By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
And here I thought that the Washington Times was making a concerted effort to steer away from its roots as a fringe, niche publication. Well today, commentator Frank Gaffney dragged them off the sanity wagon.
Gaffney has an op-ed suggesting Barack Obama is "America's first Muslim president." First he frames his argument as symbolic, as Bill Clinton was often referred to as America's first black president. "This is not to say, necessarily, that Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim any more than Mr. Clinton actually is black."
Then Gaffney pivots and...says Barack Obama actually is a (secret) Muslim. (No, actually it's not a direct pivot: First Gaffney compares the president to Adolf Hitler. Seriously.)
With Mr. Obama's unbelievably ballyhooed address in Cairo Thursday to what he calls "the Muslim world" (hereafter known as "the Speech"), there is mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself.
His pieces of "evidence" include the fact that Obama makes nice with the locals and his audience by using their religious lingo. As the Washington Independent's David Weigel notes:
Did Gaffney contact Ben Rhodes, the very white and very non-Muslim speechwriter who did plenty of work on this speech? Does he actually think that stretching to use local or religious rhetoric is proof that the speaker is hiding his secret connections?
Or as Matthew Yglesias observes:
By this standard, I suppose I'm only pretending to be Jewish since when I find myself in a church (visiting a nice cathedral, say, or attending a friend's wedding) I try to comport myself correctly.
Gaffney, Weigel also notes, is from the Obama's-not-a-natural-born-citizen conspiracy camp. He's also a national security commentator not infrequently seen as a talking head on cable networks. Matt Duss also has some good stuff on the nuttery here.
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