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Non-Ironic Bush Nostalgia

Interesting nugget from Ben Smith:

A former Bush aide, watching the GOP's current discussion of Islam with some interest, noted to me today that the crucial thing will be how the 2012 presidential candidates handle mosques and Muslims rhetorically: With the deliberate embrace that Bush chose just post September 11, or by seeking to rally parts of the Republican base with religious confrontation.

I think we know how this movie will end. Now, I could see Republicans acting responsible if they win the presidency, and thus have to deal with the potential repercussions of the fight against Islamist extremism becoming defined as a fight against Islam. In fact, I think they would act responsibly in such a scenario, unless the Republican president is somebody like Sarah Palin. But as long as they remain out of power, Islamophobia will be the order of the day.

(Okay, the photo is ironic. But the nostalgia for Bush's careful distinction between Islam and Muslim extremism isn't.)