Arab-Americans are lining up to vote against President Bush in November:
[I]n states such as Michigan with a large Islamic population, they’re hoping to exert a significant influence on the 2004 presidential race. Most are motivated by their desire to oust President Bush, whom they have turned against with a vengeance since 9/11.
The Arab-American population has been swiftly growing. The population rose from 860,000 in 1990 to about 1.2 million in 2000, according to the Census Bureau. The nationwide estimates mask the disproportionate political clout Arab-Americans could wield in the handful of states where most have settled.
More evidence of the allure of Arab-American voters: Last October, nine of the 10 Democratic presidential contenders came courting at an Arab-American conference in Dearborn.
“We had a sense then how respected our community has become,” said James Zogby, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Arab American Institute and a member of the Democratic National Committee. “We’ve made a lot of progress in this country to the point where we’re at center stage, where our issues are the nation’s issues.”
“We’re trying to put a lot of effort into getting Muslim voters,” said Mark Brewer, executive director of the Michigan Democratic Party. “They so totally disapprove of Bush and what he’s been doing, they’re going to make a big difference here in November.”
Yes, the Democrats’ courting of Arab votes is an indication of “how respected [their] community has become.” Their “issues” are, indeed, “the nation’s issues.” The Democrats and not all, but far too many, Arab-Americans are in full accord: elect “anybody but Bush,” repeal the Patriot Act, dismantle our defenses, and wait passively for the next terrorist attack. In an earlier era, the Democrats might have thought twice about soliciting support from those who hope for Americans to be blown up by terrorists. Not now.