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Breaking: Reid calls for mosque to be built "someplace else"

UPDATE, 3:34 p.m. Why Reid's position is indefensible: Some are pointing out that Harry Reid, by citing the First Amendment and religious freedom, is reaffirming the group's right to build the project. That's true. But it's not terribly relevant in the current political context. First off, that's not a difficult position to take. Many Republicans also respect the group's right to build, while claiming that the group is wrong to exercise that right.

Despite Reid's reaffirmation of this right, his response is still weak and indefensible. And it leaves the President hanging after he took a big risk to do the right thing. Obama did not explicitly endorse the decision to build the center. But Obama did say that if the group does proceed with that decision, we must respect that decision, in accordance with American values.

Reid is not willing to say that. Rather, he's saying, in effect, that even if he supports the group's right to build the center, he's not willing to respect the decision to do so. That's unacceptable, and leaves Obama isolated at a very sensitive moment.

What's more, it's unclear why coming out against the plan in the manner Reid did is even good politics for Democrats at this point. Reid basically threw the whole Dem caucus under the bus: With the Senate leader at odds with the president, the media will press every Senate Dem to declare which side they're on.

And this fuels a bad narrative for Dems, too. Literally seconds after Reid's statement hit the wire, Republicans blasted out a press release mocking the Dem disarray on this issue with this tagline: "Great moments in August Democratic Messaging." This just makes the Dems look weak, unorganized, cowardly, and unwilling to take a stand for principles they plainly believe in.


UPDATE, 6:18 p.m.: Sharron Angle mocks Reid for taking a position in response to her attacks.


ORIGINAL POST:

Harry Reid is breaking with the President, claiming that while he respects freedom of religion, he's not willing to support an Islamic center near Ground Zero.

Specifically, says Reid spokesman Jim Manley, he thinks the "mosque" should be built "some place else":

The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Senator Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built some place else. If the Republicans are being sincere, they would help us pass this long overdue bill to help the first responders whose health and livelihoods have been devastated because of their bravery on 911, rather than continuing to block this much-needed legislation.

The second most powerful Democrat in the country is not willing to support the President in his efforts to defend the right of Muslims to build a cultural center on private property, if the site in question is in the vicinity of Ground Zero. This comes after his opponent, Sharron Angle, attacked him on the issue this morning.

Can't say I'm surprised. More in a bit.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 16, 2010; 3:09 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Comments

Reid is a craven coward - this Democrat is not a bit surprised either.

Posted by: mjwies11 | August 16, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Un-f*cking-believable. And y'all wonder why I hate Democrats.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Why does the Senate Majority Leader hate the Constitution?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 16, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Just totally sad.

Although, I'm not sure you can characterize it as a break with Obama, since Obama did not officially endorse the location in specific.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Harry is a chicken.

Posted by: dubuqueman | August 16, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

sue, it's a break in the sense that Obama said, "if they want to build it there, it's there right to do so, and we should respect that."

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

O/T but related:

Sam Stein is reporting that Muslim GOP operatives are working behind the scenes in an attempt to get the GOP to tone down the rhetoric.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/16/gops-ground-zero-mosque-r_n_683509.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess we know where the cowardice in the United States Senate comes from. Straight from the top. Respects their right but they shouldn't do it here. Wow, sounds just like a Republican here. Way to stand with your President and the Constitution Senator Reid.

I hope Harry Reid wins re-election because Sharon Angle is jsut a much worse choice for a United States Senator. But I also hope their is a leader fight he loses inside the caucus for this one. Coward.

Posted by: zattarra | August 16, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Harry.

Really, of all the things to go wobbly on. I've been hoping Harry Reid would lose--not to Sharron Angle, preferably, but, well, it is what it is.

Apparently, he's going to take himself down. Of all the issues to try and get nuanced on . . . are there any of his hardcore base that are going to agree with this?

And it's so chickenshlitz. At least many of the Republicans (protestations aside) think they are really justified in opposing the Ground Zero Victory Mosque™.

Does anyone really believe that this is what Harry thinks is right in his heart? Or that, after losing (if he does), he won't come out saying it was purely a political calculation, and he should never had done it?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

His statement would help determine what he actually said.

Posted by: rlj1 | August 16, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Point understood, Greg.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"The second most powerful Democrat in the country is not willing to support the President in his efforts to defend the right of Muslims to build"

That's simply UNTRUE, Greg.

He said the exact same thing in his first sentence:

"The First Amendment protects freedom of religion."

He just said that HE (Reid) thinks that it should be somewhere else.

He didn't say they shouldn't be allowed.

He didn't say the builders are "really radical Islamists" (which is what Newt Gingrich said).

He said that HE THINKS that the mosque should be built elsewhere.

What is so controversial about that?

Greg, your post is inaccurate.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I see a movie in this:

When Harry Met Sharron!


Reid has been seduced by the Right Angle, and has now become just as crazy as she is.

Al Qaeda attacked us on 9/11

Al-Qaeda has since killed far more Muslims, in Muslim lands, than they have killed non Muslims, around the globe. Al-Qaeda has even launched attacks inside Saudi Arabia.

So, why should Muslims, who have nothing to do with Al-Qaeda, have to act ashamed, and agree to go hide out of sight?

You know me; always trying to be a reconciler, and I believe I just might have found a way for American Muslims to win over the hearts and minds, of those who are bothered by the idea of having a large Muslim Center in that part of town:

I think this should do the trick.

To prove that they are really good American Muslims, that proposed center should set aside a section, just inside the entrance, where guns and ammo can be purchased.

That should bring the NRA crowd in to support the location of the proposed center.

After all; no one ever gets offended by where guns shops set up business. Right? Very Right Indeed, I am sure you will agree.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

This reads like the sort of statement that will only raise more questions.

After all, a person can hold the view that the community center "should" be built somewhere else, but still respect the fact that ultimately the decision belongs with the local community.

On top of the GOP trying to ramp up Islamophobia, and deny the free practice of religious freedoms, there is a simple question of whether anyone outside of Manhattan deserves any say in community decision-making.

If there was suddenly a Republican theme that Las Vegas gambling is immoral and that it must be outlawed, I suspect Harry would speak up for the rights of Nevadans to determine what is allowed to take place within their own state.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 16, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Just further proof that the United States Senate is the worst part of our federal government. Reid and McConnell, majority and minority leaders that have no respect for the cosntitution. You swore an oath Sen. Reid, and it wasn't to get yourself re-elected you pandering coward.

Posted by: zattarra | August 16, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Reid, according to the Constitution (remember that) it doesn't f'n matter what you think. Your "support" is not needed, nor is your opinion.

Coward.

Posted by: overed | August 16, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Harry will give an "almost whispered"'speech on the Senate floor talking about how this was his biggest legislative mistake, after the election. So no worries. I forgive him since he'll apologize.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 16, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

They should all just respond with, "Why do Republicans hate the Constitution so much?"

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 16, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, the president's position is this:

"If the group wants to build there, we must respect that decision as Americans."

Reid's position is this:

"They have the right to build there, but if they proceed with plans, I'm not willing to respect that decision. I oppose that decision."

Like it or not, this leaves the President hanging.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow, more bold leadership in an election year. It's disappointing to see our leaders abandoning the first amendment and pluralism for temporary political concerns.

Note to the author: The full statement and some context would have been nice. Also I don't think Reid is the second most powerful Democrat. Majority leader in the senate is a pretty contrained position, and the considerable power of the senate doesn't mean that Reid has that power. He can direct traffic, but in the senate, no one pays attention to the road signs. I think you could easily put Pelosi or Inouye ahead of Reid in terms of actual power.

Posted by: poppycock | August 16, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"it's a break in the sense that Obama said, "if they want to build it there, it's there right to do so, and we should respect that.""

That is NOT A BREAK, Greg.

Obama said it's within their rights.

Reid said it's within their rights.

Obama did not say whether he supports building it there or not.

Reid said he thinks they should build it somewhere else.

That is NOT a disagreement since we don't know what Obama thinks. You may say that Reid went further than Obama did in his statements, but you CANNOT say that one is a "break" with the other and still maintain accuracy.

Greg, you are only HELPING Newt Gingrich as you have been throughout this whole nontroversy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

David Ramadan, a prominent Muslim-American conservative operative and a member of the Virginia delegation to the Republican National Convention. "We believe first and foremost in the Constitution. This is not a matter of this mosque or that mosque. This is not a New York mosque issue. It is a Constitutional issue.... This is absolutely unacceptable."

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 16, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Just another political misstep by the President. He didn't gain a single vote that he didn't already have, but he probably lost some in the middle. This is an administration that doesn't know how to focus. It all started with healthcare and the way things were allowed to drag on. Now, this useless debate. More lecturing by the college professor, instead of executive leadership. As a Democrat, I despair over this sort of bumbling. It all goes back to having a lack of leaders at the top levels of administration, nobody who is an effective communicator or has ever run something large. Gates will no doubt be replaced by another person in this category. Add in Reid and Pelosi and you are talking about some really unappealing people, lacking in charisma and communication skills.

Posted by: 54465446 | August 16, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

It probably will not hurt Harry in Nevada, but it was a cowardly and dumb thing to say.

We are nearing the point, where some of our so called leaders will start demanding that all American Muslims wear a Scarlet M.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@Patrick_M: "there is a simple question of whether anyone outside of Manhattan deserves any say in community decision-making."

I would say, um, no. I can't believe this is controversial with folks who consider themselves conservative. The community has said yes, it's their community, and I live in Tennessee or Texas or Oregon or Nevada, so it's none of my damned business.

Seriously.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"Add in Reid and Pelosi and you are talking about some really unappealing people, lacking in charisma and communication skills. "

That held the largest majorities in Decades and passed sweeping legislation that will affect our lives for years to come.

Who cares about charisma or communication skills. They got many of the jobs done. Far from failure imho.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 16, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Absolute cowardice.

I always thought Reid's ineffectual leadership in the Senate was due to the arcane rules and the ability of the GOP to exploit them. No more.

Posted by: bmcchgo | August 16, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The GOP - We only protect the Constitution when it's politically convenient.

And Reid's a turd too.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 16, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I am not a follower of any religion, so I do not have any iron in the "sacred" fire.

I just object to the way American Muslims are being scapegoated, because if you can do it to one group; tomorrow you can do it to some other groups.


Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, many did want the President to weigh in on this.

Hope everyone is satisfied!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 16, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Getting the support of Hamas for his words no doubt capped off a terrific weekend for the President. Anybody who think Rahm Emmanuel is hearing a few expletives from others instead of giving them out . . . raise your hand1

Posted by: 54465446 | August 16, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

@54465446

Please don't call defending the First Amendment a political mis-step. If defedning the constitution isn't one of the jobs of the President then what is. The President needs to stand up for what is right, not just for what is politically popular or get's him/her re-elected. A President that doesn't believe in or defend the constitution becasue it polls poorly - is that what you really want? Can't we have one party that cares about governing, do both aprties have to put politics before country?

Posted by: zattarra | August 16, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with people who say this is cowardly. In fact, I think it is a brave comment considering the fact that he is injecting his personal opinion into a tainted, political debate.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Harry is a whimp. This was revealed in the Health Care fight.
I wouldn't want to see him lose against Angle but I also wish that a new democratic leader is elected by the Senate.

Posted by: priceisright | August 16, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

All, please see my update

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

MIKEFROMARLINGTON wrote:

"That held the largest majorities in Decades and passed sweeping legislation that will affect our lives for years to come.

Who cares about charisma or communication skills. They got many of the jobs done. Far from failure imho."

Then why are those sweeping majorities in mortal danger, including Reid himself? You don't think the helth care legislation (for or against) wasn't an incredibly botched job?

