Cheered on by Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media, conservative activists spent the past year engaged in an anti-Muslim campaign that included efforts to block the planned Islamic center in lower Manhattan and demonize the imam spearheading the project. The bigotry has culminated in a Florida pastor's now-"suspended" plans to burn Qurans on September 11 -- plans that the pastor has explicitly linked to the controversy over the Islamic center.
In an August 20 Washington Times op-ed, Jeffrey Kuhner wrote that President Obama is "a cultural Muslim who is promoting an anti-American, pro-Islamic agenda." Kuhner also stated that Obama is "openly anti-Israel" and that Obama's recent comments about the proposed Islamic center "unmasked him as a president who favors Muslim interests over those of the American people."
The Washington Times also included this illustration:
Behind Obama Muslim myth stands the right wing
Kuhner's latest anti-Obama tirade: Obama is a "cultural Muslim" who is "betraying the Jews"
Wash. Times' Kuhner baselessly smears NYC imam as an "unrepentant militant Muslim"
Two recently released polls show that an increasing number of Americans believe the falsehood that President Obama is a Muslim. According to the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of people who believe this false claim cite the media as the source of that information -- and, indeed, the right-wing media have incessantly promoted this lie.
In a Washington Times column, Jeffrey Kuhner baselessly smeared Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is leading the initiative to build an Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero, as an "unrepentant militant Muslim." In fact, Rauf has condemned terrorism and has been widely described as "moderate."
Media conservatives have responded with a torrent of unhinged rhetoric to an Arizona judge's ruling that blocked parts of the state's immigration law from taking effect. For example, Rush Limbaugh suggested the ruling would prevent the state from defending itself from an "invasion," and Jeffrey Kuhner suggested Arizona should consider secession.
The "summer of rage" heats up in The Washington Times' editorial pages today, with two op-ed contributors -- who both suffer acutely from Obama Derangement Syndrome -- calling for President Obama's impeachment.
First up is former GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo, who has previously said that Obama was elected due to the lack of a "civics literacy test" requirement for voting. In his Washington Times op-ed -- titled, "The case for impeachment" -- Tancredo calls Obama "a more serious threat to America than al Qaeda" who "consciously and brazenly disregards his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution."
The crux of Tancredo's "case for impeachment" would be laughable if it wasn't so dishonest. Tancredo argues that Obama's "most egregious and brazen betrayal of our Constitution was his statement to Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, that the administration will not enforce security on our southern border because that would remove Republicans' desire to negotiate a 'comprehensive' immigration bill."
Why is this so dishonest? Because not only has the White House flatly denied Kyl's accusation, but Kyl himself reportedly walked back that accusation, saying that his comments were "taken a bit out of context" and referred to "the president's base" and not the administration.
Tancredo's "case for impeachment" is further undermined by the fact that the Obama administration -- as Media Matters has documented -- has taken numerous steps to boost border security and immigration enforcement. Indeed, the Los Angeles Times reported in June that the Obama administration "has outdone its predecessor on border enforcement spending and on deportations."
That brings us to chronic ODS sufferer Jeffrey Kuhner, whose unhinged attacks on Obama have found a welcome home in The Washington Times. In his latest anti-Obama screed, Kuhner declares: "Obama has betrayed the American people. Impeachment is the only answer. This usurper must fall."
Kuhner's case for impeachment is predictably based on a litany of falsehoods. He falsely claims that the health care reform bill included the infamous "Cornhusker Kickback" -- which, in reality, was removed from the bill. He falsely suggests that the health care bill contains federal funding for abortion, which he insists will result in "a cultural civil war." Kuhner falsely claims that the compensation fund agreed to by BP and the Obama administration for those affected by the oil spill was an example a private company's assets being "raided to serve a political agenda." He then completely baselessly asserts that "much of" the money will be distributed "to Democratic constituents."
And Kuhner's just getting started.
In his latest display of Obama Derangement Syndrome, Jeffrey Kuhner wrote in a July 8 Washington Times op-ed that President Obama is "betraying the Jews" and that Obama "is a cultural Muslim whose sympathies lie with the Islamic world in its life-death struggle against Israel."
The Washington Times also included this photo illustration:
From Kuhner's July 8 op-ed:
President Obama is betraying the Jews. He is a cultural Muslim whose sympathies lie with the Islamic world in its life-death struggle against Israel. Unless American Jews wake up and speak out against Mr. Obama's pro-Arab, anti-Israel policies, the Jewish state faces a possible nuclear war -- and even annihilation.
Mr. Obama is the anti-Bush. He is virulently anti-Israel, championing appeasement toward radical Islam. The reason lies in Mr. Obama's background and worldview - one that makes him uniquely unqualified to prosecute the war on terror.
During his youth, Mr. Obama was raised and educated as a Muslim. His father and stepfather were Muslims. When Mr. Obama attended a Catholic school in Indonesia, he was registered as an Indonesian citizen and "a Muslim." In public school, he was also identified as practicing Islam. Under the name "Barry Soetoro," he was compelled to take daily Islamic religious instruction, recite prayers, study the Koran and learn Arabic. His former classmates and teachers remember him as a devout Muslim.
