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House Democrat now politicizing mosque issue

This is genuinely sad. But we now have a House Democrat who has come out against the planned Islamic center -- and is using the issue politically against his Republican opponent, who had previous supported it.

The Democrat in question is Rep. Michael Arcuri of New York. Previously, his Republican challenger, Richard Hanna, had shown the courage to buck his own party and support the center, on the grounds that opposing it was at odds with American values.

"It's extremely easy to understand why people are upset by this, but this country was founded by people who were running away from religious persecution," Hanna, the Republican, said last week.

You'd think this is a stance all Democrats would embrace. Not Democrat Michael Arcuri.

Yesterday, Arcuri came out against the project in a statement:

"The pain felt by many Americans from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is still very real, and I can understand how the thought of building a mosque near Ground Zero could reopen those wounds. For the sake of the victims and their families, I think another location should be chosen."

It gets even better. Now Arcuri's Republican challenger has reversed himself, and has come out against the center, too. Amazingly, according to the Utica Observer-Dispatch, Democrat Arcuri's campaign is politicizing the issue by attacking him for flip flopping. As if Arcuri's own stance is couragous or admirable.

Here's the bottom line: When Arcuri's GOP opponent did the right thing and came out for the center, this signaled that the mosque controversy didn't have to be a campaign issue. Yet a Democrat chose to make it one. How many more Dems are going to play these pathetic Rovian games?

UPDATE, 11:11 a.m.: Three more New York Democrats have now come out against the project.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 17, 2010; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security  
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Next: Rand Paul's solution to unemployment and drugs: Rich people?

Comments

If Democrats stood united against the anti-mosque crowd and lost 100 seats in the House and 15 in the Senate because of it, that would be very noble!

I'm sure glad Republicans took the first step in taking what was not a controversy except in the eyes of Pamella Gellar who once posted a story about Obama being the love child of Malcolm X and decided to use it as a foil for anti-Muslim sentiment in this country.

This will go a long way bringing in moderate Muslims to help us fight against the extremists.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 17, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Why is Al-Qaeda slaughtering Muslims, on an ongoing basis, if all Muslims are supposed to be with them. After 9/11, Al-Qaeda has killed mostly Muslims.

Today In Iraq.


"BAGHDAD – A suicide bomber sat for hours Tuesday among hundreds of army recruits before detonating nail-packed explosives strapped to his body, killing 61 people and casting new doubt on the ability of Iraqi forces as U.S. troops head home.

Bodies of bloodied young men, some still clutching job applications in their hands, were scattered on the ground outside the military headquarters in central Baghdad. Some of the estimated 1,000 men who had gathered there before dawn for a good spot in line were so desperate for work they returned hours after being treated at hospitals for injuries in the attack.

Though Iraq's military and police recruiting centers have been attacked repeatedly, there was virtually no security provided for the hundreds of men seeking to hand in applications on the last day they were being accepted at the headquarters for the Iraqi army's 11th Division.

The bomber, it appears, simply walked up and joined the applicants. Witnesses said he approached an officer collecting I.D. cards and set off a blast that split his own body in two.

"Severed hands and legs were falling over me. I was soaked with blood from the body parts and wounded and dead people falling over and beside me," said Yasir Ali, who had been waiting outside the military headquarters since 4 a.m.

It was one of the bloodiest bombings in months in the Iraqi capital and was an embarrassment for Iraq's military as it tries to reassure the nation it can fill the gap left by America's departing military. At the end of this month, U.S. troops will number just 50,000 and will be involved only in limited combat operations.


"We couldn't get another place for the recruits," said Iraqi military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, explaining why the army used an open and unprotected site in central Baghdad's Maidan Square to gather the recruits.

"It was difficult to control the area because it's an open area and because of the large number of recruits," he said.

He blamed al-Qaida in Iraq for the attack."

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"It gets even better. Now Arcuri's Republican challenger has reversed himself, and has come out against the center, too."

Politics attracts such a fine class of people.

But at least those particular politicians have a dog in that fight (kind of). I can entirely see being against the community center, or a Wal-Mart, or the Burlington Coat Factory, if it's in your city. Still sort of if it's near you, or if it's in your state. I don't particularly see flip-flopping on the issue, but . . .

I am curious. What legislative options are available to congresspeople regarding zoning and construction in lower Manhattan? Or are these people (for or against) running on something that they have no say over, and cannot affect, in any way? I mean, just beyond that whole first amendment thing, how often to legislators pass laws that target one specific construction project in one particular city?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

See, I just disagree with all of this.

Three comments.

