During his White House years, William Jefferson Clinton -- someone Judge Sonia Sotomayor might call a "white male" -- was dubbed "America's first black president" by a black admirer. Applying the standard of identity politics and pandering to a special interest that earned Mr. Clinton that distinction, Barack Hussein Obama would have to be considered America's first Muslim president.
This is not to say, necessarily, that Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim any more than Mr. Clinton actually is black. After his five months in office, and most especially after his just-concluded visit to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, however, a stunning conclusion seems increasingly plausible: The man now happy to have his Islamic-rooted middle name featured prominently has engaged in the most consequential bait-and-switch since Adolf Hitler duped Neville Chamberlain over Czechoslovakia at Munich.
What little we know about Mr. Obama's youth certainly suggests that he not only had a Kenyan father who was Muslim, but spent his early, formative years as one in Indonesia. As the president likes to say, "much has been made" -- in this case by him and his campaign handlers -- of the fact that he became a Christian as an adult in Chicago, under the now-notorious Pastor Jeremiah A. Wright.
With Mr. Obama's unbelievably ballyhooed address in Cairo Thursday to what he calls "the Muslim world" (hereafter known as "the Speech"), there is mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself. Consider the following indicators:
- • Mr. Obama referred four times in his speech to "the Holy Koran." Non-Muslims -- even pandering ones -- generally don't use that Islamic formulation.
- • Mr. Obama established his firsthand knowledge of Islam (albeit without mentioning his reported upbringing in the faith) with the statement, "I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed." Again, "revealed" is a depiction Muslims use to reflect their conviction that the Koran is the word of God, as dictated to Muhammad.
- • Then the president made a statement no believing Christian -- certainly not one versed, as he professes to be, in the ways of Islam -- would ever make. In the context of what he euphemistically called the "situation between Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs," Mr. Obama said he looked forward to the day ". . . when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) joined in prayer."
Now, the term "peace be upon them" is invoked by Muslims as a way of blessing deceased holy men. According to Islam, that is what all three were - dead prophets. Of course, for Christians, Jesus is the living and immortal Son of God.
In the final analysis, it may be beside the point whether Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim. In the Speech and elsewhere, he has aligned himself with adherents to what authoritative Islam calls Shariah -- notably, the dangerous global movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood -- to a degree that makes Mr. Clinton's fabled affinity for blacks pale by comparison.
Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan.
From Washington Times editor emeritus Wesley Pruden's June 5 column:
Mr. Obama's revelation of his "inner Muslim" in Cairo reveals much about who he is. He is our first president without an instinctive appreciation of the culture, history, tradition, common law and literature whence America sprang. The genetic imprint writ large in his 43 predecessors is missing from the Obama DNA. He no doubt meant no offense in returning that bust of Churchill ("Who he?") or imagining that a DVD of American movies was appropriate in an exchange of state gifts with Gordon Brown. Nor did he likely understand why it was an offense against history (and good manners) to agree to the exclusion of the Queen from Saturday's commemoration of the Anglo-American liberation of France. Kenya simply routed Kansas.
The great Cairo grovel accomplished nothing beyond the humiliation of the president and the embarrassment of his constituents, few of whom share his need to put America on its knees before its enemies. No president before him has ever shamed us so. We must never forget it.
Numerous media figures followed a Politico article in noting that President Obama did not use the words "terror," "terrorism," "terrorist," or "war on terror" during his speech at Cairo University, suggesting the omission was notable, but did not discuss possible reasons why Obama chose other words.
Numerous media figures have adopted language reflecting gender and racial stereotypes in reporting about Sonia Sotomayor's temperament and intellect, in many instances relying on anonymous characterizations in Jeffrey Rosen's New Republic piece on Sotomayor.
Several print outlets quoted Sen. Jeff Sessions' call to delay Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing, citing her lengthy judicial record, but did not note that Sessions reportedly urged fast action on Justice Samuel Alito's confirmation process, saying, "You don't have to read everything he's written."
A Washington Times article reported criticisms of Sonia Sotomayor's judicial temperament, but none of those criticisms came from an on-the-record source who knew Sotomayor.
The Washington Times said in an editorial that a reversal of Sonia Sotomayor's Ricci v. DeStefano decision by the Supreme Court would be an "extraordinary rebuke." In fact, it would not necessarily be a rebuke -- as at least one justice indicated support during oral argument for the decision -- nor would it be extraordinary.
The Washington Times claimed that Judge Sonia Sotomayor's statement that the " 'Court of Appeals is where policy is made' ... runs counter to more than 200 years of American legal tradition." In fact, Sotomayor's explanation is in line with federal appellate courts' "policy making" role, as numerous legal scholars have noted.
The Washington Times and CQ Today advanced without challenge the charge that Judge Sonia Sotomayor's reversals, which the Times reported as three of five cases, or 60 percent, are "high." But the Supreme Court has reversed more than 60 percent of the federal appeals court cases it considered each year since 2004.
The Washington Times published an op-ed by John R. Guardiano criticizing Robert Gates' decision to cancel the Future Combat Systems' vehicle program but did not disclose Guardiano's ties to a contractor for the FCS vehicle program.
The Washington Times headlined its article on President Obama's May 17 commencement address "Notre Dame cheers, jeers Obama." The headlines of Times stories on commencement addresses by President Bush did not similarly highlight protesters at those events.
The Washington Times' Frank Gaffney wrote of 17 Uighur detainees currently held at Guantánamo Bay: "There is another group of dangerous aliens Obama seems determined to unleash on the American people." However, the Bush administration reclassified those detainees as "no longer enemy combatants."
Reporting on Robert Gates' decision to end production of F-22 fighter jets, The Washington Times quoted Tom McInerney's claim that Gates "has decimated the Air Force for the future" without noting that McInerney has reportedly served as a consultant to Northrop Grumman, a major subcontractor on the F-22.
Adopting the GOP's emphasis on what Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats knew about the Bush administration's use of harsh interrogation techniques, some in the media have ignored evidence that the Bush administration began using the tactics before briefing Democrats, and that upon learning of them, Rep. Jane Harman unsuccessfully expressed concerns to the CIA.