Donald Trump: I’d Be Okay With Closing Mosques And Requiring Muslims To Carry Special Identification
Donald Trump's demagoguery and disdain for individual liberty enters a new phase.
Donald Trump says he would consider closing mosques as part of his anti-terror strategies:
The United States will have “absolutely no choice” but to close down some mosques where “some bad things are happening,” Donald Trump said in a recent interview, explaining his rationale for doing so.
“Nobody wants to say this and nobody wants to shut down religious institutions or anything, but you know, you understand it. A lot of people understand it. We’re going to have no choice,” the Republican presidential said in an interview from Trump Tower on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Tuesday night.
Those remarks go further than Trump did on Monday, when he said he would “strongly consider” closing mosques as part of a response to last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris that killed more than 130 and injured hundreds more.
Asked to explain his shifting position by Sean Hannity, Trump remarked that things are “happening a lot faster than anybody understands.”
“There’s absolutely no choice. Some really bad things are happening and they’re happening fast,” he said, taking a dig at President Barack Obama’s response to the attacks. “Certainly a lot faster than our president understands because he doesn’t understand anything. He doesn’t get it. Refuses to even call it by its correct name,” which Trump termed “radical Islam.”
Trump’s position, of course, is one that we’ve heard several times in the years since the September 11th attacks, especially the most vehement anti-Muslim spokespeople on the right, whose names don’t really need to be mentioned. It is also quite similar to the rhetoric that we heard several years ago during the debate and controversy over the construction of an Islamic Community Center in Lower Manhattan several blocks from the site of the World Trade Center and the September 11th Memorial. It’s also an argument that has been raised in communities around American over the past fourteen years as people have objected to the construction of new mosques or the expansion of existing mosque facilities. To these people, the mere existence of a mosque is seen as a threat largely because they believe that the Islam as a whole is not fundamentally different from the jihadism that has guided groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS and that, therefore, any mosque is a potential terrorist training center or refuge.
The reality, of course, has been somewhat more complicated and nuanced. While it is true that there have been isolated incidents of dangerous and violent rhetoric being preached in American mosques, with perhaps the most prominent being Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen and Imam who spent some time preaching in American mosques before moving to Yemen where he became essentially the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula until being killed by a U.S. drone strike. While al-Awlaki’s case is obviously concerning, the more common story of how American mosques have dealt with issues of radicalism in the years since the September 11th attacks has been one in which someone affiliated with an American mosque has tipped off law enforcement about someone who has been expressing radical beliefs or otherwise acting in ways that concern them. The other side of that story, of course, have been cases involving law enforcement engaging in questionable efforts to infiltrate or spy on mosques, or in some cases to plant people in mosques in an effort to bait members of the mosque into breaking the law, a practice that has caused some American Mosques to, understandably, distrust law enforcement. More importantly, though, in the past fourteen years there has been no credible evidence presented that any American Mosques are “radicalizing” American Muslims or otherwise acting in manners that would be a threat to public safety.
The biggest danger about Trump’s proposal, of course, is the threat that it would pose to the First Amendment. The surveillance of some mosques that has been engaged in by the FBI and the New York City Police Department, among other groups, has raised serious concerns about the impact it has on the free exercise of religion from the time it started. Trump, however, would take the matter a step further and actually act to close down places of worship. For one thing, in his interview Trump did not even define what circumstances he believes would justify such an action, and while there theoretically at least might be situations where a place of worship could be acting so much in violation of the law that there would be a legal argument to support a move to close it down or otherwise seriously disrupt its ability to operate. Given the First Amendment, though, they would have to be incredibly extreme and unusual circumstances, and it is clear that Trump is not talking about something that he would foresee as being extreme, unusual, or rare if he ever had the power to direct law enforcement to act, a power he would most assuredly have as President of the United States.
This isn’t all that Trump is saying about Muslims in the wake of the Paris attacks, though. In an interview with Yahoo News, Trump is saying he would not rule out a government database specially dedicated to following American Muslims, and even requiring Muslims to carry special identification:
GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump believes that the war on terror will require unprecedented surveillance of America’s Muslims.
“We’re going to have to do thing that we never did before,” he said during a Yahoo interview.
“Some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” Trump said.
“Certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy,” he added. “We’re going to have to do things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
Trump would not rule out warrantless searches in his plans for increased surveillance of the nation’s Muslims, Yahoo reported Thursday.
He also remained open toward registering U.S. Muslims in a database or giving them special identification identifying their faith, the news outlet added.
“We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” Trump said. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”
Trump additionally floated former New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly for a position in his potential presidential administration.
“Ray’s a great guy,” he said of the former NYPD chief. “Ray did a fab job as commissioner, and sure, Ray would be somebody I’d certainly consider.”
Kelly notably spearheaded the NYPD’s controversial surveillance program of New York City’s Muslim population following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The Associated Press reported in November 2011 that the NYPD built extensive databases detailing life in Muslim communities.