First, as long as rights aren't being infringed upon I could honestly care less what somebody's OPINION on the project is. That is up to them.

Second, we are all entitled to our own opinions, but a person's opinion DOES say a lot about the person's character. For example, Arcuri and Gingrich basically agree on substance. But Gingrich is demeaning, insulting, and extreme in his rhetoric, imho. Arcuri and Reid, to me, have opposed the project in significantly more reasonable terms. THAT is the debate we are having here, imho, NOT whether it should be built or not. People can agree or disagree based on their opinion. But one thing I cannot and will not tolerate is abuse of Muslims for any reason. The main reason for that being that people of my faith were also persecuted -- in this country -- for wanting to build synagogues. Go back and read Dana Millbank's column this morning where George Washington responds magnificently to a gracious letter from a Jewish congregation in New Haven.

Third, Why is this "Rovian"? So any comment or opinion that has bearing on a political campaign or political controversy is now "Rovian?" Politicians making comments for political expediency existed well before Karl Rove and, in fact, pre-date the founding of our country.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 17, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

A History Lesson.

From Joan Walsh

At Salon.com


"Who knew I owe my freedom to Nativists who killed Irish Catholics! The "ground zero mosque" debate gets uglier"


http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joan_walsh/index.html


Excerpted:

"I would like to thank New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, on behalf of my Irish Catholic relatives; indeed, on behalf of all Irish Catholics, including the Kennedy family, for reminding us of the debt we owe to anti-Catholic "Nativists." Yes, even though I was raised to believe the Nativists spread anti-Catholic prejudice and bigotry with lies about who we were and what we believed, Douthat says I was raised wrong (not surprising, given I was raised by Irish Catholics). In fact, Catholics like my family and the Kennedys should apparently thank the Nativists, because, as Douthat patiently explains, "Nativist concerns about Catholicism’s illiberal tendencies inspired American Catholics to prod their church toward a recognition of the virtues of democracy, making it possible for generations of immigrants to feel unambiguously Catholic and American.""

"I didn't realize my people had to be "inspired" into fully embracing "the virtues of democracy" by Nativists, often by violence: from Charlestown, Mass, where Nativists burned a Catholic convent in 1834, to Philadelphia in 1844 (where thousands of Nativists attacked Irish Catholics, derided as "scum unloaded on American wharfs," burned Catholic churches and convents, invaded the homes of Irish Catholics and beat residents), to St. Louis, where a Nativist riot against Irish Catholics killed 10 and destroyed 93 Irish Catholic homes and businesses, or Louisville, Ky., where Nativist mobs killed at least two dozen Catholics on "Bloody Monday," Aug. 6, 1855."
"


Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Arcuri sucks on a number of issues. He was reportedly one Rahm's favorite candidates in 06'.

"Populist John Yarmuth? Can't win. Why? I don't know... I'm stuck in the 90's, so let's just go with 'blah blah Third Way blah, Ace of Base rules' and leave it at that. Blue dog Mike Arcuri? A thousand times yes! Wait... what's that? Yarmuth won, was re - elected by a large margin, and is a great House Dem. Well... it's a good thing I will refuse to learn anything from this. Now excuse me while I water down the stimulus without any real pushback... in the name of 'pragmatism.' Then a year and a half later, we can 'focus on jobs.' I am a highly over - rated anger bear relic. (sings) I saw the sign, that opened up my eyes, I saw the sign..."

End rant.

Posted by: michael_conrad | August 17, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

In The Words Of Roberto Duran:

Just Say: No Más, To No Mosque.


And now for something entirely different.


From Salon.com

" China's hot new commodity: "Fake virgins"
"Revirginization" procedures are on the rise in the country "


http://www.salon.com/life/sex/index.html?story=/mwt/broadsheet/2010/08/17/revirginization_china

It reminded me of a line I heard an old comedian(Joey Lewis?) once say:

"I knew Doris Day, before she became a virgin."

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

THIS IS GETTING FUN ISN'T IT GUYZ???

I've never had so much fun watching which side Democrats will take.

This story could go on for weeks until we force every one of them to take a stance! I sure hope it does.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 17, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

This is really really sad. It is hard to recognize the country on days like this. I will continue to stand apart from the raving mob and hope we come to our senses soon.

Just pathetic.

Posted by: Alex3 | August 17, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

This story would be funnier if it wasn't so sad.

"It’s back to school time, and World Net Daily has a great article full of handy tips on making sure your children remain fully mind-locked, and teaching them how to resist that insidious science stuff liberals are always trying to force on God-fearing patriotic folks.

