Bloggers yawn at an Iranian newspaper's announcement that it will hold a Holocaust-cartoons contest. They also draw battle lines in a senatorial smackdown and comment on the rash of church fires in Alabama.
Pot, meet kettle: Today an editor at Iran's largest newspaper announced that in response to European newspapers publishing cartoons depicting Mohammed, the paper would sponsor a contest on Holocaust-themed cartoons "to turn the tables on the assertion that newspapers can print offensive material in the name of freedom of expression."
Russ, a north Texan office wonk at Boxing Alcibiades views the news as a standup comedian's dream and predicts Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could become NPR's next darling: "If you can be sacrilegious, so can we. Nyaa Nyaa. That is, like, so 1970s Boston College. Next thing you know, Ahmadinejad will appear in a 'Fresh Air' interview on NPR discussing the qualitative geopolitical benefits of government-sponsored transgressive artwork."
Libertarian Juruph at entropy rocket ponders how the European press will react: "I want to see Europe squirm on this one, and I want to see every newspaper that printed the Muhammad cartoons print the Holocaust Cartoons, or an editorial explaining why they won't." Whatever, says RBM at NJ Conservative: "Perhaps someone should inform these people that we in the west really don't care about what they think."
MajorDad1984, who is Cursed By a Classical Education, commands everyone to take a timeout: "Time to call it quits on all sides folks! There are much more important things to bicker about at this point. ... See you on the high ground!" Surprisingly, James Taranto of the Opinion Journal's Best of the Web says big-ups to Iran, kind of: "The Iranians have a small point here. In some European countries, it is in fact illegal to deny the Holocaust or otherwise disseminate Nazi propaganda. Such a prohibition would be virtually unthinkable in America, with its robust tradition of free speech. But it's understandable in Europe, where, within living memory, Nazi propaganda incited horrific violence on a massive scale."
For more reactions click here.
McCain vs. Obama: Illinois Sen. Barack Obama got the straight-talk treatment from Arizona Sen. John McCain over his supposed welshing on a promise to support McCain's lobby-reform bill. McCain called Obama's move "typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble." Obama claims he still supports the measure and is "puzzled" by McCain's fit.
Chomskyite Christian leftist Kynn of Next of Kynn implies that the Arizona senator's rhetoric is clearly shtick: "Well, hell, if anyone would know about rhetorical gloss used to make self-interested posturing appear noble, it's John Fucking McCain." Even a sometime McCain fan like Nerbo, a lefty, can't support the senator. "I generally respect McCain, even when I disagree with him, but every so often he comes out swinging like an old-fogy jackass. He pulled out some primetime TV quality drama from his ass today." However, Obama supporter Shay, a contributor to Booker Rising, a forum for moderate and conservative blacks, states that the tongue-lashing was somewhat justifiable: "Sen. John McCain's letter was so angry, sarcastic, and blunt—although not entirely off point in Sen. Barack Obama's flip-flop here—I had to check to see if my Senator (Barack Obama, for whom I voted) responded with toughness in his response letter … Nope."
Mike Gerhke, a contributor to the group blog Senate Majority Project, suggests that: "Maybe McCain lit into Obama because he didn't have the political capital to stand up to a Republican giant like Sen. Rick Santorum, the leader of the Republican K Street Project, the leader in money from lobbyists, and perhaps not coincidentally, the leader of the Republican lobby reform effort."
For more play–by-play click here.
Alabama burning: Today in Alabama four churches were damaged by fire, bringing the total number of churches burned in the past week to nine. The FBI is looking into whether the burnings constitute a violation of the parishioner's civil rights. Chris Matthews has taken some heat for suggesting that gays or liberals might be the culprits.
Sabrina, a Christian and a New Mexican blogging at the Philosophy of Hope, can't understand the motivation of the suspected arsonist: "Who would do this and why? I just really do not understand. All 9 churches were baptist. There is no limiting to black churches or white churches. They are just churches." Sandra, a gay Alabama transplant at sandra's mental ramblings, is offended by Hardball host Chris Matthews' speculation on the matter: "Then good ol' Chris Matthews suggesting that gay liberals might have had something to do with the church burnings in my home state ... just sent me a-whirlwinding back to everywhere i've been and everything i'm trying to overcome." Birmingham Blues', The Suburban Housewife Gone Bad piles on Matthews, snarking: "I wonder if Chris Matthews will blame Quakers or vegans for these fires …"
For more on the church burning, click here.