Worries about the direction of the Tea Party movement

“The Tea Party is still taking shape,” says the front page headline in today’s Washington Post. The Post is a liberal paper, but that sounds like a fair headline. The story may or may not be fair, but there were some quotes in there that if representative are worrying.

Thus Jim Linn, an electrical engineer from San Diego, allegedly told the reporter that, in her paraphrasation, “the Constitution must be interpreted in ways that match his understanding of the Founders’ intent. That would mean scrapping a lot of the amendments, he acknowledges, but not Nos. 2, 10, 16 and 17.”

Of course, the Founders enacted all ten of the first Amendments as the Bill of Rights. That includes Nos. 1 and 3-9. But it’s possible those were just his favorites. It’s also entirely possible that the Post reported played the old game of interviewing tons of people and just quoting the most outlandish ones. Let’s just hope this fellow isn’t representative.

More worrying was this regarding former U.S. representative Tom Tancredo (Colo.), who ran for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. “When Tancredo said, ‘His name is Barack Hussein Obama,’ the audience booed loudly.”

Let’s be clear on this. Obama did not choose his middle name. He did not choose the parents who gave him that name. O! would that we could have chosen our own parents. Among other things, mine would have been wealthy.

Here’s an explanation of why that middle name is used against him.

Debbie Schlussel, self-identified “conservative political commentator, radio talk show host and columnist,” blogged in 2006 that:

Obama’s full name – as by now you have probably heard – is Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. Hussein is a Muslim name, which comes from the name of Ali’s son–Hussein Ibn Ali. And Obama is named after his late Kenyan father, the late Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., apparently a Muslim.

And while Obama may not identify as a Muslim, that’s not how the Arab and Muslim Streets see it. In Arab culture and under Islamic law, if your father is a Muslim, so are you. And once a Muslim, always a Muslim. You cannot go back. In Islamic eyes, Obama is certainly a Muslim. He may think he’s a Christian, but they do not.

And her point being?

It’s true that Islam is not “the religion of peace” that Pres. G.W. Bush asserted. The Koran does in fact call for waging war upon and killing non-Muslims. But most Muslims don’t accept that as part of their belief system. It’s those who do, the Islamists, that we need worry about – not Muslims generally. I’ve had Islamist Muslims shoot at me with AKs, machine guns, sniper rifles, and mortars. Debbie Schlussel has not. So I know the difference.

Being Muslim doesn’t inherently make you evil. But in any case, all Schlussel was able to say is that Muslims consider Obama a Muslim. So what?

I’m Jewish on my mother’s side so Jews consider me a Jew. I’ve been in synagogues four times. I’m a practicing Christian. But no, the point is being a Muslim is inherently bad and that like it or not Obama is a Muslim. We know that’s her point because she titled her blog: “Barack Obama: Once a Muslim, Always a Muslim.”

Gad, lady! He was never a Muslim, any more than I was ever Jewish! If Obama thinks he’s a Christian and goes to a Christian church – which we knows he does, he has to be considered a Christian.

But apparently that’s why saying all three of Obama’s names at a Tea Party rally is a way to rile up the masses.

And that’s worrisome.