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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Overt bigotry has made one hell of a comeback in our politics. Witness most of the right in this country buying votes with a down payment of fear and xenophobia, appealing directly and loudly to our basest weakness -- the fear of what is unfamiliar. But what's truly dangerous is that those who pimp racism for political profit threaten to distract American voters from those that continue to use so-called "soft bigotry" and drift it further into the mainstream.

Enter Virginia Congressman and Minority Whip Eric Cantor, deliberately and awkwardly, into the debate about the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" now set to be built two blocks from the site where the World Trade Center towers once stood. Many political figures, particularly on the Right, have spoken up both for and against the idea that a recreation center -- which would include a mosque -- go up in the shadow of what is, for many, a burial ground.

Cantor arrived in the discussion today with this weak sauce: "Everybody knows America's built on the rights of free expression, the rights to practice your faith, but come on."

"...but come on!" Come on? To where, exactly?

Maybe it was into Eric Cantor's house, where, with this statement, he casually opened the door for Big Bigotry to come in and get comfortable.


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