Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Sunday Open Thread

For any regulars who haven't been driven into the desert. What's happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  August 15, 2010; 9:29 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Did Obama walk back his support of Cordoba House?
Next: Will "Ground Zero mosque" be key issue in midterms?

Comments

Huff Post had a pretty harsh, hyperbolic headline up earlier about Obama's "capitulating". (Sorry, can't remember the exact wording).

Looks like they must've gotten some pushback because I notice that it's no longer the top story and the headline now reads "Obama Wades Further Into Ground Zero Mosque Controversy".

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 15, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Greg, you really should check out your former boss over at TPM's take on this "walk-back" non-troversy that as usual ws lead by Politico whom you all see to love to follow.

"Pouring Gas on the Fire
by Josh Marshall"
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/08/pouring_gas_on_the_fire.php?ref=fpblg

I heard and red Obama's initial speech, and I did not come away from it saying that Obama "endorsed" or supported the building of the mosque at whatever site, just that they have the right to build mosques to practice their faith based on our long-held constitutional right to religious freedom.

Posted by: lynell33 | August 15, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I don't see my House Rep. on the list to add a public health insurance option.

http://insurancenewsnet.com/article.aspx?id=217039

I'll definitely call her office.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 15, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Not the desert, but the beach. Have a nice Sunday all !!!!!!!

Take the rest of the day off Greg, it may be another long week.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 15, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

lm,

thanks for the link yesterday, btw...

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Steve Benen had a interesting post up yesterday that is worth reading.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_08/025207.php

And today, he has a very rational analysis on why yesterday's statement was NOT a walkback.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_08/025208.php

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 15, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Front page of the Times:

"In Weather Chaos, a Case for Global Warming"

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/science/earth/15climate.html?_r=1&hp

Here we are still debating whether climate change is occurring instead of how to prevent it. Now the damn hole is plugged, I'd really like to hear a Big Speech from Obama about energy, climate change, and green jobs. It is a policy and political winner. It could quickly fire up the Professional Left. Let's see if Rahm let's him do it.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 15, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Not only did he walk it back, I think the "I'm not commenting on the wisdom of building a mosque there" was his way of saying "don't build it there"

The developers seem to agree - they are now willing to entertain Patterson's offer.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/13/2010-08-13_we_can_talk_about_move_sez_mosque.html

Posted by: sold2u | August 15, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

sold2u: "Not only did he walk it back, I think the "I'm not commenting on the wisdom of building a mosque there" was his way of saying "don't build it there"

In order for there to have been a "walk back," there would have first have been an endorsement. Quote the endorsement. The exact words.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 15, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Just finished watching MTP. The juxtaposition of Maddow's trip to Afghanistan was stark. Watching Gregory's coverage of the war you'd be forgiven for thinking everything was hunky dory over there. The "oil spread" analogy was particularly awful and made me think of the old Vietnam press conferences. I came away from the whole thing feeling like we are going to be there for a long long time. It was frustrating to watch.

Posted by: Alex3 | August 15, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@suekzoo1: "But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. (Applause.) And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America."

That clear enough for you?

Posted by: sold2u | August 15, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it's a clear endorsement of the rights granted by the First Amendment. It's a clear endorsement of the right to practice the Muslim faith in NYC and including in Lower Manhattan.

What it's not is, "Yes, they should build that mosque right there on that piece of property." He never said that, nor implied that.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 15, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@suekzoo1: Only the the most committed partisans are taking that statement as not endorsing the mosque. And those same committed partisans had a different view of that statement before the clarification.

Posted by: sold2u | August 15, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Greg...Still waiting for your answer to my questions on the previous thread.

Do you "support" and "welcome" Augusta National's no-women policy? They do, after all, have a constitutional right to freedom of association.

Do you "support" and "welcome" Glenn Beck's political opinions? He does, after all, have a constitutional right to hold those opinions.

Do you "support" and "welcome" the Catholic church counseling women that artificial birth control and abortion is immoral? It does, after all, have a constitutional right to do so.

I wait with bated breath.