First and foremost, of course, you’ll need a Bible. Or several. Hey, guess what? World Net Daily just happens to sell Bibles!"

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/36967_World_Net_Dailys_Back_to_School_Extravaganza

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 17, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

So, Cordoba House basically denounced Hamas.

You'd think that would be newsworthy right?

Wrong.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/36965_Cordoba_House_Developers-_Hamas_Does_Not_and_Will_Not_Speak_For_Us

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

On the Craven Democrat theme, the Democratic candidate for KY Sen is attacking the Repub for being "soft on drugs":

This Is Your Race On Drugs: Conway, Paul Clash Over Drug Enforcement In Kentucky

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/this-is-your-race-on-drugs-conway-paul-clash-over-drug-enforcement.php?ref=fpb

And this is how the Democratic Party immolates itself and fails the country.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"I mean, just beyond that whole first amendment thing, how often to legislators pass laws that target one specific construction project in one particular city?"

Are they proposing to pass a law? If they are then you have a point. But from the statement Greg has highighted, it sounds like he is simply saying he wishes they didn't build it there. People express objections to things all the time without implying or meaning that a law should be passed.

(Granted, that is less true today in our nanny-state world than in the past, but still....)

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 17, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

If you're a politician running in a competitive district you pretty much have to come out against the mosque. That's just the reality. I know liberal medial elites like Greg don't like it but that's the reality we are in.

Posted by: cleancut77 | August 17, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

But Conway is an FDL fav!

He must be great right?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 17, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"But Conway is an FDL fav! He must be great right?"

I assume that is snark but I really don't get it.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Great catch, Mike, thanks.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 17, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Can we keep a running account of how many Blue Dog Dems in tough re-election fights come out against the COMMUNITY CENTER being built TWO BLOCKS from Ground Zero? Just so I will not miss them in the Fall.

Posted by: bmcchgo | August 17, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning and welcome to MosqueBlog.

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

On Democrats demagoguing the Not-Mosque and the Wasted War on Drugs: I realize these guys are politicians and they want to get elected. However, when your opponent does something right you should agree with him. That's called consensus. It is how things move forward. Fact is. Rand Paul is right on drugs and Hanna is right on the not-Mosque. Democrats can't win by trying to out conservative the Republicans. Even when they win selected races that way the party suffers overall. This is how we get Republicrats who undermine the party message, not to mention its principles. Have the courage to agree when your opponent is correct. That is the time for bi-partisanship.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Interesting comment from a reader at The Daily Dish:

"If the World Trade Center site is such a sacred place, then why are we allowing a for-profit office complex to be erected on it? Did we move the USS Arizona because it took up valuable dock space? Maybe someone will open a coffee shop on the first floor called Hallowed Grounds. Also, I assume the new complex will have toilets and that they will be used. Talk about disrespectful."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 17, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"Good morning and welcome to MosqueBlog."

Always Mosque, all the time.

lol

I'm pretty certain Fox claimed they were building the Mosque out of remains from the planes that hit the towers and using the ash from the downed towers as foundation. If they haven't, they'll no doubt come up with that next to stoke up some more antipathy and keep the story going a bit longer.

We've still got at least 300 Democratic House and Senate members to file into the pro-9/11 terrorist loving category or the anti-Moslem pander to the nativist category.

This is gonna be a FUN week!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 17, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"Good morning and welcome to MosqueBlog."

Agreed. No Mas Mosque!

Posted by: wbgonne | August 17, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how many times I need to repeat the message before it sinks into the thick skulls of Greg and his Quisling toadies here-- but my patience is spent with these lying Leftist idiotarians.

This has NOTHING to do with removing mosques and everything to do with the Islamo-supremacism of Cordoba House, in particular. Somehow, I think Greg (and his Quisling toadies) wouldn't support neo-pagans' "right" to erect eternal Crann Tara monuments next to MLK memorials.

But when patriotic Americans object to stealth jihadists-- and (yes) that accurately describes the Cordoba House cabal-- opening a 9/11 snuff porn vendor emporium (and jihadi recruitment center) on the hallowed graves of Ground Zero-- Quisling hypocrits shriek with indignation!

American Muslims may be the very soul of moderation. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable for Americans to ask for more from (allegedly) “peaceful” Cordoba House jihadists than insincere bromides and disingenuous whitewashing of uncomfortable elements of Islamic sharia law, as practiced by the Cordoba House cabal and their financial sponsors.

