OBAMA MAKES FIRST EVER MOSQUE VISIT, DRAWS UGLY FIRE FROM
RUBIO, by Steve Benen
President Obama...made his first visit to a mosque since getting elected, delivering remarks at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, and in the process showing some real leadership on an important issue.
"If we're serious about freedom of religion--and I'm speaking now to my fellow Christians who remain the majority in this country--we have to understand an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths," the president explained. "And when any religious group is targeted, we all have a responsibility to speak up. And we have to reject a politics that seeks to manipulate prejudice or bias, and targets people because of religion."
It was a message of inclusion and respect, a defense of religious liberty, and an explicit reminder to Muslim Americans that they are part of the fabric of the nation. "If you're ever wondering whether you fit in here, let me say it as clearly as I can, as President of the United States: You fit in here," Obama said. "You're right where you belong. You're part of America, too. You're not Muslim or American. You're Muslim and American."Marco Rubio, who apparently wants to be president of just some of the American people, was having none of this inclusiveness.
"I'm tired of being divided against each other for political reasons like this president's done," Rubio said. "Always pitting people against each other. Always."Was he listening to the same speech I was?
"Look at today--he gave a speech at a mosque," Rubio continued. "Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims. Of course there's going to be discrimination in America of every kind... It's this constant pitting people against each other--that I can't stand that. It's hurting our country badly."May I just say "What the hell?!"
"There's going to be discrimination in America..." This gets a shrug? Shouldn't a man who wants to be president be saying that discrimination is wrong and we need to do more as a people to overcome this human frailty? Instead we get "Oh, you know, boys will be boys."
And if he thinks "pitting people against each other" is really "hurting our country badly," he needs to get that message out to his fellow Republicans.
...New York (Magazine's) Jon Chait (said), "Obama and Rubio follow very different theories of the proper treatment of social minorities. One of those men is president of the United States, and the other has no business holding that position."Maybe Rubio's problem is that his audio comprehension skills are underdeveloped. Or maybe he made his remarks before his script writers could craft a response for him to memorize. Either way, Jon Chait hit the nail on the proverbial head.
You can read Mr. Benen's full article here.