Al Qaeda Didn’t Get Republican Memo That Obama Is A Muslim and Terrorist

Despite the claims of Barack Obama being a Muslim and palling around with terrorists, al Qaeda is not very happy with his victory. After having had an American president who has done exactly what they wanted for the past seven years in response to the 9/11 attack, they saw the candidate they preferred, John McCain, go down to defeat. Instead of having a president ignorant enough to play into their hands at every step, they must face a president who actually understands what is going on in the world. They have now released a message responding to Obama’s election:

Al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader used a racial epithet to insult Barack Obama in a message posted Wednesday, describing the president-elect in demeaning terms that imply he does the bidding of whites.The message appeared chiefly aimed at persuading Muslims and Arabs that Obama does not represent a change in U.S. policies. Ayman al-Zawahri said in the message, which appeared on militant Web sites, that Obama is “the direct opposite of honorable black Americans” like Malcolm X, the 1960s African-American rights leader.

In al-Qaida’s first response to Obama’s victory, al-Zawahri also called the president-elect—along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice—”house negroes.”

Speaking in Arabic, al-Zawahri uses the term “abeed al-beit,” which literally translates as “house slaves.” But al-Qaida supplied English subtitles of his speech that included the translation as “house negroes.”

The message also includes old footage of speeches by Malcolm X in which he explains the term, saying black slaves who worked in their white masters’ house were more servile than those who worked in the fields. Malcolm X used the term to criticize black leaders he accused of not standing up to whites.

What is quite amazing about this is that, while al Qaeda prefers the foreign policy of George Bush and John McCain, as John Cole noted in linking back to this previous post, al Qaeda is adopting the racial attitudes of Ralph Nader.

The report concludes with an item which demonstrates my point from this post written yesterday:

But Obama’s professions of support for Israel during the election campaign “confirmed to the Ummah (Islamic world) that you have chosen a stance of hostility to Islam and Muslims,” al-Zawahri said.

While some Republicans are deluded to think they can con Jewish voters into voting Republican with their claims that Obama would not support Israel, Jewish voters overwhelmingly rejected this claim and backed Obama. While the Republican view on Obama’s support for Israel hardly matters, it is significant that groups such as al Qaeda do understand that Obama will support Israel, which might act as a deterrence. Should al Qaeda attack, Obama will retaliate against them directly, and not attack the wrong country as George Bush did.

Kathleen Parker Continues Assault on the Religious Right

If we are to ever regain the benefits of a viable two party system we will need to either see the Republicans move from their extremist positions or see a new party replace them. While many Republicans continue to delude themselves by arguing they lost because they were not conservative enough, some Republicans, such as Kathleen Parker, have been trying to warn them that they are on the wrong path.

Back in October I pointed out Kathleen Parker’s argument that John McCain made a tragic mistake in choosing Sarah Palin to be his running mate, joining  the “pantheon of men who, intoxicated by a woman’s power, made the wrong call.” Steve Benen notes that Parker called on Palin to step down from the ticket in September, arguing that “If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.” Parker looked beyond the problems with Sarah Palin in an op-ed today which correctly correlates their affiliation with the religious right with the decline of the Republican Party as a viable national party. Parker writes:

As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.

Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.

I’m bathing in holy water as I type.

To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.

Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth — as long as we’re setting ourselves free — is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.

She even does something rare for a Republican–write that “Howard Dean was right.”

It isn’t that culture doesn’t matter. It does. But preaching to the choir produces no converts. And shifting demographics suggest that the Republican Party — and conservatism with it — eventually will die out unless religion is returned to the privacy of one’s heart where it belongs.

Religious conservatives become defensive at any suggestion that they’ve had something to do with the GOP’s erosion. And, though the recent Democratic sweep can be attributed in large part to a referendum on Bush and the failing economy, three long-term trends identified by Emory University’s Alan Abramowitz have been devastating to the Republican Party: increasing racial diversity, declining marriage rates and changes in religious beliefs.

Suffice it to say, the Republican Party is largely comprised of white, married Christians. Anyone watching the two conventions last summer can’t have missed the stark differences: One party was brimming with energy, youth and diversity; the other felt like an annual Depends sales meeting.

She also notes the demographic trends which work against the Republican Party:

But, like it or not, we are a diverse nation, no longer predominantly white and Christian. The change Barack Obama promised has already occurred, which is why he won.

Among Jewish voters, 78 percent went for Obama. Sixty-six percent of under-30 voters did likewise. Forty-five percent of voters ages 18-29 are Democrats compared to just 26 percent Republican; in 2000, party affiliation was split almost evenly.

The young will get older, of course. Most eventually will marry, and some will become their parents. But nonwhites won’t get whiter. And the nonreligious won’t get religion through external conversion. It doesn’t work that way.

Given those facts, the future of the GOP looks dim and dimmer if it stays the present course. Either the Republican Party needs a new base — or the nation may need a new party.

Even marrying and getting older won’t necessarily change how people vote. Voting is a  habit and once people vote for one part in a couple of elections it is difficult to get them to change. That, on top of exploiting fear of terrorism, is how the Republicans have managed to remain in power as long as they did even when their policies were far to the right of most voters.

Parker might be making the mistake that many Republicans make of confusing tolerance of other life styles with actually living differently. Just because young Democrats marry and have children does not mean they will suddenly vote based upon banning gay marriage and abortion. They certainly will not tolerate a party which desires to prevent embryonic stem cell research or to intervene in end of life decisions as in the Schiavo case.

Despite what many Republicans seem to think, many Democratic voters hold good jobs, invest in the stock market, are married, have children, abstain from drugs, and live what Republicans see as their life style. The battles on social issues are often not over how we live but over whether we want to have a government which tells people how they should live. While the party of Ronald Reagan spoke of getting government off our backs, they have been repudiated because have ignored this principle by agreeing to allow the religious right to use the power of government to impose their views upon others.