On Thursday, the following hit my Twitter stream from @KeithOlbermann:
RT @Thong_love_ I donating to a gay muslim bar located next to the mosque…..@keitholbermann @maddow /More great grammar from the Right
For those not versed in Twitter-read, the first statement – from the distinguished author “Thong_love” – was a message to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow that Mr. Love would be donating to Fox News host Greg Gutfeld’s effort to open a gay bar for Muslim men near the planned Cordoba House mosque at Ground Zero. Olbermann’s response to Thong_Love was to mock the grammar of his TWITTER ENTRY! (All caps because I am yelling for emphasis.) I find this exchange VERY REVEALING!
Let’s take a minute to talk about the Ground Zero mosque. The debate over the construction of a 13-story Islamic “community outreach effort” at Ground Zero has nothing to do with the First Amendment or the Constitution. No one with any sense is imploring the government to step in and bureaucratically squash the mosque. Rather, the debate is over the appropriateness of the mosque.
Building a mosque at the site where 3,000 Americans were killed in the name of Islam is so obviously inappropriate that it’s hard to see this effort as anything but a deliberate provocation. But a recent National Review editorial suggested the perfect response to this provocation:
We will not appeal to the official powers to use the machinery of government to stop this project. We appeal, instead, to the sense of decency of the American Muslim community, and to its patriotism. Beyond that, Americans should make their displeasure with this project felt economically and socially: No contractor, construction company, or building-trades union that accepts a dime of the Cordoba Initiative’s money should be given a free pass—nobody who sells them so much as a nail, or a hammer to drive it in with. This is an occasion for boycotts and vigorous protests …
Enter Greg Gutfeld. The Red Eye host announced last week that he planned to open a gay bar catering to Muslim men – preliminarily named “Outfidels” – near the Ground Zero mosque. In the spirit of “tolerance and outreach” Gutfeld is planning a two-story Islamic gay bar, one floor being dedicated to serving halal food and the other serving 72 varieties of virgin cocktails. Oh, and the bar would be home to the world’s largest subwoofer, bumping earth-shaking techno.
The response of the Cordoba House planners (via Twitter) was: You’re free to open whatever you like. If you won’t consider the sensibilities of Muslims, you’re not going to build dialog.
If you don’t “consider the sensibilities”…”you’re not going to build a dialog”! The irony could choke an Islamic, gay, horse. But I’m more interested in the sensibilities and response of lefties, like Keith Olbermann, to Gutfeld’s bar plans.
While Olbermann could only muster mocking condescension of a supporter’s grammar, Media Matters’ Simon Maloy and Eric Boehlert called Gutfeld’s motives offensive and “a fail.” On his blog, dailygut.com, Gutfeld said “it’s kinda weird to be educated in tolerance by an incredibly intolerant ideology.” I think it’s kinda weird that America’s defenders of tolerance not only can’t support, but mock, an effort to speak out against intolerance through the use of … tolerance.
So what does this reveal? Why would the Left oppose Gutfeld’s gay bar? Here are a couple of options:
Option 1: Liberals Are Homophobic Gay-Haters
I don’t really think that liberals are homophobic gay-haters. But it was just kinda fun to say, because that is exactly what the Left would say if this debate were reversed. I’d bet my life on it.
Option 2: The Left Has Turned Into the College President in “PCU”
One of the running themes in the 1994 movie PCU is political correctness run amok on college campuses. This is embodied by college president, Ms. Garcia-Thompson, who is obsessed with enforcing “sensitivity awareness” and multiculturalism to the point where she proposes that Bisexual Asian Studies should have its own building, ousting either mathematics or hockey. This is the Left today.
The Left’s agenda, their support, their endorsement is governed by the potential of an idea to offend. And in this case, the Left mocks Gutfeld’s bar idea, because it risks offending Islam’s intolerant views of homosexuality. @#$%!
Option 3: The Left Hates America
Some months ago, I did an interview with Andy McCarthy of National Review on his new book: The Grand Jihad, How Islam and the Left Sabotage America. Andy contends that the progressive Left and Islamists share a common goal to destroy America’s freedom culture. Andy is a friend of mine, who I agree with on many issues, but I think his argument has some holes in it and I took him to task in the interview.
But here, by mocking Gutfeld’s gay bar, the Left has just made Andy’s argument. The Left has said, in effect, that they are on the side of Islamists, even when it means sacrificing their love of tolerance. What else would they sacrifice for Islam?
I really don’t think the Left hates gay people or America. But I am honestly interested in why the Left would mock the downtown gay bar proposal. I’d love a good explanation.
Until I get that satisfactory explanation, I’m going to go with Option 2 as the most likely explanation. Greg Gutfeld – a funny guy – has beautifully illustrated that real joke in this ordeal is the illogical, inconsistent American Left.
Will Cain is host of Off the Page on NationalReview.com