In short, Mr. Obama seeks to coddle the Islamic world. The result is that Iran is on the verge of acquiring the bomb. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- like all fanatics -- is a serious man. He vows to slay the Jews of Israel once and for all. Mr. Obama is not some grand peacemaker. Rather, he is a naive, foolish leftist who - blinded by his ideological and cultural blinkers -- is playing right into the blood-soaked hands of America's enemies.
In recent weeks, conservative media have been consumed by "Obama Derangement Syndrome," accusing President Obama of being insane, of colluding with Russian spies, of trying to create a civil war and implement one world government, among other things, while also claiming that his administration is trying to control everything under the sun, including the Internet and, inexplicably, your toilet.
Right-wing media have absurdly claimed that the Obama administration is "illegal[ly]" "forcing" BP to fund a $20 billion escrow account for victims of the oil spill, with some suggesting the administration's actions were "unconstitutional." However, BP agreed on its own to establish the account after negotiations with the White House.
From the June 15 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:
Loading the player reg...
Jeffrey Kuhner has hurled an impressive amount of hateful rhetoric over the past few years -- for instance, as editor of the now-defunct Insightmag.com website, he forwarded the false claim in 2007 that Barack Obama attended a Muslim madrassa as a child in Indonesia. But rarely has Kuhner gone as far as he did yesterday, when he claimed on a nationally syndicated radio show that Obama secretly wants "the Jews to be wiped off the face of the Earth."
To return to Kuhner's history of bizarre smears against Obama: Kuhner absurdly stood by the madrassa claim even as it was discredited. When Insight folded, Kuhner somehow was allowed to move over to its sister operation, The Washington Times, where he was given a weekly space to do things like falsely smear Elena Kagan and wildly claim that Obama represents "liberal fascism."
Kuhner also has a side gig as a radio host, appearing not only on a small radio station in Washington, D.C. (clips of which are posted on the Times' website), but also as a substitute host for Michael Savage (a man who has also spewed an impressive amount of hateful rhetoric). Kuhner has used that national platform to declare that Sonia Sotomayor believes "America is a racist, sexist, homophobic and misogynist society" and that "The pill and the condom have been the hammer and sickle of cultural Marxism, and in its path, it is now destroying American culture."
Which brings us to Savage's June 14 show, which Kuhner guest-hosted. After a caller declared that Obama "pays deference to terrorists like Ahmadinejad and other fascists," Kuhner agreed that Obama "secretly admires Ahmadinejad," declared that the caller "stumbled onto something that most people are overlooking," then launched into his idea of a history lesson:
KUHNER: Look, let's put our cards on the table, as the Germans would say. As I said, I'm a student of the 1930s, I'm a historian. I'm not some right-wing entertainer like some other talk show hosts. I know what I'm talking about. FDR admired Hitler. This is what the liberals don't want you to know. Neville Chamberlain, the prime minister of Britain, admired Hitler.
Really? Franklin Roosevelt admired the guy he went to war against?
But Kuhner wasn't done. After ranting about Woody Allen and Tom Friedman's alleged enthusiasm for dictatorships, Kuhner again claimed that Obama admires Ahmadinejad -- then expanded his attack further:
From the June 14 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:
When Matt Drudge characterized President Obama saying the word "ass" during a recent interview as him going "street," a few in the media -- including Fox News' Juan Williams -- noted that Drudge's language was racially-tinged. Well, Jeffrey Kuhner took it one step further in his Washington Times column, calling Obama's comment "street-gangster language more befitting a community organizer in the South Side of Chicago." From the June 10 column:
President Obama has degraded the office of the presidency - once again. Coming under increasing criticism for his inept handling of the BP oil spill, Mr. Obama is resorting to being vulgar in the hope of appearing tough to the American public.
In a recent interview on NBC's "Today Show," Mr. Obama responded to critics who charge that his reaction to the spill should be more engaged and forceful.
"I was down there a month ago, before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf," the president said. "And I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar; we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick."
Really? Mr. Obama should be ashamed of himself. Presidents historically have used salty, even profane language in private discussions - Andrew Jackson, Harry Truman and Richard Nixon being the most notable. Yet in public statements, they understood the need to represent the dignity and decorum of the Oval Office. Every president has - until Mr. Obama.
The presidency is not just the highest office in the land; it embodies the collective will of America's democracy. Mr. Obama occupies a sacred and noble position entrusted by the American people. His comments convey utter contempt for the office he occupies. This is street-gangster language more befitting a community organizer in the South Side of Chicago than the leader of the Free World. It is political posturing masquerading as decisive leadership.
Mr. Obama's seminal flaw is that he lacks any executive experience. He is unable to govern effectively because he has never had to do so. He has never run a business, a town or a state. In fact, he has never run a lemonade stand. His entire adult life has been spent in the bureaucratic class - as a community organizer, radical professor or politician. He has been part of the nonproductive segments of society, the parasitical elements living off the wealth of the private sector.
Right-wing media are comparing false allegations that the White House "bribed" Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) with an administration job to the Watergate scandal. In fact, legal experts have rejected the claims that such offers are a bribe or are illegal.
In a Washington Times column, Jeffrey Kuhner repeatedly attacked Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan by calling her, for example, an "incompetent apparatchik," "corrupt," and "anti-capitalist." In addition to these attacks, Kuhner forwarded numerous debunked falsehoods about Kagan's positions and record.