Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

How politically catastrophic were Obama's "mosque" comments?

Putting aside the substantive merits of Obama's comments about Cordoba House, it's been widely accepted as an article of faith that his decision to weigh in at all, and the manner in which he did it, are certain to be politically catastrophic.

But I just talked with Gallup editor in chief Frank Newport about Gallup's new poll on Obama's comments, which found that 34 percent disapprove, versus only 20 percent who approve. What Newport said suggests it's not clear that this is such a disaster after all. Cliff notes version: The disapproval is overwhelmingly Republican; and a large percentage doesn't even have an opinion.

Yesterday Mark Halperin claimed that "the political and substantive damage will continue until Obama explains his position in detail," adding that "this is a classic case of a politician losing control of his public image." Many other pundits have said similar things.

Thankfully, we now have some actual empirical info on this topic. As Newport noted to me, the new Gallup poll finds that while more disapprove than approve, a huge chunk -- 41 percent -- didn't know enough to form an opinion. "This news event has not penetrated the consciousness," Newport said.

I also asked Newport for a breakdown of the 34 percent who disapprove of Obama's comments. He told me that a majority of them, 54 percent, are Republican, while only a third are independents. "It's hard core Republican conservatives who disapprove strongly of the president's remarks," Newport said.

Now, two important caveats.

Newport noted that the poll showed more intensity of emotion about this issue on the right. "Republicans are more strongly disapproving than Democrats are strongly approving," he said, adding that this should be "of concern to the white House." Of course, that could mirror a dynamic already in place: Conservatives are more juiced up about politics right now than liberals are.

It's also true that the political implications of Obama's comments go beyond how it impacts him. By elevating the issue, Obama ensured that Democrats in tough races across the country will get put on the spot about it, and many Dems are fleeing the issue in a panic. Yet there's no evidence yet that the controversy will make any difference at all in local races.

Bottom line: For all the punditry asserting as fact that Obama's decision to take a stand on the project will inevitably rain political doom upon the White House and Dems, the jury is very much out out on the question of whether this is, you know, true.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 19, 2010; 11:29 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Morning Plum
Next: GOP Senate candidate yanks video showing smoldering 9/11 site

Comments

Mosque yes... church NO, say New York officials.

BREAKING: "Decision Not to Rebuild Church Destroyed on 9/11 Surprises Greek Orthodox Leaders"
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/18/leaders-disappointed-government-declares-deal-rebuild-ground-zero-church-dead/

...George Demos, a Republican candidate for New York's 1st Congressional District, also has drawn attention to the negotiations. He released an open letter to President Obama Tuesday urging him to, as he did with the mosque debate, weigh in on the church discussions.

"While we may disagree on the appropriateness of the mosque, we can surely agree that it is an issue of national importance that the only house of worship actually destroyed on September 11, 2001, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, be rebuilt," Demos wrote. "Mr. President, please stand up and defend our Judeo-Christian values, express your public and unwavering support for St. Nicholas Church, and ensure that it is rebuilt."

[Americans should expect Obama to leap to the defense of Christian's right to rebuild their church at Ground Zero in 4... 3... 2...]

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 19, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey CalD, in other news:

"news broken on twitter via @Nouriel...
Unemployment claims up to 500K after optimists predicted all year they would fall below 400K. Labor market dismal & double dip risks rising"

From Bloomberg:

"Applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. unexpectedly increased last week to the highest level since November, showing companies are stepping up the pace of firings as the economy slows.

Initial jobless claims rose by 12,000 to 500,000 in the week ended Aug. 14, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Claims exceeded all estimates of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and compared with the median forecast of 478,000. The number of people receiving unemployment insurance fell, while those getting extended benefits increased.

A cooling economy may be discouraging employers from adding staff and prompting some to step up dismissals, raising the risk consumer spending will weaken more. The Federal Reserve said last week that the recovery would probably be “more modest” than anticipated, reflecting in part a jobless rate that’s restraining incomes."

Sorry to be OT Greg, but the Dems really need to do something about this. We're heading into political suicide territory.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 19, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Just to give folks an idea of what Republican VOTERS think about Obama and Muslims, here are some comments made at a Marcia Blackburn event recently:

“I’m not convinced that we don’t have an illegal immigrant in the Oval Office,” he said in a remark that drew applause from most in the room.

“I don’t think we should have one built anywhere because they are all Muslims,” he said. “Muslims all stand together when they come down to who they are going to fight for. … I don’t think that needs to be built where it’s proposed to be built or built anywhere. We’ve got enough of them already.”