Posted by: 54465446 | August 16, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"Mark McKinnon says GOP is reinforcing al Qaeda"

And Joe Scarborough agreed with his statement. Watch it on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NC9kHGPgq8&feature=player_embedded


"n Morning Joe earlier today, a pair of leading Republicans — host Joe Scarborough and former Bush strategist Mark McKinnon — blasted the GOP for its xenophobic and unconstitutional stance against American Muslims’ right to build a new Islamic center in lower Manhattan.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has claimed that the new Islamic center project “would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum.” Referencing that quote, Scarborough expressed angry disdain at Gingrich’s intolerance. “I don’t know where to begin,” Scarborough said. “To suggest that someone trying to build a tolerance center for moderate Muslims in New York is the equivalent of killing six million Jews is stunning to me.”

McKinnon then chimed in, arguing that the debate surrounding the Cordoba House project is contrary to his party’s principles. “We may get our membership [by the GOP] revoked,” McKinnon joked. “Screw ‘em,” Scarborough responded. McKinnon then said that the GOP’s stance is “reinforcing al Qaeda’s message”:

McKINNON: Usually Republicans are forthright in defending the Constitution. And here we are, reinforcing al Qaeda’s message that we’re at war with Muslims. So we’ve got this issue; then we’ve got the 14th Amendment issue, where Republicans are saying you’re not welcome here, when we were the architects of the 14th Amendment. So, I see a bad pattern where we’re headed as a Republican Party.

McKinnon said he believed President Obama has “done the right thing in stepping forward at this time on this issue.” He added, “Tolerance means tolerating things you don’t like, especially when you don’t like them. … I respect the President for making this move.”

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Read the update, Harry is still a whimp....

Posted by: priceisright | August 16, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

What is so wrong about taking the position that a right should not be exercised, even though it exists? We live in a free country, and people are free to do all sorts of things we don't respect or agree with. For example, people are free to cheat on their spouses, ignore their neighbors, and be mean to their children. None of these things is illegal. And yet, there's nothing strange or wrong about expressing the view that they should not do these things. You position on the mosque appears to be that so long as a right to do something exists, it must be given respect and support. Why?

Posted by: cjknew | August 16, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Ethan -- the president bravely said that we must respect the group's decision to build the project, even if we don't like it.

Reid said, "I respect their legal right to do it, but I am not willing to respect their decision to exercise that right."

That is NOT the same, and this is NOT a "nontroversy." This is about who we are as Americans.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"I disagree with people who say this is cowardly."

I just think it was stupid.

Republicans know there is still a big anti-Muslim sentiment in the air. They taunted and sucked the President into the discussion.

If everyone would have just shut the heck up the mosque would have been built, people would have moved on except the nut jobs and altlassshrugged2000 and we would have been fighting about immigration instead.

But nope, because of all the hysteria created by a few right wingers, the President felt he had to comment.

I know it sucks but the WH should have known this country can't have a civilized debate about most anything and stayed shut. They are a bunch of drama queens and tabloid junkies where sensational headlines drive the debate.

Was it the noble thing to do and defend the Constitution? Sure.

At this point everyone, ie Dems, should just let this story run its course. Either that or this President and every U.S. Senator needs to re-affirm his oath to Defend the Constitution of the U.S. and leave it at that.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 16, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow the demagoguery on both sides of this issue is simply amazing.

I disagree with Obama. I don't have to respect a bad decision, and building that mosque in a spot that is unacceptable to many would be a bad decision.

I have to respect the fact that they have the right to make a choice. I don't have to respect the choice itself.

the government, at any level, should not be used as a tool to stop this project. Conservatives who stand for limited government would be rank hypocrits to say otherwise.

but the folks behind the project have to understand the reaction they are getting.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 16, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"please see my update"

I see.

So one person having an opinion means that the Dems are in disarray???? Haha. Whatever!

I love your writings, you know that, but this is really really weak.

Frankly, I APPLAUD Harry Reid for showing the world that the Democratic Party allows its members to have an INDEPENDENT VOICE, unlike the lock-step GOP.

I disagree on where the stupid thing should be built, but THANK YOU HARRY REID!

America is all about the ability to have and express an opinion. The guy expresses his and he gets slammed as a coward. NONSENSE.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I'd tell them to respond with.

My opinion doesn't matter. What matters is what's written in the U.S. Constitution. If you've got a problem with what's written in the Constitution then I've got a bridge to Canada to sell you.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 16, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Sue Lowden could have used him to pay for a medical checkup.

Harry Reid:

A Profile In Poultry!

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow - are the people of Nevada that stupid? Does Harry Reid stand for anything?

Posted by: pgr88 | August 16, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

ZATTARA wrote:

"If defedning the constitution isn't one of the jobs of the President then what is. The President needs to stand up for what is right, not just for what is politically popular or get's him/her re-elected. A President that doesn't believe in or defend the constitution becasue it polls poorly - is that what you really want? Can't we have one party that cares about governing,"

Ironically, you answered your own question. The constituion was never in danger, and no court ruled otherwise. That's what makes this all so stupid, picking a fight where the 1st Amendment was never in danger. Your last statement was particularly telling that you don't understand the difference between campaigning and governing. When you're an executive, you don't constantly spout off about things that don't affect your job. It may sound great, but it interferes with getting the job done. The President and his administration keep making this mistake because they have never been at the top before. They better get it soon though.

Posted by: 54465446 | August 16, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"Wow - are the people of Nevada that stupid? Does Harry Reid stand for anything?"

The ones voting for Angle are. That's very close to a majority depending on who's doing the polling.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 16, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, come on. I didn't use the word "disarray," the GOP did. And they're not really wrong. Reid is the leader of Senate Dems. This is simply unacceptable. There's no explaining it away.

Of course, this means the issue is probably a dead one, which means we can all move on from this tomorrow and on to other stuff.

:)

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"This just makes the Dems look weak, unorganized, cowardly, and unwilling to take a stand for principles they plainly believe in."

Yes, yes, yes, and what is your evidence (from his actions) of Reid's belief in those principles?

Posted by: klhoughton | August 16, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Nadler, yesterday on CNN, when asked by Candy Crowley what he thinks the Mosque developers should do:

NADLER: Well, that's really up to the imam and the people around him. They have to decide what they want to do.

CROWLEY: Would you like them to?

NADLER: I am not going to comment on that, because I don't think it's proper for any government official to pressure them in any way. And if I were to say that I think it's a good idea for them to do it, since I am a government official, that would be government pressuring them.

But it's up to them. If they want to do that, they're certainly free to do it.

But I want to point out several things. One, there is a mosque in the Pentagon, which is also hallowed ground. No one objects to that. Second, the people who want to build this facility, which is partially a mosque and partially a community center, have a mosque a few blocks away from there, which no one has objected to.

And thirdly, objecting to this mosque would be as objectionable if you wouldn't object to a church or a synagogue in the same place because that's blaming all Islam and you can't blame an entire religion.

And finally, I would take the sincerity of many of the Republican critics of this, Peter King very much accepted, much more --I would understand the sincerity much more if they were supporting, as Peter is, but very few other Republicans are, the bill to give health care coverage to the 9/11 heroes and responders which all but 12 Republicans voted against in the House last week.

http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1008/15/sotu.01.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Word is that the folks behind the controversial mosque are going to back down and build elsewhere, which is what they should have done in the first place. Good for them. This isn't about the First Amendment, it's about common sense and decency.

Posted by: tompinch | August 16, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Here is what Harry Reid and many others are saying:

They have every right to do it, but they are wrong to do it.

Can you say cognitive dissonance, boys and girls?

They have the right to do it, as long as they do not do it?

Harry Harry Harry. Shame on you.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

TOMPINCH:

If you're right, that only makes the President look worse, after he took it on the chin for them. He can't catch a break on this no how!

Posted by: 54465446 | August 16, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Greg, you wrote:

"Republicans blasted out a press release mocking the Dem disarray on this issue"

If you don't think of this as Dems being in Disarray you would have written something like:

"Republicans blasted out a press release mocking what they see as Dem disarray on this issue"

I disagree that Dems are in disarray.

And I disagree that Dems not in perfect agreement with each other is a sign of weakness.

I see Dem diversity of opinion as a STRENGTH of the Democratic Party.

If the Republican Party showed similar diversity of opinion we would be living in a MUCH different country than we are today. But they do not.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"it's about common sense and decency."

It's only a controversy because a group of anti-Muslims created a false ground zero connection in the minds of American's and our idiotic press went along with it.

It should have never became an issue. The only controversy is the faux controversy created by Pamella Gellar.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 16, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

@ cjnew You seem confused or perhaps new to this blog and unaware of what Greg has been posting.

This is not about whether ANYBODY supports the the construction of the Mosque...it is about whether we support the RIGHT of the owners of a a private property to develop it in a legal fashion without suffering religious prejudice.

Supporting someone's rights is NOT THE SAME AS SUPPORTING THEIR PROJECT.

I do not support Augusta National golf club's decision to ban women...I do support their RIGHTS however to do so as a private club. I do not support illiterate demagogues like Palin/Bachman/Angle spewing hate and invective and ruining any chance to have a civil discussion on our HUGE healthcare problem...however I do support their right to do so...I do not support extremist Christians passing poisonous rattlesnakes in church to see if they're truly saved..however I do support their RIGHT to do so...are you catching on yet.

Greg can correct me...but I haven't really determined if he has posted anything pro or con regarding the actual building of the Mosque. He has posted frequently however on the RIGHT to do so...AGAIN FOR THE DENSER ONES HERE...SUPPORTING SOMEONE'S RIGHT TO DO SOMETHING IS NOT THE SAME AS SUPPORTING THEIR ACTIONS!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Nadler had the right answer.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 16, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

My prediction in the Angle/Reid matchup: it's a squeaker. Whoever wins, there's going to be a recount.

Yay, politics!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still: Saying someone has a right to do something, but they should not do it is NOT cognitive dissonance. I have the First Amendment right to put up a billboard that says "Liberals love terrorists". But should I do that? Of course not. Common sense and decency should prevail.

Posted by: tompinch | August 16, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Greg, you mean other stuff like the fact that because of Democratic FinReg:

OVERDRAFT FEES ARE A THING OF THE PAST!!!

Say goodbye to those nasty surprise overdraft fees.

Federal Reserve rules that took effect on Sun., Aug. 15, prevent banks from automatically enrolling customers in overdraft protection when making debit purchases or withdrawing money from ATMs.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/12/pf/overdraft_protection_rules/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

great answer from Nadler. very responsible.

Ethan, I agree, diversity of opinion is a strength for the Democratic Party. but not when it's rooted in political cowardice.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

My prediction in the Angle/Reid matchup: it's a squeaker. Whoever wins, there's going to be a recount.

Yay, politics!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 4:16 PM |

.......................

Kevin,

It is looking more and more like, no matter which one of them wins, America will lose.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Reid's weakness is pathetic but understandable. The voters are angry and intolerant -- in part because cynical politicians and conservative leaders and pundits have exploited the fear and ignorance of the public and in part because the media coverage has been so poor (the actual facts have not been widely reported--the imam is modern and moderate and was an envoy during the Bush admin years, the location for the construction is a commercial street blocks away from ground zero surrounded by apartment buildings and businesses, local ordinances were followed including zoning restrictions, and the community center is expected to be a cultural and economic plus to the neighborhood which is still somewhat depressed and will draw interfaith visitors). Democrats have been cowardly on this issue, understandably so given the pitfalls and polls. Reid may or may not deserve re-election to the Senate against Angle. He doesn't deserve to be relected party leader.

Posted by: wswest | August 16, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

This just makes the Dems look weak, unorganized, cowardly, and unwilling to take a stand for principles they plainly believe in.

thats what Dems are, weak, unorganized, cowardly, and unwilling to take a stand :)

Posted by: windansea | August 16, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The most pathetic aspect of this whole debate is the FACT that most Republicans couldn't give a rat's butt about anything that happens in New York City.

Nothing but a bunch of meddling, bigoted scumbags.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | August 16, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

This exquisite utter humiliation couldn't have happened to a better leftist, Greg.

I'm thrilled watching you twist in the wind.

