An interesting article by Michael Tomasky in The Guardian looks out how a conservative meme — one that is blatently false — gets started and circulated.
Tomasky was reading an interview with Newt Gingrich in which Gringrich said:
"You have Obama nominating Judge Hamilton, who said in her ruling that saying the words Jesus Christ in a prayer is a sign of inappropriate behavior, but saying Allah would be OK. You'll find most Republican senators voting against a judge who is confused about whether you can say Jesus Christ in a prayer, particularly one who is pro-Muslim being able to say Allah."
Who is Judge Hamilton, and did she say that the words "Jesus Christ" in a prayer are inappropriate, but "Allah" would be okay?
No, of course Judge Hamilton (who is a guy) didn't. It's a bald-faced, out-and-out lie. But what prompted Gingrich to say that — to even think that?
Tomasky tracked the lie to its source (some hyperbolic rightwing site) and, of course, he found the judge's opinion. Interesting read. Tomasky concludes:
What kind of person can say or write such blatant lies? And I'd like to report that this is unusual, but this kind of slippery illogic is standard operating procedure on today's right. Find something that might inflame opinion and stoke prejudice, and pump it. Doesn't matter that it isn't really true. By the time the other side explains that it isn't true, we'll already have won. They know that no one's going to read page 49 of a legal opinion. As it happens this time someone did, but often, alas, they're right.
These are sick, sick people. May their Jesus consign them to history's ash heap.