The extremist Republican Tea Party members are fanning the flames of hatred and bigotry, but the Republican Tea Party voters themselves have FULLY EMBRACED TRUE BIGOTRY.

It is undeniable that bigotry and racism are now mainstream Republican Tea Party Values.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 19, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I think the longer this goes on the more people will realize that denying any group of Americans the right to worship as they choose is downright un-American.

When you add in the fact that the current anti-Muslim hate speech from the right is the best gift anyone could give al quada, and that Bin Laden must be doing the snoopy dance of joy because of it, you come to the conclusion that not only is letting them build the American thing to do, it is also a huge victory in the "war on terror."

The terrorists keep saying America is at war with Islam. They use it as a recruiting tool. The rightwing is validating, and therefore supporting, the terrorists.

Posted by: nisleib | August 19, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

There is a small class of pundits, activists and professional agitators who care about this, but I really don't think the vast majority of Americans care about Cordoba House or what Obama said about it. The economy is what matters for the election--every bit of available evidence says that people don't vote based on "messages" or the carefully crafted campaigns consultants put forth, except maybe for President. They vote overwhelmoingly based on the economy. Right now things don't look good for the economy and so they don't look good for the Pres and by extension the Dems. The rest is jsut a sideshow that makles some people feel self important.

And takes the heat of the discussion about what the GOP would do if it took power, something all this is designed to keep people from discussing.

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 19, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"Sorry to be OT Greg, but the Dems really need to do something about this. We're heading into political suicide territory."

I believe it was MikefromArlington who said recently that the federal government should institute a massive program to upgrade the power grid and move us to Green Energy forthwith. That, to me, has been the obvious solution since Obama took office. I see reports of Obama trumpeting small initiatives around the country and that's good but more is needed. Much much more. As Kevin correctly points out, there are persuasive economic arguments in favor of Green Energy but we can't wait for the Invisible Hand to give us the OK. We must act. And that means working through our national government to initiate things and build momentum.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 19, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@Greg Ya know I admire you but could you stop calling it the "Cordoba" house. The Imam and people involved with the project in a move to demonstrate their "sensitivity" to our "sensitivities" changed the name to
Park 51.

I mean if they're flexible to change the name to please us shouldn't we at least honor the name change. It's not the ground zero mosque...it's not the Cordoba Mosque it's the Park 51. Personally I wouldn't really care to split hairs about a "name" but alas the rabble rousers like Gingrich and Palin deal in symbolism not reality and they milk the names for all they can...even when they are steeped in blinding ignorance.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 19, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Wait, you're saying this is just a Fox News hissyfit and Real Americans aren't even aware of this, much less have a strong opinion on it?

I find it incredible that the beltway continues to allow Roger Ailes to be your assignment editor.

Posted by: theorajones1 | August 19, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"How politically catastrophic were Obama's 'mosque' comments?"

Not. @Imsinca, Obama needs to worry about the economy. In the end, the American public is not going to vote on Obama's position on what goes into the old lower Manhattan Burlington Coat Factory.

Jobs, the economy, etc: they'll vote on that.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 19, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"I find it incredible that the beltway continues to allow Roger Ailes to be your assignment editor."

Comment of the day so far.

Agree 1,000,000% -- but not just inside the beltway, I feel that Greg needs to move on to other topics NO MATTER WHAT the next "development" is on this topic. Just stop. Please move on to more important (i.e. substantive) issues!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 19, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Waitress: Morning!

Man: Well, what've you got?

Waitress: Well, there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and mosque; egg bacon and mosque; egg bacon sausage and mosque; mosque bacon sausage and mosque; mosque egg mosque mosque bacon and mosque; mosque sausage mosque mosque bacon mosque tomato and mosque;

Vikings: mosque mosque mosque mosque...

Waitress: ...mosque mosque mosque egg and mosque; mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque baked beans mosque mosque mosque...

Vikings: mosque mosque! Lovely mosque! Wonderful mosque!

Waitress: ...or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and a mosque...

Posted by: CalD | August 19, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

LOL. US of A circling down the drain, isn't it ? So many real problems threatening the livelihood of millions and yet both the left and the right blogs immersed in this stoppid issue ginned by the right wing and the media.

God save america.

Posted by: amkeew | August 19, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Climate change appears to be taking place. What is the main cause of it, is hard to prove beyond doubt.

Since China, India, Brazil, etc have opted out of any meaningful enforceable standards, to limit carbon emissions, the USA needs to move on to preparing for the worst.

