The Tears of Keith Ellison

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 10 2011 11:00 AM

The Tears of Keith Ellison

Democrats have characterized the Homeland Security hearings on extremism and its threat to the Muslim community as, basically, Islamophobia. In their opening testimonies, Rep. Keith Ellison and Rep. John Dingell went easy on facts -- although Ellison cited some Rand and other studies of American Muslim moderation -- and heavy on emotional appeal. The "moment" of the morning, clearly, was Ellison talking about Muhammad Hamdami, a 23-year-old first responder who was killed on 9/11.

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King, who had noted to had "no idea" what Ellison would say, sat through this poker-faced, and thanked him for the testimony.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.