December 20, 2006

Right-Wing Racism

Debbie Schussel is a good spokesperson for the stupid, racist Islamophobe right-wing fringe, so she makes a good museum piece—a sort of monument to idiocy, as her post on Barack Obama demonstrates.

Juliette says what needs to be said about that line of "thinking," and does a beautiful job of it.

Posted by Attila Girl at December 20, 2006 09:18 AM | TrackBack

Wanting an explanation of the senator's middle name "Hussein" is not bigoted. Wondering about the wisdom of electing muslims in the United States is not bigoted. Not being curious about his name and not being totally comfortable with the notion of a muslim president is, in fact, completely rational in view of what is going on in the world today. Your moral preening is ridiculous.

Posted by: Dave at December 20, 2006 02:04 PM

Correction: "Being curious about his name.." is how the 3rd sentence of my initial comment should have read.

Posted by: Dave at December 20, 2006 02:07 PM

A phobia is only a phobia if there is no rational basis for it.

The attitude that is called "Islamophobia" does have a rational basis--the ongoing Islamic intent, stated frequently and often, of forcibly (if need be) coverting the planet to Islam.

Posted by: John at December 20, 2006 02:17 PM

As my name suggests, I'm no fan of Obama or anyone else on the Left, but the author is correct. Obama-phobia only helps the opposition. One of the main things that ticked me off about November 06 was the fact that attack ads replaced legitimate advertisements on core policy differences among the candidates. Even our local Republican distanced himself publicly from the ads produced to "help" him. And no, I believe it was an honest assessment of the issue, not an attempt to pander or "wax purple". Ideas won the day in 1994; they can do so now as well.

Posted by: RightWingConspirator at December 20, 2006 04:03 PM

Excuse me, John, but the attitude that I labeled "Islamophobia" is just exactly that: a fear of anything Muslim-derived that is so profound, it leads to suspicion of anyone whose name is "tainted" with Middle Eastern or African ancestry. That covers many black Americans who got named in the 1960s, and nearly all Christian immigrants of Arab descent.

We can argue all day long about what a moderate Muslim must do to disassociate himself/herself from the dangerous extremes, and in fact that's a really important discussion for us to have. But questioning the loyalties of a Christian man on the basis of his lineage is bigotry with a capital "B."

Posted by: Attila Girl at December 20, 2006 04:08 PM

Give me a break. Who is questioning the loyalties of a Christian man on the basis of his lineage? I wanted to know what the hell the significance of the senator's middle name is--whether he is a muslim or not. Maybe I'm missing something, but I thought I was being characterized as a bigot for having those questions. If not, then ignore my rant (assuming you're not already). If being wary of a possible presidential contender's possible affiliation with the Religion of Peace makes me a bigot, then so be it. It also makes me more likely to stay alive. If anyone with a name that is "tainted" with Middle Eastern ancestry is subject to heightenend suspicion, then they can thank Osama and his fellow thugs. I ain't apologizing for being suspicious no matter how many times politically correct pundits throw the bigot charge at me and others like me. Merry Christmas! And by the way, it's a good thing for the senator that he has identified as a Christian (politically speaking). How did the word get out? People like me and Schlussel asking questions, that's how.

Posted by: Dave at December 20, 2006 04:25 PM

Give me a break. Who is questioning the loyalties of a Christian man on the basis of his lineage?

Debbie Schlussel. That's who. Read her post.

Posted by: Attila Girl at December 20, 2006 04:35 PM

Dave, are you really that dense?

not being totally comfortable with the notion of a muslim president is, in fact, completely rational in view of what is going on in the world today.

BUT OBAMA ISN'T A MUSLIM. He's a loony liberal, but NOT a Muslim. How utterly stupid.

Just like my sister, whose middle name is Maureen, is not Irish. Jaysus. Now I know what kind of retards read that barking moonbat Schlussel.

Schlussel must be so worried about Obama that she's resorted to this complete nonsense. How stupid. Like there isn't enough to talk about based on his lefty ideology and lack of experience. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

/don't hate me, my middle name is Anne

Posted by: Beth at December 20, 2006 04:55 PM

Oh crap! I didn't have a middle name growing up, but when I got married I used my maiden name as my middle name. I may have to go change it for fear I may be affiliated with my family.