Regardless of what is causing climate change, the USA needs to get on with the development of clean dependable domestic energy supplies. We have to ween ourselves off our "Addiction To Foreign Oil".

The cure is still the same, for our future clean air, and energy needs, regardless of if mankind has trigger global climate change or not.

Forget about what is causing it, and focus on what has to be done, to make us less dependant on foreign energy supplies, and what will get us to a point where we will be able produce and abundance of clean domestic energy.

We still have to develop the same cure, regardless of what caused the problem, so let us get on with it.


Of course it might yet turn out that almost all the Global Warming was triggered by a drawing of one proposed building facade in New York City.


Posted by: Liam-still | August 19, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

David Dayen draws the comparison between 1982 and 2010, both election years. I think the Park51 issue is important in that it shows we have a lot of work to do in this country regarding Muslim outreach and understanding.

But the election will rest on the economy and not much else really. I sure hope someone has a plan not because of electoral results but because of the amount of suffering in the electorate. I know a few people who are both looking for work and facing foreclosure and the stress and fear is palpable.

"We’ve basically gone sideways since last year, but the last month has moved upwards. “The economy ran into a wall in August,” according to one analyst quoted in the story.

In 1982, the unemployment rate added a full point, from 9.8 to 10.8, between August and December, right in the middle of the midterm elections. Democrats regained 26 seats in the House, although they split even in the Senate. It would be a miracle if Democrats could hold losses to that level this year if the same dynamic happens with unemployment.

Somebody should do something."

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

Sigh.

Mark Halprin is a hack and a shill.

The center will be built, and after 6 months it will fade from the memory of everyone.

The only way it shows back up on the radar is if someone bombs or shoots up the place...at which point the media will frantically pass off responsibility of the role they played.

How many posts on this subject have you put up in the past week Greg? Are there any other stories you've covered as much in such a short period of time? What's got you so worked up over this forced-controversy?

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

"Regardless of what is causing climate change, the USA needs to get on with the development of clean dependable domestic energy supplies. We have to ween ourselves off our "Addiction To Foreign Oil". The cure is still the same, for our future clean air, and energy needs, regardless of if mankind has trigger global climate change or not."

Yes and no. Obviously the Oil Oligarchy's response to our dependence on foreign oil is Drill Baby Drill right here in the U.S. And if we're running out of domestic oil we've got plenty of coal.

I would be happy to be proved wrong but I see no viable path to Green Energy without acknowledging airborne carbon's destructiveness. The only way to get the U.S. to Green Energy is a massive government effort. And how is that going to happen without recognition of the catastrophic consequences of inaction?

This reminds me of the Senate. Once the Gulf Oil Disaster occurred energy reform legislation became LESS likely. That is worse than irrational; it is insane. So please tell me how we get from that place to a Green Energy movement. I really don't see it unless it is based on science which is -- or should be -- the neutral foundation for policy.

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

When will we see the next Al-Queada recruiting video featuring Newt Gingrich and others who have turned this into a religious war? Al-Queada probable can't believe their good fortune at what the Republican party has handed them.

Posted by: jn2375 | August 19, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The only thing I hate more than stupid fantasy polls, is when people start trying to interpret them for us.

Let me give you a clear example of why polls like these tell us nothing worth while.

Pollster: Liam; how do feel about President Obama's decision to send thirty thousand more troops to Afghanistan?

Liam: I think it is a big mistake.


A Week Later:

New Pollster: Liam, who do you plan on supporting for President in 2012?

Liam: President Obama.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 19, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

P.S., No mas mosque for me. I'm going cold turkey.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 19, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, I will also. There's safety in numbers and we can watch out for the enablers together.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 19, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Mimikatz: Elected Democrats' problem is not that this phony mosque issue has penetrated the consciousness of a majority of voters (it hasn't) but that, as a result of the Right Wing Wurlitzer pumping it up every hour of the day, is has consumed the consciousness of a majority of the hopless 27% of Americans who are beyond the reach of fact or reason, and helped to assure that they will turn out on election day, while the economic morass discourages the Democrats' base, and they have no Mighty Wurlitzer of their own to pump out an activating message. Thank Bill Clinton for not vetoing the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as any real Democrat would have done.

Posted by: tbetz | August 19, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Via TPM, finally a Senator that gets it:

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) is slamming conservative opposition to the Muslim community center project near Ground Zero in New York City -- the city where he formerly resided for many years -- calling the attacks against it "one of the most disgraceful things that I've heard."

