The thing with the completely race-driven “Obama is really a Muslim” thing isn’t just the statements themselves, it’s the subtext — or the completion of the statement added by the wingnut-prone listener immediately following. “Obama could be a Muslim”… and so he’s probably a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer.
But very few people actually go there. On the other hand, Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, kind of did.
“I can’t say categorically that [Obama is not Muslim] because Islam has gotten a free pass under Obama.”
What does it mean to give Islam a “free pass”? I’m not away of any reason why the Islamic religion, in general, needs to be regulated and restricted. Is Graham suggesting the president who killed Bin Laden and shattered al-Qaeda is soft of radical Islamic terrorism? Yes, he is. He’s saying the president hasn’t sufficiently restricted the Islamic religion here and abroad, but what he’s really saying is that President Obama is helping terrorism. The first thing shouldn’t be done in the first place and the second thing, the implication, is an outright lie.
The broader point here is once again we’re going down this road. A total repeat of 2008. Back then the excuse was “we don’t know a lot about this guy since he’s new to the scene.” Today, he’s been president for more than three years and everyone knows exactly who he is. There are no more excuses. This is Southern Strategy racism, with a touch of post-9/11 McCarthyism in there. And nothing more.
UPDATE: So it looks like it’s really Two-For-Tuesday, as they say on really bad radio stations. Ashby and I unknowingly posted the same item at roughly the same time. I swear we didn’t plan it that way. But now you’ll get both of our takes on this heinous Graham quote. Enjoy.