Archive for Gawker

Now We All Agree the Afghan War Was Not Worth Fighting

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by loonwatch

Afghan Graves

“Speak good words to an enemy very softly; gradually destroy him root and branch.” ~ Pashtun Proverb

For many, it seemed as if the 9/11 terrorist attacks instantly indicted the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, and transformed many Muslim-majority countries into potential bomb targets.

No Afghans were identified among the hijackers involved in the attacks, but US-ally-turned-Prime Suspect, Osama Bin Laden, had taken refuge in Afghanistan’s forbidding lands. After then-President George Bush rejected repeated offers by Taliban leaders to turn over the Saudi-born suspect, the US  invaded the already war-torn and impoverished country in October, 2001.

No Iraqis were identified among the hijackers involved in the attacks, and though the public was initially led to believe otherwise, Bush later acknowledged that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Soon a new excuse was proffered: US-ally-turned-Scary Global Menace, Saddam Hussein, supposedly had Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Fear peddling administration officials repeatedly warned that we must not let the “smoking gun be a mushroom cloud,” but the Downing Street Memo proved to be the real smoking gun, later revealing they knew all along the WMDs threat was a blatant lie.  The final pretext was “spreading freedom and democracy” at gunpoint, and the US-led invasion of the already war-torn and beleaguered nation of Iraq began March, 2003.

America was dragged into war under false pretenses, yet it seems no one has been held accountable. While President Obama at least acknowledged the war in Iraq was “the wrong one,” he also claimed the war in Afghanistan was “the right one.” But was it?

Shock, anger, and the thirst for vengeance certainly played a role in the decision to go to war with Afghanistan in 2001, and the Afghan people have paid a heavy price. Yet in 2010, nearly a decade after the invasion, a report revealed that 92% of Afghans were unaware of the 9/11 attacks. The finding was confirmed last fall when Afghans were asked what they thought of the war and they simply said: “Why are you here?”

A growing number of Americans seem to be asking themselves the same question–even as the usual suspects gin up yet another senseless war, this time with Iran.

Now We All Agree the Afghan War Was Not Worth Fighting

by Hamilton Nolan, Gawker

For the first time since we invaded Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11, a majority of Republicans say that the war was not worth fighting. Even the superpatriots, the military do-or-die-ers, the America Firsters, the my-country-right-or-wrong crowd, have come to the conclusion that this war should never have happened. They’re right.

At this point, more than a decade on from the events that inspired us to invade Afghanistan in the first place, the burning sense of rage and desire for retribution and need to just do something have all faded away. We are more clear-eyed now. For almost every American that died in the Twin Towers, another American soldier has been killed in Afghanistan. Fifteen thousand more have been wounded. And tens of thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed or wounded in the fighting as well.

And was it worth it? No. It was not worth it. It was clearly not worth it. No rational person could say it was worth it. September 11 was a horrible tragedy. Our response to it, starting with a decade-long war in a nation that Americans neither know nor care about, was a tragedy as well. We have poured our blood and treasure into a desolate, poverty-stricken and already war-torn country halfway across the world—not to improve it, but to further destroy it. For this, we have gained nothing that we could not have gained with a much more limited and rational response.

You don’t send in the U.S. Army to invade an entire nation to find one man. You don’t send in the U.S. Army to invade an entire nation to deal with one numerically small terrorist group, for the same reason that you don’t use an M1 Abrams tank to tackle your household mouse infestation. You don’t cause tens of thousands of violent deaths to poor civilians to prove some vague notion of national toughness on a world stage. It is insane. The urge to lash out in a muscular fashion after 9/11 is perfectly understandable. But it is not rational, or ethical, or even, it is now clear, to our own national benefit. Such impulses are the reason that we need strong leaders. To prevent us from doing things like invading Afghanistan.

In the end, it turns out, America’s entire post-9/11 response was exactly wrong. The much-derided idea of treating the terrorist attacks as a crime would have been the rational thing to do. Doing our best to launch a world war was not to our benefit. It was not to the benefit of geopolitical stability. It was not to the benefit of the kids who entered the military, full of patriotism and love for their country, and ended up dead halfway around the world. It was not to the benefit of Afghan civilians, people who had nothing to do with any of this, who ended up bombed, shot, maimed, driven from their homes, victims of circumstance. We can fight, if we like, another decade in Afghanistan. When we leave, Afghanistan will still belong to the people who live there, and they, not us, will determine its future. Our stated goal took far too long to accomplish. Now that it’s been accomplished, we’re still in Afghanistan. And we’ll be there for years more.