Franken made the remarks during an appearance in Springfield, Illinois, the State Journal-Register reports, at an event for Democratic county chairmen. Franken also alluded to the unfamiliarity with New York City that many people actually have in regard to this story. "I don't know how many of you have been to New York, but if a building is two blocks away from anything, you can't see it," said Franken.

Franken got in a joke, as well: "It's a community center. They're going to have a gym. They're going to have point guards. Muslim point guards."

On a more serious note, he also added: "They (Republicans) do this every two years. They try to find a wedge issue, and they try to work it."

Posted by: nisleib | August 19, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

jn2375: "When will we see the next Al-Queada recruiting video featuring Newt Gingrich and others who have turned this into a religious war? Al-Queada probable can't believe their good fortune at what the Republican party has handed them."

Well, according to former FBI interrogator, Ali Soufan, it could be any time now.


Commentary
The National Security Mosque
Ali Soufan, 08.18.10, 12:40 PM EDT

A controversy with ramifications much bigger than people realize.


The furor over the proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero makes me think back to one of the most important lessons I learned from al Qaeda terrorists I interrogated--that they have a warped view of America. To them--and this they get from Osama Bin Laden's rhetoric--the U.S. is a country at war with Islam and Muslims, and so they had a duty to fight us.

While I was serving on the frontlines I found that this distorted view of America was common among ordinary Muslims too, and it was only by correcting this image did we encourage locals to help our investigations and turn against al Qaeda. Our efforts were helped by public statements, like from President Bush in the days after 9/11, declaring that America was at war with al Qaeda and not with Islam. I was in Sana, Yemen, on that day, and I remember our military and law enforcement group feeling encouraged that our leadership understood how to frame our battle."

more:
http://www.forbes.com/2010/08/18/ground-zero-mosque-controversy-opinions-contributors-ali-soufan.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 19, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Ali Soufan in Forbes (link above):

There are many reasons for supporting the Muslim community's right to build a cultural center and mosque on private property, not least of all the First Amendment of the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion. But from a national security perspective, our leaders need to understand that no one is likely to be happier with the opposition to building a mosque than Osama Bin Laden. His next video script has just written itself.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 19, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama policies lost another 500,000 jobs this week and leftists want to talk about how bad the 9/11 Obama Victory Mosque is hurting him. I can see why, the jobless number has been growing for the last 3 weeks.

leftists/chicken, some assembly required.

Posted by: robtr | August 19, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Woman: Could you do the egg bacon mosque and sausage without the mosque then?

Waitress: Urgghh!

Woman: What do you mean 'Urgghh'? I don't like mosque!

Vikings: Lovely mosque! Wonderful mosque!

Waitress: Shut up!

Vikings: Lovely mosque! Wonderful mosque!

Waitress: Shut up! Bloody Vikings.

Waitress: You can't have egg bacon mosque and sausage without the mosque.

Woman: I don't like mosque!

Man: Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your mosque. I love it. I'm having mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque beaked beans mosque mosque mosque and mosque!

Vikings: mosque mosque mosque mosque. Lovely mosque! Wonderful mosque!

Posted by: CalD | August 19, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

It always seems to come as a surprise to political pros that sensible positions, sensibly explained, tend to get public support.

Posted by: joeff | August 19, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Obama's comment was absolutely correct in that he stated that the American citizens who happen to practice the religion of Islam have a legal right to build their community center/mosque where they have applied to do so and it seems have been given the A-OKAY by those in authority to do so.

Obama also stated that he would not comment on the wisdom of choosing this particular site since so many people are havng a difficult time in accepting this decision at this site becuase of 9/11.

Obama stated a pretty obvious fact in saying that they have a legal right to build at the site. (no brainer folks quit the dramatics on this statement.)

Obama also refused to carry forth in offering an opinion of the wisdom of choosing this particular site to build on.( Ah, he has a right to refuse his opinion. Now, we all know that the drama queen Republicans want him to declare a preference one way or another so they can claim he loves only Muslims and not the victims of 9/11 or that he loves the victims of 9/11 and dislikes Muslims. Then they can holler for all the world to hear that President Obama is a bad President and they are the good and caring republicans....

Enough with the da-n community center/mosque debate already.

President Obama is an American citizen born in the US of A and he is not a Muslim, but, if he were, we are lucky to have such an intelligent, accomplished Muslim as our leader....now blow it out your behinds....next subject?

Posted by: rannrann | August 19, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I think the poll reflects the absolute support of the internationalists, African-Americans, and liberal left on one side and the conservatives, democrat & republican,on the other. What should scare democrats is that the with the factions supporting Obama the poll is not higher. I hope this issue does not get swept under the media rug until it is determined where all the money is coming from and why the Muslims are being so insensitive.

