Powell on Meet the Press yesterday:
I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.”
Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim; he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian.
But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America.
Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?
Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
Me: I basically agree with and admire his larger point about trying to be inclusive and all that. But, is there really much evidence that the GOP or the McCain campaign have had anything to do with the stories that Obama is a Muslim? Most of these stories started in the primaries long before McCain was the nominee, and were frankly more intense then than they are now. In fact, I talked to a prominent Democratic consultant last Spring who believed the Clintons were behind it all (which I doubted then and now). Now it’s John McCain’s fault? I thought that was a low and dishonest blow.