Talking Points Memo is rounding up comments of conservatives who are coming out against that Florida pastor's clever plan to commemorate September 11 by burning Qurans. What's remarkable about this is how tepid the comments are:
So far today, Haley Barbour says it's not a "good idea." John Boehner says it's "unwise." And now honorary Republican Joe Lieberman says the church should "reconsider and drop their plans."
Of course, there is a practical consideration here: As David Petraeus has said, Quran burning inflames Afghans and other Muslims against the U.S., reinforces the argument al-Qaeda makes that America is at war with Islam, and ultimately puts the lives of U.S. service members at greater risk. But all that aside, imagine for a moment it was a religious leader of a different faith who was planning to burn Bibles. Wouldn't political leaders be using somewhat stronger language? Not that this is "unwise" or that the nutcase responsible ought to "reconsider," but probably language more like "despicable," "vile," "un-American," or "reflective of the worst kind of bigotry and hate." Something like that?
Of course, we have heard those comments -- from Democrats, anyway. But it would make a big impact if -- just throwing a name out here -- Sarah Palin were to unload on this jerk. It would be big news, and I'd bet lots of other Republicans would follow. But so far, her Twitter and Facebook pages are silent.
-- Paul Waldman