Posted by: happyacres | August 16, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin...I agree it'll be a squeaker and as you suggest there is a great chance for a recount. Then we can go through several days of blogging where both sides accuse each other of cheating...of buying votes etc.

It's not really a proud moment to be an American. We must really look strong abroad.
So afraid of Muslims that we're ready to ditch our Constitution, so afraid of immigrants, that we're ready to change our Constitution, so afraid of gays that we need a judge to explain our Constitution.

And for the nimrod who posted earlier about how upset he was that the elites are going against the people's wishes...re gay marriage...immigration law etc. You must be completely unaware of where you live.
Do you remember the line about being endowed by certain INALIENABLE RIGHTS?
It doesn't matter if 99.9% voted for burning gays at the stake and only .1% voted against it...the will of the people will not prevail against INALIENABLE RIGHTS!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, here's your GOP:

"""When Barack Obama campaigned for president in 2008, he promised to reach out
and work with international powers and coalitions. This weekend, he finally
fulfilled a campaign promise. He chided the vast majority of Americans and
sided with the terrorist group Hamas."""

"""This weekend, Barack Obama endorsed the plan to build a mosque at Ground Zero, saying that allowing the site to go forward is “what our country’s about.”"""

"""Rather than a belief in God, Bolshevik-style Obama and his sympathizers and supporters worship the “deity of government” rather than our actual savior. Whether it is trillion-dollar taxpayer bailouts of banks, socialized health care, phony regulation of the financial industry..."""

Those are brief bits of the most recent email....

I guess you find it okay that your party writes these statements.

If the Democrats produced something as foul and false as that, I would not vote for them. Plain and simple.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats are getting very good at shooting themselves.

Posted by: Crmudgeon | August 16, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "It is looking more and more like, no matter which one of them wins, America will lose"

And not to be overly political (it's not my only concern, I'm just wonky, so it always interests me), is that whoever wins, their party loses. At this point, I think Reid is a net negative for his party (though not a large one), where as Angle is likely to be a net negative for Republicans, and perhaps a significant one. Sort of like Tom Cruise, only not as coherent.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"""but not when it's rooted in political cowardice."""

How do you know politics was his motivation?!?!?!

You DON'T!

That's probably how he actually feels and he doesn't want to lie about it for his own political purposes.

Again, I think it's a brave stance to take publicly as a Democrat in a close contest.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

happyacres...adjust your tinfoil dude...and then could you define humiliation for us?
Greg is humiliated because he chooses to defend one of our most cherished freedoms?

Why do you hate the Constitution?

Why are you such a coward when it comes to the Muslims? You do realize I hope that it was 19 members of a criminal enterprise called Al Qaeda that attacked us not Islam.

You do realize that we are in a war against terror not Islam don't you?

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

koolkat: You couldn't be more wrong about Republicans and NYC. I LOVE New York. Hell, I love San Francisco! They're great cities. And Ground Zero is not just a spot on the map either. Thousands of Americans, and people from all over the world, all races and religions, were incinerated there in 2001. It's a place made sacred by our loss as a nation, and a world.

Posted by: tompinch | August 16, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse


Liam-still: Saying someone has a right to do something, but they should not do it is NOT cognitive dissonance. I have the First Amendment right to put up a billboard that says "Liberals love terrorists". But should I do that? Of course not. Common sense and decency should prevail.

Posted by: tompinch | August 16, 2010 4:18 PM

......................

Nice strawman you just erected, and then set ablaze.


You just equated an American Muslim community center, including a prayer room, since their religion requires them to pray five times a day, with you posting blatant hate speech propaganda.

"Common Sense, and Decency" calls for letting all people exercise their rights without being bullied into surrendering their rights, just to appease the fear and hate mongers.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

@Ethat2010: "If the Democrats produced something as foul and false as that, I would not vote for them. Plain and simple."

What can I say? Good points. I'll have to think about them. Although, as I may have said, I'm not a big fan of Sharron Angle, and I'm glad she not the particular candidate I'd be voting for. My senators are Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. Both of whom I'd still feel all right about voting for.

My congressional representative is Marsha Blackburn. Not ideal, but, still, I'll also cast a vote for her.

Thanks for the heads up.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

RUKIDDING wrote:

"So afraid of Muslims that we're ready to ditch our Constitution, so afraid of immigrants, that we're ready to change our Constitution, so afraid of gays that we need a judge to explain our Constitution."

You still don't get it do you? No one other than dopey bloggers has said that they don't have the LEGAL RIGHT to build there. The Constitution has never been threatened. People DO however have the right to protest against the plan, or do you want to eliminate THAT Constitutional right?

The definition of marraige has never included two members of the same sex in any society until now (10-20 years or so). Even in ancient Greece where homosexual behavior was not an problem; they still only married the opposite sex. The fact that we now choose as a society to do something new is perfectly acceptable, but please recognize that this is a NEW right, not one having any legal precedent.

Posted by: 54465446 | August 16, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Kevin,

Any response to this email that I received from one of the Republican lists?

Three quotations:

"""He chided the vast majority of Americans and sided with the terrorist group Hamas"""

"""Barack Obama endorsed the plan to build a mosque at Ground Zero, saying that allowing the site to go forward is “what our country’s about.”"""

"""Bolshevik-style Obama and his sympathizers and supporters worship the “deity of government” rather than our actual savior. """

Are those okay?

Are you still willing to support a party that makes such glaringly false and incendiary comments such as these?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7: You do realize that the members of Al Qaeda are Islamic fundamentalists, right?

Posted by: tompinch | August 16, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"Sue Lowden could have used him to pay for a medical checkup.
Harry Reid: A Profile In Poultry!"

You still got it, Liam.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Again;

Lest we paint all Republicans with a broad brush.


"Mark McKinnon says GOP is reinforcing al Qaeda"

And Joe Scarborough agreed with his statement. Watch it on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NC9kHGPgq8&feature=player_embedded


"n Morning Joe earlier today, a pair of leading Republicans — host Joe Scarborough and former Bush strategist Mark McKinnon — blasted the GOP for its xenophobic and unconstitutional stance against American Muslims’ right to build a new Islamic center in lower Manhattan.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has claimed that the new Islamic center project “would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum.” Referencing that quote, Scarborough expressed angry disdain at Gingrich’s intolerance. “I don’t know where to begin,” Scarborough said. “To suggest that someone trying to build a tolerance center for moderate Muslims in New York is the equivalent of killing six million Jews is stunning to me.”

McKinnon then chimed in, arguing that the debate surrounding the Cordoba House project is contrary to his party’s principles. “We may get our membership [by the GOP] revoked,” McKinnon joked. “Screw ‘em,” Scarborough responded. McKinnon then said that the GOP’s stance is “reinforcing al Qaeda’s message”:

McKINNON: Usually Republicans are forthright in defending the Constitution. And here we are, reinforcing al Qaeda’s message that we’re at war with Muslims. So we’ve got this issue; then we’ve got the 14th Amendment issue, where Republicans are saying you’re not welcome here, when we were the architects of the 14th Amendment. So, I see a bad pattern where we’re headed as a Republican Party.

McKinnon said he believed President Obama has “done the right thing in stepping forward at this time on this issue.” He added, “Tolerance means tolerating things you don’t like, especially when you don’t like them. … I respect the President for making this move.”

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Kevin..."Sort of like Tom Cruise, only not as coherent." Interesting comparison.

BTW...I'm fairly thicked skinned so I appreciate your attempts at humor even when it is at progressive expense.

Perhaps that is my problem...I feel like I'm one of the last American's with a thick skin...you too Kevin...as a nation we've become as thin skinned as an onion.

Mark Shields recently wrote a piece on the need for some self deprecating humor in our political discourse. I'm certainly not a fan of Reagan's policies but ole Ronnie boy did have enough confidence and faith in his convictions to joke at his expense...when a political reporter asked Ronnie to autograph an old movie poster of Bedtime for Bonzo with Reagan and the chimp...Reagan quickly quipped.."I'm the one with the watch". WTF ever happened to the R's sense of humor? Can you even IMAGINE Palin making a joke about herself like that? That's why we're here to make them for her. LMAO

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

You are all over the map on this.

Earlier today you claimed that Republican criticism of Obama was "incoherent" because he was saying no more than what many of them had already acknowledged (which was of course the exact opposite of what you claimed Obama had said 2 days ago when he had the, er, "finest moment" of his presidency). Now Harry Reid comes out and says exactly what the Republicans have said, and you slam him for "leav[ing] the President hanging after he took a big risk to do the right thing."

Which is it? Are the R's "incoherent" because Obama has said nothing but what they already agree with, or is Reid leaving Obama "hanging" by, um, saying nothing but what the R's already agree with?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 16, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Game, set, match. Angle.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 16, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010: My response to "He chided the vast majority of Americans and sided with the terrorist group Hamas" is this:

Mahmoud al-Zahar, a co-founder of the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, said Muslims “have to build” the controversial mosque two blocks from Ground Zero.

Why do they "have to" build it there, Mahmound?

Posted by: tompinch | August 16, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

O/T;

"President Obama: 'Homegrown Clean-Energy Industry' Will Jumpstart Manufacturing, Create Jobs"

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/08/president-obama-homegrown-cleanenergy-industry-will-jumpstart-manufacturing-create-jobs.html

I'd like to see more media coverage of this. It's the future AND the present for our economy.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3,

Greg is the so incoherent on this issue he's embarrassing himself. It's not even worth trying to engage him. Obama could say up is down and Greg would agree. Then the next day he could say up is up and Greg would agree and say it's totally consistent with what he said yesterday.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 16, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I wish Reid had demonstrated the courage to split from Obama on Post Office Health Care!

Posted by: 2012frank | August 16, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Angle looks coherent and consistent and a true leader. Someone tell Harry Reid to stop urinating on the plant in the corner.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | August 16, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Kevin,

Saw your comment, so you can ignore 4:38pm.

Here is a comment by Marsha Blackburn on...

FinReg:

"This big government attempt to end the cycle of boom and bust produces a new cycle of fraud and bailout. I oppose this bill because I know the reams of regulation and red tape, the bailout funds, and the new bureaucracies won’t do much to prevent another financial crisis. In reality it will make it harder for your Main Street bank to compete with a twisted brew of New York firms and big government bureaucrats. It will begin the decline of community banking and in the process move the world’s financial capital from Wall Street to Washington. Most troubling, this bill will make it more difficult for hard working Tennessee families to find the credit they need to start a business, get a home loan, or even open a credit card."

Energy:

"""Congressman Blackburn opposes the Cap & Trade scheme that institutes billions in new taxes but does not do much to create more energy or help the environment. She knows that the EPA is willing to implement this scheme without the concent [Sic.] of Congresss and with little regard for the economic impact by restricting carbon dioxide emissions through the Clean Air Act. To stop this bureaucratic overreach and preserve Congressional authority (not to mention your wallet) Marsha Blackburn has sponsored H.R. 391 which will prohibit the EPA from regulating carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act."""

You're VOTING FOR *THAT*?!?!?!?!

Hahaha. You're not a serious person, not about politics at least.

Btw, no wonder you keep attacking Democrats as being scared of rural voters. It's because you're brainwashed into thinking that's what all "urban" Democrats think. Just like Marsha's "twisted brew of New York firms" that represent the economic collapse. Not "Wall Street firms" mind you, no, it's "New York firms".

That you would support someone as extreme and partisan as that is absolutely outrageous. Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, same thing. They are guilty of the same extremist tactics as the rest of the GOP.

Again, you don't care. You're FINE with the extremist tactics. That's all I've been saying. And it is true. You aren't 'thoughtful' or 'considerate,' you just pretend that you are when you are commenting on the blogs.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Actually, since Harry and Sharron, both called for them to not build the center there, no votes will switch sides.

I guess the only ripple effect will be, that the massive Nevada Muslim voting block, will decide to not show up at the polls.

