Maybe I don't get out a whole lot but this seems counter-intuitive as hell to me.
Hillary Clinton is doubling down on slamming Republicans on their anti-Muslim rhetoric at campaign events in both Iowa and New Hampshire.
The attacks are mostly aimed at Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner who has said he would impose a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country, but also target Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who said Friday that the terror arrests made in his state underscore the need to block Syrian refugees from entering the U.S.
Clinton’s rhetoric in recent days has become more and more pointed, with the Democratic frontrunner claiming Republicans are “foolish” and “shortsighted” in their approach.
“You know one of the reasons I've reacted so negatively to what I hear coming from the other side is not only what they are saying about Muslims is wrong and shameful, it's dangerous,” she said at a campaign stop in Iowa this week. “Basically, they're saying, ‘We don't want your help stopping these terrorists, we want to treat you like you don't belong here.’”
Former President Bill Clinton is also raising the issue as he hits the stump, citing examples of hard-working Muslims who make the nation better to highlight calls for a more inclusive nation.
Apparently, Hillary thinks she can can make Americans equate a general queasiness that a near supermajority of Americans express about Islam with a specific dislike of Muslims. But, according to a Brookings researcher, Americans understand the difference:
First, Americans differentiate between the “Muslim people” and the “Muslim religion,” and they view Islam more unfavorably than they do Muslims. This may have many reasons, but at the core, it is probably easier for many Americans—with strong anti-discrimination norms—to express dislike of an abstract idea rather than to appear prejudiced toward people. Even Donald Trump prefaces his anti-Muslim or (anti-Hispanic) rhetoric with “I love Muslims.” ...
Even so, Hillary faces a steep uphill battle in making this case, especially in light of ISIS-inspired terrorism in San Bernardino and elsewhere.
And I am not the only one who thinks this is a three-cushion bank shot that is unlikely to pay off:
A Washington Post-ABC News poll in late November found that 83 percent of registered voters say they believe a large-scale terrorist attack was imminent in the U.S.
“Middle America is terrified of terrorism and would err on the side of strength rather than 'Are we going to offend people?’ said Tobe Berkovitz, a professor of communications at Boston University who specializes in political communication. “People are increasingly more worried of stopping that person than offending that person.”
Julian Zelizer, a professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University, agreed, saying it’s an argument that Clinton “hopes will be more appealing” after some sense of the recent terror crises diminish.
But Zelizer concluded that it is a “difficult argument to make compared to the more polemical claims of many Republicans.”
Not only it this kind of an argument difficult to convert into votes in a nation with a small and privileged Muslim minority, it is doubly difficult to make when we know for a fact that cooperating with the Muslim community does absolutely nothing to stop terrorist attacks and the Muslim organization most Americans are familiar with, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), is seen as a terrorist organization by some of our Middle East allies. Not in America. Not in Europe.
More curious, though, is the timing of Clinton's comments. Just as Hillary ratcheted (or Ratched-ed) up her attacks on Republicans, in general, and Trump, in particular, over some imaginary Muslim-bashing you have CAIR conducted a little political theater in a Trump rally and you have Clinton's loyal followers in the media reporting on it.
Woman in turquoise w/ hijab is Rosa Hamid. Said she's here bc "most Trump supporters probably never met a Muslim." pic.twitter.com/G6jO15xQpa
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) January 9, 2016
The important thing to keep in mind here that this was a CAIR organized protest. A protest that followed Clinton's campaign theme in absolute lockstep.
Keep your eyes open. Because this looks exactly like CAIR providing a direct political contribution to the Hillary Clinton campaign. If it happens again, there will be no doubt that the two organizations are actively coordinating.