Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kidding on the Square, or, Getting a Pass on Being an Ass

Around these parts, Pat Boone is not well-known for his sense of humor. What he IS known for, however, is being an ass. However, despite his tough-guy, "I'm descended from Daniel Boone" persona, Pat frequently doesn't like to actually put his money where his mouth is and explicitly say garbage that could be attributed to, well, himself.

Case in point: his "article" this week, in which he pictures newly-minted President Obama visiting with some random "jihadist dictator", presumably Ahmedinajad. One of the most striking things is how much they seem to stick to the personal insult:

We jihadists have often referred to Jews and Americans – in fact, all non-jihadists – as 'pigs and monkeys.' No offense, just a little humor.

Pause. "Well, OK. I'll pass on that, too. I do appreciate your willingness to dialogue, without any preconditions, and I guess I'm prepared for little slurs like that."

"Oh, it's not a slur. No, we do see you and all like you – who don't realize that we are holy to Allah and commissioned by Him to convert the rest of the world to our view – as subhuman and not worthy of life. Unless you give up your ignorant and blasphemous notions of Jesus and a Hebrew God and bow to Allah as we know him. Perhaps you would like some corn cobs and table scraps?"

Ok, first of all, as much as I think Ahmedinajad and the jihadis are douchebags (and I do), you DO KNOW that Muslims believe Jesus was a Prophet and that Allah and the Hebrew God are the same, RIGHT? I'm not saying they're going to start their own Muslims United for Israel (though if they tinker with it a little, they could get some good acronyms), but damn, at least get the bare-bones theology right. Next you'll be having them rant about how they won't rest until all America bows down before Buddha.

Incidentally, I'm not sure if the corn cobs and table scraps are supposed to be a reference to pigs or blacks. Careful there, Patty.

The silly thing is that all this boils down to the fact that Iran, Hamas, Syria, etc., don't like us very much. Which, of course, we all knew. No one debates this point. The question is to what degree is any of this hatred, disgust, or just dislike in any way malleable, are there really no areas of commonality where anything can be worked out. THAT's the premise of Obama's argument, not that he's going to walk in front of Ahmedinajad's desk and bend over. The fact that Boone's imagined jihadists can't get past calling Obama a pig and monkey just demonstrate how shallow his understanding of the jihadists and Obama is. You can be opposed to almost everything the jihadists believe in while still understanding that their ideology is more complex than, "everyone else is a pig." What purpose does dumbing down our enemies serve?

The other thing is that Pat's pulled this sort of crap before:
Whose voice is it that we hear exclaiming, "Daddy, that Hillary lady looks like Bill Clinton in a pant suit!" And "Mommy, is that Obama or Osama? They sound sort of alike to me." And "Look, Daddy, that little kid Johnny Edwards is trying to be president of the United States!" Who's voice?

Why, it's the conservative media, with childlike clarity, actually telling it like it is, revealing the underbellies and warped political ploys of the liberal favorites! There's Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Reagan, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and a host of other articulate and informed talk-show hosts...Thank God for the other voices, the honest, childlike observations of the biased reality we voters are facing in this country.

...Thank God there are spokesmen and women in the land who can see as if through a child's eyes and help us separate reality from naked ambition.

I came across a term in an Al Franken book a number of years ago called "Kidding on the Square," meaning, "kidding, but not really." Presumably, this is what's going on in this article. And that's ok. But Pat trying to put this garbage in the mouths of Ahmadinajad is also illustrative of how little he thinks of the whole process of diplomacy, and of how much he underestimates Obama as well as the jihadists.

Diplomacy does not solve every problem, but part of any successful fight against the enemy, whether at the bargaining table or on the battlefield, is good intelligence. Reducing everything wrong in the jihadist psyche and ideology to a series of animal insults isn't just stupid, it's dangerous. And all so he can sneak in some more swipes at Obama. I can't help wondering if part of the reason for this waste of keystrokes isn't just that Pat couldn't resist the opportunity to make a "Obama is a monkey" joke without getting slammed for it.

1 comment:

joshwaxman said...

"ignorant and blasphemous notions of Jesus and a Hebrew God and bow to Allah as we know him."

"you DO KNOW that Muslims believe Jesus was a Prophet and that Allah and the Hebrew God are the same, RIGHT?"

Believing that Jesus was a prophet is not the same as believing that Jesus is God. Saying he was a prophet is a way of coopting him -- and by stressing this fact, they can "make nice" to Christians. But certainly they would hold that elevating a human to Divinity is a blasphemous notion... just as Judaism does.