A small group of bad men attacked targets in America. For this, we invaded an entire nation. Where they weren’t. Let’s not do that again.

***********************

Rethink AfghanistanThe war in Afghanistan is increasing the likelihood that American civilians will be killed in a future terrorist attack.

Move Over Zagat: The NYPD Guide to Newark’s Best Muslim Restaurants

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , on February 27, 2012 by loonwatch
Restaurant Jihad
Tasty Eats or Stealth Jihad?

Lots of tasty stakeouts…and there’s even a Dunkin Donuts!

The NYPD Zagat Guide to Newark’s Best (and Most Threatening) Muslim Restaurants

Cross-posted from Gawker

Last night, the AP broke the news that the New York Police Department had spent months spying on Muslims in Newark, N.J. “The result was a 60-page report,” AP reporter Adam Goldman writes, “containing brief summaries of businesses and their clientele.” But was it a surveillance file… or just a guide to Newark’s best Muslim restaurants?

“Such surveillance has become commonplace in New York City in the decade since the 2001 terrorist attacks,” Goldman rightly points out. “The documents obtained by the AP show, for the first time in any detail, how those efforts stretched outside the NYPD’s jurisdiction.”

But as he himself acknowledges, “[t]he report cited no evidence of terrorism or criminal behavior.” Indeed, it’s just “a guide to Newark’s Muslims.” Nothing creepy about NYPD spending months monitoring Muslims outside their jurisdiction, at all. And what could be more helpful to the aspiring gourmand than a handbook of the best Halal joints in Newark? With that in mind, we’ve re-arranged some of the dry NYPD “notes,” Zagat-style, to bring you: The NYPD Guide to Newark’s Best Muslim Restaurants.

Newark Fried Chicken
942 Broad St., (973) 824-1780
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: A “medium size fast food restaurant” with “fried chicken, pizza and cold drinks” on its menu, Newark Fried Chicken is said to be “in good condition,” with “seating for 10 to 15 customers.”

*****

Kansas Fried Chicken
183 Market St., (973) 242-8844
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: This “medium size takeout restaurant” is known for its “fried chicken, pizza and cold drinks.” “Location is owned by persons of Afghani descent,” notes one reviewer.

*****

Mecca’s Halal Restaurant
4 Branford Pl., (973) 824-5600
Yelp Rating: Four stars. (“Shockingly good,” writes Andrew B. of Evanston, Ill.)

NYPD says: A “small restaurant” “in close proximity of Islamic Cultural center” “owned and operated by African-Americans,” Mecca’s Halal Restaurant gets another thumbs-up from our reviewers. It “has seating for 10-15 customers” and “serves Halal food.”

*****

Amin’s Halal Restaurant
57 William St., (973) 621-1111
Yelp Rating: Three and a half stars. (“Very clean,” says Jeff M. of Jersey City, N.J.)

NYPD says: Our reviewers say Amin’s Halal Restaurant, “location below the former Muhammads Mosque” (now closed), is “medium sized” and “owned and operated by Muslims of Chinese descent.” “During visit 3 African Muslim males and an Egyptian male customer were observed dining within,” writes one reviewer. Wild!

*****

Dunkin Donuts
806 South Orange Ave., no phone number
Yelp Rating: No rating. (Average rating of Newark Dunkin Donuts: Three and a half stars.)

NYPD says: “Good condition,” observes one reviewer, who notes that the “store… has a capacity for 15 to 20 customers.”

*****

Utah Fried Chicken
653 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., (973) 792-1993
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: Convenience is the name of the game at Utah Fried Chicken, which our reviewers note is “in close proximity of Masjid Rahman.” One drawback: the restaurant is “small.”

*****

Detroit Fried Chicken and Pizza
685 Springfield Ave., (931) 375-0013
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: Come to Detroit Fried Chicken and you might be welcomed by its owner, “Egyptian male,” who’s set up “seating for approximately ten customers” right “next door to Masjid Al-Haqq.” “Fast food restaurant,” writes one reviewer, with what we imagine to be enthusiasm.