Posted by: fcrucian | August 19, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Baked beans are off.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 19, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

robtr: "Obama policies lost another 500,000 jobs this week"

Go back and read the information again, and look up in the dictionary any "hard" words. Here, I'll help you:

"The Labor Department says initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 12,000 last week to 500,000."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 19, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

After speaking boldly before an Islamic dinner group as to his intention to put the full weight of his presidency behind the Muslim right to build the Cordova Victory mosque that would overlook the hallowed crater of the former World Trade Center, Obama is now in full retreat to quell the firestorm of angry protests from the American electorate over his ill-advised bluster. His latest escape maneuver is to suggest that this is a "local" issue which he will not venture further into. Recall that it was Obama himself who wrote that in the event of a conflict: "I will stand with the Muslims". Well, for your enlightenment Mr. Obama, 9/11 and the murder of 3000 innocent Americans is anything but a local issue. This event, which you seem to take with such little regard, was an Islamic terrorist assault on our entire Nation. A Nation that so many patriots have shed their blood to build and to nurture. The same Nation that you have traveled the world denigrating in your self-promotional diatribes, especially before Islamic leaders to whom you bow. We were listening in silent disgust when you held America up to your Muslim brethern as a prime evil in the world; but, that disgust is no longer "silent"; and, you will feel the full fury of the tsunami that you have created this coming November. Greg Neubeck

Posted by: gneubeck | August 19, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

All, this video a GOP Senate campaign posted of smoldering 9/11 wreckage is amazing:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 19, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@ robotr:

Correction: Bush policies lost 3.5 million job. Obama policies saved 7 million of those. Woo Obama!

Posted by: CalD | August 19, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I was called by Gallup for this poll. The main topic was about health-care, then a little bit about the economy. Towards the end of the 15-20 minute call they asked some general demographic questions. The question about President Obama's comments on the "mosque" was the only current political event questions asked.

As one who strongly approved of the President's comments, I am amazed at how this issue is getting hyped. The only thing the poll proved is that Republicans/conservatives march in lock step and are easily motivated by fear.
Most folks could care less about the entire made up event.

August seems to be designated as the month for stupid conversations in America from shark attacks to death panels to an imagined ground zero "mosque".

Perhaps we should start celebrating August as Stupid American Month. That might put these kind of moments into some perspective.

Cheers

Posted by: dengre | August 19, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Make that 3 million. Woo-hoo!

Posted by: CalD | August 19, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

This seems like phase two of political damage control.

since the Obama lecture to America about, you know, rights and all, didn't persuade Americans to abandon THEIR rights to speak out, we've moved on to the next step: Down play the damage.

What most here don't grasp, though, is that much of the wound from this is self inflicted. IMHO Obama made his iftar dinner statement as a means of pandering to a supportive group. He got some applause, which was nice for him I'm sure. And then he got a whole lotta negative feed back from the people he was elected to lead.

What price polite applause?

Pelosi's statement of yesterday was also completely unnecessary.

I attribute this lackluster performance to a lack of experience with being on the receiving end of this kind of barrage.

Couple that with surprise at the emotional level of ordinary Americans today and the Democrat leadership looks overmatched.

Another potential issue for the Democrats is projection. Ms Pelosi's statement was very revealing because it echoed her view of the tea party movement. since someone, or some group is behind much of what the left does, they naturally assume that people simply won't take a position without somebody, somewhere "ginning" something up and spending money.

Therefore in the mind of Ms Pelosi, resistance to the Mosque site must be the result of some well funded organizations development of astroturf. Since that's what Democrats do, it must be what everyone does.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 19, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Greg (from Gallup):

""This news event has not penetrated the consciousness," Newport said."

What a bummer. The "finest moment" of his presidency and hardly anyone noticed.

"For all the punditry asserting as fact that Obama's decision to take a stand on the project..."

Can you remind us what that stand was, Greg? That anyone who didn't "welcome" and "respect" it was being "un-American", was that it? Don't you agree with that assessement?

(crickets)

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 19, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

hi,

Posted by: rannrann | August 19, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

@ sbj3 | August 19, 2010 12:49 PM:

Man: Well could I have her mosque instead of the baked beans then?

Waitress: You mean mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque...

Vikings: ...mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque. Lovely mosque! Wonderful mosque! (... repeat ad nauseum)

Posted by: CalD | August 19, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

When standing up for constitutional rights by a president is a political disaster then this country is in far worse shape politically then we are economically

Posted by: timothy2me | August 19, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

When standing up for constitutional rights by a president is "politically catastrophic" then this country is very, very sick.

