‘Refudiating’ Palin’s inanity

‘REFUDIATING’ PALIN’S INANITY…. In some far-right circles, a proposed Muslim community center in Manhattan has become an important — and ugly — rallying cry. As is often the case, though, a certain former half-term governor managed to push the matter to new depths.

The proposed facility at issue is called the Cordoba House. Despite some claims to the contrary, it would not be built directly at Ground Zero, but rather, two blocks north. The center would include “a prayer space, a performing arts center, a swimming pool, and other amenities,” and has been spearheaded by a longtime local imam, who’s committed to fighting radicalism, and considers the building a monument to tolerance and respect. The project was endorsed overwhelmingly by a local community board.

But that was before right-wing activists got involved. The far-right Washington Times argued a Muslim community center may represent “an attempt to hijack the memory of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks,” a sentiment endorsed by Liz Cheney’s right-wing activist group. A far-right radio host told listeners he hopes “somebody blows it up” if the Cordoba House is built. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) is disappointed that, under the First Amendment, the facility cannot legally be blocked.

And yesterday, Sarah Palin, the dumbest person in American public life, decided to stand up for the bigots. Relying once again on Twitter, where there are no follow-up questions, the bizarre Fox News personality said:

Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate

Putting aside the fact that “refudiate” is not a word — though Palin, who’s used the word before, seems convinced that it is — the message itself is nothing short of pathetic. Mainstream, law-abiding Muslim Americans want to build a community center in Manhattan for other mainstream, law-abiding Muslim Americans. The “heartland” (i.e., “real” Americans) disapproves? “Peaceful Muslims” should denounce their own faith tradition?

Palin then deleted that tweet, and tried again:

Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real

That’s an awkward use of the word “refute” — you can always tell when Palin writes her own missives — and the argument is still incoherent. The pain is “too raw” for whom? Anti-Muslim bigots who don’t want a community center built in Manhattan? Would Palin allow these Americans to build a facility three blocks away? How about four? At what point is it no longer “too real”?

Soon after, Palin, perhaps realizing her argument wasn’t going over well, tried once more:

Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing

I’m fairly certain she doesn’t understand what “provocation” means. As for whether a community center “stabs hearts,” that only makes sense if your principal concern is with the sensibilities of bigots.

Finally, responding to her difficulties with English, Palin conceded that “refudiate” isn’t a word, but compared herself to the Bard: “Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”

In terms of analysis, it’s hard to know where to start with such painful, abject stupidity, but it’s worth noting Palin’s framing of the issue: as she sees it, there’s a burden here, and it rests on “peaceful,” mainstream, law-abiding Muslim Americans. They’ve done nothing wrong, but Palin nevertheless expects them to accommodate the ignorance and hatred of the closed-minded by “refudiating” a proposal to build a community center committed to respect, healing, and tolerance.

The implication isn’t subtle — some Muslims want to build the facility in Manhattan, but peaceful Muslims should oppose it. In her twisted little mind, Palin thinks those fighting radicalism deserve our fear and mistrust, while bigots deserve our understanding.

Sarah Palin is a small, sad extremist, who embarrasses herself on a nearly daily basis, but yesterday’s display was genuinely pathetic, even for her.