For the humor impaired: that last part was snark.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

BTW: Marsha Blackburn is Michelle Bachman with a Southern accent.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"unwilling to take a stand for principles they plainly believe in."

simple. maybe they don't believe them. Reid and Obama are politicians first and foremost. they will do and say anything to maintain their power. any principles are beside the point.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | August 16, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"Marsha Blackburn is Michelle Bachman with a Southern accent."

Totally.

And Kevin, our resident "thoughtful Republican," can't wait to vote for her again.

There is no such thing as a thoughtful Republican.

If anyone votes Republican, they are explicitly or implicitly supporting the racism and xenophobia that have characterized the GOP agenda of the last 2 years, plus racist/xenophobic comments and campaigns for DECADES.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Dave Weigel:

"In my conversation with ATR's Grover Norquist, he made the counter-intuitive argument that "Republicans will lose Jewish votes by focusing on a mosque in New York."

"You're not just going to lose Muslim votes," said Norquist, who has long argued that Republicans should win those voters. "You're going to lose Jewish votes, Indian votes, Buddhist votes. Every member of a minority group looks at a situation like this and says, oh, the people hitting this minority will eventually start hitting me."

Norquist dismissively referred the the mosque controversy as a "shiny object," saying that it, and the Arizona immigration law, would distract Republicans from the winning issues of the economy and the Obama record and give Democrats outs, by handing them wedge issues to oppose the administration on. (We talked before Harry Reid came out against building the mosque near ground zero.)

"It's a 70-30 issue that any Democrat can jump on the 70 percent side of," said Norquist."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "You're VOTING FOR *THAT*?!?!?!?!"

Yeah, actually, I am. I mostly agree. I don't think the EPA should be regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant (sorry). I have no problem with the nature of her opposition to the stimulus.

"Hahaha. You're not a serious person, not about politics at least."

Yeah, your opinion there has been duly noted. I may not be a smart man, but I think I've figured out where you're going to fall on my voting patterns.

"Btw, no wonder you keep attacking Democrats as being scared of rural voters."

More condescending than scared, but fair enough.

"That you would support someone as extreme and partisan as that is absolutely outrageous. Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, same thing. They are guilty of the same extremist tactics as the rest of the GOP."

Okay. I disagree, but I respect your opinion.

"You aren't 'thoughtful' or 'considerate,' you just pretend that you are when you are commenting on the blogs."

Dude, I've got that. I understand. We're going to have to disagree. Because I think you're wrong about that, and that shouldn't surprise you. But it's not because I haven't understood your point, it's because I just don't agree with it. And not many people are going to agree that they are brainwashed, and that they aren't serious people. It's not a compelling argument.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Just imagine that, Marsha Blackburn has the unmitigated temerity to disagree with Ethan.

Ethan's response is diagnostic. Apparently, disagreeing with Ethan qualifies one as being not serious.

Ethan is a serious partisan and is therefore unwilling to listen to concerns from anyone about his agenda.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 16, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Does the fright wing understand the Golden Rule. Has the fright wing ever heard of walk a mile in my shoes?

Imagine you are one of the 800,000 Muslims currently residing in NYC. Most of them are peaceful folks who HAVE decried the violence of 9/11. In fact the Imam of this very Mosque is on the record as saying he deplores killing innocent civilians and he supports the right of Israel to have a state.

And now we tell them in return that they are responsible for terrorism. That Islam was behind 9/11 not Al Qaeda.

All this talk about sensitivity. I hope everybody does understand that by acknowledging this sensitivity the NYC Muslims give tacit approval to the concept that Islam was behind 9/11 not Al Qaeda.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Here is another comment from the mainstream GOP, this by Michelle Malkin:

-----

* Obama’s Plans to Steal Western Lands *

Have you heard of the “Great Outdoors Initiative”? Chances are, you haven’t. But across the country, White House officials have been meeting quietly with environmental groups to map out government plans for acquiring untold millions of acres of both public and private land.

It’s another stealthy power grab through executive order that promises to radically transform the American way of life.

In April, President Obama issued a memorandum outlining his “21st century strategy for America’s great outdoors.” It was addressed to the Interior Secretary, the Agriculture Secretary, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the chair of the Council on Environmental Quality.

The memo calls on the officials to conduct “listening and learning sessions” with the public to “identify the places that mean the most to Americans, and leverage the support of the Federal Government” to “protect” outdoor spaces. Eighteen of 25 planned sessions have already been held. But there’s much more to the agenda than simply “reconnecting Americans to nature.”

The federal government, as the memo boasted, is the nation’s “largest land manager.” It already owns roughly one of every three acres in the United States. This is apparently not enough.

-----

See that Kevin?

Now the mainstream GOP thinks that Obama's efforts at preserving America's Great Outdoors is nothing but "another stealthy power grab" that will "radically transform the American way of life."

Obama plans on stealing -- STEALING! -- western lands.

And yet, this "thoughtful Republican" still votes Republican.

SO THOUGHTFUL!

Let's see how "thoughtful" Kevin is on this one.

Is Obama "STEALING" western lands with a "stealthy power grab" that will that will "radically transform the American way of life?

Waiting on your reply Kevin.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

@sue: I think it's a sign of the apocalypse when I actually find myself nodding in agreement with Norquist on an issue. Yuck....

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 16, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

"the president bravely said that we must respect the group's decision to build the project, even if we don't like it."

I don't know if this is what Obama actually meant, but let's assume he did. (It is obviously what you think.) My question: Why must we respect the decision even if we don't like it?

I will ask you again...Do you respect the decision of Augusta National to exclude women from its membership?

Do you respect FNC's decision to broadcast Glenn Beck?

Do you respect the Catholic church's decision to counsel against using artificial birth control?

American ideals (a respect for the constitution) demand that we respect the RIGHT of the relevant people to engage in these activities. They do not demand that we respect the activities themselves, if we find them objectionable for some reason.

You, and Obama if he really is saying what you claim, are dead wrong about this. You are simly conflating a respect for a right with a respect for an action in order to portray those who oppose the action as somehow un-American.

Laughably, condemning those who disagree with you politically as un-American is something the left routinely accuses the right of. And here Greg is doing precisely that.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 16, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan: "Is Obama 'STEALING' western lands with a 'stealthy power grab' that will that will "radically transform the American way of life?"

Seems kind of unlikely, doesn't it?

I'm interested in the details, but I have no problem with exploratory committees to examine land preservation. What they decide may be another matter, but, if I'm not mistaken, they haven't decided anything yet, have they?

Not sure how an administration can steal land that's in America. Whether such preservation efforts are actually necessary is another issue. We do have a lot of federal land set aside, and more land privately owned but protected, so I'm not sure how much more really needs to be set aside in the name of preservation.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

Take a deep breath. Kevin is not any more responsible for everything members of his party says, than I am for what some people of my party said.

Kevin is my kind of Republican, as is Joe Scarborough etc. I do not agree with their political philosophy of governance, any more than they agree with mine, but I would like to see their version of The Republican Party regain it's footing.

The last thing I want, is to end up with a one party state, or two extremists camps, with a permanent free fire zone in between them.

We need to find some common ground, so that every little thing, like this, does not get hijacked, for political gain.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

s-cat, tell ya the truth, I peeked out the window to check for the arrival of the Four Horseman myself. :o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Democrat Harry Reid says “the mosque should be built someplace else.” Obama says Muslims have a right to build the mosque of their Islam religion. Harry Reid must know how unpopular the mosque position is for Obama. With Harry’s Democrat record, he must also know that “someplace else” takes the edge off for Barack and Harry remains a faithful Yes man for the White House.
When Barack Obama campaigned for president in 2008, he promised to reach out and work with international powers and coalitions. This weekend, he finally fulfilled a campaign promise. He chided the vast majority of Americans and sided with the terrorist group Hamas.

Polls show almost 70 percent of Americans disagree with building a mosque at Ground Zero, including the majority of Democrats. Obama gave another condescending lecture this weekend, claiming bizarrely that the 9/11 mosque is “what our country’s about.” Then he backtracked, pretending he was only discussing the First Amendment and not actually endorsing the mosque.

Not everyone was fooled. Mahmoud al-Zahar, the co-founder of Hamas, reached out to the leader of the Dar al-Harb, hoping to become his partner. Al-Zahar said this weekend, “We have to build the mosque.” In fact, he claimed Muslims “have to build everywhere.”

Posted by: klausdmk | August 16, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

RUKIDDING wrote:

Does the fright wing understand the Golden Rule. Has the fright wing ever heard of walk a mile in my shoes?

"Imagine you are one of the 800,000 Muslims currently residing in NYC. Most of them are peaceful folks who HAVE decried the violence of 9/11. In fact the Imam of this very Mosque is on the record as saying he deplores killing innocent civilians and he supports the right of Israel to have a state."

You're big on Constitutional rights. Why isn't the right to protest one of them?

Posted by: 54465446 | August 16, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Once again Radical Muslim Extremists in the Middle East are Dictating U.S.,Democracy in American.

I can hear the Taliban and al Qaeda Extremist now, chanting and saying," See, what I did I tell ya, Americans in all of their so-called Democracy are nothing but a bunch of cowardly pansies. Democracy doesn't work there, and it will not work here"!

Posted by: lcarter0311 | August 16, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"""I don't think the EPA should be regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant (sorry). I have no problem with the nature of her opposition to the stimulus."""

Exactly.

You aren't serious.

CO2 is obviously a pollutant. CO2 emissions come from petroleum gas and oil that was previously stored underground. Upon combustion of the petroleum, CO2 is released into the air, raising the amount and concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, and changing the composition of the crucial layer of gases that surrounds our planet.

But even legally, the SCOTUS ruled that CO2 is a pollutant in 2007, so you have neither a scientific nor a legal leg to stand on in your argument. SO THOUGHTFUL!!!! Actually: WEAK!

As for stimulus, the bit I posted didn't even mention the stimulus. She was opposing the FinReg bill. Did you not understand her comment?

Once more...

The truth about our "Mr. Thoughtful Republican" continues to come out...

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Polls are like the Wind. They shift frequently.


The Polls were overwhelmingly for the Invasion of Iraq, and love the results; at "Mission Accomplished" time.

If we ran the country, based on how the Polls were blowing, we would have been in and out of Iraq, several times, in the past eight years.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

LOL. Nobody ever went broke betting against the spinelessness of Harry Reid.

Posted by: solsticebelle | August 16, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "We need to find some common ground, so that every little thing, like this, does not get hijacked, for political gain."

And I think we can find common ground, and the effort to do so is helpful. It doesn't make sense to me that we should all be in 180° opposition on every little thing. You're for it? Well, I'm against it! Oh, you're against that thing now? Well, then I'm for it.

It doesn't seem to be a great basis for political dialog, and I would have to admit the Republicans seem to be winning the race to the bottom right now. In my opinion.

I mostly try to focus on stuff like this where I find myself agreeing with the sentiment on the other side of the aisle, because I like the idea of finding some common ground. There's other stuff that liberals and Democrats just aren't going to agree with me on, so I try not to focus as much on that. Unless I think there can be some sort of productive discussion.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING: Muslims cave and will NOT build Ground Zero mosque:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/muslim-leaders-to-abandon-plans-for-ground-zero-community-center-1.308426

Posted by: clawrence12 | August 16, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

I'd really prefer the EPA not regulate CO2, either. To me, that is the worst answer available. I would prefer comprehensive energy legislation, heavy on the R&D investment for renewables. But we need a cooperative mindset for that to happen....which has left me quite puzzled, really. Cap & trade used to be the GOP preference. What happened?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"""And I think we can find common ground, and the effort to do so is helpful. It doesn't make sense to me that we should all be in 180° opposition on every little thing."""

Kevin.

I ask you in all seriousness.

WHAT GOOD DOES IT DO if *WE* find common ground, but then you are willing to vote for an extremist partisan like Marsha Blackburn who will NEVER EVER find common ground?!

This is the nature of politics.

You are, politically, who you vote for.

