Candidates in a Tennessee Republican congressional primary are engaged in an epic battle to determine who's more of a wretched bigot. Lou Ann Zelenik, who lost to current congresswoman Diane Black two years ago, promises to be super racist and awful towards Muslims like the ones who wanted to build a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee a couple of years ago.
"I will work to stop the Islamization of our society, and do everything possible to prevent Sharia law from circumventing our laws and our Constitution," Zelenik said.
Black, for her part, also insists she's a lowest-common-denominator-pandering fear mongerer, but just one who has a more nuanced grasp of the constitution (nuanced in the sense that she probably skimmed it once or twice in the background of ad she read while buying gold).
"No one is more opposed to Sharia law, radical Islam and terrorism than Diane Black, but unlike her opponent, Diane Black respects our Constitution," her campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Coxe-Baker said.
But Tenneesee residents aren't buying Black's tough talk. A "health care investor" and certainly awful person named Andrew Miller recently donated $105,000 to a group called (and I swear this is not a typo) Citizens 4 Ethics in Government. The group has already spent almost $188,000 on autocalls and commercials to unseat Black.
Natrually, Muslims aren't too thrilled.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Muslim Civil Rights and advocacy group, says people like Zelenik "live in their own bubble of anti-Islam hate."
"All you can do is rely on the goodwill and the tolerance of the members of the rest of society who don't hold these extremist, bizarre views and trust in the common sense of the American people and the people of Tennessee," he said.
That's a nice sentiment and all, Hooper, but my roommate is from Tennessee, and there's simply no reasoning with those people.
Anyway, what makes the whole thing even dumber, if that's possible, is that this "I'm more intolerant than you" pissing contest isn't even about Murfreesboro anymore; a 2010 redrawing of election maps put the community center and mosque in another district.
[Image via AP]