How's this for a Downworthy headline? Earlier this week, the conservative Heritage Foundation sponsored a panel discussion on #Benghazi and a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf asked the panelists a question. What happened next will truly fulfill every negative conservative stereotype you can imagine.
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank doesn't mince words when he describes the Monday afternoon panel as "ugly." The discussion's original purpose was to address "unanswered questions" about the September 2012 attacks on the American Embassy in Benghazi, and featured several prominent email forwarders and #tcot screamers, but it quickly went south. Here's Milbank:
The session, as usual, quickly moved beyond the specifics of the assaults that left four Americans dead to accusations about the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating the Obama administration, President Obama funding jihadists in their quest to destroy the United States, Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton attempting to impose Sharia blasphemy laws on Americans and Al Jazeera America being an organ of "enemy propaganda."
Okay. Normal nutburger stuff. But things got really embarrassing when American University law student Saba Ahmed softly asked a question from the back of the room about how a religion with 1.8 billion global followers, many of whom were devoted to peace, could be characterized as roundly terrorist.
A panelist immediately "pounced," according to Milbank, comparing peaceful Muslims in 2014 to peaceful Germans under the reign of Hitler. Then the whole thing spiraled entirely out of control.
"Where are the others speaking out?" Ahmed was asked. This drew an extended standing ovation from the nearly 150 people in the room, complete with cheers.
The panel's moderator, conservative radio host Chris Plante, grinned and joined in the assault. "Can you tell me who the head of the Muslim peace movement is?" he demanded of Ahmed.
"Yeah," audience members taunted, "yeah."
Ahmed answered quietly, as before. "I guess it's me right now," she said.
Ahmed was undaunted, even though the taunting continued, at one point asserting that her viewpoint was not irrelevant. But by that point, all the braying idiots in the room were too fired up to be talked down.
Why does this matter? This isn't some garage rally sponsored by a local KKK chapter. This isn't a community meeting in Bumblefuck attended by the frustrated, powerless, and racist. This was a panel sponsored by the Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative think tank headed by former Senator Jim DeMint, one of the engines behind the Reagan Presidency. This is one of the most influential hives of conservative thought in the US.
[Update: Here's video, courtesy of Media Matters
Catch things Taking a Turn at 4:15]
Maybe the party, one so shit-scared of a Hillary Clinton Presidency that they're suddenly gone from "legitimate rape" and "rape insurance" bill sponsors to a group of people who are very, very, very publicly concerned about how Clinton dismissed a rape victim thirty years ago should get control of their own behavior.
Or, better yet, keep acting out. It's easier to decipher shouting than dog whistles, anyway.