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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Comments

Daniel Greenfield @ Sultan Knish blog
My remark about psychoanalyzing on a tangent was addressed to a commenter who accused me and other Perry critics of being secret Christian haters. I think that was a fairly civil response to that.
Daniel Greenfield @ Sultan Knish blog
As a governor of a state with a major Muslim population, Perry had more reason to interact with Muslims. But somehow I doubt that Bachmann or Palin would have been delivering homilies about Islam after 9/11. Certainly they weren't doing it in 2010. Of course we'll never know, but this is the old 'record' debate, and it only goes so far. Record or no record, candidates still get judged on what they said and did. Pawlenty faced the same scrutiny and I didn't see any major objections to those questions being raised. Certainly it helped lead him to more explicitly disavow Sharia. It didn't satisfy everyone, but it was a start. I am not endorsing Bachmann or Perry, but I believe those questions should be asked now.
Daniel Greenfield @ Sultan Knish blog
Finally as I said before, I respect you and I have no desire for this argument. I wrote because I thought the subject deserved some examination. I considered not writing that piece knowing there would be a backlash, but I believe having this discussion out there is more important than doing another article on how awful Obama is.
yeshiva son
Do you really think there is any possible way that a candidate who openly said the things that you want them to say could possibly get elected? I don't disagree with you in principle but in practice I think it's not realistic. They would be torn to shreds.
Tom Glennon
"I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America." Alexis de Tocqueville
Yael
Daniel, I apologize. I thought you were directing the "psychoanalyzing" comment to me when you weren't. My mistake. As for the rest of it, I would have much preferred another article on how awful Obama is, but I guess that's just me:) Look, I'm not defending Perry simply because he's my guy (which he is); I've felt compelled to defend him in this because you leapt from insubstantial and circumstantial bits and pieces to very serious, even alarming, accusations that simply don't hold water. I see no pattern of anti-American actions, nor do I even see that Perry specially "celebrates" Islam, and I don't understand how you would have the governor of Texas deal any differently than he has, with the Muslims in his state, this country and around the world. You've shown no one-to-one correspondence to actual jihad in his associations and your charge that Perry is liable to favor sharia law over and above American law is to me abject conjecture that has already misled dozens if not hundreds of readers. I have no objection to scrutiny for its own sake, but I do strongly object when I see that someone unjustly defamed on the basis of specious appearances. You have always been so thoughtful and thorough, that I've come to expect nothing less, and so I was shocked and disheartened to see you on a path blazed by those less thoughtful, less thorough and for whom I have less respect.
Daniel Greenfield @ Sultan Knish blog
Can a candidate get elected while stating that Islam promotes violence and needs to reform. I think it's possible. We'll find out more in the primaries.
Daniel Greenfield @ Sultan Knish blog
I did state very clearly that I'm not attacking Perry, that the material is preliminary and that it's too early to draw any final conclusions. At the same time I also cited documented material and his own words. I did not accuse him of a pattern of anti-american actions. I didn't accuse him of Jihad and I didn't state that he would favor Sharia law over American law. What I said, summed up in one sentence, is that Perry's position on Islam is much like Bush's. And that there are candidates who have gone beyond that. I have no problem with seeing a refutation of that.
Daniel Greenfield @ Sultan Knish blog
Finally nothing in this debate should be taken as an attack on you. I don't represent anyone's agenda. I am just laying out my observations with the caveat that they are not final, but that they are part of a discussion.
Mannie Sherberg
I'm the commenter who, according to Daniel Greenfield, "accused" him and others of "being secret Christian haters." The comment in which Daniel made this claim against me indicates that he is, apparently, a much better writer than he is a reader. A careful reading of my earlier comment would disclose that I accused no one of anything. I wrote that I "suspected" -- not "accused." And I used the verb "resent" -- not "hate." I spoke not of Christianity per se, but of "evangelical Christianity"; as Daniel surely knows, "Christianity" comprises a great deal more than its American evangelical denominations. At one point I clearly indicated the conjectural nature of my remarks by writing "If that's what they truly resent," and I went even further and wrote that "I may well be completely wrong in this surmise"; it is a strange reading of English that converts "surmise" into "accuse." Be that as it may, I am in no way responsible for Daniel's misconstruing what I wrote, and I have no apology for what I wrote. My earlier comment stands. More troubling than Daniel's misreading, however, is his claim in another comment that if one calls someone a patriot even though that someone refers to Islam as "a wonderful religion of peace," one must also conclude that that someone is an "idiot." By what convoluted logic did Daniel reach that conclusion? When Governor Perry called Islam a religion of peace, it wasn't because he's an idiot -- it was because he's a politician. All successful American politicians on the national stage occasionally mouth what can only be described as bilge. G. W. Bush did it whenever he referred -- as he did with some frequency -- to Islam as a religion of peace. Such rhetoric may be opportunistic and self-serving, but it is not idiotic; it is what successful politicians do to attain and hold on to office. These politicians aren't idiots; they're simply proving that they're aware of the messy diversity of American politics. This kind of rhetoric doesn't impugn their love of country or their intelligence; it simply proves that one cannot succeed at national politics without sometimes saying things that are distasteful or even downright false. Those voters who pine for moral purity and guilelessness and irreproachability in American politics are doomed to disappointment. Ronald Reagan did something much more reprehensible morally when he approved the Iran-Contra program, but surely none of us would today say that he was thereby unfit to be president. Presidents are neither saints nor guardian angels; they are fallible humans. The most we can ask of them is that, on balance, they do, to the best of their ability, what is in the best interests of the United States -- and that, when the chips are down, they do the right and honorable thing. Those of us who demand more are, I believe, being unfair as well as unrealistic.
Daniel Greenfield @ Sultan Knish blog
A Republican can get elected in Texas without calling Islam a Religion of Peace.
Rick Richman
This post and the string of comments caused me to re-read George W. Bush's September 20, 2001 address to Congress, in which he said: "We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions -- by abandoning every value except the will to power -- they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies." I think that is right, and sufficient, and that it is a category mistake to think what is needed is to demonize anyone saying anything nice about Islam.

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