On April 17th, Dorrie O’Brien, a local conservative activist and spokeswoman for a political advocacy group called American Congress for Truth, told a Metroplex Republican Women’s organization that most if not all Muslim-Americans were involved in terrorist operations within and without U.S. borders. On May 4th, as guest speaker for the North Tarrant Republican Club, O’Brien reiterated her claim, bemoaning the “Islamization” of America and claiming that Muslim-Americans were trying overthrow our country.
Also at the May 4th engagement, the North Tarrant Republicans allowed 30-year Tarrant County Medical Examiner (and Muslim-American) Nizam Peerwani to rebut O’Brien’s claims, but O’Brien had exited the premises before Peerwani spoke.
O’Brien’s one-sided dialogue on this issue unfortunately typifies the prevailing tendencies of American conservatism and Republican politics over the last eight years or so. There’s the world according to them, wherein they are patriotic, morally superior and righteous, their positions unassailable; and then there’s world according to the rest of us, but our political, philosophical and social divergences are simply wrong, un-American, godless, evil, etc. This is why so many of Bush’s press conferences and town hall meetings were strictly populated with conservative disciples who gushed with weepy-eyed pride no matter what Bush said. His handlers wanted a controlled, homogeneous crowd where objections could not disrupt his talking points.
In the event that contentious views were aired, the Bush Administration made the progenitors of such impieties pay. If you were a general who disagreed with the Bush Administration’s Iraq war strategy, you were forced to retire. If you were the chief contracting officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and you charged that major Pentagon officials exercised questionable favoritism towards Haliburton in regards to military contracts, you got demoted (See Bunny Greenhouse.). If you were a CIA agent whose spouse refuted the Bush Administration’s claim that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs, you got outed (See Valerie Plame.). If you were a U.S. Attorney investigating Republican “super-lobbyists” like Jack Abramoff, you got dismissed (See Frederick A, Black.).
Clearly, the “my way or the highway” approach that Republicans passed off as a higher principle during their recent tenure evidenced an unsettling strain of Fascism, a la Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, et al. The problem is, too many folks in the Red tent still don’t see it for what it was. And this is where O’Brien could really help.
As a member of an American congress for “truth,” O’Brien could encourage her conservative cohorts to actively seek exactly that. If America is on the verge of being “overthrown,” it’s not happening at the hands of Muslim-Americans. It’s happening at the hands of the misguided conservatives and Republicans.
Muslim-Americans didn’t manipulate the conservative-leaning U. S. Supreme Court to abridge our electoral process. The Republicans did. And behind closed doors they’ll tell you the ends justified the means.
Muslim-Americans didn’t suspend habeas corpus, banish due process or trample over our 4th, 5th and 6th Ammendment rights. The Bush White House did, and it didn’t bother them one whit. As Bush himself put it, the U.S. Constitution is “just a goddamned piece of paper.”
Muslim-Americans didn’t push us into repeatedly violating our own laws against torture, much less Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Condi Rice did. And they’re still trying to justify it.
Muslim-Americans didn’t pat Big Oil or the Big 3 automakers on the back and say keep on cranking out those gas-guzzlers because the Carlisle Group goes on forever and the party never ends. Conservatives and Republicans did. And their unrepentant mantra is still “Drill, Baby, Drill!”
Muslim-Americans didn’t try to violate our separation between church and state, deny global warming, illegally wiretap our conversations, ban the teaching of evolution, vilify poor people, demonize gays, marginalize dissenting voices or deregulate our economy until it dove to lows we haven’t seen since the Great Depression. Republicans and conservatives accomplished these feats all the while dressed in their Sunday-go-to-meetin’ best.
If O’Brien is really an advocate of “truth,” I’d like her to think real hard and honestly answer the following question: If Muslim-Americans really wanted to overthrow or undermine the United States of America, is there any way they could possibly be as prolific in this task as conservatives, Republicans and Bush Administration were?