The department monitored grocery sales, social life and even worship among New York’s Islamic population, the AP added.
Trump has repeatedly called for increased surveillance of Islamic mosques following last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
“You’re going to have to watch and study the mosques, because a lot of talk is going on in the mosques,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” early Monday.
“And from what I heard, in the old days – meaning a while ago – we had a great surveillance going on in and around the mosques of New York City,” the outspoken billionaire added.
Replace “Muslims” with “Jews” and “Mosques” with “Synagouges,” and, well, even though I seldom invoke such analogies, I’ll let you the reader draw your own conclusions.
And yet, this man remains the frontrunner for the Republican Presidential Nomination.
Update (11/20/2015): Today, Trump tried to walk back his comments by saying the database was a “reporters idea,” not his. As Chris Cillizza notes, though, this explanation makes no sense when you actually look at the record.
Update (11/21/2015): In light of Trump’s attempt to deny he said what he clearly said, Kevin Drum has gone through the evidence of, well, what Trump actually said. Not surprisingly, Trump’s effort to walk back his comments is full of nonsense.
Trump is really jumping the shark here. The other Republican candidates, as well as, our governors, senators, and leaders, in general, face a real test of courage in denouncing this for what it is. I fear they will fail.
A large group of Republican voters just said, “it’s about time!”
“Making America Great Again”
There’s another big issue with leaders sanctioning and fear-mongering off of American anti-Muslim sentiment, in that it likely only encourages the worst Islamaphobes who are already criminally acting out:
@Scott: Fear they will fail? Trump is evil, but how are his views that different from a large part of the base of the Republican party? Leadership? The current GOP is the worst major political party of my lifetime. I’m struggling to understand how they are significantly different than the john birch society. Their policies are pretty similar at this point. Hate foreigners? Check. Distrust all central government? Check. Opposed 1960’s civil right movement? Does anyone seriously think most of the Republican candidates for POTUS would have supported civil right in the 1960’s if they were old enough?
Remember that the biggest GOP sugar daddies, the Koch brothers, are the sons of one of the founding members, Fred Koch.
Also, from today:
This, of course, is right wing terrorism. Or is that too politically incorrect?
The more I listen to Trump, this has to be performance art. Like he’s calling Hilary every evening to discuss what outrage he can commit in the name of the Republican party tomorrow. The way the progression goes he’ll ask for the inquisition by March, and auto-da-fe come convention time.
We need a president who will keep us safe from violence. I have been looking at murder statistics. Did you know that a significant portion happen between family members and other acquaintances? I look forward to the banning of Thanksgiving dinner to protect us. The collateral decrease in highway fatalities and long term health damage from overeating would be a bonus. I bet more Americans die from giblet gravy than suicide bombers. President Trump will be personally patrolling the world with his gun in his hand which he has told us would have stopped the attacks in Paris, but he can’t do it alone. Stop family dinners before my brother-in-law starts up with his incessant talk about the Chicago Bears.
Why the hell aren’t the fundies running screaming from someone who’s clearly calling for a Mark of the Beast – a literal piece of identification of whether you serve a particular God or not in order to participate in society. Isn’t that supposed to be the sign of the Anti-Christ?
Within a few days we should get one of those “which party do you trust more?” polls. It will show a large drop in those who identify the Democratic Party and a big jump in those who choose the GOP. No, I don’t have advance access to the poll, I just know humans and politics.
Right now on this issue Trump is aligned with the majority of Americans and Hillary is not.
I honestly don’t know what it takes to get through to some of you, but this is not funny, this is dangerous. Get it through your heads that the Dems are in real danger on the ‘tough on terror’ issue, and the country is in real danger of electing this thug, and calling everyone cowards isn’t going to do anything at all but drive people to Trump or Cruz.
It is time for Democrats to start walking this issue back. This issue is a trap, it is Danger, Will Robinson, and it is nowhere near over. Roger Ailes and Karl Rove are having orgasms over this. Sheldon Adelson’s calling for a double helping of celebratory oatmeal.
Nah, by that time he’ll be channeling Ferdinand II and instituting an expulsion of the Moors.
Gee, maybe we should call for all Muslims to have something on their clothes to identify them….something like a yellow crescent, maybe?
it listens but don’t think Trump’s ego could stand the idea he has to coordinate with anyone. Hmm wonder if a bit of lithium in his water might improve things.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. – Martin Niemöller
@michael reynolds: I agree with your political analysis, Dems are in real danger over this issue, question is what to do about it. Dems ultimately lost the South primarily over civil rights support. I wish some more than 25% of Southern whites would vote for Democrats, but that was the price they had to pay. Now they might lose politically because they won’t, as a party, demonize Muslims.
What is the answer? The current GOP will do anything to get power, including jeopardizing national security. Fortunately, the Democrats don’t operate that way.
I have to agree with Mr. Reynolds here. It’s gone full blown cult-of-personality / fascism in the GOP.