Other than writing letters and calling your Reps, THE VOTE is the ONE way you can influence the debate in Washington D.C.

So you can talk about Common Ground here all you want, but if you're going to vote for Marsha Blackburn, you're going to get Marsha Blackburn waving the Don't Tread On Me flag out of the Capitol.

You're not going to get COMMON MFING GROUND.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of sounding like the commie pinko bedwetting fascist I am....does anybody here understand how Muslims could be just a tad bit upset that we are murdering innocent civilians abroad as we speak?

I'm not Muslim but I fear for our country on moral grounds. If I were a Christian who believed in a God of retribution I could only conclude that our economic disaster is because of our immoral behavior...torture..sometimes innocent folks...murder..frequently innocent women and children and we dismiss it all as "collateral" damage.

How many innocent women and children are we permitted to kill for every A.Q. or Taliban leader. Can anyone give me a ratio. Is it OK to kill say...four children under the age of 12 for every taliban or AQ leader we can kill.

Am I the only one on this site who is saddened that we are literally murdering INNOCENT (oops I forgot they are Muslim) women and children?

Do we get exercised when the Taliban cuts off noses or as they did recently stones a young couple to death...is it really that freaking hard to imagine how Muslims must feel everytime they see homes flattened and the bodies of innocent women and children dead...not all of the deaths are innocents...but a significant percentage are. And so for all of you who think we need to be in Afghanistan killing, murdering and maiming...just the way it is after all...somehow DEFENDING our nation by killing children in THEIR nation...just how many innocent kids are OK in our collateral damage reports. And do we believe the Muslims are overreacting to this carnage?

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

So which is the worse sin here: that Reid isn't supporting Obama, or that he has come out against building the Mosque?

Posted by: Bailers | August 16, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

clawrence, that headline is a tease, and not totally accurate. No final decision has been reached...according to the article..

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

suekzoo1:

I see no legislative path to pricing carbon. It looks like the EPA or nothing. While I'd much prefer Congress deal with this, Administrative regulation will work. And that is far better than nothing. My greatest fear is that the Administration won't have the political will to let EPA operate. Then we'll get nothing at all. BTW: EPA's regulatory power is a fantastic bargaining chip, if nothing else, and I don't understand why it hasn't come up yet.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Sargent Scumbag,

What will Soros and The Czar tell you to write now?

Posted by: trjn30 | August 16, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

@54465446 Talk about straw man arguments!!

Who has denied you your right to protest.
Nazis marched in the streets of Skokie Illinois...they marched through Bristol TN when I lived there...WTF are you talking about...WHO has lost their right to protest.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

It's the American dilemma. We live in a house of funhouse mirrors where we only see ourselves as we'd like to be. The problem is that the rest of the world doesn't see things that way. And, contrary to our supposition, the rest of the world matters.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Kevin,

Lately I have been pondering about the party primary system for picking nominees. The wingtips of both parties, in many primary races, end up controlling the process, and the dialog. As the candidates pander more and more to those camps, it turns off the more moderate voters, so the extreme ends, finish up getting to select the nominees.


I wonder if just a single primary election, instead of one for each party, might not be a better way to select nominees for the general elections.

The top two would get to run off against each other. Sure, that would mean that in some states, or districts, both candidates would be from the same party; but it the state or district is that Red or Blue, what the hell difference would that make, since their party was going to win the race anyway.

On the plus side, since all the voters would be casting votes in the same primary, a very extreme candidate would be less likely to dominate, because the more they ran to the right or the left, the larger a percentage of voters they would be leaving available, for a more moderate candidate to appeal to.


Just some off the cuff thoughts on how we might be able to restore some sanity and common ground to the process, so that leaders from both sides, do not have to feel captive to the wingers. Look at how far John McCain has moved, to try and win his primary contest.

Getting rid of the two party primary contests, might be worth doing.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Do you think that guy's "sargent" joke was the first time Greg ever heard one of those?

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

What is so sad is that terrorists who *said* they "represented" Islam and committed a heinous act "in its name" have become so confused with the rest of an entire religion. The scare-mongering worked.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | August 16, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

wbg, yes I agree that the EPA regulatory mandate is leverage....considerable leverage. I do hope it doesn't come to that, though.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/happy_hour_roundup_73.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Liam, forget Kevin.

He wants to find common ground.

But he votes for Marsha Blackburn.

Whatever you think of Kevin's positions on substance, he couldn't possibly be more hypocritical when it comes to his picking candidates who are diametrically opposed to his own wants and desires, politically speaking.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I think the real questions are: How can he not oppose it? - and - Why did it take so long?

Posted by: AG1231 | August 16, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

You forget him. I will not. He gets to vote for the candidate of his choice, in his district and state, just like you or I do, in ours.

I am not looking to find common ground with someone who holds the exact same views as I do. If I wanted to do that, I would just start talking to myself.

We need a two party system, and if we can not allow space in the political discourse arena, for people like Kevin, then we are just behaving like political fanatics, who can not tolerate any other points of view.

I Ain't Infallible. Perhaps you are.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

...what a surprise....that socialist BS only passes the smell test in DC, not in America!

Posted by: Pompey | August 16, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"Getting rid of the two party primary contests, might be worth doing."

Getting rid of the two party system might be better. Meanwhile, equating the present Left Wing with the present Right Wing is ludicrous. Worse, it feeds into the pernicious and pervasive narrative that the two parties have each staked out reasonable positions and, therefore, the "middle" is the sanctified holy ground. Since the Right Wing is currently insane you can see where that gets us. And this, I think, has been a very deliberate strategy by the Right Wing, designed to take advantage of the MSM's reflexive on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand presentation and Obama's proclaimed propensity for compromise. the GOP has played it beautifully but that doesn't make it valid; just effective.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

MEMO TO BELTWAY MSM: Millions of us without jobs, without affordable healthcare, and choking on the urban smog are really sick and tired of this story and the media generated controversy surrounding it. If Ed Murrow and Walter Chronkite could come back they would "slap you all silly."

Posted by: BBear1 | August 16, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Yes, WoeBegone, It is always our side that is perfect and without sin, and it is always the other side, that has no redeeming qualities.(Again; Snark Alert, for the humor impaired)

And yet WoeBegone, just a few days ago, you hated both parties, and called for a Third Party to be established. What a novel idea. Why didn't anyone every try that before.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 16, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "WHAT GOOD DOES IT DO if *WE* find common ground, but then you are willing to vote for an extremist partisan like Marsha Blackburn who will NEVER EVER find common ground?!"

Well, you're probably not going to convince me to do otherwise by yelling at me.

And that works both ways, I know that.

More later. Gotta head out for a bit.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"I am not looking to find common ground with someone who holds the exact same views as I do."

No, but you are trying to find common ground with Marsha Blackburn, not Kevin_Willis.

Kevin_Willis doesn't govern.

Marsha Blackburn governs.

You want Marsha Blackburn to govern in a way in which she finds common ground with people who have a differing opinion.

Essentially, you want the impossible and you are barking up the wrong tree if you think Kevin is going to help you or anyone else find common ground in any way that is meaningful to the country.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Liam: We will see if the present two-party system can solve our pressing national problems. So far, it doesn't look like it.

P.S., If you truly equate the present Right Wing with the present Left Wing in terms of extremism you are quite misguided. I'm all for cooperation but it takes two to tango and today's Right Wing has decided to destroy, not dance.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

"you're probably not going to convince me to do otherwise by yelling at me."

Right.

If FACTS don't convince you, nothing will.

What's the use? You are not interested in being serious, you just like to post here pretending that you want to have a substantive dialog and pretending that you don't like the extreme partisanship...

...and then you turn around and pledge your support and vote for Marsha Blackburn DESPITE overwhelming scientific and legal evidence that contradicts her positions.

HECKUVA JOB, MR. SERIOUS!

You are as guilty of extreme partisanship as any other Republican.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Politics over principle. Reid is too scared of giving Angle any wedge issue. Your lucky, Harry, that Sharron's got screws loose. Any halfway decent Republican candidate would rightly denounce you as a lily-livered milquetoast.

Posted by: bitterblogger | August 16, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Reid has to run for re-election this year - Obama doesn't. Obama is the one who is leaving Reid hanging on by his finger nails. Yes, Reid and every other Democrat running for office.

Face it. Ground zero is a place that still inflames emotions all over this nation. Many people saw the second jet slam into the WTC. For almost eight years Bush has been waging wars against Islam. Now Obama is waging war against Islam except in NYC.

Posted by: alance | August 16, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Obama called Reid at 9:00am this morning and instructed him to take position in order to gain political favor with the voters.

Pure corruption. Pure evil.

Posted by: fury60 | August 16, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

What left Obama "isolated at a very sensitive moment" is his turning his back on the American people. They may have the right to insult America, but to encourage them to do so is the betrayal of all those who died, and everyone who loves this great country. The president chose to avoid offending the politically correct because like most of us, he is as afraid of being called a "bigot", a word very popular with Democrats right now. It took courage acknowlege the foolishness of this idea and I respect Senator Reid for doing so. Also, it’s refreshing to see a politician stand up for America.

Posted by: mrdavidkolds | August 16, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Greg, you write: "This just makes the Dems look weak, unorganized, cowardly, and unwilling to take a stand for principles they plainly believe in."

The Democratic Party has been looking "weak, unorganized, cowardly, and unwilling to take a stand for principles" for almost two years now. Democrats throwing each other under the bus for personal gain, what else is new? So what's your point here?

You didn't actually think that arriving here at this moment in time, with the Democratic Party as popular as a dead rabid skunk at a cotillion, on the WRONG side of EVERY major issue, all your polls sinking deeper into the toilet, on the verge of losing control of the House, the Senate and two thirds of the nation's statehouses, that this all happened by pure ACCIDENT did you?

Posted by: DonColibri | August 16, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Liam

I generally enjoy your posts, but I have to thank you explicitly for "When Harry Met Sharron". That truly made me laugh.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | August 16, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect, Republicans are blowing this out of proportion to their advantage. Democrats should stear clear of this land mine.

Posted by: hakafos44 | August 16, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Greg missed it : the fact that Harry changed his mind ala mosque-Bama, is not strange. He was for it before he was.....oh you know and Dems have rarely defended American security since the days of Truman and yes, even poor ole LBJ so Bama et al simply never have put America first but seemingly kow tow to America's enemies. Harry is running 2 pts. as of today behind Sharon so naturally, he hypocritically spoke out expecting to curry favor with NV voters. Yipe. And people wonder if Dems are now out of their progressive minds. The answer, Greg, is YES.

Posted by: phillyfanatic | August 16, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still,

"The top two would get to run off against each other."

I take the opposite opinion about "top two" primaries, and I think they are fertile grounds for all sorts of screwy results. Do you remeber how many candidates were in the early Presidential nomination debates on both sides in 2008? Imagine how much more unwieldy those debates would be if they were all on the same stage.

You say that:

"Sure, that would mean that in some states, or districts, both candidates would be from the same party; but it the state or district is that Red or Blue, what the hell difference would that make, since their party was going to win the race anyway."

Kind of a big difference, if only because the voters in a state that is heavily dominated by one party would never get to hear the agenda of the opposing party being debated in the more closely watched general elections, and that would just make the red and blue mapping stay even more rigid ("epistemic closure"). Imagine how hopeless it would be to see the candidates from your party never even being a part of general elections, instead of just losing most of them. And upsets in general elections aren't all that uncommon. The tides do shift.

Plus the top two primaries encourage voter mischief. Imagine a Senator who is a Democratic incumbent. On the Republican side, there is one solid well-financed and well-known front runner, and a handful of little-known dark horse challengers. If my preferred candidate is the Democrat, but I have the opportunity to hurt the front-running strong Republican challenger by voting for one of the unknowns, nothing will stop me from voting for purposes of sabotage.

