Forty-one Republicans, more than 20 percent of the caucus, and one Democrat voted "present" on a resolution recognizing the commencement of Ramadan on Tuesday.
The 42 lawmakers make up more than 10 percent of the members voting on the resolution. There were zero "no" votes, and 14 members did not vote.
The resolution recognized "the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world," rejected "hatred, bigotry and violence directed against Muslims, both in the United States and worldwide" and "[commended] Muslims in the United States and across the globe who have privately and publicly rejected interpretations and movements of Islam that justify and encourage hatred, violence and terror."
In other words, one in five elected Republicans refuses to affirm that muslims in America are a valued piece of the fabric of America. The reasons given by some of the caucus for their passive-aggressive stance were mainly complaints about political correctness and invocations (hilariously) of the separation of church and state:
"This resolution is an example of the degree to which political correctness has captured the political and media elite in this country," Tancredo said.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said, "I voted 'present' because I read somewhere that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion."
Their dedication to the Constitution is as admirable as it is selective. But pray tell, why did not Messrs. Pence, Tancredo, et al vote No, rather than Present?
(incidentally, read loyal conservative blogger Rick Moran on how the hyper-religiosity on the part of the Republican candidates is a recipe for a rout in 2008.)