In case you didn't hear -- and based on the lack of national outrage, you didn't! -- there are certain people in this country who believe the president of the United States is a terrorist.
I'm not talking about the usual birthers, wing nuts, morons and conspiracy theorists who think anybody with dark skin and the name "Hussein" is, by default, an Islamic extremist from some far-off country like Kenya or Africa. Those people have been around for years.
Well, they've been around since 2008, anyway.
I'm talking about well-educated, successful politicians who (should) have the intellectual capacity to differentiate a patriotic American who loves his country from the band of Islamic extremists who waged war on this country 12 years ago, and who continue to wage war on America and its allies today.
I'm talking, for example, about people like Ron Ramsey, the Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee.
Ramsey was first elected to office in 1992. He has a degree from East Tennessee State University, is a successful businessman, was named "The Best Lawmaker for Business" by Business Tennessee magazine, and is a member of the Tennessee Auctioneers Hall of Fame. In 2011, he was named to the Board of Directors of the National Conference of State Legislators. He is a longtime Sunday school teacher, a father and grandfather, and the first Republican to serve as Speaker of the Tennessee state Senate in 140 years.
Despite this seemingly normal background, on Wednesday, September 11 -- the 12th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11 -- Ron Ramsey tweeted out the following:
As the President attempts to ally w/ al-Qaeda in Syria's civil war, we must always remember who attacked us on our soil 12 years ago.
Did you get that? The Lieutenant Governor of the state of Tennessee, a man who is second in command of the 17th most populous state in America, believes the President of the United States is "allying" himself with the same terrorists who killed nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11.
On Thursday, not only did Ron Ramsey not apologize for his tacky and tasteless tweet, he actually released a statement defending it!
"Every September 11 since that tragic Tuesday in 2001 has been a day of remembrance," Ramsey's statement read. "We remember those who died, those who served and those who carry on. But we must also remember those who attacked us and why. The Syrian rebels connections to Al-Qaeda are well-established and well-known."
So there you have it -- the Syrian rebels (or at least some of them, to some degree) have connections to al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is the group that attacked America on 9/11. So if President Obama supports the rebels, he must support the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11. Right?
It's a questionable leap of logic, but bear in mind, the Tennessee state legislature that Ramsey heads up doesn't exactly have the best reputation for being logical. This is a state legislature that once mistook a mop sink for a Muslim foot-washing basin. This is a state legislature that is now considering a "Merry Christmas" bill that gives all Tennesseans the legal right to say Merry Christmas -- even to Muslim extremists like Barack Hussein Obama!
And like many of the knuckleheads and Islamophobes who make up the Tennessee state legislature, Ron Ramsey is occasionally known to go off the rails with his own anti-Muslim hysteria. He once questioned whether Islam is a religion, and he also seems to believe that sharia law is a very real threat to America.
But despite his occasional knuckleheadedness, this time around, you could argue that Ron Ramsey has a point. Let's consider what he's saying: basically, he's saying that if President Obama supports the Syrian rebels, he is, by proxy, supporting al Qaeda terrorists.
It's a (somewhat) valid point, and one that is not entirely untrue or inaccurate.
But using this same logic, would Ron Ramsey not conclude that Ronald Reagan was allied with al Qaeda too? Remember, President Reagan aided, supported, and funded the mujahedeen in the 1980's, when Soviet communists were threatening to take over Afghanistan. One of the mujahedeen that Reagan supported was Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda terrorist who killed nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11.
So if we, as Americans, are to "remember those who attacked us and why", should we not conclude that Ronald Reagan was allied with al Qaeda?
Probably not, but based on Ron Ramsey's tweet, it's a perfectly logical conclusion.
Of course, I don't hear too many Republicans making this connection, but I suppose that's because terrorist connections are like air strikes and the national debt -- they only matter to some Republicans when a Democrat is in office.
In the meantime, whatever happened to "United We Stand?" With Barack Hussein Obama in office, it seems like it's every man for himself. That's not my opinion, of course -- I'm a patriotic American who loves my country and respects my president. To Americans like Ron Ramsey, however, love for one's country and respect for one's president apparently depend on who the president is. It's a shame, but it's not at all surprising.
Meanwhile, if President Obama is attempting to ally himself with Al Qaeda, President Reagan must have been a senior member of al Qaeda. Again, that's not my opinion -- it's the opinion of Ron Ramsey!
It all depends on who the president is.
Follow Brian Joyce on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@the_brianjoyce