Ever since Newsweek released a poll that showed the general election virtually tied, many Obama supporters have pointed to opinions about the senator’s religious background as the cause of his problems. Broadcast bloviators and many print journalists attribute these “smears” to the “right-wing,” “Republicans,” “conservatives,” ad nauseum. In fact, the editor of the New Yorker, which published the tasteless and banal parody cover of Barack and Michelle Obama, said it was to counter “right-wing stereotypes.”
Of particular concern to the navel-gazing Left is the following from the Newsweek poll:
39 percent believe he attended an Islamic school as a child growing up in Indonesia.
http://www.newsweek.com/id/145737For those with memories longer than single-cell organisms, we all know where that one originated–with former Democratic Sen. John Kerrey, and if the Huffington Post is to be believed (a dubious proposition), with Sen. Barack Obama himself.
Former senator Bob Kerrey, who recently endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, said during a television appearance on Monday that her primary opponent, Sen, Barack Obama, attended a “secular madrassa” as a child.
Kerrey was in the process of lauding Obama’s capacity to connect with the Muslim world when he made the claim, which has been discredited.
“I’ve watched the blogs try to say that you can’t trust [Obama] because he spent a little bit of time in a secular madrassa,” the Nebraska Democrat said on the Situation Room with John King. “I feel quite opposite. I think it’s a tremendous strength whether he’s in the United States Senate or whether he’s in the White House.”
In a technical sense, Kerrey’s words were not entirely untrue. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term madrassa means a “Muslim school, college or university that is often part of a mosque.” And Obama has acknowleged that as a child in Indonesia he did attend a “Muslim school.”
Now, I don’t know, or care, really, where Obama went to school as a child. It doesn’t matter if it were a religious school in Indonesia, a private school in Hawaii, or P.S. 45. I can even understand why Obama would be upset to hear an Islamic religious school he may have attended (again, if the Huffington Post is to be believed) referred to as a “madrassa” because of the many negative connotations with the word these days.
But to blame–if there is anything here to “blame”–this on anyone other than former Sen. Bob Kerry or the Huffington Post itself is ludicrous.
The Left had better hope the public has as short of a memory as it pretends to have.