Dem Compares OSAMA Bil Laden to WHOM?,

Representative Marcy Kaptur, the Democratic Representative from Toledo, Ohio currently serving her 21st term, is being buffeted by criticism from Republicans in her home state in the wake of an old interview that has recently resurfaced. In the interview, she appears to favorably compare Al Quaeda founder Osama bin Laden with the American Revolution’s Founding Fathers.

Kaptur made the controversial comments to the Toledo Blade newspaper during her 2003 election campaign. As reported by the Blade, she expressed her views that strikes against Iraq might stir up a powerful response due to the “powerful” mix of religion and politics in the situation. Bin Laden embodied such a mix, in her view, and as a man filled with religious purpose who led an army that was not attached to a nation-state, he closely resembled the kind of revolutionaries who took it upon themselves to drive British power from the shores of what then became the United States. She finished her comments by saying that she believed it would be foolish for the United States to put itself in the crossfire of Middle Eastern religious conflicts.

She said that, in her view, people of faith like herself understood that the Islamic revolutionaries represented a great source of hope to Muslims, and that the terrorists understood their actions as sacred acts of devotion and sacrifice. Religious people, in her view, were in an excellent position to understand the danger of getting in the way of that kind of spiritual fervor.

Kaptur’s comments caused a firestorm at the time they were made, with one member of the NRCC (National Republican Congressional Committee) declaring her stance “outrageous.”

The issue has re-captured public attention due to campaign actions of Derek Merrin, a Republican Representative in Ohio, who is running for Kaptur’s seat in this November’s elections. Merrin said that the incident was but one example among many of how out-of-touch Kaptur is with the sentiments and values of the people she represents.