Thursday, October 03, 2002

Taxpayers pay for hate speech

For countless years, conservatives have been pissing and moaning about things like the NEA's donations to artists who are, admittedly, on the edge. They've jumped up and down about how they shouldn't be forced to pay for a view that they don't support. More recently, the fact that taxpayers paid the salary of the embattled Professor Sami al-Arian at the University of South Florida became a subtext of his castigation and eventual firing.

Then why would Bushies feel comfortable funneling money into the hands of Pat Robertson through their "faith-based" programs initiative? Not only has he disagreed with the plan from the start, he also, you'll remember, is the same guy who blamed America for the attacks of September 11.

While I am vehemently opposed to the Bushies' take on "faith-based" initiatives, what really drives me nuts is that Republicans have been consistently dismissing anyone who questions our policies in the Middle East as blaming America for September 11. (See also. And this.) But this hasn't happened. No conservative can point to any liberal who has said, "This is America's fault." I defy anyone to do it. But, on the 700 Club, Robertson and Falwell expressly blamed America for the attacks. Falwell said that the attack was "probably what we deserve" and Robertson responded, "Well, Jerry. That's my feeling."

I'm all for free speech and I don't think federal money should be used as a bludgeon to make people fall in line, but I will never understand how conservatives can sleep at night, considering the ridiculous and embarrassing contradictions their party espouses.


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