Sen. John McCain has earned considerable praise for defending Huma Abedin, the Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Abedin was accused of being, by familial association, part of a plot from the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate the American government.
McCain described the accusations against Abedin as “nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack.”
I agree, and while McCain did the right thing, his action shouldn’t be considered heroic or worthy of adulation. It should be expected. Americans claim to hold our representatives to a higher standard. In this instance, Rep. Michele Bachmann, who gave these wildly unsubstantiated attacks the credibility of a congressional seal of approval, clearly failed to live up to those expectations. On the floor of the House of Representatives, facts should rule the day — not rumor mongering.
These accusations stemmed from a report from The Center for Security Policy. This group, run by Frank Gaffney, has been on the forefront of combating “creeping Sharia,” and if there were actually such a thing, I’d applaud Gaffney’s work.
But it’s a phantom, a straw man, a fear of something without any there there. It needs to stop now.
National Review, the magazine seen by many as the intellectual backbone of modern conservatism, spent years pushing back against conspiracy theories fostered by groups such as the John Birch Society. Their work was essential to keeping the right wing from being typecast as a bunch of loons and fools.
It appears we might need a similar effort today. Conservatism cannot allow itself to be the residence of cranks.
Unless they can provide some more evidence, Rep. Bachmann and the other Republicans making these accusations owe her an apology.