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Ali Hasan's Parting Shots at Conservatives   August 9th, 2010
Colorado GOP seems to have dodged a bullet by not nominating Hasan       

 
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Colorado Republicans seem to have really dodged a bullet when they rejected Ali Hasan as a candidate for Colorado Treasurer at the State Assembly in May.

I first met Ali Hasan at the Colorado Republican Central Committee meeting in Keystone in September of last year. He mentioned to several of us that he was considering a run for State Treasurer. Within a few months he was in the race and making frequent appearances at Republican events--often serving up free pizza at his campaign tables. He was certainly a friendly enough person, and I found his use of large posterboards to make his case to be memorable. After his loss at the State Assembly, I thought highly of Hasan's prompt statements about respecting the will of the delegates by not trying to petition on to the ballot.

Though I can't (and won't) say anything about if/how I voted at the State Assembly, I will say that I was surprised Hasan didn't receive enough votes to at least make the primary ballot. Now, just over two months later, I'm relieved he didn't.

I say this due to comments that Hasan has written and spoken in the last week. I respected Hasan as an energetic candidate who bowed out with dignity after his loss at the Assembly. Alas, his comments of the last week have forced me to reevaluate my perception of Ali Hasan.

Hasan's Mosque Article

On August 2, 2010, Hasan published an article in the Huffington Post supporting the construction of a mosque in New York City, near Ground Zero. As the article is read, one waits for an explanation of why he supports the building of the mosque, but Hasan offers nothing.

He starts his article with an assault on many conservatives:

HASAN: To my fellow conservative leaders who say they are against this project, yet claim to not be bigoted, I have news for you: you are a bigot.


Three sentences into the article and his opening salvo is an ad hominem attack on conservatives with whom he disagrees. He calls conservative leaders bigots; akin to racists. The exact same kind of baseless attack that we hear on an almost daily basis from leftists and their allies in the leftist media, including bastions of the left such as the Huffington Post.

HASAN: Shame on Republican leaders for criticizing such a fine project. After all, I believe many of these conservatives were the same leaders who supported the bailouts of 2008 and turned blind eyes to the book-cooking that kept companies like Enron in business?

Perhaps the founders of the Cordoba House should abandon the project, convert to Christianity, and invest their $100 million into a more modest building, closed to the public, that will instead house an oil company that cooks its books to reflect fake profits? History dictates that the same conservatives criticizing the Cordoba House project would probably give this new oil company a large bailout -- provided that the good oilmen are white and Christian.


These two paragraphs are priceless--in a bad way.

In the first paragraph, the issue of some Republicans having supported bailouts has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of the mosque. The only reason it seems to have been mentioned is to set-up a strawman for the jabs he wants to make in the second paragraph.

The next paragraph is amazing in that it invokes some of the most popular leftist stereotypes of Republicans. Hasan states that the leaders of the project would probably get a bailout if only they were white Christians running an oil company that cooked their books to reflect fake profits.

Huh? Where did that come from? One could be forgiven for thinking that Hasan is bigoted against white Christians, especially those that have oil companies (though I don't recall any oil companies having received bailouts).

Once again, these kinds of absurd, hateful, and stereotypical comments are something I'd expect to see written by leftists, not by a former Republican candidate for statewide office.

HASAN: I just cannot call Palin a "bigot," as she has said too many good things about Islam -- as has Newt Gingrich, who endorsed me during both of my political campaigns in Colorado....

However, what truly reeks within this debate is not the shadow of bigotry, but rather, the cloak of dishonesty.


Like the dishonestly inherent in applying a double-standard to Palin and Gingrich (whom Hasan is unwilling to call bigots) as compared to other conservatives who Hasan calls bigots for holding the exact same viewpoints?

HASAN: My fellow conservative leaders, please quit lying. If you are against the mosque, then call yourself a bigot and give us the gift of an honest dialogue, the kind we carry on so proudly here in America.

Yes, you will be a bigot -- but at least you will be a man.


If anyone were to call themselves a bigot, how would that give anyone "the gift of an honest dialogue?" Because, as far as I can tell, Hasan's article hasn't really provided any opportunity for dialogue on the merits of whether or not a mosque should be built. And if he wants to attack some conservatives for not being men, he should at least be man enough to apply his same accusations of bigotry to Palin and Gingrich.

When I saw the title of the article I assumed I'd be reading a thoughtful analysis of the arguments. I hadn't really given much consideration to the issue and thought the article might offer an interesting perspective. Hasan could have made the case for the mosque. This could have been an intelligent article and, who knows, perhaps it would've been persuasive. But by not addressing the arguments and immediately calling conservatives "bigots," his article is nothing more than a poorly-written hit piece against conservatives, published in a leftist forum.

I question the purpose of the article. Clearly the purpose wasn't to convince conservatives to change their position since you don't persuade someone by opening and closing with personal insults. Given the venue in which Hasan chose to publish this hit piece, it almost seems like its purpose was to earn Hasan brownie points with leftists who are certainly thrilled to see a Republican calling conservatives "bigots."

Quite frankly, I'm disappointed in Ali Hasan. I expected more from him than "you bigot!" There are legitimate arguments both for and against the mosque, and his perspective could have added to the discussion. But it didn't. His article does a disservice both to his point of view and to the conservatives he chose to insult.

Sour Grapes Continue

Two days after Hasan's mosque article, a judge overturned California's Proposition 8 which opposed gay marriage and Ali Hasan wrote the following on his Facebook page: "Prop 8 overturned! What a great day for civil liberties - I claim many places as "home," and today, I'm proud to be a California boy!" He said essentially the same thing later that afternoon on the Caplis & Silverman radio show.

Yes, Republicans can have disagreements over specific points in the platform. But Hasan's prominent statement on gay marriage, coming on the heels of his wild accusations of bigotry against conservatives, seems more than curious.

Granted, his comments have received plenty of attention. If his intention was to be in the public spotlight a bit longer, he's certainly achieved that. But the sudden flurry of these kinds of comments from Ali Hasan really seem like parting shots and sour grapes on his way out the door.

At the beginning of the mosque article, Hasan claims to be a Republican leader. How is he a Republican leader? He has insulted quite a few conservatives around the country by calling them bigots and then insulted another group of conservatives by contradicting the party platform on gay marriage. And, following his loss as a candidate, he has left the state. Sure, he co-founded Muslims for Bush years ago--however, that claim to fame can only buy him so much mileage in light of his recent statements.

After Hasan's over-the-top comments of the last week, I can't imagine him now being a successful Republican leader or candidate in Colorado, maybe anywhere.

But I'm sure many leftists are enjoying his attacks on conservatives and Republicans.

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