Looks like they will have to destroy our freedoms in order to save them, ala Bến Tre.
Can you say “Enabling Act” ?
How did the GOP become such gutless pussies? When did those who call themselves republicans forget that freedom takes bravery, not cowardice?
I am embarrassed for them, and after George W’s reign, that says a lot.
I think everyone is aware that given the current media environment and the electorate, the politics around terrorism (and refugees) hugely favor the Republicans. My personal feeling is there isn’t a whole lot democrats can do about it, and no matter how much they pander too, GOP candidates will always out do them and will always be taken as far more sincere. The election is still a long ways out, but if the terrorism hysteria is still at a similar fever pitch as now, IMO the republicans will very likely win. I doubt it will be, but again I think it’s almost entirely outside the dems’ control.
Wow. Never in my life did I expect a Presidentail front-runner would express even the possibility of turning America into 1938 Germany.
@SenyorDave: The Bircher’s central theme was anti-communism. The commies pretty much went away. But the Birchers, and their now numerous fellow travelers, are still with us, pitching pretty much the same nonsense. It was never the enemy that drove them, it was the conservative need to have an enemy.
I agree with Michael Reynolds on this one. When it comes to defending his policies, Obama is clueless. From what I’ve read, the backgrounds of prospective refugees are thoroughly checked. Why can’t the administration explain this? Obama and the Democrats in general are repeating the mistakes they made during and immediately after passage of the Affordable Care Act. They’re to the Republicans as the French were to the Germans. The Democrats lose every public relations battle, not because their policies are bad, but because they’re inept at fighting for them.
They’ve already overreached. If it was merely “security concerns” I’d be more worried, but what Trump is proposing is already in unconstitutional la-la land. Ask Republicans if they want to do away with freedom of religion and watch them squirm.
The other counterpoint is why wasn’t any of this necessary during the Bush administration? Was Bush not keeping us safe? Or was it simply not necessary? Why is Daesh a different existential threat than al-Qaeda or the Taliban?
Once you realize almost every single political media outlet is conservatively slanted, aside from a few liberal blogs, you realize you hear only three messages:
“Dems in disarray”
“Repubs take bold stand on Issue X”
“Both sides do it”
I totally agree this is dangerous, I just don’t know why you think going wingnut on this one issue will make the voters stick with the Dems. Consider the below:
Candidate A: deny Syrian refugees, threaten to kick ISIS ass, anti-gay, anti-abortion, R
Candidate B: deny Syrian refugees, threaten to kick ISIS ass, proi-gay, pro-abortion, D
If all is equal for the first two points (exact same rage, same policies), Candidate B will still lose because those last issues still matter to the people currently scared out of their little minds. In order to overcome this, Candidate B would have to be even more aggressive on the first two points to counteract the last two. 120% to even qualify. Hillary would have to personally promise to kick Assad in the nutsack and punch all the refugees in the face at this point to “not be seen as soft” compared to the others’ rantings. Trump is calling for blatant religious and racial discrimination – what kind of show of badassery do you think voters who really want to hear that will need to accept a Dem?
This is a serious question, Micheal. Considering your recent flip, what would it take for you to go back to the Dems? Specify what “get tough” means – what do you want to hear/see?
It’s hard to know what exactly Michael is proposing here- that larger and larger parts of the country should become more and more like the parts of the country he hates? That we need to get real and acknowledge that America has been reduced to a choice between outright hatred and lukewarm, and we better shut the f**k up and vote for the less awful?
I’ve read Michael’s comments here for years and have enormous respect for his eloquence and insight, but what the republicans are doing is beyond crazy and borders on pure evil. If what he is suggesting is that the rest of us should become a little more like them, then he’s lost me, and worse again, he’s lost himself.
First of all, what “flip?” I’m a Democrat, I give loud support to Hillary as well as money. I just think on a couple of issues Democrats are going Leftwing Tea Party and ignoring the fact that this issue could actually kill us. If we get hit by ISIS between now and November we will be running a “soft-on terror” woman against a”bomb ’em all” male. Look at the polls. Does this seem to you like a good place to be?
Now, you can argue that Hillary is not “soft” but bear in mind that yelling at the TV during a 30 second attack spot doesn’t accomplish anything. Perceptions are a hundred times easier to create than to undo. Right now what the voting public sees is Democrats turning this terrorist war into a mushy love-affair with refugees. Do refugees vote? Is there some great constituency out there that loves Syrians? Do you think a single mom in Colorado gives a damn? She wants higher wages, she wants child care, Syrian refugees are not on her agenda, and we look like the party that cares more about “them” than we do “us.”
After 40 f-king years of trying to get the public to see Democrats as sufficiently “tough” the party is now throwing all that progress away with this one frankly irrelevant issue. Listen: we have our hands around the GOP’s throat. Their eyes are bugging, their tongue is turning blue, and we can kill them, kill the GOP as a national party. For God’s sake, can we please just keep squeezing? Can we for once not be the girl in the horror movie who knocks Jason down and then runs screaming only to be chainsawed five minutes later? Finish the f-king kill.