A genuine tiny minority of anti-jihadist Muslims may be found @
http://secularislam.org/blog/post/SI_Blog/21/The-St-Petersburg-Declaration

Americans remain breathless in anticipation of the sharia law vendors of Cordoba House supporting this genuinely tiny minority of their co-religionists-- but don’t hold your breath.

When will Quislings support Secular Islam advocates' right to live free from the sharia law intimidation of Cordoba House Islamo-supremacists?

Be advised these sharia-fascists have their eyes on your throat, too.

"Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!" [Matthew 23:24]

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 17, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"my patience is spent"

Nobody cares.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 17, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Imagine the uproar there would be, if an actual Mosque was being erected, instead of the Imaginary One, that the Xenophobes have erected inside their skulls!


They are scared out of their wits by a proposed building, but they are tough when it comes to defending our country. Sure they are!

A Bunch of Bed Wetting Cowards, who soil their pants at the very sight of a drawing of a building facade, is what they really are.

What is their rallying cry:

"Save Us From The Facade. Just the thought of it, makes us soil ourselves."

Al-Qaeda must love those Right Wing gutless wonders.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

also from joan walsh today:

I would like to thank New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, on behalf of my Irish Catholic relatives; indeed, on behalf of all Irish Catholics, including the Kennedy family, for reminding us of the debt we owe to anti-Catholic "Nativists." Yes, even though I was raised to believe the Nativists spread anti-Catholic prejudice and bigotry with lies about who we were and what we believed, Douthat says I was raised wrong (not surprising, given I was raised by Irish Catholics). In fact, Catholics like my family and the Kennedys should apparently thank the Nativists, because, as Douthat patiently explains, "Nativist concerns about Catholicism’s illiberal tendencies inspired American Catholics to prod their church toward a recognition of the virtues of democracy, making it possible for generations of immigrants to feel unambiguously Catholic and American.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joan_walsh/politics/2010/08/16/why_catholics_should_thank_anti_catholics/index.html

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 17, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

For those confused about Leftists support for Islamo-supremacism, don't be.

These Quislings support Islamo-supremacist desecration of Ground Zero because they objectively HATE America and have formed an Unholy Alliance with Islamo-supremacists.
http://www.amazon.com/Unholy-Alliance-Radical-Islam-American/dp/089526076X

In contrast, authentic (traditional) liberals fight against sharia law advocates of Cordoba House. For that reason, The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which is representing a New York City firefighter who survived the 9-11 terrorist attacks, said the vote by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission is deeply offensive to many of the victims and families of the 9-11 tragedy. The ACLJ has filed an Article 78 petition in state court to challenge the city's actions. The ACLJ will allege that there's been an abuse of discretion in the Commission's decision.
http://www.aclj.org/TrialNotebook/Read.aspx?ID=983

Sharia law advocacy is un-Constitutional, and more and more patriotic Americans (in both parties) are beginning to understand that. No wonder the (alleged) "bigotry" slanders from the Leftist-fascists (who support Cordoba House Islamo-supremacism) are growing more and more shrill.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 17, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@suekzoo1

"Interesting comment from a reader at The Daily Dish..."

That comment is what I've argued since 9/12. The Federal Gov. should have bought the land outright and built a new national monument on the site. My vote would have gone for a huge, multi-story museum dedicated to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. A full section for each Amendment and Right given to our citizens. And a giant eagle (I'm talking 30+ feet tall) standing proudly on the roof.

Make it contend with the Washington Monument, the Statue of Liberty, and even Mount Rushmore.

It would have cost a ton of money, considering the outstanding leases that would have been needed to buy off...but I don't think anyone in this country would have had an issue with that. Especially considering the alternative...9 years later and still having a hole in the ground.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 17, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

suekzoo1:

"Maybe someone will open a coffee shop on the first floor called Hallowed Grounds."

That's a good one.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 17, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "Are they proposing to pass a law? If they are then you have a point. But from the statement Greg has highighted, it sounds like he is simply saying he wishes they didn't build it there. People express objections to things all the time without implying or meaning that a law should be passed"

True enough, but these are mostly campaigning politicians, and they are sounding a lot like their are integrating their objections to the Ground Zero Community Center (a faith-based initiative, BTW) into their campaigns, when there's not a darn thing they can or should do about it. People share their opinions, I know, but when politicians make very big deals about things they cannot legally or practically have any effect on, the posturing grates on me. Just a tiny little bit.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

I can't help but notice how strongly you condemn the tactic of politicizing this issue in this post...about a Democrat doing it.

You've certainly called the GOP out for the same tactic, but not to the level of disgust you've done here.