*****

West Indian American Halal Restaurant
347 Sandford Ave., (973) 373-7333
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: “Poor condition” at this restaurant “owned and operated by persons of West Indian descent,” lament our reviewers. Nevertheless, it “has seating for 8-10 customers” and “is in close proximity of Masjid Fallahee… and Al Muslimaat academy.”

*****

Jordan Halal Restaurant
1008 South Orange Ave., (973) 399-7980
Yelp Rating: Four and a half stars. (“Great breakfasts,” writes Karol R. “OMG I would come here everyday if I could!!!!” adds Candy B. of Newark.)

NYPD says: Options for “takeout and dining in” at this “small restaurant” “owned and operated by persons of Jordanian descent.” But be aware that it is “small.”

*****

Chicken Holiday
1036 South Orange Ave., (973) 373-2009
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: Reviewers didn’t have much to say about this “small size takeout location” “owned and operated by persons of Pakistani descent” “that serves Halal food” — but their affection was clear nonetheless.

*****

Crown Fried Chicken and Deli
231 Lyons Ave., (973) 923-4466
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: Watch out at this “small fast food restaurant” serving “fried chicken and deli sandwiches”: “Location does not have any chairs or tables inside for customers.” Hope you like standing!

*****

Amin’s Halal Restaurant
430 Chancellor Ave., (973) 926-6150
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: Get ready for some food after prayers at this “medium sized Chinese Halal restaurant” “located across the street from Masjid Ibrahim”! “Owned and operated by Muslims of Chinese descent,” Amin’s “has approximately three tables.”

*****

Kings Family Restaurant Inc.
327 Lyons Ave., (973) 926-2177
Yelp Rating: Three and a half stars. (“Sizeable portions,” says Ron B. of Denver.)

NYPD says: How about a party at Kings Family Restaurant Inc., “a large restaurant with seating for 45-50 customers”? This “traditional Halal diner” is “owned by persons of Turkish descent” — and don’t forget to bring some extra change: “location has a donation box inside for unknown Masjid.”

Gawker: Mosque Protesters Now Pointing Old, Rented Missiles at Park51

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , on September 3, 2010 by loonwatch

Fast Company’s Mark Borden tweets this terrifying photo of a rented, decommissioned missile that “Ground Zero” “Mosque” protesters are driving around the proposed Islamic community center site today, and perhaps indefinitely. Take that, “productive interfaith dialogue” prospects!

Send an email to Jim Newell, the author of this post, at newell@gawker.com.

 

Lynne Torgerson: The Most Vile Political Wanna-be in America

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2009 by loonwatch
Lynne TorgersonLynne Torgerson

Ever since Keith Ellison got elected as a House Representative from Minnesota he has been making news and headlines. He is a brilliant mind and a strong advocate for liberal policies and social justice/civil rights, but a lot of times his great work gets overshadowed by the fact that he is….Muslim.

First there was the controversy created by right-wing windbags that Ellison should swear on a Bible and that he was undermining America (a secular government by the way) by swearing on a Qur’an. Then there was Glenn Beck saying he was “scared” of Ellison and wanted Ellison to “prove that he was a true American,” not too long ago Daniel Pipes said Ellison was more dangerous to Western Civilization than AlQaeda and other terrorists and now we have Lynne Torgerson who has almost no shot of winning the upcoming race against Ellison resorting to the one hail Mary strategy that might give her a shot at victory: Islamophobia. Stranger things have happened but aside from having no real critique about Ellison’s record, Torgerson seems dead set on trying to bash voters over the head with the fact that Ellison is a “Mooslim.”

Gawker has a great satirical piece on the rabid lunacy that is Islamophobe Lynne Torgerson:

Most Vile Politician in America Hellbent on Vanquishing Muslims, Muslim Congressman by Azaria Jagger

Lynne Torgerson—who is running against Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), a popularwell-respected U.S. Congressman—wants to stop the “globalization of Islam” and “Ellison [who] is a Muslim.” She cites 9/11, Fort Hood, and the book Muslim Mafia as evidence.