Posted by: Greta (Hooah Wife) at December 20, 2006 04:59 PM

Okay. I went back and read Schlussel's post. She does question the senator's loyalties based on his lineage. This makes her a bigot?

Let's see. Schlussel is evidently Jewish and well informed concerning her status as prescribed by the Koran and lives in Michigan which contains Dearborn which, as I understand it, has a high concentration of muslims. She regularly informs readers of outrages committed by muslims both within and out of the United States. She apparently believes that islam itself motivates, to a very large degree, the physical and legal assault upon Westerners who are not muslims. Think she might want to delve into a potential presidential candidate's exposure to islam and the effect of that exposure? Don't you think millions of Americans might want to do so as well? Prepared to call millions of Americans bigots because they might question the senator's loyalties? I guess you can if you want, but that seems a little harsh in view of what America has had to endure at the hands of radical islamism for the last 3 decades. I don't question the senator's loyalties, but I am prepared to allow Schlussel to do so without branding her a bigot.

By the way, my middle name is Lyle. Run for the hills!

Posted by: Dave at December 20, 2006 06:28 PM

I found Debbie Schussel's message to be 203.7 times more reasonable than the "Juliette says what needs to be said."

But hay, that is just me.

Posted by: Bill at December 20, 2006 08:52 PM

Dave, here's some more homework for you: please read Juliette's post as well. Then get back to me. Thanks.

Bill, please explain your reasoning, or I'll be in a position wherein I might assume you're simply part of Debbie's amen corner. We wouldn't want that to happen.

Posted by: Attila Girl at December 20, 2006 11:01 PM

Done my homework. If you can, without blinking, consider voting someone with a Middle Eastern name into office, then fine for you. I will remain suspicious until it is confirmed that the candidate is not a muslim. If that makes me a bigot, then I'm comfortable with that. Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Dave at December 21, 2006 06:35 AM

It would appear that at least one person doesn't think Obama is black enough...

Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie at December 21, 2006 06:57 AM

IRA DA, Obama covered THAT himself. Get a tape of his victory party/speech when he won the senatorial primary and you will see what I mean. The black media in Chicago(radio and newspapers) had made a case early on in the race that he wouldn't resonate very strongly with black voters because he wasn't perceived as being "black enough" to address their interests and concerns. In case you are thinking that he "fell back" to some earlier roots in the heat of the excitement of winning, I suggest you consider his roots--Hawaii and a household with his mother and maternal grandmother--not Mississippi. I heard a woman talking the next day saying that she now knew Obama was "one of her own" and that the "fancy schools" left him when the emotions came out. I didn't have the heart to say anything.

Barack Obama said he was "Left of Lenin" in his first major interiew with Chicago Magazine. That is all I need to know.

And btw, I signed his nominating petition when he was at my local grocery store at the start of the senate primary campaign.

Posted by: Darrell at December 21, 2006 08:48 AM

Amen corner? Ouch. My feelings have been severely injured. That is almost like being called a dittohead.

As far as explaining my reasoning, what is there to explain? We both read what we read. You see it one way, I see it totally differently.

I see Schussel's message as cold, hard and logical. A worst case scenario, but I am a fan of worst case scenarios.

I see Juliette's response as borderline hysterical, basically saying that Schussel should not criticize Obama because of Juliette's own personal situation.

Posted by: Bill at December 21, 2006 09:52 AM

Schlussel's logic is what brought us the holocaust in Germany.

This isn't about Juliette's family situation, or about mine (my half-sister is a Christian woman of Syrian descent). It's about the principles that we are supposed to be operating under, whenever possible, in a democratic republic.

Juliette was trying to use her own situation to illustrate the silliness and potential destructiveness of bigotry.

Posted by: Attila Girl at December 21, 2006 02:36 PM

"Schussel should not criticize Obama because of Juliette's own personal situation . . ."

No. Juliette's point is that Schlussel should not criticize Obama for something that he couldn't help: the name he was assigned at birth. That's a decision he wasn't in on. Just as he wasn't in on the decision of being born into a Kenyan family.