Just because you expect the GOP to be cynical political cowards doesn't mean you shouldn't come down just as hard on them. In fact, you should come down harder on them for it, since it's a clear and demostratable pattern at this point.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 17, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

How about a Military Occupation, by an invading foreign army, which then demonstrated it's triumphalism, by erecting the largest embassy compound ever built in any country?

No sooner had they occupied that nation, than the foreign occupiers started building their gigantic compound to commemorate their conquest. They did not ask for permission from any local zoning boards. They just went ahead and built their massive symbol of conquest, without even waiting for any local or national government to be stood up.

That all happened, long before the Muslim center was proposed in New York.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

[Ethan2010 whined: "Nobody cares."]

Guess that makes you a nobody.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 17, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for me and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Shame on every Democrat (actually every American) who does not have the courage to stand up for people who are being demonized for their beliefs.

Posted by: MarcfromdowntownNYC | August 17, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

All, check out the latest from Rand Paul:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 17, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

i can't believe i phone banked to get this POS elected in '06. no more. at least nadler and bloomberg stood up. that's one democrat.

Posted by: benjoya | August 17, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the word of the day is "Quisling."

When Sarah Palin was asked to condemn "Quislings," she tweeted: "It's an elitist sandwich shop. Like all Real Americans, I prefer Subway. I refudiate your soup in a bread bowl, Quislings."

Posted by: michael_conrad | August 17, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@Marc: "THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists"

Oh, if only.

That being said, either it's right to speak up, to support or oppose something, or it's not. I'm not sure that "well, you had better defend these people, because if you don't, eventually they'll come get you, too" is the highest moral ground a person can occupy.

And, in all fairness, there are a lot of people speaking up for the rights of the folks who want to build a community center on the grounds of the old, sacred Burlington Coat factory. So it's not like there aren't a lot of people speaking up for what they truly believe is right.

The politicians might not be, but then, that's the class of individual politics generally attracts. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 17, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

[MarcfromdowntownNYC posed; "stand up for people who are being demonized for their beliefs."]

I take it you don't mean the patriotic Americans afflicted by the Obamedia's orchestrated campaign to demonize them for opposing Cordoba House Islamo-supremacists?

Examine the Quislings’ “demonized” charge in light of these sentiments;

“Muslims are the vilest of animals…”
“Show mercy to one another, but be ruthless to Muslims”
“How perverse are Muslims!”
“Strike off the heads of Muslims, as well as their fingertips”
“Fight those Muslims who are near to you”
“Muslim mischief makers should be murdered or crucified”

Hate speech? Incitement to violence? Sounds like it to me; but a knowledgeable Muslim would have to disagree.

Why would Cordoba House Muslims not consider this to be hate speech? How is it that I can post these quotes with full certainty that Cordoba House won’t be contacting WaPo Editors (or Congress) with wild-eyed accusations of Islamophobia?
http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Articles/Quran_Hate.htm

Don’t be apologists for Islamo-supremacism, Quislings.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 17, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"but my patience is spent" Oh that there were true and you'd move on to whichever blogs host the tinfoil hats.

With all due respect Moammar Kaddafi I suspect most of us have mice with that little scroll wheel on it...in my case at least you are wearing out my battery.

BTW if you tire of Quisling we used to have a fellow who used slave everytime...in fact your rants do have a familiar ring to them. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 17, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"... but these are mostly campaigning politicians, and they are sounding a lot like their are integrating their objections to the Ground Zero Community Center (a faith-based initiative, BTW) into their campaigns, when there's not a darn thing they can or should do about it. People share their opinions, I know, but when politicians make very big deals about things they cannot legally or practically have any effect on, the posturing grates on me. Just a tiny little bit."

Well said, Kevin_Willis. Whenever any politician decides to make a statement that the community center "should" be located somewhere else, the media should immediately follow up with the question:

"OK, but do respect the rights of the community in lower Manhattan to make the decision in keeping with their own due process?"

That is the threshold question here. If that answer to that question is "no," the media should ask why not. If that answer to that question is "yes" then the next question needs to be:

"Then why would you stick your big nose into an issue that is completely outside your jurisdiction?"

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

[rukidding7 sneered: "With all due respect Moammar Kaddafi"]

The nom de guerre refers to Cato the Elder's clarion call 'Carthage must be destroyed.' Those sentiments also apply to Kaddafi today.

Try to keep up.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 17, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

August 18th The President defends Glenn Beck's right to hold a rally at the Lincoln Memorial.

August 19th, the President declares that he's not in favor of Beck, but of holding the rally.