Top two also rewards candidates who can exploit voter ignorance about party affiliation. I read about a local race in a place that is heavily Democratic, but which introduced the top two primary system. An extreme right-wing Republican entered the race who was an attractive and well know former local TV news anchorwoman. She had huge name recognition, and positive impressions from her pleasant on-air demeanor. The average Democratic voter knew her name and face very well, but had no idea that she was a Republican, let alone that she was an extreme right winger. She made it through the primary with the highest vote total, and the Democratic opponent had to turn his entire media strategy into a campaign simply to educate voters that the other candidate was a Republican, in order to win a race that (had it been understood all along to be Democrat vs. Republican) would have centered on issues, and would have been an easy win instead of a near-catastrophe.

I think the purpose of a primary should continue to be for the self-identified members of each party to select the person they consider to be their best candidate.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 16, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Question: Do you see yourself continuing to flog this poor dead horse for another month? What about 2011?

Posted by: CalD | August 16, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Obama has spent his entire time in office trashing the Constitution and the rule of law - mainly by taking over US corporations and passing healthscare against the wishes of the majority. In other words, he is a dictator. Now, he tries to use the Constitution when it suits muslims. How can anyone in their right mind support this ignorant idiot in the WH? He us the enemy within.

Posted by: annnort | August 16, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Is this tripe what passes for political commentary in the wapo these days? this clown really doesn't know why Reid would do this and the headline writer asks why would reid do this? Seriously?

reid came out this way because there aren't that many Muslims in Nevada that he has to pander to. Obama opened his stupid mouth at the ramadan dinner so he could be a big shot in front of his muslim buddies. reid has no need to do that and in fact, since 70% of AMERICANS don't want the mosque built there because it's totally insensitive to AMERICANS, the percentages are on reid's side. Can't imagine Nevada is much different in the pro/con numbers.

This columnist should go the way of dave wiegl.

Posted by: bandmom22 | August 16, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Just wait until harry comes out and says that illegal children should not get citizenship the progressives heads are going to explode!

............OH WAIT HE ALREADY DID THAT!

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | August 16, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

It is perfectly logical to respect the right of Muslims to freely practice their religion and build a Mosque and Islamic center almost anywhere they like, while totally opposing its placement 2 blocks from ground zero. 68% of the American people get that! Its absolutely amazing that Obama, the Democrats, and the radical Elite left are so blinded by ideology that they don't? However, there seems to be one cure for radical left wing nonsense. Election time! Apparently the one thing Sen Reid is more dedicated to then his radical left wing ideology is trying to keep his job. But those that think he left Obama hanging never fear. If he wins relection he will have a retroactive change of heart as does a 180 back to the extreme left!!

Posted by: valwayne | August 16, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Shocker! Liberal discovers Harry Reid is a nutbag.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | August 16, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Harry is AFRAID of Sharron Angle!! Why else would he 'dis' the Big Guy??? Imagine that -- Harry fearful!!

Posted by: wheeljc | August 16, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

One has to ask the question: WHO IN THE WORLD IS HE (OBAMA) GETTING HIS ADVICE FROM? Whoever it is should be FIRED.

Posted by: wheeljc | August 16, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

This just makes the Dems look weak, unorganized, cowardly, and unwilling to take a stand for principles they plainly believe in.

Heh, just like Obama did with his full retreat on Saturday.

Dems are weak and cowardly.

Posted by: robtr | August 16, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Does any of my followers know where I find young girls between the ages of six and nine? I am a pedophile. I would greatly appreciate it if followers of Allah can help me find girls of this description so I can take them into my tent as my concubines and consummate my marriage with them.

Posted by: ProphetMohammed | August 16, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

rukidding: It's YOU. You want to deny people the right to protest over the mosque.

Posted by: 54465446 | August 16, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

"This just makes the Dems look weak, unorganized, cowardly, and unwilling to take a stand for principles they plainly believe in"
- - - - - - -- -- -- - - - - - - - - -
Truth in reporting!! :-)
But anyway sargent - why do you persist in this ridiculous charade????
Are you a muslim?- or being paid by them????
I don't expect an answer - just like my questions on where is the money coming from for the mosque - why is the State Dept funding the imam's tour of the middle east???

Posted by: thornegp2626 | August 16, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Greg -

About the time you were writing about Obama being "presential," your buddy "Jug-ears" was backtracking.

A few decades ago a talentless Sally Quinn "worked" her way up the corporate ladder at the Post by sleeping with Editor Ben Bradlee when he was married to another woman.

Are you keeping some higher-up old lady in the Post chain of command happy? I can't figure any other reason they would keep an idiot like you around.

Posted by: brianc2221 | August 16, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Reid's thinking that Obama is all wet on this issue.

Posted by: cpameetingbook | August 16, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Both Reid and Obama support the right to build the mosque. The president will not speak to the wisdom of building the mosque near that hallowed ground. Reid stated that he doesn't think it should be built there. If Obama's official stance is "no comment" other than they have the right to do it if they want, and Reid's is that it's unwise, even though they have a constitutional right to do so, I fail to see how that's such a serious break with the president. Perhaps Reid could have come out with the same flimsy overly-lawyered language and said he too would not speak to the wisdom of putting the mosque there. He didn't. He was clear. Greg has managed to rephrase their opinions in such a way to make them different and inconsistent. They're not.

Posted by: squid1 | August 16, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Opposition to the mosque is not a republican exclusive. There are many democrats like me who oppose the mosque. It is not against the muslim's right to build, but against their total insensitivity to build this monstrosity so close to a place where their own crowd slaughtered over 3000 innocent people. If these idiots can't see this forest for the trees, I don't think they deserve the support of the democrats. Obama as the president of the country has to agree with the constitutionality of the idea. However, the thing of the mosque stinks like a skunk. It is right for Reid to say, move the stinker to somewhere else where the smell is not so noticeable. There is nothing republican exclusivity to that.

Posted by: patriot0523 | August 16, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

All churches/synagogues/mosques, etc., have to go through permits. Many churches/synagogues/mosques have not been allowed to build where they asked to build! This is not a first and has nothing to do with the constitution; it has to do with permits and locations. This is the first time I have ever heard of a church using the constitution to force a building permit!

Posted by: helenmonsalve1 | August 16, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

All churches/synagogues/mosques, etc., have to go through permits. Many churches/synagogues/mosques have not been allowed to build where they asked to build! This is not a first and has nothing to do with the constitution; it has to do with permits and locations. This is the first time I have ever heard of a church using the constitution to force a building permit!

Posted by: helenmonsalve1 | August 16, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

You are surprised that Reid took this stand against the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT OF ALL AMERICANS to freedom of RELIGION?

Did you already forget that by forcing the Health Care Mandate that DEPRIVES US AMERICANS of our fundamental RIGHT TO CHOOSE what we will or will not regarding our health? I don't care if Angle is as crazy or looney or Elmo. I'm voting for WHOEVER runs agains this hypocrite! Too bad we in American have only two choices between both evils. If only we had a third party system where we do not have to fear wasting our precious vote. If our first choice nominee comes in third place then our second vote should be counted...If only...

Posted by: american17 | August 16, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Have liberals absolutely LOST the ability to state someone else's position fairly? Reid is not opposing the mosque. He is opposing its being built at THIS location.

You may want to build the mosque at THIS location, that is your privilege, but do not lie and mis-state what Reid said.

And you say, " Many Republicans also respect the group's right to build, while claiming that the group is wrong to exercise that right." And does that mean that if Republicans respect the right to build then it does not count?

Have you considered, seriously, the possibility that the country is going to see the Republicans as moderate and you as the extremist?

Why are Democrats so stupid as to insult the American people, the American voters, and give all this ammunition to the Republicans?

I do not mean to sound sarcastic, but are you, Greg Sargent, WORKING for the Republicans? Every word you utter helps them.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 16, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Regarding building permits, I believe the Community Cemter is all cool in that regard. The protests are not about building permits, It's about thin-skinned folk conflating Muslims with Al Qaeda. And about freedom of religion. And states rights.

Building permits and zoning aren't the issue, there.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid is a disgusting and corrupt man. Our job is to get him out of our government, and get about the business of reforming our government. What does he know about anything - including where a mosque is located? And who cares?

Posted by: Prof-Dr-G | August 16, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

It is time for the wp and others to stop characterizing those who view the construction of a mosque so closed to ground zero as wrong headed and treating them with disdain and contempt. The tolerance and first amendment arguments are over used and one sided. The message of tolerance can and should be showered on those showing such extreme insensitivity - in particular the imam and supporters of the mosque. The view that there is an inherent right to build but a belief that they should not are not mutually exclusive or in conflict. More importantly these views are not racist or bigotted in any way. Too many who preach tolerance and first amendment rights want to silence opponents of the mosque and demonstrate their own intolerance of those with opposing views. The hypocrisy must be called out!

Posted by: sagedutch | August 16, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

@ProphetMohammed: Come on, dude. Really. What does that kind of stuff accomplish? Does the Report Abuse link work for anybody? It doesn't work for me, and I can't think of a more deserving post, right now.

@thornegp2626: "Are you a muslim?- or being paid by them????"

Um, maybe he just as an opinion. I can guarantee you, I'm not a Muslim (just as blahg--I'm actually Islamophobic), and I pretty much agree with Greg's position here. I mean, Harry Reid is entitled to he opinion, I just doubt this one is really his. It's political cowardice.

And seriously, "Are you a Muslim?" What do you mean by that question? Would that disqualify his opinion, if he was?

And "Being paid by them?" Right now, P.R. doesn't seem like the Muslim world's strong suit, IMHO. I don't think anyone is being paid by "the Muslims" to shill for "them".

If you don't like his opinions, why not just try and tell him why he is wrong, rather than accuse him of being on the take?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

@liam-still: "Getting rid of the two party primary contests, might be worth doing."

Maybe. But I just don't see that happening. Getting rid of two party system (by having multiple-choice preference voting, for example) could accomplish that . . . which, with Republicans and Democrats dominating Washington, will also not happen.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

It amazes me how I'll informed many 'progressives' commenting here are. This administration is ideological and out of touch with the values of the American people. To hold clinically to the Constitutional right without giving equal consideration to what is morally right is sophomoric at best. The people behind the Mosque want to name it Cordova house after there longstanding practice of doing so when replacing a conquered foes church with a Mosque. Horribly provocative don't you think? They will not be allowed to build it so close to Ground Zero. Rational Americans will not allow it no matter wha think or say. Jack Smith WI

Posted by: htimsrj1 | August 17, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "As for stimulus, the bit I posted didn't even mention the stimulus. She was opposing the FinReg bill. Did you not understand her comment?"

Totally my bad. I don't entirely agree with her position on FinReg. So, okay, I don't really agree with that so much.

"Once more... The truth about our 'Mr. Thoughtful Republican' continues to come out..."

Yes, my conspiracy to convince unsuspecting left-of-center commenters on a blog that I'm really a nice guy, and then I'll troll 'em! I'll call 'em all Obamunists! It'll be so totally awesome.

You revealed my master plan. ;)

"...and then you turn around and pledge your support and vote for Marsha Blackburn DESPITE overwhelming scientific and legal evidence that contradicts her positions."

I wouldn't say "pledge my support". I will probably vote for her, however.

"HECKUVA JOB, MR. SERIOUS!"

You know, your judicious use of ALL CAPS has really made me rethink some of my positions. Thanks for that. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

The situation is that they are both right.

Strictly according to the law of the land the Mosque can be built anywhere it can get a building permit. BUT good taste with ones neighbors dictates not at that location. The in your face action employed by cerain ethnic groups and people, for example by the muslims in this case, is unacceptable.
Such people and groups are not welcome in my neighborhood.

Posted by: Pugetkid | August 17, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

How about smack dab in the center of the Los Vegas Strip?

Posted by: mike85 | August 17, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

So let me see if I can understand the difference in the positions taken by the Majority Leader and the President.

The President says that those planning the Mosque have a right to build it, but it may or may not be a wise decision, but we should nevertheless respect their decision.

The Majority Leader says that those planning the Mosque have a right to build, but they shouldn't build it out of sensitivity for the feelings of others.

