Noted wordsmith Sarah Palin announced on Twitter yesterday that “peaceful” Muslims ought to “refudiate” Cordoba House, the Islamic center (invariably misreported as being a mosque) that planners are hoping will be located a couple blocks from Ground Zero in downtown Manhattan. (Tablet Magazine’s Mark Bergen reported on the controversy last week.)
Of course, the political media being the political media, the story has become Palin’s use of the, shall we say, neologism “refudiate”; her subsequent correction of her Tweet to “refute”; and then her defense of her own flexible use of the English language: “‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up,’” she Tweeted. “English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!” (Does that mean the Constitution is living as well?)
The real story here, though, is that prominent moderate New York Jewish politicians like Michael Bloomberg and Scott Stringer all have no problem with the Cordoba House, which, by the way, is actively modeled on Jewish Community Centers. Another reason, in other words, why Jews may hate her. Also her sublimely grandiose view of herself.
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.