August 20th, The President clarifies that he actually watches Glenn Beck at night, but doesn't share his beliefs.

August 22nd, Robert Gibbs says that anybody who doesn't believe in Beck's right to hold a rally is on "the professional left"

August 23, the President goes on Greta Van Susteren to show support for the right to hold the rally. Also asks: "Where's Whoopi?"

August 25th, the President denounces Harry Reid's decision to pay for the rally himself so Sharon Angle can't appear.

August 27th the President invites Beck to spend the night before the rally at the White House, to show support for the Constitution.

Agusut 28th, After an introduction by Harry Reid, Vice President Joe Biden shows up and speaks for 2 hours at the rally, thereby preventing Beck from appearing at all. Reporters are puzzled by Biden's singing of "Walking in Memphis", until his team clarifies that Biden thought it was a civil rights anthem.

Posted by: 54465446 | August 17, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Apparently; the first amendment is a Quisling Document. Good to know. Perhaps the time has come to:"exercise 2nd amendment solutions" to get rid of that Quisling enabling First Amendment.

Were the Confederate Renegades, such as Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis, real traitors, or were they just Quisling Dixie?

Patriotic Minds Want To Know.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

So a piece of real estate is "hallowed ground" but the principles of freedom of religion are not hallowed, at all.

Churches and Synagogues can be, and are, there. Mosques are excluded.

I am constrained from saying what I think about all the Ds and Rs who are demagoguing this issue. The US deserves much better than their lot.

The Dems should be charged with political malpractice if they can't figure out how to maneuver on this issue.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | August 17, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Digby has a nice twist on the community center controversy.

"I doubt all those Fox news patriots know that the same News Corp that's owned by a Wahhabist Saudi prince just donated a million dollars to the Republican party. Of course they'll never find out because the only network they watch is the same terrorist funded network that's doing it.

But if they were to hear about it, considering that they all seem to be so worried about the terrorists coming to kill them in their beds, I would imagine they'd be uncomfortable about getting all their news from a network that's partially owned by one of "them." And I'd be very surprised if they were sanguine about a scary Muslim donating to their patriotic political party. Why next thing you know they'll be trying to build community centers near Ground Zero.

At the very least, this whole thing is very insensitive, don't you think? After all, some people really hate Muslims and it's very unpleasant for them to have to watch news networks that are owned by them and be asked to vote for a Party that's funded by them. I'm not saying that Murdoch should be forced to stop donating millions to Republicans or partnering with Saudi princes who believe in Sharia law. I just think it's common sense that he wouldn't do it in the first place."

Posted by: lmsinca | August 17, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a local issue. The germane question is whether New Yorkers feel the building is an historic site or not, and that is a very legitimate issue. Currently there is an old building on the site, and apparently the landing gear of one of the planes that destroyed the Trade Center crashed through its roof on 9/11.

In Virginia, Walmart is trying to build a Walmart store on wartime staging grounds adjacent to the Wilderness battlefield that is considered by many to be a part of the Civil War historic site, and they face great protests.

In both cases, one might feel that the builders are certainly insensitive. If the IRA had done the bombing, for example, I would be embarrassed as a person of Irish descent if someone wanted to build a Catholic church and Irish cultural center at that site because it demonstrates a lack of empathy. I would also recognize the rights of others to protest or support such buildings as they choose.

However, feelings are really irrelevant to the legal rights of private property owners to build whatever they like so long as it meets code and has approved permits. I don't see this as a religious issue at all.

Posted by: dmdoleman | August 17, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate the consistency of all the 1st Amendment advocates in Greg's stable.

You all supported South Carolina's constitutional right to fly the confederate flag over its Statehouse; you supported posting the Ten Commandments in a courthouse; and a creche in the town square in a display of support for First Amendment protections of religion; you vigorously condemned then-Sen. Obama's demonization of middle-America as "bitter" people "clinging to guns and religion"; and (of course) you showed courage when WaPo published the Danish cartoons of Muhammad.

Right?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 17, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Arcuri voted against health care too, and he IIRC voted against extending unemployment benefits at least once.

Here's some what-sauce-for-the-goose for you. In 2000 the GOP-controlled Congress, at the behest of the Religious Right, passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act to make it easier to build places of worship against the wishes of local authorities. It passed by unanimous consent, I might add. Here from the Wikipedia article:

"Currently being litigated is the conflict RLUIPA presents to municipalities' zoning and regulating rights. Through RLUIPA, Congress has expanded religious accommodations to a point where it appears to restrict municipalities' zoning power. Arguably, RLUIPA gives religious landowners a special right to challenge land use laws which their secular neighbors do not have. Even if a zoning law is void of discrimination, the court reviewing a challenge will apply strict scrutiny to the city's regulation."