Posted by: timothy2me | August 19, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"politically catastrophic"?? No, it was brilliant! Every time he enrages the far-right, they look nuttier and nuttier. Never mind the NewsCorp-funded noise machine, they represent only 20% of the voters and almost all Republicans. The crazier they sound (Birthers, Obama is a Muslim) the more the majority of Americans will distance themselves from The Hate.

Republicans want America to fail in order to prove their ideology and religious bias correct.

Fear, Hatred, Distortion, Distraction and Division is all they have to offer.

Posted by: thebobbob | August 19, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Why do the Democrats always pick the wrong side?

Posted by: bobbo2 | August 19, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Damn stupid Democrats. Why did they decide to do the wrong thing, and defend the First Amendment of The Constitution.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 19, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"Why do the Democrats always pick the wrong side?"

All a question of perspective, bobbo. It actually only looks like the wrong side when you hang upside-down from a belfry.

Posted by: CalD | August 19, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

This is absolutely correct:
The terrorists keep saying America is at war with Islam. They use it as a recruiting tool. The rightwing is validating, and therefore supporting, the terrorists.
America was founded on freedom of religion, why are some folks forgetting this??? Does it apply only to Christians?
Ugh, call me anything but Christian.


Posted by: tootsie11 | August 19, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse


Obama's cross-country fundraising spree didn't just reap millions of dollars for Dems — it also cost taxpayers millions and left a hefty carbon footprint

Posted by: corebanks1940 | August 19, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Greg you just keep missing the point--this goes to the further narrative on Barack Hussein Obama--If the majority of the country is for "it" no matter what "it" is--you can rest assured BHO will find himself opposed to "it". Everyday, he gives us (the majority of Americans that think he doing all the wrong things) the middle finger...we are tired of it..and what you see now--is veryone opposed standing up to him...and questioning his faith, is legitinmate as it relates to muslims and why he would or would not support this mosque. He once cited the muslim prayer to NY times, and called the most beautiful sound" on earth..yet he covered the crosses at Georgetown during a speech..I believe that bc has never been forthright about any of this ( and yes, his certificate also--that he spent $4M defending and prohibiting from scrutiny) all makes this a viable topic. Even if in part, i may be inaccurrate, and you will poke fun as a liberal journailist, it does not take away from the larger narrative on this man.

Posted by: carlhk1 | August 19, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Greg you just keep missing the point--this goes to the further narrative on Barack Hussein Obama--If the majority of the country is for "it" no matter what "it" is--you can rest assured BHO will find himself opposed to "it". Everyday, he gives us (the majority of Americans that think he doing all the wrong things) the middle finger...we are tired of it..and what you see now--is veryone opposed standing up to him...and questioning his faith, is legitinmate as it relates to muslims and why he would or would not support this mosque. He once cited the muslim prayer to NY times, and called the most beautiful sound" on earth..yet he covered the crosses at Georgetown during a speech..I believe that bc has never been forthright about any of this ( and yes, his certificate also--that he spent $4M defending and prohibiting from scrutiny) all makes this a viable topic. Even if in part, i may be inaccurrate, and you will poke fun as a liberal journailist, it does not take away from the larger narrative on this man.

Posted by: carlhk1 | August 19, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Greg you just keep missing the point--this goes to the further narrative on Barack Hussein Obama--If the majority of the country is for "it" no matter what "it" is--you can rest assured BHO will find himself opposed to "it". Everyday, he gives us (the majority of Americans that think he doing all the wrong things) the middle finger...we are tired of it..and what you see now--is veryone opposed standing up to him...and questioning his faith, is legitinmate as it relates to muslims and why he would or would not support this mosque. He once cited the muslim prayer to NY times, and called the most beautiful sound" on earth..yet he covered the crosses at Georgetown during a speech..I believe that bc has never been forthright about any of this ( and yes, his certificate also--that he spent $4M defending and prohibiting from scrutiny) all makes this a viable topic. Even if in part, i may be inaccurrate, and you will poke fun as a liberal journailist, it does not take away from the larger narrative on this man.

Posted by: carlhk1 | August 19, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

By next week, 70% of Americans will realize that Obama is a Muslim.

He was born a Muslim, had two Muslim fathers, and claimed to be a Muslim even when he attended Catholic school in Indonesia.

Why can't Obama be man enough to admit that he is a Muslim?