Posted by: Attila Girl at December 21, 2006 02:39 PM

This is ridiculous. The good senator's middle name arouses suspicion as it should. He's not being criticized for his middle name, it simply creates questions which patriotic Americans have every right, in fact a duty, to raise. Bigotry? Gimme' a freakin' break. You're just being ridiculous and I can't figure out why.

Posted by: Dave at December 21, 2006 07:09 PM

OK, I re-read both pieces (again).

I know I am just repeating myself, but here goes anyway.

Schussel lays out an interesting worst-case scenario. This in no way equates to "stupid, racist Islamophobe."

Juliette responds with how she takes it personally and a lot of "like me" stuff. I fail to see how this equates to "says what needs to be said."

I will plead guilty to being right-wing, though.

Posted by: Bill at December 21, 2006 09:55 PM

Schlussel begins by admitting that she knows perfectly well that Obama is a Christian, and then pounces on his name, his associations with (gasp!) Kenyans, and the fact that he went to a Muslim-run school when he was five years old or whatever.

She goes on and on about how Muslims perceive other Muslims ("once a Muslim, always a Muslim"). Well, they don't look too kindly on females, either: so should we kiss their asses by excluding Hillary and Condi from consideration?

I don't care what they think, as long as they respect (read: fear) us. That has to do with strong leadership, not the derivation of someone's freakin' name.

It's a shame that neither of you can see that your respective prejudices aren't making you right-wingers: they are making you assholes.

And it's a shame, because I sense that in other contexts you really aren't. But here, you're just dead wrong, and an embarrassment to the right.

Posted by: Attila Girl at December 22, 2006 12:32 AM

What is with the name-calling?

"Be Polite. Attack ideas, not people."

This does not apply to Little Miss Attila or her amen corner?

Posted by: Bill at December 22, 2006 08:51 AM

I admit my exposure to this website has been mercifully brief. However, I think I've seen enough to conclude that if I embarrass the likes of Little Miss Attila, then I'm doing something right. Perhaps the name of the site should be changed to Little Miss Politically Correct. Or Little Miss Jealous of Debbie Schlussel.

Posted by: Dave at December 22, 2006 09:34 AM

Sorry, Bill. I did lose it, and I did break my own rule. I apologize.

But I feel frustrated that you two don't see the implications of your attitude: there are many, many people in this country who come from areas dominated by communist or Islamic totalitarians. Once we get into playing "the name game," we'll be excluding large swaths of the public from public service, and drastically reduce the talent pool.

Posted by: Attila Girl at December 22, 2006 09:35 AM

The fact is, I don't like Obama's politics, and would never vote for him. But maintaining that a person's middle name should disqualify them for public office? That strikes me as bizarre.

The only way in which Obama's ties to Islamics seem material is that they might make him more vulnerable to assassination attempts, given Islamic sentiment about those who fall away.

But that's what we have a Secret Service for.

There are so many really good reasons to oppose Obama, and the name/family ties issue strikes me as a bright red herring.

Posted by: Attila Girl at December 22, 2006 09:36 AM

To the Right Wing of America:

Please accept my apologies. I had no idea you were so easily embarrassed.

Posted by: Bill at December 22, 2006 09:37 AM

Little Miss Attila, there is no need for you to apologize, I should have been more careful about how I worded what I wrote.

The bottom line remains that you and I read Schussel's comments in a totally different context. Likewise for Baldilocks.

I agree with you on the principal of inclusion. This country was built by people opposed to tyranny. We need to encourage all such like-minded people.

Posted by: Bill at December 22, 2006 10:08 AM

Good gosh, I should be getting that last minute Christmas shopping done, but "no" I'm back here again.

A middle name does not disqualify one from office. A middle name, however, can raise entirely legitimate questions especially if the name is of Middle Eastern origin. Such questions as is that person a Muslim? Does that person sympathize with jihadism and/or organizations such as CAIR? I do discriminate against Muslims in the sense that I cannot, in the course of my busy life, take the time to discern if the Muslim person is a friend of foe. Therefore, the burden is on him/her to prove no threat. Even then, as I understand the Koran, it is permissible for a jihadi supporter to lie to "infidels" in order to establish the caliphate. Now look, I didn't create this situation, I am simply reacting to it as best I can. And be sure of one thing, being called a "racist" or a "bigot" because I think in this manner about this subject will not, in even the slightest way, prevent me from doing what I can to make my family and my country safe from Muslim savages who wish us dead because we don't bow to allah. Merry Christmas!