These people are total hypocrites, every last one of them. I sometimes really wish there were a god who could smite them.

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 17, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Why, I am absolutely against Muslim Community Centers flying The Flag Of The Renegade Confederate Traitors, and I am also against them Displaying big stone sculptures of the Ten Commandments in their Sharia Courts.

I sure wish God had not relied on stone age technology, in order to communicate his commandments to us. He could have given poor old Moses a hernia, trying to lug those big rocks down the mountain.

One would think, that any old deity capable of whipping up an entire universe, would have been able to write on something more high tech than slabs of rock.

A very poor choice of materials on his part, since they did not last very long.

I think we should all pray for him to try a fresh delivery, and this time write those commandments on an iPad, or at the very least etched on sheets of stainless steel. A hard disc back up copy would also be nice Lord, if you are not still stuck in the Stone Age.

Why not open a Twitter account, and post your commandments on there. Get with the program, or surrender your Deity Credentials.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 17, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

You can't honestly be surprised at how the Dems are fumbling this issue. I'm really curious as to why you tought Democrats were somehow better or above all this.

The GOP stinks and the Dems reek. Vote for gridlock.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | August 17, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@ KaddafiDelendaEst. It so happens that I renewed my membership with the ACLU after it filed its brief in support of the Nazi march in Skokie IL.

It also seems to me that you and former Speaker Gingrich have the same very low bar for the standards and ideals of the great US of A you see to love so much. Personally, however, I think that advocating the concept that we need only comport to the standards of religious freedom in Saudi Arabia or should censor all of those who would censor us reveals a fundamentally flawed misunderstanding of what this country stands for. You and the former Speaker may feel that we need only rise to the level of the lowest common denominator. I hope my country aspires to much more than that.

Posted by: MarcfromdowntownNYC | August 17, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

MarcfromdowntownNYC stuttered: "advocating the concept that we need only comport to the standards of religious freedom in Saudi Arabia or should censor all of those who would censor us reveals a fundamentally flawed misunderstanding of what this country stands for."]

Does Marc imagine any zoning board support neo-pagans' "right" to erect eternal Crann Tara monuments next to MLK memorials? Free expression is not sacrosanct, Quisling.

The whole purpose of zoning boards is to regulate architectural expression. This appeal to 1st amendment is a very silly red herring.

I'm in favor of censorship, and so are the courts-- as the sharia advocates of Cordoba House will soon discover. The only difference is (if you're a typical Leftist), you either won't admit it or you don't know it.

But look: If you think it's a good idea for the government (federal, state, or local) to keep Triple-X porn off of Saturday-morning cartoon-hour TV, you're in favor of censorship. If you don't think neo-Nazis should be allowed to make presentations at your kid's public school's career day, you're in favor of censorship. Heck, if you think the federal government is right to block cigarette companies from advertising to kids, you, my friend, are in favor of censorship.

So the relevant question — which is invariably overlooked — isn't whether or not you are "for" or "against" censorship. The relevant question is, What do you want to CENSURE? Or, how much censureship should play a role in zoning decisions?

Don't be a free speech contortionist for sharia law your whole life, Pesky.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 17, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@KaddafiDelendaEst

Thank you for your most recent comment. It brings to mind the Latin phrase "res ipsa loquitur".

Posted by: MarcfromdowntownNYC | August 17, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for your most recent rejoinder. It once again demonstrates your intellectual bankruptcy.

/checkmate

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 17, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"I cannot imagine that Muslims want a mosque on this particular site, because it will be turned into an arena for promoters of hatred, and a symbol of those who committed the crime."
--Al-Sharq al-Awsat (Al-Arabiya director)--
http://www.aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=2&id=21980

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 17, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

If this election if faught in America on the anti-Muslim grounds than every Muslim in world has full right to be anti-American.

Posted by: truthywood | August 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@KaddafiDelendaEst

March 1, 1954: Puerto Rican terrorists storm the House of Representatives Chamber in Washington DC, wounding 5 members of Congress.

April 3, 1975:The FALN bombed Fraunces Tavern in New York City, killing four people and injuring more than 50.

August 3, 1977: The FALN bombed housing for Defense Department personnel at 342 Madison Avenue and Mobil's Offices at 150 East 42nd Street in New York City.

June 9, 1979: The FALN bombed New York's Schubert Theater.