Posted by: Jerzy | August 19, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Is there a new definition of the old words
relating to "tolerance"? It seems this word has been commandeered for political and economic uses. Is it now used in the Chamberlain "peace in our time" sense that we choose to ignore possible consequences at the behest of those who preach political correctitude? I am haunted by the recent Time magazine cover of the forced child bride whose only crime was
to try to escape her slavery, and was ordered by the prevailing "faith" to have her nose and ears cut off. One also recalls
reports of schoolgirls scarred by acid thrown in their faces for the crime of going to school, also a "religious" response. Not to mention traditionally religious parents murdering children for behaviors which they consider unacceptable,
honor killings, stoning those accused of adultery, etc., all reported in reputable news sources. This attempt to enforce
political correctness and cultural sensitivity, goes far beyond "Republican" or "Democrat" issues.
It is a humanitarian issue, and it is a travesty on the concept of tolerance and the memories of those who gave their lives for religious libery and civil rights to try to reduce it to childish name-calling and political jingoism.

Posted by: vadata060440 | August 19, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know that duly elected official who swears to uphold the Constitution, and does so, faces political fallout. But I also didn't realize how utterly stupid a segment of this country is.

Posted by: LABC | August 19, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"President Obama is an American citizen born in the US of A and he is not a Muslim, but, if he were, we are lucky to have such an intelligent, accomplished Muslim as our leader....now blow it out your behinds....next subject?"

Posted by: rannrann
***************************
Amen... I am so sick hearing from the left, the right, and the reebos like Jerzy. Go get bent already...

Posted by: LABC | August 19, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

The nutcase right wing's emphatic message to Osama bin Laden:

"Osama, powerful great leader that you are, we hereby lay down prostrate before you. You have won. We are now so terrified that we go into a fevered, trembling panic at the mere idea of a building being built in New York City. We used to be strong and brave, and could honor our own Constitution by allowing all religions to exist in this country. But YOU, GREAT AND POWERFUL LEADER that you are, you have changed us. We now tremble at anything that reminds us of the religion that you co-opted (in much the way that our GOP co-opted Christianity and twisted it for its own business interests). And you have succeeded in making us despise and fear even our own Constitution that we previously valued. In our anxiety and confusion we now freely and copiously defecate on our previously hallowed document. The very first amendment listed on it is now our favored bogeyman.

Congratulations, Great Osama. You are truly greater than we, and we bow to you in your clever (and seemingly effortless!) victory over us and our discarded, lightly-held principles.

Most Sincerely and Respectfully,

Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin

Posted by: B2O2 | August 19, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting tired of hearing how Obama's decisions will play with the crowd. We didn't elect the crowd to govern us.

Posted by: rocks11 | August 19, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Mosque recalled for Salmonella. Those who have eaten it should get their stomach pumped.

Warning Warning Will Robinson. This mosque also causes a brain infection in Libs leading them to act like Jihadi Muslims.

Libs enthuse over Islam's history and condemn Christianity for slavery in Muslim black Africa from the 8th century when Muslims got there until the 19th when White Christian soldiers and the British Navy put an end to it. Although it continued into Saudi Arabia on the sly after that.

Libs have a hard time admitting it was the British Navy and Army that ended Muslim slavery of blacks in Africa.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | August 19, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh it was Obama's Muslim ancestors who were carrying on the Muslim slave trade of blacks until the British Empire stopped them in the 19th century. Obama hates the British Empire and British Race.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | August 19, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Obama should apologize to White Christian Britain for his Muslim family's past.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | August 19, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

OldAtlantic should apologize for having such a pathetic life that he talks to himself all night. What a frigging loser.

Posted by: FormerRepublicant | August 19, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

How many mosque articles is this in a row, Greg?

Posted by: diehardlib | August 19, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

The behavior of lemmings is much the same as that of many other rodents which have periodic population booms and then disperse in all directions, seeking the food and shelter that their natural habitat cannot provide. Lemmings of northern Norway are one of the few vertebrates who reproduce so quickly that their population fluctuations are chaotic,[1] rather than following linear growth to a carrying capacity or regular oscillations. It is unknown why lemming populations fluctuate with such variance roughly every four years, before plummeting to near extinction.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin is the subject of a legend concerning the departure or death of a great many children from the town of Hamelin (Hameln), Germany, in the Middle Ages. The earliest references describe a piper, dressed in pied (multicolored) clothing, leading the children away from the town never to return. In the 16th century the story was expanded into a full narrative, in which the piper is a rat-catcher hired by the town to lure rats away with his magic pipe. When the citizenry refuses to "pay the piper" for this service, he retaliates by turning his magic on their children, leading them away as he had the rats. This version of the story spread as a fairy tale. This version has also appeared in the writings of, among others, Johann Goethe, the Brothers Grimm, and Robert Browning.
The story may reflect a historical event in which Hamelin lost its children. Theories have been proposed suggesting that the Pied Piper is a symbol of the children's death by plague or catastrophe. Other theories describe him as a serial killer, or liken him to figures like Nicholas of Cologne, who lured away a great number of children on a disastrous Children's Crusade. Most plausibly, a recent theory ties the departure of Hamelin's children to the Ostsiedlung, in which a number of Germans left their homes to colonize Eastern Europe.