It is our patriotic duty to ridicule this woman and her bigotry. She’s hit the national stage despite describing herself as “apolitical” but for her disgust for Ellison, who, in 2006, was the first Muslim elected to Congress. From her campaign website:

Keith Ellison is a Muslim, a person who was raised Christian and converted to Islam. … Now, with all due respect, America, and its people, should be lauded for its goal of promoting to public office and other high ranks, people of color, women, minorities, etc. However, quite frankly, in our zeal, we simply went too far with Keith Ellison. Keith Ellison simply is not a proper person to have in our federal government.[emphasis mine]

Torgerson, an independent candidate, devotes a third of her “Issues” page to “Freedom of Religion,” but she explains that Islam “is not ‘religion’ recognizable under the First Amendment” because it wants to “kill people not of their faith” and to “Islamize the entire world.” (Torgerson aligns with the Catholic Church, which has never killed a nonbeliever or converted a wayward, thank Allah.)

And, what do I know of Islam? Well, I know of 911. Nineteen (19) men from Saudi Arabia, all Muslim, hi-jacked planes, and flew into the two (2) World Trade Towers murdering thousands of people, and tried to fly into our Pentagon…

People say that we can’t include the moderate, peace loving Muslims. Well, I agree. But, who are they? … I cannot tell. It is not for me to go and try and find them. Rather, it is their duty to stand up and identify themselves, if there are any.

I know why Lynne can’t find “peace loving Muslims.” It’s that when a Muslim tells her “I love peace,” what she hears is, “I am going to kill you”:

I think it is interesting that Keith Ellison, in the past year or so, introduced a bill entitled “Global Peace.” “Global.” I think that word is telling. Globalization of Islam. It is also my understanding that when people of the Muslim faith use the word peace, that “peace” to them means the elimination of Christians and Jews. [emphasis mine]

Let’s return to the screed:

Recently, I was in the courthouse, the new Public Safety Facility in Minneapolis, and I saw an Islamic mother, covered in fabric from head to toe, and walking 5 to 15 feet BEHIND her son….

What else have I heard about Muslims? Fort Hood. What was the result of the teachings of Islam on a Muslim, who was an officer in the United States’ military? Well, the result was him killing, I believe, 13 American soldiers, and injuring many others. Not one person killed or injured was a Muslim. In another book I am currently reading, entitled Muslim Mafia, it is suggested that Muslims want to infiltrate our police departments, our governments, etc., with the goal of Islamizing America.

You’d think the person espousing these beliefs would be a low-functioning nobody. But the lady is a lawyer, meaning she was smart enough to pass the bar, so her IQ can’t be so low as to allow her to plead innocent by reason of mental defect.

Me, I am a Christian. If someone criticizes Jesus, I am not going to go kill them. I may not even notice.

I’m glad you don’t kill people who criticize Jesus, Lynne, because I’m going to do so right now: Jesus Christ, what the f**k is wrong with you to allow this hateful monstrosity—with a belief system more repugnant than Michele Bachmann’s and a hairdo worse than Kate Gosselin’s—to be unleashed unto humanity?

Luckily, Lynne Torgerson appears to be incompetent. Her website is farcically amateurish: The part where she attempts to embed a YouTube video, but fails, is actually sad. Here is a screen grab of her homepage, which was designed by the same fourth grade militiaman who wrote her campaign platforms:

So she definitely won’t get elected. God help us if she ever runs for a smaller political office, like one where she is the only candidate. She has managed to cobble together opinions on a number of topics, unified by a thin fiber of self-righteousness and crazy—but ultimately, Lynne Torgerson is running an entire congressional campaign on bigotry, ignorance, and arbitrarily deployed pigheadedness. And finally, let it be known that, if you are working on your political website and find yourself needing this caveat:

Now, these are very sensitive subjects. And, I should apologize in advance for those who I offend or whose feelings I hurt.

What you actually need is to stop being in politics.
[HuffPo] [MNIndy] [Torgerson4Cong]

 

Holocaust Museum Shooting Exposes the Absurdity of Islamophobes

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2009 by loonwatch
Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck

Recently, as many who follow the news are aware we were given a glimpse of hatred and racism with the shootings at the Holocaust Museum.  It was a tragic hate incident in which a security guard lost his life reminding us that there is a lot of prejudice out there directed at many different communities. It also revealed the strange and obscurantist pathologies that exist amongst the extreme right-wing and those who attempt to pass themselves off as mainstream media.

