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PC run amok

I’m not one to get all hysterical about the politically correct assault on the freedom of all Americans to say crypto-bigoted things without being called on it. Sometimes, however, it’s a different story. Like in a post by Courtney Lowery at New West today:

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is gathering heat for the part of his regular alternative energy stump speech in which he referrs to “sheikhs, dictators, rats and crooks” in oil-producing countries.

It’s no surprise that someone would eventually take offense and as Mike Dennison reports for Lee Newspapers today, it’s happened. John Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute in Washington, D.C., tells Dennison that it’s all part of a trend to make Arabs the scapegoats as energy prices soar.

It’s no surprise, but it’s ridiculous. The political and religious leadership of the Middle East (save Israel, of course) is corrupt. That leadership controls the oil produced by the countries in question. Schweitzer is exactly right to attack them. Oh, but Lowery isn’t done:

The surprising part is Schweitzer’s response to the criticism. He says his comments are in no way directed at Arabs. Instead, he says he’s referring to dictators in general. But, he says, “If they’re not supportive of our way of life, if they’re a direct threat to our children or our grandchildren having a better chance at life than we do, then I’m not supporting them.” He’s also quoted as saying the United States should make friends with those who support our “way of life and our values.”


Huh? There’s no huh. I’d rather not make friends with theocrats and dictators. They’re not nice people. Our values are tolerance, freedom, and democracy. All of those things have limits, of course, but no one can argue with a straight face that oil rich theocrats aren’t far beyond even the limits of even the most tolerant among us.

Of course, Lowery doesn’t make the stupidest comment. She was outdone by Zogby:

Zogby said Schweitzer’s statements are especially disappointing because in 1999, while running for the U.S. Senate, Schweitzer had criticized U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., for calling Arabs “rag heads.”

“Now, sadly, it appears the governor has embraced Burns’ Arab-bashing ways,” Zogby wrote in a column that appeared Sunday in Gulf News, a news organization based in the United Arab Emirates.

Racial slurs…attacking the corrupt dictators dominating a region of the world…yep, sound equivalent to me.

The fun continues in the comments of the NW post:

The governor’s comments are an issue because:

–The Islamic press has picked up the story and is making it an issue. Look at another New West story about the Idaho governor where the writer lambastes him for his remarks about New Orleans.

–The Montana governor appears to want it both ways, attacking Senator Burns for intemperate remarks while doing essentially the same thing for populist consumption.

–John Zogby, a noteworthy democrat, has called the governor on it. Reminds me of today’s news about the polar bears chewing on each other.

Let’s see, Gulf News is not the “Islamic press,” the two comments are not comparable, and just because Zogby says something doesn’t it make it worth paying attention to.

Other fun comments include someone defending Hugo Chavez. Yes, he was democratically elected, but Schweitzer can be forgiven, considering Chavez acts like a dictator.

Also, if I may take another swipe at New West, allowing trackbacks is not useful without the URL to ping.

UPDATE: Hey look, WRIM has jumped on the stupid bandwagon with NW. Congratulations.

Categories: Montana, Silliness
  1. June 15, 2006 at 8:52 am

    Extremely well put.

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