Why should New York allow a Puerto Rican Day parade?

Posted by: MarcfromdowntownNYC | August 17, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

It has been a pleasure watching James Taranto of Opinion Journal point out how Mr. Sargent has been making a fool of himself with his ever-changing partisan analysis of the mosque controversy. Ever heard of a metaphor Greg?

Posted by: kjhm85 | August 17, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I've never voted for a Republican in my life, but I'm so disgusted with Michael Arcuri, that not only will I vote for Hanna, I'm sending him a political contribution. It's not that I like Hanna, rather, I think Arcuri needs to be ousted for his utter cowardice. Shame on him for appealing to bigots to pick up a few votes!

Posted by: chadborman | August 17, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

[MarcfromKKK sneered: "Why should New York allow a Puerto Rican Day parade?"]

Being Peurto Rican has nothing to do with Marxist terrorism, anymore than the ethnicity of other Marxist terrorists (PFLP, PKK, FMLN, FARC, IRA, ETA, FMLN, etc., ad nauseum) endows them with right. Indeed, the murderous actions of these outlaws makes them outcastes from "rights" enjoined by the law abiding.

Similarly, the apartheid Islamo-supremacists of Cordoba House (who support Hamas) have no inherent "right" to propagandize in New York in support of mass murder.

Remind readers again-- what ethnicity is Islam?

/quod erat demonstrandum

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 18, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

What better way to defend 1st Amendment freedom of religion than to have the Speaker of the House demand a Federal probe of those exercising their 1st Amendment right to free speech?
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41204.html

=====
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday said she supports an investigation into groups opposing the building of a mosque near ground zero in New York.

Pelosi told San Francisco’s KCBS radio that “there is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some.”

“I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded,” she said. “How is this being ginned up?”
=====

Does that mean that Pelosi wants Harry Reid investigated, too? Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-NY)? This should be fun!

One might think that Pelsoi would want a peek at where the Park51 will be getting its funds to build the mosque, especially since the State Department is footing the bill for a tour conducted by the imam at the head of the project. Instead, Pelosi wants the power of the government directed at people taking political positions. That goes well beyond any supposed extremism by the mosque’s opponents, most (but not all) of whom acknowledge that the property owners have the right to build on their lot anything that meets code, but want to express their opposition to the plans. Pelosi would take this opportunity to use the government as a thought police to silence dissent.

The silver lining in this dark cloud is that at least Leftists will finally recognize these Leftist-fascists for what they are-- won't they?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 18, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@KaddafiDelendaEst

Since that's where you're going, please distinguish the JDL plot by Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel to assassinate Darrell Issa, in the wake of the September 11 attacks and their planned attacks on the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California.

Indeed, the US Government has determined that the JDL is a terrorist organization.

In a 1986 study of domestic terrorism, the Department of Energy concluded: "For more than a decade, the Jewish Defense League (JDL) has been one of the most active terrorist groups in the United States.... Since 1968, JDL operations have killed 7 persons and wounded at least 22. Thirty-nine percent of the targets were connected with the Soviet Union; 9 percent were Palestinian; 8 percent were Lebanese; 6 percent, Egyptian; 4 percent, French, Iranian, and Iraqi; 1 percent, Polish and German; and 23 percent were not connected with any states. Sixty-two percent of all JDL actions are directed against property; 30 percent against businesses; 4 percent against academics and academic institutions; and 2 percent against religious targets." (Department of Energy, Terrorism in the United States and the Potential Threat to Nuclear Facilities, R-3351-DOE, January 1986, pp. 11-16)[31]

When my congregation wants to expand, are you going attack my right to worship as well?

Posted by: MarcfromdowntownNYC | August 18, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Greg, you applaud hanna for "bucking his own party" and then criticize Arcuri for the same?? They both are running for the house of REPRESENTATIVES, and if incumbent Arcuri sees that the 24th district opposes the mosque then wouldnt he not be doing his job by speaking out on their behalf. Your encouragment of lockstep partisanship is one of the problems that consistently screws our country. What if godforbid your brother, sister, father, mother, or some other relative had been killed on 9/11 by radical Islamists. And this cannot even be seen as an attack or a misunderstanding of Islam; its a matter of respect. Pope John Paul II asked for the relocation of a catholic convenant built near the site of a Holocaust concentration camp in WWII. While the convent only sought to pay respects to the victims, it was simply inappropriate. Just as building a mosque near the site of the slaughtering of innocent civilians. Respect, Greg, respect. maybe your online blogs dont require it, but think about it

Posted by: wildcatrw21 | August 19, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

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