[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
"How it infuriates a bigot, when he is forced to drag out his dark convictions." -- Logan Pearsall Smith.Bill O'Reilly was all a-squawk yesterday at the prospect that someone might point out what's obvious to everyone who's watched the growing fake "controversy" over the NYC "Ground Zero" mosque -- namely, that the predicate of people's objections to it revolve around their irrational and bigoted eagerness to lump peaceful American Muslims in with a tiny handful of violent radicals.
O'Reilly: Here's the question. How does the far left survive in this country? How? That crew is so hateful, so harmful to the nation, it's amazing they have any platform at all. If you oppose gay marriage, you're a homophobe. If you want a secure southern border, you are anti-Hispanic. And now, if you think building a mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero is inappropriate, you are intolerant, an anti-Muslim bigot.A little while later, he brought on Karl Rove to affix his seal of approval -- and he only confirmed that Republicans are sinking to the lowest kind of bigotry in this affair:
... Do you see what's happening here, ladies and gentlemen? The far left will never debate the merits of the issue. They simply attack and begin branding their opponents as racists, bigots, and un-American. Let's get down to it. There are thousands of Americans who lost loved ones on 9/11. Many of these people feel a Muslim display so near the attack zone is hurtful because fanatical Muslims killed their family and friends. So, where is the tolerance toward the 9/11 families? Where is the understanding and respect for their feelings?
President Obama well understands the emotions in play, which is why he will not comment on the so-called wisdom of building a mosque so close to Ground Zero. But the far left doesn't care about the wisdom of the project because they are promoting the fiction that America is mean to Muslims. Anything that makes U.S. policy seem oppressive is embraced by these loons.
Every poll says the majority of Americans believe the proposed mosque is simply not a good idea. Nobody I know wants to violate religious freedom. Nobody wants to persecute Muslims. Nobody wants to cause trouble. What we do want is a sane country. Again, I don't know how the far left continues to survive in the USA. And that's the Memo.
Rove: They're demonstrating that they're way out of touch with the American people. This is an issue in which the vast majority of American people believe there is a freedom of religion that is ingrained in our Constitution, and that right of freedom, of free expression of religion is best exercised by not building it here.It does seem that Rove doesn't actually believe there is freedom of assembly. In point of fact, we do allow neo-Nazis to hold rallies in racially inflamed communities, just as we allow the Fred Phelpses of the world to show up at the funerals of soldiers.
Look, we've got a free -- in that same First Amendment, there is a right of freedom of speech. Who believes that, say, skinheads should show up at a black sorority convention and scream bigoted remarks? Who believes that there is a right of freedom of assembly? Who believes, you know, that neo-Nazis should show up at the B'nai B'rith hotel and have their meeting in the same, you know, the next meeting room?
There are rights that everyone has that it would be prudent not to exercise them at certain times, and this right that they have to build a religious building where they want should be prudently exercised elsewhere.
But it tells us everything we need to know about the right-wing perspective on this that he would blithely compare Muslims practicing their religion peacefully to neo-Nazis and skinheads -- as though they're moral equivalents.
Pretty much proves Bill Press's point -- the one that had O'Reilly squawking:
There is only one reason to oppose this mosque -- and that is to paint Islam as an evil religion.