Pamela Geller, the once-obscure right-wing blogger known for peddling hateful, wildly over-the-top rhetoric (she once claimed that Barack Obama was the bastard stepchild of Malcom X) and for pulling stunts like taping a harangue against Muslims while clad in a bikini, has parlayed the anti-mosque hysteria sweeping across America into mainstream media attention just in time to promote her new book, The Post-American Presidency.
Geller and co-author Robert Spencer have been relentlessly promoting the “nontroversy” over the Park 51 project. According to a profile in the Guardian, the pair have “been at the forefront of drumming up opposition to the center, two blocks from Ground Zero, through an array” of organizations like the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop Islamisation of America (SIOA). The groups “have become increasingly influential as conservative politicians exploit anti-Muslim sentiment before November's congressional and state elections.”
The groups’ ideology is reminiscent of the reckless demagoguery of Joe McCarthy. According to the Guardian, AFDI “says it is fighting ‘specific Islamic supremacist initiatives in American cities’ and hunting down ‘infiltrators of our federal agencies'." SIOA, which bills itself as a human rights organization "is tied to a similar group, Stop Islamisation of Europe, which goes by the motto: ‘Racism is the lowest form of human stupidity, but Islamophobia is the height of common sense.’"The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg calls Geller a “lunatic racist,” and laments the “very depressing” fact that despite being “a marginal nutbag… it seems as if she's setting the national agenda now on matters related to Islam and religious freedom.” Spencer previously penned several books advancing dark conspiracy theories about Islam, including Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs. He’s also the proprietor of Jihad Watch, a wingnut Web site that helped raise thousands of dollars to pay for a controversial ad campaign smearing the Park 51 project on New York City buses.
Roy Edroso has an article in Alternet that posits that "as the evangelical Right's influence has declined, conservatives are adhering to another religion -- one based on the scribblings of a sociopath."
Up until a few years ago, right-wingers who needed to believe in something larger than themselves chose Jesus. But with the evangelicals fading from the Republican coalition, and Obama's social programs making the whole "compassionate conservative" thing suspect, it look like Jesus is out and Ayn Rand is in.
Yes, Ayn Rand, author of big books about noble capitalists who triumph over the masses, and tomes of "philosophy" like The Virtue of Selfishness, in which she beat Gordon Gekko to Greed is Good by decades. Rand always seemed like a good fit for conservatives, but until recently their fandom was a love that dared not speak its name -- either out of fear that the born-agains would be alienated by Rand's atheism, or that literate people would giggle at them.
What happened? The Republican collapse, and the arrival of an activist liberal administration in D.C., set conservatives scrambling for compelling new story lines to sell the public. Jesus, unfortunately, had been rendered inoperative by all the family-values Republicans caught in sex scandals. With Him out of the way, the atheist, market-worshiping Rand was their best bet.
The transition has been seamless. Glenn Beck regards Rand as a prophet. Tea Party people carry her name on signs. Rightbloggers talk, seriously it would seem, about Going Galt -- a phenomenon previously known as "early retirement," but now judged a political act of resistance against the socialism of our moderate Democrat president.
They're the wave of the future, so let's get to know the Randroids.
To find out what kind of people Randroids are, check out Edroso's article, 10 Shameless Right-Wing Attributes to Ayn Rand That Should Make Any Same Person Blush.
It is interesting that the Libertarian Ron Paul just came out with a statement regarding the the construction of an Islamic Center and Mosque in New York City. He calls the controversy "grandiose demagoguery."
In my opinion it has come from the neo-conservatives who demand continual war in the Middle East and Central Asia and are compelled to constantly justify it.
They never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for the ill conceived preventative wars. A select quote from soldiers from in Afghanistan and Iraq expressing concern over the mosque is pure propaganda and an affront to their bravery and sacrifice....
If Islam is further discredited by making the building of the mosque the issue, then the false justification for our wars in the Middle East will continue to be acceptable.
The justification to ban the mosque is no more rational than banning a soccer field in the same place because all the suicide bombers loved to play soccer....
The outcry over the building of the mosque, near ground zero, implies that Islam alone was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. According to those who are condemning the building of the mosque, the nineteen suicide terrorists on 9/11 spoke for all Muslims. This is like blaming all Christians for the wars of aggression and occupation because some Christians supported the neo-conservatives’ aggressive wars.
The House Speaker is now treading on a slippery slope by demanding a Congressional investigation to find out just who is funding the mosque—a bold rejection of property rights, 1st Amendment rights, and the Rule of Law—in order to look tough against Islam.
This is all about hate and Islamaphobia.
We now have an epidemic of “sunshine patriots” on both the right and the left who are all for freedom, as long as there’s no controversy and nobody is offended.
Political demagoguery rules when truth and liberty are ignored.
Ron Paul along with former George W. Bush solicitor general Ted Olson both know that this issue shouldn't be political or fueled by fear and hate.