Democrats need to call for a pause in light of the intelligence failure at Paris. Should have done it days ago before we raced like lemmings over the cliff, but better late than never. We need to walk this back. We need to focus on murdering ISIS. We need to reassure voters that we aren’t so far up our own asses that we prioritize Syrians over working people.
So let me get this straight. Donald Trump wants to:
1) wage aggressive wars
2) build a wall to keep out foreigners, also curtail legal immigration.
3) Let rich people force poor people to sell them their land (eminent domain)
4) persecute a religious minority
5) assume massive executive powers
6) restrict trade
7) not pursue police violence
8) enhance surveillance of every American.
Gee. If only there a label for that kind of political philosophy.
Yes. No sh-t! What Trump and Kasich and others are talking about is dangerous, as I’ve been yelling for days now. And your prescription for fighting evil is? Calling everyone cowards and enjoying the shine on our haloes?
If Americans conclude that we are ‘weak on terror’ we stand a very good chance of losing. We could actually lose to Donald Freaking Trump. And if that happens, just what the hell have you done to stop evil? Narcissism is not politics. Self-congratulation is not politics. Politics is about power not right or wrong, power. Without power it does not matter what the hell you believe because you have no power.
It’s very simple. Do you want Trump or Cruz? Or do you prefer even a compromised, stained, morally-impure Hillary? The choice is never, never, never between Devil and Saint, it is always, always, always lesser of two evils. Our ‘evil’ wants higher wages, child care, medical insurance, an end to police violence, protection for the LGBTQ community, choice for women, protection for “dreamers” and a rational immigration policy. The other evil wants ethnic cleansing in the United States.
Power. Stop vying for sainthood, this is about power. Either Trump/Cruz has power, or Hillary has power. Someone will be nominating a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is just that simple.
Curiously enough, I know a single mom in Colorado. She’s a pediatric nurse, and moved to Colorado in part to get out of the ignorance and hatred of her home state of Texas. For the past few days her Facebook feed has been filled with posts about how to help Syrian refugees and decrying the foul racism of the Republican candidates and governors.
She’s voting for the Democrats because she wants higher wages and childcare, and she knows she’s never getting that from the Republicans. But she’s also voting for Hillary because she remembers what the GOP did in Iraq and Afghanistan when they had power, and she’s not fooled at all by their rhetoric. She knows what they’re about.
A more satisfactory proposal for the Syrian refugee immigration to America is resettlement in a safe zone in the Middle East. It seems commonsense to keep the people in a land they know. It would be more cost effective to feed them and housing them in a area free of fighting, with a tent city, complete with medical treatment for the people and access to all requirement needed for their continued existence.
We are a passionate and kind country, but national security must be the main priority for all Americans? But So far 33 state governors and all but one Republican have made the statement; they do not want President Obama importing terrorists into their State. Yesterday five Syrians were caught in Honduras, with forged passports, making their way to the Southern border. With Obama signaling to the rest of the world, if you can climb a fence, sneak past the US Border Patrol in the middle of the night or walk across hundreds of miles where there are nonexistent barriers that separate us from Mexico, then you will not be returned, especially parents with children? A few days ago the Director of the FBI admitted there is no vetting system to check Syrians coming into this country? It’s quite obvious to me that many extremists have already absorbed into the refugees and immigrants coming here.
California, the Liberalized state of Sanctuary Cities and millions of illegal aliens that arrive through Obama’s refusal to stop the influx, and a wholly confused Gov Brown has the welcome mat out? Brown indicated he will vet the Syrians; along with Barack Obama which means more taxes to pay for people who are most probably faith is Sharia law, which is a serious threat of Judo Christianity? Our Western beliefs do not use women as vessels? Gender discrimination and inequality is an inbuilt problem with the Sharia culture, tradition, and socialization of uncountable populace in the Muslim civilization. It is an issue of gender inequality as disrespect of women, neglect of their rights and privileges, with terrible punishments for those who disobey? Its grave situation when Jerry Brown cannot control the illegal alien invasion—how can he control Islamic nuts with guns?
The State Treasurer just released this report: California Debt is $1.5 TRILLION (and it’s not a Typo). The state is presently sheltering millions of foreign nationals with some suspected to be Muslim criminal cells. The welfare system under such a financial bombardment cannot survive. With no way of vetting those who are hiding within immigrant neighborhood are existing on there wits. The pandering of the invaders must end; the foreign nationals are not the real lawbreaker it is the business owners who are the real criminals. The magnet to draw them here is jobs, and welfare handouts.
