In his column titled “Rand Paul’s Strategic Islamophobia,” Pareene writes:
For normal Americans, the annual Values Voters Summit is an opportunity to take a look at the Republican Party and be appalled and amused at how vehemently anti-modernity and hysterically bigoted it remains despite basically all demographic trends. For Republican politicians, it is an opportunity to say crazy stuff to adoring crowds in the hopes of riding their enthusiasm and donations all the way to second or third place in the next Republican presidential primary campaign. Sen. Rand Paul today addressed the summit, and he wanted everyone to know that while he may have a bit of a “peacenik” reputation, he definitely hates Islam just as much as the people who want to bomb the Middle East forever.
Wow! That is surely hyperbole, right? I wonder what Rand Paul said that would allow Pareene to “paraphrase” him like that?
We get no such quotes. But hang on, Pareene continues with his summary:
Paul’s speech (which greatly resembles one he gave to an evangelical audience last June) hit nearly every toxic fixation and delusion of the evangelical Right. He generously indulged the persecution fantasy that fuels so much of the modern conservative movement, claiming that “there’s a worldwide war on Christianity,” waged largely by Islam, but also by “liberal elites.” It is “a war that the mainstream media is ignoring,” he said. Mainstream media liberals are too scared and too PC to say it, but Paul wasn’t: We must blame Muslims more or less as a homogeneous undifferentiated mass.
OK get ready, Pareene does follow the above with a direct quotation from Rand Paul. Everyone ready? Remember, Pareene said Paul wasn’t afraid to come out and say: “We must blame Muslims more or less as a homogeneous undifferentiated mass.” OK ready? Here’s what Rand Paul actually said, which Pareene then paraphrased that way:
Ever since 9/11, commentators have tried to avoid pointing fingers at Islam, which is somewhat fair. It is fair to point out that most Muslims are not committed to violence against Christians, but it’s not the whole truth. The whole truth is – and we shouldn’t let political correctness stand in the way of this truth – the whole truth is that there is a minority of Muslims who condone killing of Christians, but, unfortunately, that minority number is in the tens of millions.
Like I said, in this article Alex Pareene more or less endorses Rand Paul for 2016.