With the battle for gay marriage possibly lost forever if the U.S. Supreme Court reverse the 6th Circuit's ruling and finds a constitutional right to same sex marriage, the GOP is in dire need of a new bogey man to frighten and stir up its hate driven base. Yes, battles will still rage over employment protections and other issues needed for full legal equality, but as more gays marry and are seen as having families and even children, GOP scare tactics will fall increasingly flat outside of hate groups like The Family Foundation and the National Organization for marriage. So what's a political party based on hate mongering like the GOP to do? Find a new target and, as a piece in The Daily Beast predicts, that target will be Muslims. Here are article highlights:
Now that Republicans realize that the fight over gay marriage is over, they’re pivoting back to the old reliable: Muslims. It’s true that Muslim-bashing among Republicans is hardly new, but I think that as 2016 approaches we’re going to see even more of it as candidates try to outflank one another.
The latest example was Louisiana Governor’s Bobby Jindal’s speech on Monday in London. Jindal told the audience that there are “no-go zones” in Europe where Muslims have in essence carved out Islamic “autonomous” zones that are ruled by Koranic law and where non-Muslims fear to tread. His point, of course, was to warn Americans that Muslims could try the same thing in the United States.
Now if that concept sounds familiar it’s because last week Fox News served up this same rancid red meat to its viewers.
The backlash to these comments was swift. Even British Prime Minster David Cameron responded, “When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fools Day. This guy is clearly a complete idiot.”
Fox News stirring up fear of Muslims is nothing new. In fact, in my view it’s part of Fox’s business model since its viewers hold the most negative views of Muslims of any cable news audience. Fox is simply giving their viewers what they want to see.
But a few days ago, Fox did something truly shocking. They apologized for making the claims about Muslim in the past, candidates trying to garner support from these right wing voters could use opposition to gay marriage to curry favor.-controlled “no-go zones” in Europe. In fact, they apologized not once, but four times, and admitted unequivocally that these “no-go zones” don’t even exist.
Yet even though the Fox retractions occurred days before Jindal delivered his speech, that didn’t stop him from asserting the same baseless claims.
[I]in the past, candidates trying to garner support from these right wing voters could use opposition to gay marriage to curry favor. . . . . Polls, however, now show a majority of Americans support gay marriage. And even the Mike Huckabees of the GOP would have to admit that after the Supreme Court announced Friday that it is considering the constitutionality of same-sex marriage this term, gay marriage will likely soon be the law of the land. Bottom line: gay marriage will probably be dead as an issue capable of rallying conservative voters.
So what do you do if you are a Republican candidate seeking conservative votes? Simple. Bash Muslims. We are truly an easy target.
If I’m right, what can we expect to see as the 2016 presidential race heats up? More speeches like Jindal’s designed to stir up fear with no factual support. His remarks were applauded by conservative ++Larry Kudlow in The National Review.
Even more comments like the ones recently made by Oklahoma State Representative John Bennett that Muslims are a “cancer” that must be cut of our country and that Muslim-Americans are not loyal to the United States but to the “constitution of Islam.” Bennett received a standing ovation from the conservative audience that heard these remarks, and the Oklahoma GOP Chair even backed him up.
The more conservative parts of the GOP base tend to vote in higher numbers in the primaries. So don’t’ be surprised when you see Republican candidates trying to get their attention with this cut of red meat.