Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT
If we've confirmed anything this week about the GOP Noise Machine it's that its members' heads pretty much explode at the mere mention of Islam or Muslims in the context of the Obama president. It simply releases the inner loon in all the right-wing players. Unhinged barely begins to describe their mostly comical/hysterical reactions.
We saw it when Obama pointed out to a reporter this week that the United States played home to lots of Muslims, and we've seen the raging undercurrent throughout its collective meltdown over the president's trip to the Middle East.
The sheer xenophobia though, and the blatant disdain for all things Islamic and Arabic, doesn't get much more transparent that this kooky blog post at the Weekly Standard in response to Obama's two-syllable response to the king of Saudi Arabia: "Shukrun," which is Arabic for thank you.
Do we even have to tell you where this spooky Arabic discussion immediately went? From the Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb, under the conspiratorial headline "Does Obama Speak Arabic?":
Obama has said before that he speaks "barely passable Spanish" and "a smattering of Swahili," as well as some Bahasa from his youth in Indonesia. But Obama has at other times denied speaking a foreign language, saying in July of last year, "I don't speak a foreign language. It's embarrassing!"...One wonders if the president hasn't been concealing some greater fluency with the language of the Koran. "
Goldfarb does his best to raise doubts about whether or not Obama secretly speaks Arabic, noting that while in Saudi Arabia he spoke "a little" Arabic.
To recap, Obama uttered "shukrun" in public, but at the Arab-hating Weekly Standard that set off all kinds of alarms bells.
Now, if Goldfarb can just locate Obama's real birth certificate...
UPDATE: Ben Smith at Politico also pretended Obama's "shukrun" was a big deal; that perhaps we're seeing the real Obama now that he's off the campaign trail:
And the remarks before his meeting with King Abdullah, distributed just now by the White House, offer one more thing he wouldn't have done on the trail: Say 'thank you' in Arabic.
Right, because how many Arab heads of state did Obama meet with while campaigning for president in 2008? Oh yeah, none.