The key difference I see in their postions is that the President's position is incomprehensible. What does it mean to respect the decision? Does it mean we must agree with it? Does it mean you shouldn't suggest the decision might not be wise? Or does it mean that you shouldn't persecute those involved with the Mosque, a position with which I think Harry Reid and most Republicans would agree? I think the President is just voting "present."

Posted by: chazmull | August 17, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see how much the left loves the Constitution if the KKK wants to build a community center on private land next to MLK's burial site. Would the left reaffirm the Klan's right?

Posted by: FreedomFighter1 | August 17, 2010 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Maybe now the left will see why conservatives, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, and just about any American or illegal alien with common sense hates Harry Reid.
Ya got it now, guys?
He's a jerk. Was, is, and not going to change.
You should rejoice when he's gone.
You'll do better with Durbin.

Oh. by the way, Schumer's been unusually quiet, hasn't he? Just asking....

Posted by: parkbench | August 17, 2010 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Maybe now the left will see why conservatives, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, and just about any American or illegal alien with common sense hates Harry Reid.
Ya got it now, guys?
He's a jerk. Was, is, and not going to change.
You should rejoice when he's gone.
You'll do better with Durbin.

Oh. by the way, Schumer's been unusually quiet, hasn't he? Just asking....

Posted by: parkbench | August 17, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Somebody should point out to Sen. Reid that the people screaming bloody murder about the Islamic community center (much different from a mosque) would do everything possible to block the LDS/Mormon church center in Manhattan if it were being built today. They don't just hate Muslims; they also hate all Christians who aren't just like themselves. No Mormons need apply.

Posted by: jrr900 | August 17, 2010 4:43 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent writes: "This just makes the Dems look weak, unorganized, cowardly, and unwilling to take a stand for principles they plainly believe in." Um, maybe because they are?

Posted by: JohnnyGee | August 17, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

"Some are pointing out that Harry Reid, by citing the First Amendment and religious freedom, is reaffirming the group's right to build the project. That's true. But it's not terribly relevant in the current political context. "

Gee ... and you guys thought Obama had made a brave, outstanding pronouncement when he affirmed First Amendment rights. Obama does not have the guts to state his opinion on the wisdom of the issue .. even though he hasn't shown himself reluctant to display his stupidity on other similar issues.

Posted by: usr105 | August 17, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

"This just makes the Dems look weak, unorganized, cowardly".

That exactly what most dems are.

Most right wingers are happy to debate the left and to have them as friends but not so the left, who will almost immediately disconnect from somebody that's right of center.

What argument does the left have?

Every country that gave up Communism is now doing far better that it was before, and the US is now looking over its shoulder at China which might soon dethrone it.

Europe will soon be Islamasized (20-25 years) and US liberals are offering America's weak underside to to those that would Islamiize it.

I have nothing against Arabs but have never met a moderate Muslim yet!

Michael

Posted by: redmike | August 17, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Harry Reid is a career politician. Time for him to fade into the background. He is not in touch with America or even his own Party.

Posted by: bobbo2 | August 17, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Harry Reid is a career politician. Time for him to fade into the background. He is not in touch with America or even his own Party.

Posted by: bobbo2 | August 17, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, FY2004 Foreign Operations Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Flood Insurance Reauthorization , Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Debt Limit Increase, Fiscal 2005 Omnibus Appropriations, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extention.

Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations, Withdrawing U.S. Soldiers from Afghanistan.

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her unconstitutional votes at :
http://mickeywhite.blogspot.com/2009/09/tn-congressman-marsha-blackburn-votes.html
Mickey

Posted by: mickey1956 | August 17, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

So if NYC is all about not standing in the way of the free exercise of religion, why have they been obstructing the Greek Orthodox church project for years? And where is His Majesty's official statement on that? I guess some religions have the endorsement of the state, and the rest are subject to the liberal screaming of separation of church and state, right?

Riddle me this: show me where the Greek Orthodox Church exhorts its followers to slaughter non-believers, conquer nations by force of arms, subjugate and murder women, etc.? Tell me exactly when any group of Greek Orthodox followers, or any other creed,for that matter, attacked the United States and slaughtered its people in cold blood? Tell me what other enemy has had the effrontery to demand a monument to their perfidy in committing an act of war against our country?

Now, justify the difference in the disparity of this treatment, if you can. Explain why Islam deserves a trophy for their declaration and act of war, and the Greek Orthodox Church is obstructed by city hacks?

Posted by: elephant4life | August 17, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I live in 7th Dist. TN. I would NEVER cast a vote for Marsha Blackburn. She brags about not requesting a penny for her district, she co-sponsored legislation to privatize social security and turn medicare into a voucher system, she voted NO on the LIlly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, NO on the recent Teacher and Police Jobs Bill, No to extending unemployment insurance. In her 8 years, written 3 pieces of legislation, NONE of which have passed, voted against small business, our veterans, our working families. ANYBODY who votes for her is shooting themselves in the foot. Marsha is for Marsha. BTW, she is on CREW's list of most corrupt members of Congress. My vote this year is for Greg Rabidoux, moderate, informed, professor of constitutional law and mediator. He will get the job done for EVERYBODY. www.rabidoux4congress.com

Posted by: Gram3 | August 17, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Reid...you coward...you're right on this one...it ought to be built somewhere else...but you're still a coward...and a thief...like the rest of the thieving Democrats that are spending this country into ruin and you and all your thieving Democrats need to be unelected in 2010...all of you.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | August 17, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

You make no attempt hide the fact the the media is a wing of the Democrat Party. You talk about what a quandry Reid has put the media into - forcing them to ask Democrats what their opinion is regarding buiding of the mosque near the 9/11 site. You not too sbtly wish that the media did not have to ask tough questions like this - at least not to Democrats.

How sad that our country's media has no qualms about being a mouthpiece for one party.

Posted by: GuyThompto1 | August 17, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Another culture war smoke screen.

I'm a Democrat, and I want the Democratic leadership's feet held to fire in the press regarding the allegations that they were complicit with the GOP in gutting key parts of the financial reform legislation. I do not claim that Mark Taibbi's piece in Rolling Stone describes what actually happened. I do urge people to consider the implications if it does.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/188551?RS_show_page=0

Posted by: st50taw | August 17, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Another culture war smoke screen.

I'm a Democrat, and I want the Democratic leadership's feet held to fire in the press regarding the allegations that they were complicit with the GOP in gutting key parts of the financial reform legislation. I do not claim that Matt Taibbi's piece in Rolling Stone describes what actually happened. I do urge people to consider the implications if it does.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/188551?RS_show_page=0

Posted by: st50taw | August 17, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Reid is a coward only because I think he wants the mosque.

I think he's bowing to conservative polling.

I hope I am wrong, and some drop of reason has entered the man's mind.

Posted by: docwhocuts | August 17, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Reids position isn't "indefensible. 70% of Americans object to the Mosque being built 1500 feet from ground zero. He is pandering to their votes as he knows his days are numbered in the senate.

What, did you think Reid was some kind of honorable public servant?? He and the rest of the Pelosi gang are what is wrong with this country, not champions of any good cause.

Posted by: Straightline | August 17, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I see a bunch of moronic comments on here about how Reid hates the Constitution and is not willing to support muslims. You guys are truly the greatest example of why we have Obama as a president. Do you really believe that Dingy Harry does not want a mosque built at Ground Zero? Maybe he is saying this because of the TIME OF THE YEAR IT IS???? Just MAYBE?????

LIBERALISM IS A MENTAL DISORDER

Posted by: mcap52 | August 17, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I don't get the liberal hysteria on this blog. Assuming Reid's statements reflect how he feels about the issue, what's the problem? It's a manifestly reasonable opinion, no doubt held by a substantial majority of Americans. He's a US Senatory; why isn't he entitled to state it? Because Obama is having trouble managing his own position? Is that a good reason?

Get it together.

Posted by: Roytex | August 17, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

This is why the Obtuse Angle has a chance in Nevada.

Posted by: whocares666 | August 17, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

WHY DOES HARRY REID REMIND ME OF --

ELMER FUDD????

What has he done for Nevada?? We now have the highest unemployment rate!

Posted by: wheeljc | August 17, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The Moslims have a right to build their churches anywhere they want. It's a matter of offending someone by placing a church in the wrong place. I would be offended if they start were to start their yelling from the tower early in the morning and woke me up.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | August 17, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

This is a case of NIMBY ("Not in my backyard)! What if a uniformly Methodist community felt that Catholics or Jews had the right to build a Church or Synagogue, just not in their town? By that rationale, no Churches or Synagogues would be built anywhere as other communities continued to pass the buck.

Historically, the religion associated with the greatest mass murder is Christianity (the Crusades, the Holocaust, and more recently the ethnic cleansing in Serbia, etc.). Thankfully, we have not banned the opening of new churches because of the acts of past Christian extremists.

Posted by: menemeroff | August 17, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I don't care what Harry Reid says. I only care that the people of Nevada have enough sense to vote him out of office. If not, Las Vegas is over for good.

Posted by: Indi1 | August 17, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

How incredibly disappointing and powerfully instructive. Harry Reid is a wimp and a coward and quite obviously the reason why a 59 seat majority can't get anything done. A strong Majority Leader would call the GOP's bluff and fight tooth and nail. Enough of Harry Reid. I hope he keeps his seat but then steps down as leader.

Posted by: joebanks | August 17, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Here's the break-down for Dale Sargent and those owners of equally dense craniums.

No serious person denies the absolute right to build the mosque two blocks from the twin towers. Mmkay?
Serious people do, however, question the motive and lack of sensitivity of the decision to build the mosque at Park 51.
Officially called the "Cordoba Project", it can very easily be suspected of being a planting of a victory flag at the site.

The naming of the mosque as the "Cordoba Project" is brazenly blatant.
From Wiki: "It[Cordoba]was captured in 711[3] by a Muslim army: in 716 it became a provincial capital, depending from the Caliphate of Damascus; in Arabic it was known as قرطبة (Qurṭuba). In May 766, it was elected as capital of the independent Muslim emirate of al-Andalus, later a Caliphate itself."

It's time for Muslims to show some of the sensitivity they (sometimes violently) demand from non-Muslims.

The issue of legality is a straw man and a red herring.
The real issue is the morality and the utter insensitivity.

Posted by: spamsux1 | August 17, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I find it very curious that all you Obama/Reid supporters mention their support for the Constitution, particularly the First Amendment.
How many of you even noticed Obama stomping all over that document with the back room deals on healthcare, and his appointing of the various "czars" -- none of whom required vetting by or approval by the Senate?
Don't go telling me that "Bush did the same" -- I'll agree with you on that point. Bush certainly wasn't exactly our greatest President, either. But no President in history has so blatently disregarded the Constitution in so many different ways, as has Obama!
Your argument that "they both support the first amendment" just doesn't hold water!

Posted by: bshildn | August 17, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Re: "Pentagon Mosque"

There seems to be a lot of people operating under the impression that there is a mosque in the Pentagon, there is not. What is there is a 100 seat chapel where people of all faiths can go to pray and where religious services of all faiths are held. It's not a mosque any more than it is a temple, a church, or a shrine.

Regarding the GZ mosque, I fail to see why religious freedom in this country is contingent on this particular group of people, building this particular mosque, on this particular sight. This sight has no particular religous significance to Islam and there are dozens of mosques in NYC, so Moslems are free to practice their religion. Even if a case could be made the current facilities are inadequate, how would moving the mosque 10 or 20 blocks down the road create intolerable obstacles to Moslems free exercise of religion?

Posted by: ucfengr_2000 | August 17, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Greg,It's time the editors bought you a big red clown nose, a squirting boutonniere and giant floppy shoes.

