Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How To Turn #IStandWithAhmed Into an Anti-Obama Attack

The big viral story of the day is a Muslim teenager, Ahmed Mohamed, who built a homemade clock, took it to school to show his teachers his engineering prowess, and was promptly arrested for bringing a "bomb". The case smacks of racial profiling and Ahmed's heartbreaking statement vowing "never to take an invention to school again" has really hit home the emotional and practical depths of his treatment. The President has joined the chorus of condemnations and invited Ahmed to the White House., and Kevin Drum wonders if this might be something so obviously outrageous that even Republicans have to follow suit.
Even conservatives can't really defend what happened here. On the other hand, they can hardly agree with Obama, can they? What to do?
Please. This is easy. First of all, the statement of Irving's mayor (previously most-well-known for engaging in hysterical Islamophobia in an attempt to ban religious mediation), or that of the school district, is the perfect conservative response: no direct attacks on Ahmed, but stressing the importance of public safety and reporting suspicious threats, and congratulating authorities on being "vigilant" towards any "threats". It's basically how Republicans react to cases of police brutality when they can't gin up a decades-old theft conviction or an embarrassing Facebook photo mugging for the camera: vague indication that it sucks for the victim, overridden by the importance of trusting and deferring to the authorities.

But honestly, that's still only scratching the surface. The real opportunity comes from that invitation for Ahmed and his clock to come to the White House. Because when he arrives, obviously the Secret Service is going to check his bag, because that's what they do. And then somebody -- my prediction is Breitbart -- will crow about the naked hypocrisy of Obama condemning a local school district from taking the same precautions that his own security detail demands.

That's how you go pro in anti-Obama hackery.

UPDATE: BOOM! I called it:

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