That second tactic is this: the Obama Left and the Republican establishment would have you accept the following premise: anti-American Islamic supremacists are not an ideological threat but a mere political movement; therefore, American government officials who want to treat them as a mere political movement — to negotiate with them and accommodate them — are not endangering America; they are strengthening America. Consequently, if you dare suggest that this is a lunatic way of looking at things, you are a McCarthyite demagogue, not a patriot. According to the Obama Left, the Republican establishment and their complicit media, it is for them, not you, to define what “patriotism” means. Thus Huma Abedin becomes the “patriot” exactly because of her connections to Islamists; Michele Bachmann becomes the “demagogue” exactly because she dares suggest that Islamists are an ideological threat.
This is the crossroads at which we now find ourselves. On one side are national security conservatives, myself included, who reluctantly accept the stubborn fact that Islamic supremacist ideology is incorrigibly hostile to America and the West. We take the Muslim Brotherhood at its word that it is seeking to destroy the West and destroy Israel, and that it is doing so based on a divine injunction that is easily traceable to Islamic scripture. We understand that there are other ways of interpreting Islam, and we wish those other ways were predominant. But we believe American national security requires grasping that Islamic supremacism is the predominant Islam of the Middle East; it is the Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the world, very much including its organizations operating in our own country. We understand that Islamic supremacist ideology inspires not only violent jihad but also non-violent campaigns to supplant Western culture with Islamic culture — such as, for example, the campaign waged by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Brotherhood to restrict free speech; their campaign to have sharia-compliant finance broadly accepted in the West; and their campaign to delegitimize Israel as a “racist occupier” while recasting Hamas, the Brotherhood, and even Hezbollah (a Shiite terrorist organization) as “political parties” and “resistance” movements.
On the other side of the divide are the Obama administration and the Republican establishment. They insist that there is nothing inherently supremacist about Islam, which is an ur-tolerant “religion of peace.” Violence, they maintain, not only has nothing to do with Islam but is, in fact, “anti-Islamic.” They see the Muslim Brotherhood not as a threat but as a political organization. You are to understand that the Brotherhood has nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism. To the extent it supports Hamas, that is because Hamas is engaged in resistance, not terrorism. To the extent Brotherhood leaders unabashedly proclaim that they will “conquer Europe” and “eliminate and destroy” America by “sabotage,” in what they brazenly call a “civilization jihad,” such rhetoric is to be expected and excused because Islamic culture is steeped in hyperbole and religious imagery. They don’t really mean it the way it sounds, you see, and, once we all understand each other better, that unfortunate rhetoric will fade away.
At a time not long ago, before the hard Left took over the Democratic Party, there was a style of strong national-security Democrat (in the mold of Scoop Jackson or even Jack Kennedy) who would have seen the position to which the Obama administration and the Republican establishment adhere as dangerously delusional. Unfortunately, there are no longer enough of those Democrats in government to appeal to.
On the other hand, there remain many national security conservatives in the Republican Party. They are alarmed and extremely worried about the threat the ascendancy of Islamic supremacism poses to our liberty and security. They also see this threat magnified, to an intolerable degree, by the inroads the Muslim Brotherhood has made in the Republican establishment and in our government. As to the latter, we are not just talking about the State Department — not by a long shot. So profound is the influence of the Obama/Republican-establishment philosophy over the Defense Department, for example, that the Pentagon could not bring itself to refer to any aspect of Islamic supremacist ideology in a lengthy report on the attack at Fort Hood — a jihadist atrocity that killed 13 Americans, twice as many as were killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
If the Republican Party has decided to take its cues from establishment proponents of this reckless philosophy, if GOP leaders can no longer tell the difference between hostile anti-American operatives and benign political actors, then the Republican Party has become an obstacle to liberty and security, not a vehicle for their preservation. As is the case with crushing government debt and out-of-control government spending, it appears that the GOP is choosing to be part of the problem, rather than the solution, when it comes to the threat of Islamic supremacism. Certainly, that is a choice party leaders are entitled to make. But if it is the one they have made, why should conservatives concerned about liberty and security bother with the Republican Party?