Sultan Barack, his harem, and Sarah Palin's medical records

What's the only thing worse than the Right trying -- still -- to claim that Obama is a Muslim? Their cowardly refusal to admit they're doing that.

By Glenn Greenwald

Published November 1, 2008 10:49PM (EDT)

One of the few things worse than right-wing pundits trying to depict Barack Obama as a Muslim in order to win the election are the ones who do it but then are too cowardly to admit they're doing it.  National Review's Mark Steyn was on The Hugh Hewitt Show a couple nights ago and said this:

The media basically are behaving like a corrupt version of the House of Lords. So actually, it’s not even that good. The media have simply announced that they’re content to be the eunuchs in Sultan Barack’s harem.

He was apparently so impressed with what he perceives as the cleverness of his slur that he just repeated it over at National Review:

The media congratulates itself on its courage, bravery, fearlessness, etc, more than any other profession. Yet, in the end, as I said to Hugh Hewitt the other afternoon, to be the eunuchs in Sultan Barack's harem.

This came on the heels of one of the tough-guy Powerline warriors deciding (with National Review cheering) that the politician to whom Obama bears the closest substantive resemblance is Rep. Keith Ellison, an African-American who is also the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress.  This tactic is more pathetically desperate than it is anything else -- it hasn't worked yet and isn't likely to -- but what makes it so repellent is that they don't even have the courage to admit what they're doing, instead indignantly denying that they would ever do any thing like suggest that Obama is a Muslim.  Just like the neocons who love to prance around beating their chests, demanding "decisive action" and threatening that "it's time to get our hands dirty" in the Middle East -- only to then deny their clear, intended meaning -- they're as cowardly as they are anything else.   Three days left and counting.

* * * * * 

On a different note:  where are Sarah Palin's medical records?  I tend to believe that even candidates for the highest offices are entitled to more privacy than most people seem to believe they ought to have, but release of medical records is something that all national candidates are expected to do, and the other three candidates (Obama, McCain and Biden) have all -- with varying degrees of thoroughness -- released medical information and histories.   But Palin hasn't released any of her medical information and apparently now refuses to do so.

What makes Palin's refusal increasingly strange is that she told Brian Williams two weeks that she would release them; the campaign promised ABC News -- whose Kate Snow has tenaciously asked "every day [last] week" -- that it would release them early last week; and yet she still has not done so.  It seems clear that she now has no intention of releasing them before the election.  

She is a 44-year-old woman who insists that she's had no health problems.  How hard can it be to gather her medical records?  And what is the reason for her refusal?  One can debate whether Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates should have to release medical records -- I'm ambivalent on that question -- but the standard is that they are required at least to release basic medical history, and Palin promised to release hers.  So where is it, and why hasn't it been released yet?

Glenn Greenwald

Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

MORE FROM Glenn GreenwaldFOLLOW ggreenwald

Related Topics ------------------------------------------