Posted by: alance | August 19, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg, I think you really need to weigh in on this mosque that I'm hearing so much about two blocks from Ground Zero. Do you have any opinions on that?

Posted by: CaughtInAMosh | August 19, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone opposed to the Community Center and Mosque is on the wrong side of history. The revision is coming soon - the election is this November. This "Controversy" becomes history very soon.

This is a contrived controversy; there is not any controversy that people of different faiths coexist peacefully in this country. This is a zoning issue.

Islam did not attack the United States on 9/11. A political deviant and religious extremist attacked the United States on 9/11. Osama bin Laden claims that the West is in conflict with Islam. Opposition to the Mosque seems to validate Osama's assertion. Their isn't any shortage of people that are ready to throw-in with Osama and agree: Muslims and Americans are in conflict. This is what it means to be a "tool". Being a tool means that you are identified as easily manipulated, but you have no awareness that you are being used.

Fox News created this "controversy". Fox News educated the American people that they should feel offended. Fox News then presented false debates about the issue. Fox News then reported on the news they generated. This is the way it works: Present emergency, debate, report on emergency. Over and over again Fox News manipulates the American people. Fox News makes tools of its viewers.

If you doubt me, ask yourself, why do I care about this issue? Confronting ignorance isn't really courageous. Its a matter of compassion.

Posted by: Super_Grover | August 19, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

keep america free !!! impeach obama !!

outlaw islam !! islam is not a religion ! it is a male cult !!!! it is not covered under the bill of rights!

outlaw islam ! they hate america... they say that they hate america... outlaw islam !!

Posted by: myteedogg | August 20, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Consider Obama’s actions since 1/20/09:

~ Immediately called for shut down of GITMO

~ Called for terrorists to be tried by civilian juries, rather than military, including Miranda rights and other rights conferred on citizens.

~ Once in office, rushed off to a Muslim nation to deliver a speech in which he declared that America is “not” a Christian nation.

~ Changed policy toward Israel such that that nation is treated like a gang of terrorists.

~ Supports, or at least does not oppose, the mosque at Ground Zero.

Posted by: gopine | August 21, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

During this entire debate about a 'mosque' (which isn't really a mosque) at 'Ground Zero' (which isn't really at 'Ground Zero') we see the shadow of ignorance, hypocrisy and outright bigotry.

In fact, there is not a single thing that Islam is being accused of that Christianity cannot be accused of:

1) One person says he is "haunted" by child brides in Islam-- Yet under-aged girls are forced to be brides in many Christian "religions" and in "Christian" cults in America to this very day. Some of the people involved in those groups are on trial for child sex abuse as we speak.

2) People say that we should look into "who is behind or who is funding" the proposed NYC Islamic Center (and all other mosques): But are they demanding the same be done with Catholic churches-- an institution whose local leaders have been involved in literally tens of thousands of cases of sex abuse against children all over the world; an institution whose leaders have covered up these very same sex abuse cases?

3) And when it comes to violence as a religion: There isn't a book of scripture that is more violent than the Bible. And Christianity has been used to justify the brutality of the crusades, the torture of the Spanish Inquisition, racial discrimination, the slave trade, and the extermination of Native Americans.

4) Fundamentally, the complaint that "the building of an Islamic Center 'at' Ground Zero is 'insensitive' to the issue of 9/11" is also TOTALLY bogus and merely a cover for a bigotry: Because we see opposition to the building of Islamic centers and mosques all over America: In Kentucky, in California, in Texas, and other places that have nothing to do with 'Ground Zero' or 9/11.

In conclusion, the opposition to the Islamic Center is a completely fabricated issue: induced by right-wing super bigots who will sacrifice the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and ANY ethnic and/or racial group just for public attention and votes. The right-wing super bigots have done immeasurable damage to social progress in America, and they will go down in history as the last gasp of American bigotry and xenophobia in this century.

Posted by: RonJJ | August 22, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company