Posted by: Dave at December 22, 2006 10:13 AM

Sigh. It is principle, not principal.

Thanks to the people who pointed that out to me via email.

Posted by: Bill at December 22, 2006 10:14 AM

Correction: Instead of "friend of foe" I should have written "friend or foe" in my last post. Sorry.

Posted by: Dave at December 22, 2006 10:27 AM

Okay, let's try this:

1. Were any of you thinking of voting for Obama before you found out about his shocking middle name?


2. Is anyone who supports Obama going to be slowed down if they find out about the scarlet "H" (or "M") on his chest?

I suspect that the answers are "no" and "no." So this whole "issue" is fairly masturbatory.

Posted by: Attila Girl at December 22, 2006 06:25 PM


Your backtracks are being wonky for me so...

truffle pig

DAVE... you and Schlussel aren't "asking questions", you are attempting to hide your 'guilty by association' smears by framing them as questions.

It really doesn't fool anyone.

Posted by: Darleen at December 22, 2006 09:09 PM

Let's try it this way:

1) The sky is blue.

2) What if the sky were green today? Wouldn't it be suspicious? This green-sky stuff: how far back does it go? How long has it been going on?



Posted by: Attila Girl at December 23, 2006 01:04 AM

Well hells bells, you can call me Hazel, but I still don't do windows.

The problem with the argument of 'he's got the wrong middle name' is that it masks the REAL issues that may or may not give people a reason to vote for or against him.

I have a hard time envisioning a President Obama - but who knows.

The thing is - when you make statements without an understanding of the issues, you give a gift to those who would like to keep the issue on his name as opposed to what he stands for or against.

Now the focus can be on Schussel and they will undoubtedly paint all conservatives with that same brush. The subject will be changed and he will not have to explain his voting record or his stance on issues. It'll just be because people are labeling him whatever labels.

Why help the progressives by changing the subject to his name rather than his progressive voting record?

Unless, of course, Schussel WANTS the focus to be one her.

Posted by: beth at December 25, 2006 10:51 PM

Well, Beth: let's be charitable. Just because Schlussel's actions are indistinguishable from those of a publicity whore, it doesn't mean she is one.

She might just be stupid.

Posted by: Attila Girl at December 25, 2006 11:10 PM

Schlussel ....... lives in Michigan which contains Dearborn which, as I understand it, has a high concentration of muslims.

I lived in Michigan for a few years and have in-laws who lived in Dearborn. We went there regularly. We frequently ate in Indian restaurants that were run by Pakistanis.

Does that make me an expert on islamic culture?

She regularly informs readers of outrages committed by muslims both within and out of the United States. She apparently believes that islam itself motivates, to a very large degree, the physical and legal assault upon Westerners who are not muslims. Think she might want to delve into a potential presidential candidate's exposure to islam and the effect of that exposure?

Me too. I strongly feel that way. I certainly want to know what candidates stand for and what their credentials are. However, I read nothing in her article that amounted to real evidence. What I read was information that is public knowledge. He was raised in Hawaii, he lived in Indonesia, his father was Kenyan.

None of that is new news - it certainly puts questions in ones head. In my mind I question his not-so-common raising for an American. How well will he relate to the people of the country.

All of that is waaayyy beside the point. The point is, that calling him names and making assumptions about who he is using a handful of pieces of a much larger puzzle only serves to CHANGE THE SUBJECT. It gives the progressives a talking point. It gives them a weapon to use to shut conservatives up.

It is not only non-productive - it's damaging.

Posted by: beth at December 25, 2006 11:10 PM

I know. You are right AG. I jumped to a conclusion and that was not kind of me. I'm sure that's not the case at all!

Posted by: beth at December 25, 2006 11:11 PM

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