If health care reform goes down, as my friend Ezra Klein argues (like my friends at FDL!), so too will the Democratic Party. And that clears the decks for people like James Inhofe, who said this at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Fort Hood that I covered this morning:
I’m, for one — I know it’s not politically correct to say it — I believe in racial and ethnic profiling. I think if you’re looking at people getting on an airplane and you have X amount of resources to get into it, you get at the targets, and not my wife. And I just think it’s something that should be looked into. The statement that’s made, it’s probably 90 percent true with some exceptions like the Murrah federal office building in my state, Oklahoma. Those people, they were not Muslims, they were not Middle Easterners. But when you hear that not all Middle Easterners or Muslims between the age of 20 and 35 are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims or Middle Easterners between the age of 20 and 35, that’s by and large true. And I think that sometime we’re going to have to — at least, I’m going to have to have a better answer than I give the people back home, when people board planes or get into environments such as the environment we’re dealing with with this report.
Guy portrayed himself as a truth-teller, a lone, brave voice for the hard and unpopular truth about Those People.
One thing I think is worth adding. The hearing ended with something of a tense consensus on internal Army guidelines for recognizing Islamic extremist “warning signs” benefiting from the input of Muslim leaders. Levin, Lieberman and Collins basically shook on that. But there was a moment of inadvertent humor from Collins, when she castigated the Fort Hood commission leaders for not focusing so much on… you know… <whisper>thosepeople</whisper>. Or, as Collins put it:
“My worry is the perception of your report… is that we’re not faing the problem squarely the way we did in the mid 1990s. And it worked [then]… We [need to] squarely face this– this– threat to our troops… [I'm] urging you to more explicitly address this specific threat. … family violence, suicide prevention, sexual assault [are all] very dangerous, but this is different, this threat from Islamic extremism.”
She squeaked it out in the end! It’s one thing to oppose euphemism. It’s quite another to castigate someone else for alleged euphemism when you’re not willing to say out loud what you yourself mean.