So it is not hard to believe that even with this shooting, which was carried out by 89 year old James Von Brunn, a right-wing White Nationalist, there are those who want to blame it on Islam and Muslims! This highlights something well known, though not much talked about, in which loonie Islamophobes and Muslim haters will attempt to tie every event that they can to Muslims regardless how unrelated it may be. Such was the case with  Steven Emerson who claimed that the Oklahoma City Bombings revealed a “Middle Eastern trait,” or Debbie Schlussel claiming that the Virginia Tech Massacre was committed by a Muslim even when it was clear that it was a Korean male with no link to Islam.

These are the times we live in, with heightened suspicion of Muslims translating itself into absurd ideas that Muslims are behind every plot, they are the boogey men in your closet and the monsters underneath your bed.

This time we have Glenn Beck and none other then — you guessed it — Debbie Schlussel outlandishly linking the Holocaust Museum shooting to Islam and Muslims. As Gawker noted,”Beck, with a straight face mind you, looked into the camera and said that America as it stands today is a “boiling pot” fueled by extremists groups like Al Qaeda and 9/11 truthers who are sowing the seeds of extremism and hatred in this country.”

Beck implies somehow in his warped world that America is brimming with extremist (Muslim) terrorists from groups such as Al-Qaeda. To prove his point he shows footage of a man speaking about a crazy plot in Arabic. We aren’t told who the guy is, where he said what he was saying or how that indicates that America stands today at a “boiling pot.” It is a strange point to make especially when the shooter James Von Brunn had nothing to do with Islam or Muslims, in fact it highlights what seems to be Beck’s attempts to cover up for his incendiary rhetoric which really does fuel extremism,

Beck…doesn’t make mention, much less offer an apology for, the lunacy he’s been promoting over the radio and television airwaves over the years, lunacy that directly feeds the derangement of people like James von Brunn, inflammatory rhetoric he’s been spewing about America turning into a totalitarian communist regime under Obama, the New World Order, Mexicans pouring over our borders to take our jobs and rape our children, FEMA concentration camps, ACORN rigging an American Presidential election for Obama, that dark, powerful, unseen forces are controlling the American economy, how liberals might to assassinate him—We could go on and on and on.

Debbie Schlussel

Debbie Schlussel

Debbie Sclussel, described by Gawker as an “Anne Coulter wanna-be” goes further than Glenn Beck stating explicitly that “It is because of Muslims…that neo-Nazis feel comfortable manifesting their views about Jews.” Can it get anymore loony than that? This is coming from a woman who recently joked about the genocide of Palestinians, while writing about clashes between rival Palestinian forces which left six dead Schlussel stated, “As we say in lawyer jokes, that’s a start. Six down, a few million to go.” Does the irony of these peoples statements go right over their heads?

Here is the totality of the absurdity spewed by Schlussel,

It is because of Muslims—who are the biggest contributor to the worldwide rise in anti-Semitism to Holocaust-eve levels—that neo-Nazis feel comfortable—far more comfortable!—manifesting their views about Jews. Until 9/11 and our resulting new tolerance for Islam, the neo-Nazi types were marginalized and howling at the wind. We know who has been targeting Jewish museums and centers affiliated with Jews in recent years. And it hasn’t been, in general, 89-year-old White guys.

Mr. Von Brunn has been on this planet for 89 years, and he didn’t feel comfortable shooting up a Holocaust museum until now—this new era of “tolerance,” in which we must tolerate the most extremist Muslim behaviors and sentiments. It’s, in general, not 89-year-old White guys telling people at churches worldwide and in religious schools that the Jews are the devil incarnate, a filthy tribe, the sons of pigs and monkeys, subhuman, etc.

No, it’s guys with names like Mohammed and Ahmed on our own American streets who make Mr. Von Brunn far more at ease in 2009 than he was even in 1999 to attack places associated with the Jews. They created the comfort zone for James W. Brunn to engage in today’s shooting.