Posted by: clarice2 | August 17, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

People do realize that this "mosque" would be built 2 blocks away from Ground Zero, don't they? Would it be OK to build a "mosque" just south of Times Square, or would that still be in the "shadow of the World Trade Center?" How about somewhere near China Town? Or just south of Central Park? Should there be no mosques anywhere in Manhatten and should they be confined just to the Bronx? or Queens? or Brooklyn?

Posted by: ejs2 | August 17, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"He [Reid] said that HE THINKS that the mosque should be built elsewhere. What is so controversial about that?"

Simple. There is no more basis for that position than there is thinking a black family should move elsewhere when considering moving to a neighborhood where a family member was murdered by a man who happened to be black also.

It doesn't take courage to stand against that analogy. I maintain this situation is just as clear an example of bigotry, and should not be legitimized by a Senate Majority Leader.

We don't dispense justice based on the way aggrieved people "feel" about others unrelated to their grief other than sharing a religion.

Posted by: trippin | August 17, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"Simple. There is no more basis for that position than there is thinking a black family should move elsewhere when considering moving to a neighborhood where a family member was murdered by a man who happened to be black also"

The analogy would be more accurate if the "black family" in question had publically stated that the murder victim was at least partially responsible for the murder, the family had connections to people involved in the murder, and was buying the house will questionable funding sources, but then if it were more accurate it wouldn't allow to bask quite much in the glow of your own self righteousness.

Posted by: ucfengr_2000 | August 17, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

As I recall the Washington Post thought it "unwise" to publish the Mohammed cartoons during the height of that controversy. Considering their stance on the Ground Zero Mosque, this is curious. After all they certainly had the constitutional right to publish those cartoons so why wouldn't they do it? Obviously "propriety" or "appropriateness" isn't part of their lexicon.

More likely they figure that calling normal Americans "racist" doesn't get them murdered by "moderate muslims" like publishing those cartoons would.

Posted by: oldno7 | August 17, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

This Sargent guy is a complete idiot...the Wall Street Journal pointed it out with relish and an ironclad reasoned argument. What a marroon this guy...lol

Posted by: godsmotive | August 17, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Mostly I'm with "rukidding7" and his commentary here (his Afghanistan comment excepted). I don't think people have to like or support the right of these muslims to build the cultural center--and I have no issue with folks saying they don't--but I do think that much of the objection I'm hearing (perhaps including Reed's, even) is based on bigotry against all muslims--including those who're fellow Americans and no more radical than any other person of any given religion one is likely to meet on any American street--in response to the actions of 19 extremist muslims.

As trippin says above, the sensitivity issue is really no different than suggesting that a black family not move into a neighborhood where someone was murdered by a black gang-banger, because it might upset the family and friends of the victim. No matter how pleasantly you try to couch saying "move someplace else," it's still bigotry, because all black people are not gangbangers, and no amount of sensitivity allows the victim(s) and family member(s) of a crime or terrorist act to dictate whether a whole race or religion is fit to set up shop in a given neighborhood, even if they do somehow remind the victim(s) and family of the crime.

It is no more or less insensitive to be muslim and want to build a cultural center, Hallmark franchise, restaurant, porn shop, or place of worship near or at Ground Zero, than it is to be a member of any other religion (or none) and do the same. Anyone who would treat muslims differently than they would judeo-christians, buddhists or atheists, absent any reason other than their chosen faith, ought to examine their hearts and souls.

The folks who're building the center claim that the Cordoba name wasn't intended to evoke the period when islam overtook christianity in Spain; it was intended to evoke the period when muslim, christian and jew all lived more or less in harmony there. But in response to those who believed it meant the islamic takeover, they changed the name to 51 Park.

The Greek church ran into zoning issues based on their location and that of other structures in the area. Had they bought the building where the cultural center is being built, they wouldn't've had those problems... It's not a religious thing. And yeah, I hope they get to build what they want, where they want. If there's one thing GZ needs, it's as many places to pray and reflect as there were faiths among the people who were killed, there. As long as they can memorialize and worship without affecting the memorializing and worship of others, I'm all for as many and as many different places to worship and reflect as fit in the area. Nothing would please me more than a Ground Zero rebuilt full of religious and spiritual pluralism. What could be more American? What could send a better message to the pluralism-hating terrorists who attacked us?

To get there, though, we need to let go of the anti-muslim bigotry. Hate the terrorists, not the faith they claimed to be doing it for.

Posted by: repsac3 | August 17, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"...publically stated that the murder victim was at least partially responsible for the murder, the family had connections to people involved in the murder, and was buying the house will questionable funding sources..."

The people making those arguments have a leg to stand on, at least... But if you read/listen to the majority of the comments made here and elsewhere, they talk about some amorphous "sensitivity to the victims" and not these issues...

As far as the questionable funding, I'd prefer to see that someone's actually guilty of something, rather than oppose the place on suspicion that they might be, maybe... The questions are reasonable, I guess, but having questions isn't the same as proving guilt, except on FoxNews.

I'm also not real swayed by the guy thinking American foreign policy played some part in why we were attacked. We did help create Bin Laden. Nothing excuses 9/11 and there is no reason good enough to ever attack civilians. But if we trust these terrorist bastards when they say they want to kill us all, we should also trust them when they say they acted because of actions we took. Crazy, yes. Wrong, yes. But those were their reasons. It's not a sin to say so.

Not calling a terrorist a terrorist is diplomacy. While I don't share in that, I don't see it as much different than refraining from telling the bosses wife she's fat, no matter how much of a bloated pig she actually is. Brutal honesty can be great, but there's something to be said for not saying the honest and right thing at the wrong time, as well. Honey and vinegar, and flies. Sometimes it's better to just not answer.

The connections seem pretty slim, to me... but then, I'm not reading Geller, Horowitz, and Spencer, where everyone's connected to the terrorists... even them, and YOU, more'n'likely...

Posted by: repsac3 | August 17, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

When it is it indefensible to want to get re-elected? Reid reacted the only way he could in the current Nevada enrironment.

The blame is for the blabbermouth in the White House. His timing is dreadful and so is his judgment.

Posted by: alance | August 17, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Is Reid thinking: Anything to survive...
Isn't Reid a politician, as is Obama ?

Posted by: Kingofkings1 | August 17, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of crap. I really don't like the democratic leadership or the republican leadership for that matter. However, it's a bad decision to build the thing near where so many people died. Muslims have a right of course, but you people who dump on the president for saying that it's probably not a good idea are just plain stupid! What a bunch of idiots, support the constitution, but be real!! It's not a good PR thing. But who cares, right? You could care less about how your party fares. The republicans are disgusting, but you lefties are not much behind!

Posted by: Fergie303 | August 17, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Independent voter who doesn't care for Reid, but I admire him for giving his opinion. We have a right to know what our elected reps stand for, although very few on either side of the aisle seem to care about that mandate anymore.

Posted by: samwoods77 | August 17, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

This analyst destroys Sargent's lame logic of his last few blog posts on this issue:
Greg Sargent, a left-wing blogger for the Washington Post, whose berserk flailing on the topic the past few days has provided the unwittingly funniest political commentary since Journolist--in a way even funnier, since Sargent knows that he is writing for public consumption.

Sargent should have slept in, for Obama soon explained that he merely meant to cast this dispute as a constitutional issue and has no intention of expressing an opinion on the wisdom of putting a mosque close to Ground Zero. In a Saturday night post, Sargent tried to explain that he hadn't really thought that Obama was endorsing the project:

The "clarification" today would be a walkback if he had previously "endorsed" the project in the sense of declaring it a good idea. But he never "endorsed" it in that sense. Nor is it his place to do that.

Rather, Obama's "endorsement" of the project consisted entirely of a declaration that now that the group has decided to proceed, American ideals demand that we welcome and respect such people in situations like these. He hasn't backed off that core assertion.

Read that next-to-last sentence again. It has the form of a statement of principle but not the substance. Sargent is not ascribing to Obama the view that we must welcome and respect people in general, only "such people in situations like these."

How might this work in practice? Blogger Doug Powers quotes liberal commentator Bill Press: "Sometimes you have to stand up and say, this is wrong--the wrong place. . . . It's a slap to the American people. . . . There are some places where cheap political tricks should not be allowed."

Press is not referring to the Ground Zero mosque, but to Glenn Beck's plan to hold a Tea Party rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, the anniversary of the "I have a dream" speech, which Martin Luther King delivered at the same spot. As the Washington Post reports, "social activists and civil rights leaders, among them the Rev. Al Sharpton, are planning marches and demonstrations" in protest.

Yet Press agrees with Sargent on the Ground Zero mosque:

There's only one reason to oppose this mosque, and that is to paint Islam as an evil religion and to paint all Muslims and equate them with the 19 terrorists who flew into that building. It is wrong. It is un-American, and the people against it ought to be ashamed of playing a cheap political trick.

Now, Beck has made a decision to exercise his First Amendment rights in a particular time and place. According to the Sargent Principle, doesn't this mean that American ideals oblige Al Sharpton and everyone else to "welcome and respect" him? That depends. Is Beck one of "such people"? Is his a "situation like these"? We have no idea who, other than the organizers of the Ground Zero mosque, fit the bill. These terms are so vague and subjective that Sargent has not asserted a principle at all.

Posted by: kohnfjerry | August 17, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Sargent:

It's one thing for Republicans to argue the case against the center on the merits. Fine. Agree or disagree, the same First Amendment that protects the right of the group to build the center also protect [sic] the right of conservatives to make a case against it.

But it's another thing entirely if Republicans adopt criticism of Obama's speech as part of a concerted electoral strategy.

So what was "un-American" on Saturday was "fine" by Monday, just an exercise of the First Amendment. But whereas freedom of speech is one thing, it's "another thing entirely" when it's "part of a concerted electoral strategy."

Well, at least when Republicans do it. Later yesterday, as CNN reports, Harry Reid, the sad clown of a Senate majority leader, announced his opposition to the Ground Zero mosque: "The First Amendment protects freedom of religion," spokesman Jim Manley said in a statement. "Sen. Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built some place else."

Is Harry Reid un-American? Yesterday Sargent called Reid's position "indefensible," and "unacceptable," though he dwells more on the political difficulty it causes Democrats.

But wait. If one side is the side of "American ideals," and the other side is "un-American," why in the world shouldn't the media press every Senate Dem--and every other politician, for that matter--to declare which side he's on? And if the Democrats "plainly believe in" these "principles," what's stopping them from saying so? And shouldn't they remove Reid from his leadership position for betraying their principles.

It begins to become clear that Sargent is more of a partisan than an adherent to the "American ideals" that he is unable to articulate clearly anyway.

It begins to become clear that Sargent is more of a partisan than an adherent to the "American ideals" that he is unable to articulate clearly anyway.

The NY Times editorial give away the whole game:

[Obama] would have done better if he had explained the wisdom of going ahead with the project, which developers said is intended to bring Muslims and non-Muslims together," it is already a failure on its own terms. But the Times betrays its own lack of interest in conciliation by urging the president to "push back hard."

By using the metaphor of physical assault, the Times makes clear that it views the placement of the proposed mosque as an assault on the sensibilities of what Times columnist Ross Douthat calls "the second America"--and that it is eager to see those sensibilities assaulted.

"There is only one political value that they have stood by through three generations, and that is the political value of disturbing your neighbor." The pro-mosque left's pieties about "American ideals" have about as much to do with the reality of the controversy as the fringe right's ravings about "Shariah." In truth, the left favors a mosque a mosque near Ground Zero simply because most most Americans find the idea obnoxious.

Posted by: kohnfjerry | August 17, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Why do they need another one. There are already many mosques in NY.
What if America wanted to build a monument in Hiroshima. Is that any different?
Muslims don't want one, americans don't want one. why don't they listen to the majority

Posted by: november1 | August 18, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I've posted this elsewhere, but there is really a fundamental issue here: All members of congress take an oath to uphold and defend the US constitution. I recall it going something like this:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

I especially like the "I will bear true faith" part. Harry - and your fellow republican constitutional cowards, where is your faith in America?

Posted by: alloptionsonthetablein2010 | August 18, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

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