Using the Other Side.

Unlike one of Andrew Sullivan's readers, I'm not exactly shocked to learn that conservatives are touting Muslim -- or rather, ex-Muslim -- opponents to the Cordoba House project in Lower Manhattan. By and large, it fits with the general strategy of using women and racial minorities to oppose policies that would benefit women and racial minorities. For instance, conservative women like Wendy Wright are always happy to help attack feminism and oppose measures to further reproductive rights. Ward Connerly is always around to rail against affirmative action, and Niger Innis is a reliable go-to guy for whenever the NAACP needs demonizing.

For some conservatives, there isn't any validation better than that which comes from having a member of a marginalized group speak in favor of said marginalization. And to be fair, liberals enjoy something similar when they tout conservative dissent from the Republican Party; there's simply a lot to be said for the satisfaction that comes when one of the "other" adopt your arguments and your views. Of course, there's a real difference between smug satisfaction over ideological defection and enlisting allies in a fight to deprive an entire class of people of their constitutional rights.

-- Jamelle Bouie

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