TRUMP WILL BUILD THE WALL AND ONCE HE SITS IN THE OVAL OFFICE, HAS PLEDGED TO RESCIND THE MAJORITY OF FORMER PRESIDENT OBAMAS EXECUTIVE ORDERS. NO NEED FOR MASS DEPORTATIONS AND THE MANPOWER TO DO IT WITH COST? WITH MANDATORY E-VERIFY AND A BIO-METRIC VISA TO IDENTIFY TOURISTS AND OTHERS WHO OVERSTAY THEIR TIME HERE, 40 PERCENT OF OVERSTAYS ARE A MAJOR PROBLEM FOR THE IMMIGRATION AUTHORITIES, FOR THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT OVERLOAD.
Once these immigrants are in California they will be able to spread without detection out across the country. Already one Syria “refugee” is already “vanished” in Louisiana. Do we really want to take a chance on a 9/11, a Boston Marathon, another Paris? The Shoe Bomber; The Fort Hood Shooter; The U-SS. Cole Bombers; The Madrid Train Bombers;
The London Subway Bombers; The Moscow Theater Attackers; The Pan-Am flight #93 Bombers;
The first World Trade Center Bombers. There are many more massacres in different countries, by Muslim jihadists.
Do you believe that this soonest ongoing immigrant invasion. Even before the possibility of the Syrian refugees, America has been invaded. I see the ONLY knight in shining armor as hard case Donald Trump. He may be outspoken and has a hard temperament, but the others are too soft, except for Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. He too is forthright on the presidential trail and his performance before the House. Cruz is extremely eloquent, and makes every word count. Additionally other than outsiders Carson and Carly,Ted Cruz has denounced any bill that smells badly of illegal alien amnesty. I and other old servicemen think that Ted Cruz would be a 100 percent perfect Vice President, as a handler with Trump along with other consultants, experts to run a nation that is in turmoil.
Governor Brown had spoken up last Monday, his intention to work closely with President Obama, saying, “ that he can uphold America’s conventional role as a place of asylum, but also guarantee that anyone seeking refuge in America is fully vetted in and entirely reliable way.” While Syrian refugees will still be welcome in California, Brown insisted that any and all measures will be taken to ensure the safety of Californians.”
No, Governor Jerry Brown will not be partnering with a growing list of 30 governors who have said they’re reluctant to accept Syrian refugees in their states.
A mounting hostile response against the politicians and their precincts’ plan to accept thousands of refugees from Syria is currently underway, following Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, France. One of the attackers is believed to have disguised himself as a Syrian asylum seeker as a means of gaining entry into the European community—a disclosure which has stoked concerns over the plan’s impact on our national security.
The Obama Administration insists that all individuals admitted to the United States will undergo a wide-ranging vetting process. Opponents distrust the plan as it lacks of overseas intelligence and data records on the part of Syrian officials.
Brown’s refusal join the other governors is not a big revelation. Among the governors who have opposed the plan, only one is a Democrat. Moreover, legal experts have said the governors have no legal authority to reject the refugees in the first place. however, Congress has some influence by holding back funds–another cost for taxpayers?
There is a plea from the ONE AMERICAN NEWS NETWORK http://www.oann.com/ that needs your help. This is the ONLY News broadcast that is completely free from either the Left or Right influences, as it is none biased of wealthy or liberalized media. This cable network is a balance of national and worldwide news and is under the threat of a giant corporation. The FCC wants to hear your comments on this mega-merger. This is your chance to make a difference and show your support for One America News Network. Charter Communications has a history of offering unfavorable and anti-competitive terms to independent programmers and flatly refuses to carry One America News Network. To allow Charter to rapidly expand when it has had trouble simply running its own business and mistreats independent programmers isn’t good for America’s freedoms.
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. — H.L. Mencken
That’s already the case. ~4.3 million Syrians are in refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Lybia. See:
The potential US refugees are currently in those camps and are selected based on vulnerability (unaccompanied minors, single-mothers with children, those with severe medical conditions, torture survivors and those subject to religious persecution).
Meanwhile, from the other GOP front-runner:
Ben Carson compares Syrian refugees to dogs
Hmm, let’s see.
Databasing the hell out of Muslims and also surveilling them without warrants are no brainers. Conceptually that’s not all that different from FDR’s internment camps. This now is after all WWIII and unlike the Japanese the Islamofascists have zero redeeming qualities. Plus the stakes now actually are higher and the risks greater. The Japanese flew kamikaze missions against military targets in the middle of the ocean. The Islamofascists have already flown kamikaze missions against purely civilian targets in Lower Manhattan. Plus the Japanese circa 1941-1945 didn’t literally want to exterminate all Americans. The Jihadis do wish to exterminate all Americans. Yeah, of course, trust funded and effeminate liberal bloggers and other dopes and poseurs think to the contrary. Proof positive it’s a good idea.
Nowhere in that cited AP article is Trump quoted as saying Muslims should have special ID cards. That appears to be media and also blogger dissonance. But of course no such cards should be issued or ever would be issued. This isn’t Nazi Germany and Muslims aren’t the Jews.
