The Inevitable Consequences of Anti-Islam One-upmanship
Monday’s Republican presidential debate included a troubling segment in which all of the candidates (with the notable exception of Mitt Romney) tried outdo the others in proving their “anti-sharia” bona fides.
After Herman Cain tried and failed (again) to explain his support for making any Muslim appointees to his cabinet swear a “loyalty oath,” Newt Gingrich stepped in and pushed the envelope even more, seemingly suggesting a return to the Red Scare mass paranoia tactics of the 1940s and 50s. Think Progress has the video:
GINGRICH: I just want to comment for a second. The Pakistani who emigrated to the U.S. became a citizen, built a car bomb which luckily failed to go off in Times Square was asked by the federal judge, how could he have done that when he signed — when he swore an oath to the United States. And he looked at the judge and said, “You’re my enemy. I lied.” Now, I just want to go out on a limb here. I’m in favor of saying to people, if you’re not prepared to be loyal to the United States, you will not serve in my administration, period. We did this — we did this in dealing with the Nazis and we did this in dealing with the communists. And it was controversial both times, and both times we discovered after a while, you know, there are some genuinely bad people who would like to infiltrate our country. And we have got to have the guts to stand up and say no.
Not only is this horribly offensive and unconstitutional, it doesn’t even make sense. Adam Serwer breaks it down:
So in other words, loyalty oaths are useless, because a genuine radical will simply lie. Gingrich, for some reason, regards this as an argument for making Muslims who want to work in government take special loyalty oaths, rather than an example of how pointless they are.
Every time I think I’ve seen a new low in anti-Muslim babbling, I seem to be proven wrong.