Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Bigots All Around!!!

Michelle Malkin takes to task those on the Right deploying the race card against critics of the Dubai port deal:

It's one thing for feckless grievance-mongers on the Left to accuse Americans genuinely concerned about national security of Islamophobia. It's quite another for the Right to sink to such a level in accusing all good-faith critics of demagoguery. Reasonable people can disagree on the process pitfalls and security implications of the deal. But the elite Right, has simply lost its marbles:

Here's GOP strategist and Muslim voter outreach architect Grover Norquist in the Los Angeles Times dismissing critics of the deal: 'The only whiners left by next week will be the registered bigots.'

Conservative commentator Larry Kudlow: 'This whole brouhaha surrounding the Bush administration's green-light to a United Arab Emirates company slated to manage six major U.S. ports has nothing to do with protecting homeland security. Allow me to give it its proper name: Islamophobia.'
And on it goes.

My former boss Tony Blankley has
similar thoughts:

In the last few days, several free market and other conservative commentators -- along with various U.S. governmental spokesmen -- have taken to labeling those of us with reservations concerning the Dubai Ports World (DPW) deal as nativist, racist or Islamophobic. With 70 percent of the public in opposition to the port deal, this is as searing a criticism of American tolerance as ever has been hurled from America's cultural or political opponents over the years. No Soviet propagandist or third-world revolutionary has more stingingly libeled the American people.
Tony also adds some important caveats for those who believe that the deal is OK because the Coast Guard will actually be in charge of security.

Not by chance, some months ago -- well before the Dubai port issue had emerged -- I had had extended conversations with senior executives of an American port management company. They had explained the close inter-working of the management team with the Coast Guard, Customs and local law enforcement in
trying to secure the full import process (which starts at foreign ports and continues on board ship, through the terminal and includes local law enforcement -- with management an active agent of that strived-for seamless process) .

Based on that and other research I had carried out last year for my book, I understood that merely repeating the mantra that "security is exclusively run by the Coast Guard, Customs and Homeland Security" -- as we heard late last week -- was somewhere between an incomplete and a deceptive statement. But for those with a limited knowledge of the topic and other policy axes to grind, once they were fed the mantra, it was a short step to the nativist, Islamophobic charge
Exactly. But, again, this is very similar in tone to the "only-sexists-and-elitists-are-really-against-Harriet-Miers" refrain we heard last fall.

The "-ist" ("racist," "sexist," "elitist", etc.) charge is now the opposite side of the old "patriotism" charge: i.e., the first refuge for the scoundrel who fears he is losing a political argument. And the 21st Century Right has absorbed the lesson well from the latter-day 20th Century Left. Which just goes to show that Boomers will be Boomers, regardless of their ideological persuasion.

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