Closing down mosques would be a no brainer, if it’s necessary. Depends upon what they’re preaching. If they’re preaching in a way that doesn’t warrant them being shut down, they shouldn’t get shut down. If however they’re telling their flocks to go and kill their neighbors, then duh, they should be shut down. Without question or hesitation. For the same legal and conceptual reasons for why you criminally can be prosecuted falsely for yelling fire in a crowded theater.
I@michael reynolds: Yes, Michael, we know. Democrats must immediately call for putting Muslims in concentration camps or America will elect a Republican who wants to put Muslims in concentration camps. We’ll still gas brown people to death, but maybe gays can still get married. It will be Fascism but with Starbucks.
What is the plan to determine who is Muslim? Does the government start following everyone to monitor church or prayer habits? Rely on an anonymous tip line? Automatically issue search and wire tap warrants for every American?
Good grief, even a fifth grader can see this is all just impossible.
Oh, and who gets to pay for it, if it were to happen?
So in order to save ourselves from the fascists we must act like fascists?
I’ll pass, thank you.
You mean, duh, like this guy:
The seriously over-the-edge fundies want nothing better than for the End Times to be upon us. Not only do they get to skip the hard parts (google “Rapture”), it also means that humanity can stop screwing around with sinful mortality and cut straight to the Heaven or Hell part. And since none of them are going to Hell…
It’s fascinating to see what it takes to bring out the inner fascist in some people…
This is your so-called party of small government.
Brownshirts wanted – apply within…
Makes you understand the Reichskristallnacht better. That said, I would understand if the French freaked out. But seeing this kind of reaction half a world away is kind of a sad spectacle.
Makes you understand the Reichskristallnacht better. That said, I would understand if the French freaked out. But seeing this kind of reaction half a world away is kind of a sad sight.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Al-Awlaki was basically a foreigner with an American passport. He was not radicalized in a US mosque.
C’mon, Michael. Many Republicans and almost all Democrats are skeptical of Donald Freaking Trump’s ability to comb his hair much less be “strong on terror.”
When did you become such a believer in the Republican sales pitch?
What? When did I start buying Trump’s line? Never.
Jesus, you people aren’t worth the effort. Dig your hole. Elect Trump. Sanctimonious idiots.
This might be the beginning phase of Trump’s exit strategy.
Once the results of the fraudulent Iowa caucuses, and the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries are in, I believe that Cruz, Rubio and Bush will be closing in on Trump’s numbers. The question is who is the beneficiary of Trump’s decline?
Yes, one possible reason we’re not really receptive to your argument is that we’re sanctimonious idiots. Another possible reason is that your argument isn’t very good. Hillary will not win the election by trying to be the biggest blow-hardiest Republican in the room. No one — not the right, not the middle, not the left — is going to buy that.
“Look at the polls!” you say. The election is a year out, there’s nearly a dozen candidates in an undecided Republican primary. The goofball front-runners have three times the support of the establishment’s Great Cuban Hope, and you’re arguing what might happen under a hypothetical worst case scenario.
One doesn’t need to be a sanctimonious idiot to be unconvinced.
@michael reynolds: Also, when I asked, “When did you become such a believer in the Republican sales pitch?” I didn’t mean to ask when you converted to the Dark Side. I mean, when did you start to believe the Republican woo can actually work?
I knew it could work. It was obvious to anyone with any understanding of politics that it could work. And it is terrifying that otherwise intelligent liberals are so far into their own bubble that they even doubt that it could work. It’s not hard to figure out, it’s 2 + 2 = 4.
The confirmation was in the polls. Going in, 44% opposed the refugees. Then came Paris and I suggested that number might go up by about 20%. And behold, it was so.
And I spake thus, saying: it will help UKIP and the National Front and the German right. And behold, it is so.
And I now predict the “which party?” question on terrorism will turn dramatically against the Democrats, and will drag our entire national defense profile downward. Let’s see if I’m right.
Let me make this simple:
Now, let’s see if we can figure out what our top priority should be if we actually give a sh-t about the refugees. Here are the choices:
Which of those results in more help for more refugees?
A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, false binary, black-and-white thinking, bifurcation, denying a conjunct, the either–or fallacy, fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses, the fallacy of false choice, the fallacy of the false alternative, or the fallacy of the excluded middle) is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which only limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option. The opposite of this fallacy is argument to moderation.
The options may be a position that is between two extremes (such as when there are shades of grey) or may be completely different alternatives. Phrasing that implies two options (dilemma, dichotomy, black-and-white) may be replaced with other number-based nouns, such as a “false trilemma” if something is reduced to only three options.
False dilemma can arise intentionally, when fallacy is used in an attempt to force a choice or outcome such as, in some contexts, the assertion that “if you are not with us, you are against us.”
And yet you fail to explain how this is a false choice. And the reason you don’t is that you can’t.
A year from now, the fact that Obama mocked Republicans for being scared of three year old orphans will not be much of a factor in the election.
I know that comment hurt some feelings. But don’t think the Republicans are going to ride to victory on it.
