May 12, 2011

HEY, REMEMBER WHEN MERE CLIP ART BULL’S-EYES WERE CONSIDERED ELIMINATIONIST?  “WaPo op-ed contributor and former Gitmo detainee posts photoshopped dead Obama pic on his website,” Neil Munro of the Daily Caller writes, along with a copy of the gruesome Photoshop in question:

The Washington Post’s Outlook section just gave ex-jihadi Moazzem Begg a half-page this Sunday to lament the U.S. war on jihadis, and Begg repaid the Post by showcasing a photoshopped image of a dead President Barack Obama on his advocacy website.

“The decision to publish Begg’s piece does not reflect a blanket endorsement of his views or of everything that appears on his organization’s Web site,” according to a statement from Carlos Lozada, the section’s editor. He reports to Marcus Brauchli, the Post’s executive editor. “It reflects our interest in exploring the many ways that Osama bin Laden shattered and upended lives… [and] the experience of a Guantanamo detainee is completely relevant.”

The Investigative Project on Terrorism directed TheDC to the photo on Begg’s website.

Begg’s action came just before Thursday, when shareholders are expected to protest financial losses by the newspaper’s parent company, The Washington Post Co. The company’s main revenue-source, the Kaplan education division, has lower profits than expected.

But then as Ramesh Ponnuru of the Corner notes, Begg’s article isn’t the only “Exceptionally Strange” item the Post has run in recent days:

Richard Cohen’s attack on “American exceptionalism” — which “has been adopted by the right to mean that America, alone among the nations, is beloved of God” — takes him into some strange territory.

The huge role of religion in American politics is nothing new but always a matter for concern nonetheless. In the years preceding the Civil War, both sides of the slavery issue claimed the endorsement of God. The 1856 Republican convention concluded with a song that ended like this: “We’ve truth on our side/ We’ve God for our guide.” Within five years, Americans were slaughtering one another on the battlefield.

Therein lies the danger of American exceptionalism. It discourages compromise, for what God has made exceptional, man must not alter.

Does Cohen really want to maintain that the Republicans of the 1850s should have been more willing to compromise on slavery? Is this what liberalism has come to?

Whatever it’s morphed into, I’m not sure if “liberal” is the necessarily the best word to describe the current state of the left.