While there is no question whatsoever that those who are planning to build the Lower-Manhattan mosque are well within their Constitutional rights to do so, I can think of no more incendiary gesture to stoke the ire of a still-reeling Nation as it struggles with finding a middle-ground between focusing on our true enemies and embracing the moderates of Islam whom those attempting to construct on this site would have us believe they represent. Clearly, it would be an insult to our own values to use extralegal means by which to halt this construction. Nevertheless, I call on moderate Muslims and open-minded Americans to join me in respectfully asking this group to reconsider its choice of location for this new mosque.
In watching the vexing back-and-forth the president had this weekend (with himself) regarding the Ground Zero Mosque (as it would be called regardless of the monicker—Cordoba—Feisal Abdul Rauf chose for it), I wondered: Why couldn’t Barack Obama simply say something measured and purely commonsensical as the above statement?
The guy who called Cambridge police stupid, self-admittedly without knowing all the facts, took weeks to weigh in and in doing so was able to confuse the entire Nation with his lawyerly/professorially-worded statement on the controversy. So convoluted did his reasoning seem that it required two clarifications in the course of just a few hours. Why not just come out and say what even the hapless Senate Majority Leader was able to express. Hell, even Reid was able to voice a cogent stand on the issue, so tinged is it with racial and cultural implications, without gratuitously offending minorities. Now that’s an accomplishment for him!
Somehow, President Obama finds himself in the company of Mayor Michael Bloomberg in having no sense whatsoever of how to handle this prickly issue. Luckily in this day and age, though, we don’t elect leaders to handle prickly issues, now, do we?
So my question about Obama’s inability to say something sensical and logical about the issue isn’t totally rhetorical, and as I thought about it, I narrowed it down to two possibilities: One, he doesn’t believe it; or Two, he’s incapable of seeing past his own prejudices to speak what even he must understand.
I’m quick to dismiss the first explanation. If you have an hour and a half and at least a half a bottle, you can read through the statements (from his original words Friday night to his two clarifications on Saturday) and likely see he isn’t a cheer-leader for the mosque, but rather does seem to grasp (perhaps for the first time in his Administration) that the powers of his office can’t necessarily trump the Constitutional rights of at least some of his fellow Americans. I’ll leave it to others to play the Obama-the-Muslim-Who-Wasn’t-Born-Here-Just-Loves-Radical-Islam card. I’m much more intrigued by the other, more likely explanation.
And it’s this: Obama (just like Bloomberg and now Charlie Crist in Florida) has such a disdain for the natural conservative leanings of Americans (who cling to guns and God, etc.), that his innate reaction to it is to oppose it. I think it’s highly likely that Obama recognizes what’s wrong about putting a mosque at Ground Zero. I also think he agrees.
But it seems that to his elite sensibilities, to lend credence to the sensitivities of us mouth-breathers in fly-over country (let alone those troglodites in New York City!) by merely mentioning that it might be a bad idea is tantamount to aligning himself with Bush’s policies on
Guantanamo Bay, er, warrantless wiretaps, um, renditions, ugh… Afghanistan. Well, anyway…
Point being, Obama’s disdain for the American people transcends even his ability to put in the simplest of terms a desire that these guys just move it all down a few blocks. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when guy who can’t step foot on foreign soil without blurting out an apology for our western liberal democracy while deeply bowing to an unelected monarch finds it so difficult to see it from our perspective.
-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)