Right. Well, here’s the problem with that, James. Six months from now ISIS hits DC or NYC. See how that might revive the whole “Hillary and Democrats soft on terror” narrative we are busily creating?
You need to remember something: the GOP was able to convince the public that John Kerry was a wimp despite his war record. They were able to convince voters in Georgia that Max Cleland – who lost various limbs fighting for this country – was a wimp. They were able to convince voters that George McGovern – WW2 bomber pilot, for Christ’s sake – was a wimp. Dukakis a wimp because he didn’t know how he’d react if his wife was raped. Gore was a wimp because he sighed.
And now we are running a woman. A woman who, in the midst of this terrorism, appears to have as her chief concern, foreigners, Syrians, people who are not voters, people who are not unemployed machinists in Ohio.
If you do not understand that this is a risk, you don’t understand politics in the US of A. A narrative is being written. It is a narrative of political correctness run amok, of grievance culture, of indifference to the white majority, of hostility to religion, of hostility to the police, of Edward Snowden, of sneering elitist indifference to “Americanism,”, and of softness on terrorism and foreign policy. That is the story as it is taking shape. That is not a story that elects presidents.
The political press is already portraying the White House as being on the defensive on this issue. Hillary will be on the defensive, too. And Mali just extended the whole debate a few more days.
I am right on this, I’ve been right from the beginning, and you are just now seeing the political press catching up. You may not be worried, but I assure you Hillary’s strategists are having a cow. And Ted Cruz is dancing a jig. You’ll see stories confirming both in the next few days.
I remain curious why you think the polling about terrorism and refugees will remain the same or get worse over the next year. We are just about a week out from a major terrorist hit on an ally. Of course there is a bump in paranoia and of course the polls have shifted because of that bump.
A month or two out this will have faded from the news and will no longer be at the forefront of the average American’s mind. As it fades the polling will return to near where it was before all of this.
My guess is that within 3 months polling on Syrian refugees is back to about 50/50 with Republicans still opposed, Democrats still in favor, and Independents near evenly split. Care to bet whose scenario plays out? I’m open to betting booze or pride.
In the event of that unlikely hypothetical your scenario plays out regardless of how Obama or Hillary address the refugee situation, even if they go full ethically rudderless, xenophobic blowhard. Absent your unlikely hypothetical this doesn’t hurt Hillary. Why should we gamble our ethics on 1% chances?
1% is, I think, generous btw.
1) Because narratives once established cannot be un-done easily.
2) Because there is no political constituency beyond Tea Party Liberals who give a damn about Syrians, therefore there is no force sufficient to change the narrative.
And out of curiosity, what would you have said the odds were of 9-11? Or 7-7? Or Paris?
Less than 1%? You’re nuts. There’s a good 10% chance. They’ve got 11 months before election. 11 months, they are clearly motivated, and intel suspects there are ISIS supporters in the US where we will of course make guns available to them. They don’t need bombs, they don’t need sophisticated planning, they just need a couple of Muslim Dylan Klebolds and a mall or a school.
You think there’s just a 1% chance of a shoot-up where ISIS claims credit?
How about in London? How about in Toronto? Both would “feel” domestic. Both would push ISIS to the top of the agenda.
I don’t subscribe to the theory that terrorist attacks make Republicans more electable. That’s something Republicans tell themselves to cover for the fact that they’re out of ideas on this stuff.
Yes, she does have ovaries. She also has experience fighting this fight already, with some success. Her opponents have what, exactly? Some grand strategy they’re hiding behind the talk of mosque closures and refugee camps?
Trust me, man, I’m with you on losing faith with the left on many of these issues, particularly when it comes to their culture war BS. But surely you can see how Trumpism doesn’t actually present an alternative.
That’s the political reality. The White House is on the defensive on this issue. 30 plus Republicans governors have come out against their refugee plan, Congress is actually voting on legislation, and public opinion is hot.
But just because you’re on the defensive doesn’t mean that you’re on indefensible ground. Taking in the refugees isn’t just a humanitarian nicety. It builds trust among our allies and undermines our enemies.
It’s good policy, even if it’s not good PR for a couple of newscycles.
If you’re so confident then take the bet.
If in 3 or 6 months (your choice) this hasn’t faded from the public consciousness and polling has remained stable or gotten worse on the refugee situation I will publicly acknowledge that you were right and I was wrong.
If the hysteria has died down and polling has returned to near 50/50 on the refugee issue you do the same.
We could add a bottle to sweeten the pot if you like.
Prior to 9/11 I wouldn’t have thought the chances were more than about 1%. Of course once something happens, no matter how unlikely, the odds change.
7/7 and Paris I would have given much higher odds because of both geography and large, poorly assimilated, disaffected Muslim populations. France does a particularly poor job with it’s North African and Middle Eastern immigrant populations.
Sans Snowden that has been the narrative pushed by Republicans since at least the 80s and with a few minor changes since the 70s. This isn’t something new.
