The ‘Muslim for President’ Question - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The ‘Muslim for President’ Question

The Russians are building an air force base in Latakia, bringing in heavy artillery, and possibly putting boots on the ground, all with Barack Obama’s acquiescence. What? You don’t know where Latakia is? Or why the prospect of a Russian installation there should worry us?

That’s understandable, especially if you read the Washington Post, and miss the deeper point that the Russians are establishing their first post-Soviet outpost on the Mediterranean, thus fulfilling the long-standing Russian dream of a military presence in the Southern hemisphere. The incursion into Crimea was a logical move, given the Soviet naval base there. Now, in cooperation with Iran, Russia is propping up its client Bashar Assad and creating a Russian naval base in Syria as insurance against the closure of the Bosporus Straits by Turkey, a NATO ally. Kipling called this sort of thing the “Great Game,” and it still goes on today, even if the hapless John Kerry thinks it so very 19th century.

But this is to detract from the real issue of our day: What did Dr. Carson and Donald Trump say or fail to say, as the case may be, about Muslims?

Dr. Carson, asked about his personal opinion as to whether a Muslim should be president of the United States said no. That was a normative question and he gave a subjective answer. He wasn’t asked whether a Muslim was qualified to be president under our Constitution. That would have been a question of fact, of looking at what the Constitution says. When Senator Cruz was asked whether he agreed with Dr. Carson that a Muslim wouldn’t be qualified to be president, he was answering a different question from the one Dr. Carson was asked, and his answer appropriately referenced the Constitution.

Donald Trump, as we know, got into trouble for failing to hear what someone said about Muslims and training camps and for brushing the questioner off. Worse still, neither Carson nor Trump would play along with the media and solemnly affirm that they didn’t believe Barack Obama was a Muslim.

So the liberal press picked up that totally irrelevant ball and ran with it. And the suck-ups on the right sanctimoniously supported them. This morning the Post helpfully tells us what the correct answer would be in these circumstances. What would we do without the Post’s helpful advice? Then it proceeds to tell us which Republicans answered the question correctly and which did not. Shame, shame, shame on the Republicans who got it wrong.

Perhaps the Post can now put the question to some Democrats. Perhaps they might ask Hillary Clinton if she’s ready to remove that qualification “as far as I know” from her previous answer to the question. The answer she gave when she was busy playing the race and religion cards in her campaign against Obama for the Democrat nomination. On what basis are Democrats exempt from having to make this affirmation?

The Post says that the correct answer to the question is “Every candidate should be judged on his or her merits.” Let me offer an alternative: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

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