Rove, Norquist And The (Worthless) Muslim Falcon
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David Horowitz calls Frank J. Gaffney Jr.'s recent long exposé of how Republican insider Grover Norquist's Muslim voter outreach program built alliances between Karl Rove and some unsavory Arab activists "the most disturbing that we at have ever published." Several of the activists are now under arrest for alleged terrorist connections. Rove remains at large.

These revelations will come as no major surprise to readers. But it's useful to have them all in one place.

It's also useful to remember that the bellicose Horowitz and Gaffney are mad at Norquist partly because he suggested that President Bush might, you know, endanger his re-election chances by invading Syria and/or other Muslim countries before next November.

The notion that the voters might frown upon America being sucked into another guerilla war before this one is finished might strike a Man from Mars as common sense. But it's heresy in some quarters.

I'm not sure I buy all of Gaffney's arguments in his piece. But, as Sam Spade said to Brigid O'Shaughnessy at the climax of The Maltese Falcon, after he gave her seven reasons he can't play the sap for her anymore:

"Maybe some of them are unimportant. I won't argue about that. But look at the number of them."

Foolishly, Norquist agreed to debate Gaffney on a radio show hosted by his old friend Hugh Hewitt. Numerous fervent war-bloggers listened in and gave Norquist the thumbs down.

Nevertheless, the mass media hasn't picked up the story yet. It's too insiderish. Worse, it leads to an issue they've adamantly refused to touch: in his pursuit of Arab Muslim voters, did President Bush's relaxing of enforcement of two anti-terrorism tools—ethnic profiling of airline passengers and the use of secret evidence against terrorism suspects—allow 9/11 to happen?

In the anxiety that followed the attacks, the media instinctively decided that the nation needed the comforting myth that it was being led by a strong, wise, and far-seeing President. Unsettling thoughts about the links between the White House's political ploys and America's unpreparedness were swept under the rug.

A third reason for avoiding the Muslim mess: Norquist is quick to drop the atom bomb of allegations—Racist!—on whomever questions him. Thus in his letter banning Gaffney from his famous Wednesday meetings for Beltway conservative activists, he said (repetitiously),

"There is no place in the conservative movement for racial prejudice, religious bigotry or ethnic hatred… The conservative movement cannot be associated with racism or bigotry. … It is important that we, as conservative, stand up against bigotry, racism, and religious hatred whenever it raises its ugly head."

Aw, phooey! This kind of bullying needs to be laughed out of public discourse.

It's perfectly natural for Arab-Americans to favor Arab interests—just as it is for Irish-Americans to favor Irish interests, Jewish-Americans to favor Israeli interests, or Mexican-Americans to favor Mexican interests.

But just because it's inevitable doesn't mean any such group should be exempt from criticism. The only way to keep ethnic activists honest is to stop them suppressing debate by playing the race and religion cards.

The real mystery about the Norquist-Rove enterprise is not: why a red-bearded Protestant would found the Islamic Institute?

After all, a man has bills to pay, and oil-rich Arab Muslim governments and organizations are eminently capable of paying them.

Another Sam Spade quote is pertinent:

"We didn't believe your story, Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, we believed your 200 dollars. I mean you paid us more than if you had been telling us the truth, and enough more to make it alright."

No, the real mystery is the sheer incompetence of Rove, Norquist's chief enabler.

If you decide to sell out your country for a pile of votes, well, Mr. Political Genius, you ought at least to check first that this pile of votes is big enough to be seen without an electron microscope.

Rove's attitude to GOP core supporters reminds me of Sydney Greenstreet playing the Fat Man, Kasper Gutman. He explains to a devoted henchman why he's betraying him:

"I couldn't be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, it's possible to get another. There's only one Maltese Falcon."

Of course, the Maltese Falcon that the Fat Man eventually obtained at vast cost in life and treasure turned out to be a lead fake. And the same thing has happened to Rove.

I reported recently that in the last Congressional election, according to the restored VNS exit poll data, Muslims cast only 0.3 percent of the vote.

Since then, the Census Bureau announced that people of Arab descent only make up 0.4 percent of the resident U.S. population.

Because most Arab-Americans are Christians, these two figures suggest that Arab-Muslim voters comprise only about 0.1 to 0.2 percent of the electorate!


I'll leave the last word to Joel Cairo (as played by Peter Lorre), as he reacted to the Fat Man's foul-up:

"You... you bungled it! You and your stupid attempt to buy it! You... you imbecile! You stupid fat-head you!"

[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog.]

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