Moreover, not only do White supremacists and neo-Nazis work with Muslims in many, many documented cases and investigations. But they are basically one and the same. The only difference is that one guy is named James and the other guy is named Ahmed. And the former only has a few thousand discredited, marginalized compatriots.

Whereas the latter has over a billion followers and a U.S. President kissing their collective ass.

Not only is she attempting to blame the Holocaust Museum tragedy on Muslims but she attempts to blur the obvious-as-day-and-night difference between Muslims and Nazis by saying, ‘Neo-Nazis/White Supremacists and Muslims are one and the same thing.’ Really Debbie? This fairy-tale from Debbie world would probably not sit well with the many Muslims who have faced violence from White supremacists and Nazis or Black Muslims who are part of Islam or Arab Muslims who are a Semitic people despised by the Nazi Aryan ideology.

In  “Debbie in Wonderland” all rationality goes out the window when you swallow the Islamophobic pill — anything goes. Up is down and down is up, black is white and white is black, and Nazis are Muslims and Muslims are Nazis.

At (Civil) War with the Idiots he Created

Posted in Loon Blogs, Loon Busters, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2009 by loonwatch
Charles Johnson

Charles Johnson

If none of you have noticed by now there is a civil war raging in the Islamophobic Anti-Muslim blog-world. We expect to talk about this in greater detail but at least one site has dedicated itself to tracking the ins-and-outs of what they hilariously term the “Great Soap Opera.”

It has gotten to a level where web media outlets such as The Washington Independent have taken notice and started writing about it. Gawker also mercilessly ripped apart the players involved in this melodrama which pits the leader and founder of the so called “anti-jihad movement,” Charles Johnson against his former followers and friends Robert Spencer, Baron Bodissey (!) and loon blogger Pam Geller. Enjoy!

It’s hard to know what to make of Charles Johnson, the batshit crazy founder of Little Green Footballs, engendering the hatred of his even batshit-crazier former compatriots.

Johnson and his recent penchant for heretical thinking has sparked a full-on blogger civil war (and got Glenn Beck all mad), pitting stupid brother against stupid brother. The Washington Independent took a look yesterday:

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, jazz musician and Web designer Charles Johnson has devoted his blog, Little Green Footballs, to exposing Muslim extremism in and outside the United States. His targets have included the Council on American-Islamic Relations, filmmaker Michael Moore, Reuters, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Dan Rather, and the late pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie – who some LGF commenters (not Johnson) call “St. Pancake,” a tribute to the Israeli steamroller that killed her. LGF helped write the lexicon of the self-styled “anti-Jihadist” blogosphere – from “moonbat” (“an unthinking or insane leftist”) to “anti-idiotarian” (“anyone who grasps the significance of and does his or her best to combat the post-9/11 political alliance between the ‘Old Left’ and militant Islam”).

But in the early days of Barack Obama’s presidency, LGF has become better known for the various fights it picks with many on the right – including conservative bloggers, critics of Islamic extremism, and critics of Islam in general who used to be Johnson’s fellow travelers.

At issue is an anti-Islamic conference in 2007 organized by some of Johnson’s acolytes. Among the invited attendees were members of a Belgian political party with ties to neo-Nazism, which is a perfectly natural fit, seeing as how the conference was organized around the idea that you should hate people who are different from you. Johnson took issue with the idea of his beloved anti-Islam movement being associated with neo-Nazis, and used his blog to attack members of the movement who got to cozy with extremists.

The whole thing has gotten out of hand, he told the Independent: “I don’t think there is an anti-jihadist movement anymore. It’s all a bunch of kooks.”

Well imagine that! If you organize people around the notion that all Muslims everywhere want to kill white Americans, some kooks show up at the table.

Johnson’s experience with the nutjobs-of which he is one-on the right is an object lesson in why soft-headed liberals like to keep an eye on seemingly respectable people who flirt with hatred and racism in their political messaging. Because even if those people stop short of actually saying, “Let’s round up the Muslins,” they tend to attract, and lend credence to, the people who are going for that in the first place.

Johnson should be commended for taking a stand against neo-Nazis and Glenn Beck. And he should still be condemned for spending the last eight years giving them ammunition and inspiration. If neo-Nazis are into your ideas, Charles, you might want to rethink them.