Honestly? I don’t think it makes any difference. The Republicans wouldn’t consider the Democrats “tough on terror” even if video surfaced of Hillary and Bernie personally pressing the “drop bombs now” button in the cockpit of a B-52 flying over Raqqa.
Obama would take the blame, but he’d take the blame for an attack whether we are admitting Syrian refugees or not, so he might as well do the right thing and continue the program that screens and admits them.
@michael reynolds: So what is it that you’re saying? that
a) we need to be even more batsh*t than the Republicans, so we promise that we’re going to round up all Muslims, force them to register, force them to wear distinctive clothing, and shove them in internment camps? And then we get elected and do that?
b) we need to be even more batch*t than the Republicans, so we promise that we’re going to round up all Muslims, force them to register, force them to wear distinctive clothing, and shove them in internment camps? And then we get elected and turn around and say “ha ha, we lied.”
Either of which as tactics will cause a huge number of Democratic supporters to actively fight against what we’re preaching, and render them liable to go third party. I know I would. And there’s already someone right there, Bernie Sanders, who could do it.
Ergo….I don’t see how swapping a huge bunch of Democratic voters for a bunch of batsh*t Republican fraidy-cat voters results in an advantage. Can you please explain how your strategy works?
P.S. And if the US is so easily swayed into fascism by a terror attack on NYC or Washington, D.C., then let it be done and let us wipe ourselves out. We don’t deserve to exist.
Fiat justicia, ruat coelum.
@michael reynolds: What you’re suggesting is exactly LBJ’s strategy with Vietnam. He knew the war was hopeless, he knew it was a civil war whose outcome had no importance to us — all documented in McNamara’s words in The Fog of War — but he was convinced that if he acted according to his convictions the Republcans would call him soft on Communism — so he amped up the war time and again, believing that as long as he looked tough on Vietnam he could protect his social programs.
Maybe you remember the result — tens of thousands of Americans and uncountable Vietnamese killed or maimed for no reason. And even if you don’t care about that — because you’re the tough realist — let’s look at what happened politically. Johnson was run out of office. HHH’s promising and valuable career was flushed down the toilet. Nixon was elected. And the nation was torn apart for years.
And now you say let’s do it all again. Good plan.
You say tough realist, I say hysterical fantasist, tomatoe, tomatoh….
Mr. Reynolds, now you know what its like to buck the liberal line. I buck this line here when it comes to the illegals coming over and destroying working class wages, and as a New Deal Democrat who hates the GOP, I get flamed as you are now.
I think what Mr. Reynolds is saying and I agree with is there is a huge middle ground between Trump craziness and libs who can’t say “radical Islam”.
Obama maybe could have walked a line with “the spirit and generosity of this country when it comes to taking in the less fortunate is second to none and we are proud of this heritage and we will continue to be beacon of hope, but in this new age of asymmetric warfare, it would behoove us to tread carefully the next few months as these new threats manifest. We will not back down from our tradition of aid and comfort, but we will have to be careful and deliberate so our enemies do not take advantage of our kindness.”
End of story. Straddle the line of toughness and American compassion. Make it harder for the GOP to take shots.
What the libs are now saying with their good intentions IS not commonly shared by the mass of frightened sheep.
We don’t in any way side with Trump or the wingnut fascists. We point out we can be BOTH compassionate AND strong. Instead we libs give the message of naive and soft.
No one hear disagrees that we need to be careful and deliberate. Our disagreement is on what constitutes careful and deliberate. For those of us you are labeling libs (here I’m assuming I’m one), we think that the 2+ year vetting process is careful and deliberate. On the other side, the GOP candidates think that to be deliberate and careful we can’t let a single one in, or that we can only let Christians in. Then there is Michael who thinks that instead of defending the current heavy vetting as careful and deliberate we have to, at least temporarily, give in to irrational fear and say we won’t admit any now.
It is not naive or soft to accept well vetted refugees from a mess largely of our nation’s creation. It is craven and weak to so fear terrorists that we will not accept women and children fleeing from that war zone.
If this is the issue that will decide the election, the Democrats have already lost because the GOP’s status as the “Security Party” has existed unchallenged since Nixon. Now, for my money, and if I were Obama, I would sign the bill blocking the refugees coming in. On the other hand, I’m also the guy who was willing to send Kim Davis to clerk for God and let the GOP drag the world economy into a whirling vortex of US bond defaults (and only had reservations about letting the GOP bankrupt our auto industry because I had friends in Korea who were going to lose their jobs when Hyundai, Kia, and Honda, among others, virtually closed for a year or more while they rebuilt the parts supply network that collapsed with the Big 3). I’m okay with destroying the GOP in order to save it and know that you can’t make omelets without breaking te eggs (collateral damage being a regrettable but necessary feature of change).
My point above being that while I see where you are coming from, people like me (let alone Jenos, Jack, and whoever that new guy is the sock puppet for) may not be the best allies to have for your proposal. That being the case, this is your time to consider and refocus your agenda, Mr. Reynolds