Yesterday’s “Republicans say the stuuuuuupidest things” moment was brought to you by Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo (all you Rocky Mountain State readers tuck that name into the back of your head for the next time you’re in a voting booth…), who had this to say about possible responses to a large-scale terrorist attack in the US:
“Well, what if you said something like — if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites,” Tancredo answered. “You’re talking about bombing Mecca,” Campbell [the DJ interviewing Tancredo for Orlando’s WFLA-AM] said. “Yeah,” Tancredo responded.
This garnered the expected responses from Left Blogsvania and Tancredo dispatched a spokesweasel to put some “ah, that was all hypothetical” counterspin on his initial comments. All of that pretty much went according to the standard playbook — some “red meat” for the base, and then a wink-wink-nudge-nudge “oh I wasn’t serious” backpedal towards civility.
But the one point I didn’t see anybody make — and it’s entirely possible that I just missed it; I was flat on my back getting over a cold for a lot of yesterday — is that Mecca is in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is one of our allies in the Middle East. Ostensibly, at least, they’re on our side. Ignoring all the other issues Tancredo’s statements raise — the morality of retaliatory attacks against civilian populations, the wisdom of attacking one of the primary suppliers of your country’s primary energy source, how destroying the most holy point of a religion is going to make followers of that religion less inclined to attack you, et cetera, et cetera — ignoring all that, we’re still left with the fact that Tancredo is advocating bombing — and in the context of the comments, it’s pretty clear he meant nuking — an ally, in response to an enemy attack. In WWII terms, this is like saying, “Hey, you Japanese better lay off the kamikaze attacks, or we’re gonna level Melbourne!”
Ladies and gentlemen, your majority party. Enjoy.