Sunday, July 24, 2005

RADICAL WATCH Update: Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo Defends Extremist Views

This is an update on a previous post that appeared on Wed., July 20. This post was a part of my Radical Watch series on extremists of all religious and ideological persuasions. To view that post, see:

In an op-ed published on July 24 in the Denver Post, Colorado Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo (right) reiterated his belief that the U.S. government should consider attacking Mecca and Medina in response to a future terrorist attack on U.S. soil, moderating little from his original thesis. He infers that there is no "mainstream" Islam (the quotation marks were his) and that as long as the so-called "War on Terror" is grinding on with little or no end in sight, the U.S. should not take "any option or target off the table, regardless of the circumstances."

Tancredo also writes, "if the mere discussion of an option or target may dissuade a fundamentalist Muslim extremist from strapping on a bomb-filled backpack, or if it might encourage "moderate" Muslims to do a better job," then his statements were justified. In a nutshell, he exemplifies the "ugly" American armed with a big stick, but who doesn't know how to use it and instead of carefully targeting his real enemies, bashes away at everyone. Tancredo's suggestions would do little to impact the war against terrorism and, despite his disparaging remarks about his critics, the "option" he suggests would prove to the world that the U.S. really is the ugly bully that it is portrayed as in Europe, South America, Canada, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. People like Tancredo have no idea how to carry out diplomacy, instead feeling comfortable with the use of brute strength. The problem is, brute strength never works in the long term.

To read Tancredo's full op-ed, see:

In another recent statement, Tancredo said, "I didnt say nuke anything. I just said, 'take out their holy sites."

In a July 22 article ("Tom Tancredo Eyes White House Run"), Associated Press writer Steven K. Paulson reports that Tancredo, considered by many to be out of step even with the mainstream Republican Party and a bigot, is considering a Presidential run in 2008. This year, he has visited Iowa and New Hampshire, two states that hold important caucus/primary elections. Most politicians considering a Presidential run test the waters early on by visiting key states to speak with local party activists and independent organizations.

Tancredo is quoted as saying, "Unless I misread the political tea leaves, there is a great deal of support for what I say."

Unfortunately for Tancredo, even President George W. Bush, who is the most conservative Republican President since Ronald Reagan (and he's arguably even more conservative than Reagan), does not support statements like those made by Tancredo. This seems to suggest that such views are not conducive to winning a national election.

In 2002, the national Republican Party distanced itself from Tancredo, who is known for his vehemently anti-immigrant views, because they feared he would cost them valuable Hispanic-American votes. However, in the upcoming 2006 Congressional elections, the GOP is backing Tancredo's re-election bid. Tancredo's immigration views are also at odds with President Bush's.
Although all political analysts say that Tancredo has no real chance of winning the Presidency, he may have an impact on the 2008 election by forcing immigration issues to the forefront.

To read the full AP, story, see:

No comments: