath could really hurt the Republicans in the long run.
“The support for criticizing a mosque is half a mile wide and an inch deep,” conservative activist Grover Norquist warned. “And at the end of the process, the only people who will remember it are the people who feel threatened by this — not just Muslims, but Sikhs, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Mormons.”
He’s worried about the GOP being seen as intolerant? Um, see that smudge of smoke waaay out there on the horizon? Yeah; that’s the ship that’s sailed on that one.
Let’s see; since the election of 2008, the Republicans have gone after African-Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, gays, the disabled, the unemployed, the poor; just about anyone who isn’t white, straight, and rich. The only question is who they’ll go after next. Is anybody else left?