All Things to All People

Throughout the course of this campaign, Obama has been a Muslim Manchurian candidate, a racist Christian of the black liberation theology variety, a Godless Communist, and now an apostate, guilty of renouncing the Islamic faith; a crime more serious according to Islamic law than murder.

To achieve so many differing incarnations of religious villainy is truly a feat to be admired.  To be without God, to worship the wrong God, to worship the right God for the wrong reasons, and then renounce the wrong God for the right God all at once is an exhibition of theological acrobatics that should not be tried at home, kids.

Of course, this new narrative that very well may get some legs among conservatives looking for a viable method of character assassination is itself dishonest, but at least in a convenient way.

Ali Eteraz (h/t Sully) pretty soundly debunks the entire myth, pointing out that not only do certain technicalities let Obama off the hook, but even if they didn’t, he would have to be brought to trial before being labeled an apostate.

I kind of wish Ali held off for a while though.  The Obama as an apostate meme could have its uses.  For instance, it would prove incredibly handy when dealing with John McCain’s insistance that he would be the “terrorists’ worst nightmare.”  If Luttwack’s analysis went unchallenged, Obama would be a monster lower than a murderer to Islamic terrorists.

That’s damn hard to top, especially if by worst nightmare McCain means that he’s going to kill a lot of them because, for those of you who haven’t figured this one out yet, these folks aren’t really all that afraid of dying.  You would essentially have one guy who does something Islamic terrorists don’t really care about, and then you have another guy who is a criminal of the highest order.

Public enemy number one.

Alas, the cat’s already out of the bag; Obama’s no apostate.  Still, I find the dissonance regarding attempts at character assassination not just interesting, but amusing and heartening.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not so naive to believe that the Republicans won’t eventually find their character assassinating tune and sing it full volume, but that we are on our fourth meme already regarding how evil Obama is, and that that meme is unlikely to stick, points to the difficulties the hit machines are having with Obama.

This also has a place in the bigger picture that is the General Election that is to come.

For that race, you have two options, run on your own merits, or destroy your opponent more than you destroy yourself.  Given that McCain remains unpopular within his party, and amongst his base, he may campaign on his own merits, but it is not likely that his support system, inside the party and without, will spend much time dwelling on this option.  For them, attacking Obama is the only option.

That they haven’t figured out a solid line of attack yet spells trouble for their cause.

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2 Responses to “All Things to All People”

  1. tas says:

    There’s also the matter of Islam having six different schools of thought regarding religious law, and what one school thinks isn’t necessarily what another one will think. I only glanced over this column this morning (I got a sprain from rolling my eyes at it, so I refused to read it), but I imagine the author only discusses what the most extreme schools would rule.

  2. armagnac esq says:

    Read that one over here in oz. Funny, I did a research paper on sharia and apostacy back at uni and seem to recall that, although all schools find it to be a wrong or sin, there are significant numbers of scholars that don’t believe death is prescribed.

    Came down to the difference between the koran and hadith, and whether the latter gets plenary legal status.

    Anyway, it’d be shocking if the ‘we don’t bargain with terrorists’ crew turned this issue around on Obama.

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