Quite the culture war on Morning Joe today . . .
The combatants were Pat Buchanan and Spencer Ackerman of the lefty Washington Independent. The topic was the treatment of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab. Buchanan wanted the budding terrorist classified as an enemy combatant in order to extract the maximum amount of information from him. Ackerman, in ACLU mode, favored having young Umar tried in federal court and given all rights extended to US criminal defendants.
My antennae went up when at the end of their debate, Buchanan saw Ackerman off by wishing him "Merry Christmas." A bit of Googling reveals that Ackerman, who describes himself as a "very short Jew," has recently written of his "deep-seated contempt for white gentile culture."
Speaking personally as a Jew, let me say that I'm always pleased to be wished Merry Christmas and regret the Season-Greetings-ization of our culture. Watch Pat in the video: there's nothing malicious in his tone; his greetings are given with a twinkle and a smile. But I can't help but wonder whether Pat meant his wishes [coming four days after the 25th and addressed to someone he probably knew or assumed to be Jewish] as something of a good-natured needle.
And not that Ackerman isn't an annoying figure. The pugnacious Spencer concluded the item in which he wrote of his disdain for gentile culture thusly:
God I’d love to meet Glenn Beck in person and give him something to cry about.
Muy macho! Not the first time Ackerman has talked tough, either. He was reportedly fired from the New Republic after emailing his editor—"in what according to Ackerman was intended to be a joke—[that] he would 'make a niche in your skull” with a baseball bat."
Note: Getting back to substance, the most illogical of Ackerman's arguments was that there's no harm in granting Abdul Mutallab all rights of a US defendant since he's been speaking freely since arrested. How chatty does Ackerman think Umar will continue to be once someone like a Ron Kuby gets his lawerly mitts on him?
Another knee-slapper from Spencer: "It doesn't really seem to make any sense—especially if we're talking about promoting the rule of law in places like Yemen—not to try him in a federal court." What Jim Pinkerton sardonically wrote of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed at Politico today is equally applicable to Abdul Mutallab: "Al Qaeda will be deeply moved by hearing their Miranda rights read to them."