VIDEO: The GOP's Internal Struggle Over Racism and Xenophobia

| Mon Oct. 20, 2008 3:30 PM EDT

This is heartening — anti-Islamic bigots at a McCain rally on Saturday were confronted by other attendees and actually sent packing.

A couple points: (1) I hope we seen a post-election rehabilitation of the image of Muslims in America. It's sorely needed. Colin Powell is already helping. (2) There is a war currently ongoing for the soul of the Republican Party. On the one hand you've got the folks in this video who decry racism, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. On the other hand you've got folks like the the man below and the party leaders who seek to exploit him. The positions the party takes on any number of issues — including military detainees, civil liberties, hate crime legislation, gay marriage, and immigration — depend on which kind of GOP voter wins this battle.

Frankly, I wish the nativists all the luck in the world. Their ascent in the Republican Party will only lead to its increased marginalization in a changing world.