Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Look, I'll take it: first Pam Geller and a handful of other wingnuts distanced themselves from Terry Jones's planned Koran-burning, and now the big guns are doing the same: Palin says Jones shouldn't do it, as does Romney.

I have to give credit to David Petraeus, and maybe the Vatican, for giving these big-name rabble-rousers (though Romney, I guess, is more of a rabble-rouser wannabe) cover to criticize something that seems like a logical extension of everything the angry right has been saying lately. Criticizing the event right away, and without looking over one's shoulder, would have been the courageous, principled thing to do, of course. Then again, Palin isn't the most informed person on the planet -- she may just now be learning about this. Romney, however, is a reasonably well-informed guy, so he has no excuse. But then again, they're both well ahead of most of their party's leadership.

Right-wingers do have some experience distancing themselves from fellow-travelers who go very far beyond the pale (Fred Phelps, David Duke, abortion-doctor murderers). So I suppose this shouldn't be totally unexpected.

But I have to assume that the righties who are tiptoeing away from Jones have gamed the situation out and realized that there's no way even they will be able to plausibly blame any subsequent violence -- against troops, against Western embassies -- on American liberal Democrats; the right is too closely associated with Muslim-bashing right now for the blame not to stick to Palin, Romney, and Geller's own side, despite the efficiency of the right's propaganda machine.

So they're rejecting Jones. That's nice. But there's a lot of craziness and rage they and the rest of the right still ought to renounce.

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