BTW...I have also still not received an answer to the question of how Obama knows that Al Qaeda is a gross distortion of true Islam. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Part I

I've been missing from action on the political awareness front for more than a month due to personal and family matters. For one thing, my father died, a World War II veteran with a long and productive life (a loving salute to you, Dad). I do have to say there was something salutary about leaving the political fray for a time. But there were a couple of things that got through to find my attention, reminding me, as they did, of the long view. I thought I would mention them here. The first came from a friend at the end of July, quoting from remarks David William, who'd just died from a fall, made when he was artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada in the 90's: "When uncertainty, cynicism and false witness seem to preoccupy the media and dismay the public, we can, if we will, find in the arts a last resort from where we can hear unflinching voices across the centuries reminding us that the struggle is endless and that each man's reach should exceed his grasp or what's a heaven for?”

The second was an article I read in the St. Paul Pioneer Press from August 1, 2010, which unfortunately is no longer available except in their paid archives. But here's the summary, which gives the gist of it:


"A NOT-SO-DIRTY SECRET IN THE AIR--You might think air pollution is on the rise. You would be wrong. 40 years after the Clean Air Act, the U.S. and Minnesota have drastically cut emissions. So why doesn't anyone know about it?

"Inhale. Exhale. That lungful of clean air was brought to you by the reformed polluters of Minnesota. They have slashed pollution by more than 50 percent since 1970. Smokestack industries have cut emissions by almost two-thirds. The biggest polluters -- drivers -- have cut pollution by 77 percent. Put another way, air pollution per capita in America has dropped almost two-thirds."

Both of these things reminded me that the daily political battles—over whatever—may fit into the larger picture but also define in it ways. Here at the Plum Line, the issues of Obama's fraught relationship with the progressive left and the folly of pursuing bipartisanship are bedrock themes. I personally get my back up at both of them. I won't make a long argument over either of them now, but just offer a few points. If we agree with David William that the struggle is endless and our reach should exceed our grasp, I think that means we chould acknowledge that, as Obama has said, we're a nation working to perfect ourselves and that, implicitly, that is always a work in progress. This is a fact that might temper our despair at the disappointments along the way and make us recognize that some achievements become evident over a long stretch of time.

Posted by: AllButCertain | August 15, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Part II

The benefits of the Clean Air Act certainly fit into that category, and so do our progress on the racial front and the change in personal and political attitudes toward gay Americans. One of the points in the Pioneer Press article is that the Clean Air Act was a result of bipartisan efforts when people across the political spectrum recognized an important common purpose and were willing to work for it together. This is something that has happened with most of our significant societal changes. Brown vs. Board of Education, after all, was a 9-0 decision. I certainly don't dispute the fact that Republican obstructionism has made bipartisanship in the current environment little more than a chimera. But that doesn't change the fact that for our society to function better and not just to provide us with opportunities for outrage, we really can't abandon efforts to find common ground on important matters. We can settle for a climate in which we all demonize each other, or we can agree that, difficult as it is, we all have a responsibility to try to find the civility that can eventually make for a healthier political environment.

In thinking about the dismay of much of the political left with Obama, it occurred to me recently that at least part of that comes from a frequent mindset on the left. If we think about Republicans, it's hard not say that they've been fiercely tenacious in pursuing their primary goals of lower taxes and less federal government involvement on the social side of the ledger. Those goals are everything, and the Republicans are not wedded to particular means. In fact, in pursuit of those goals, they'll try anything--reasoned discourse, outrageous discourse, lies, disinformation, manipulation of people on race and religion. They have endless ploys and a whole coterie of people willing to use them.

Things seem quite different on the Democratic side of things. While old school liberals and more radical leftists do have a common goal of wanting a more just and equitable society, with some people, the means to that end are often treated as almost more important than that end itself. In a sense, we could say that there's a programatic bias. For instance, during the HRC debate, the public option was seen as an absolute requirement. With energy legislation, cap and trade feels non-negotiable. Regardless of the merit of both of these ideas, they're still simply means to an end. As a species, we're always coming up with new ideas, new approaches, and why should we abandon that creative edge by being locked in on something that is ultimately just one program and far from being the whole ball of wax?

Posted by: AllButCertain | August 15, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Part III

I don't disagree with people who feel it's the responsibility of the left to keep pressing for the ideas they believe in. But I think it's silly to assume that what Obama wants when he tells people to keep pushing him is to get beaten around the ears over these various programs and policy specifics. We know he wants better healthcare and education, energy reform, more regulation in the financial sector, a stronger economy, and an adherence to the basic values of the Constitution. There are different ways to reach these goals in a pluralistic society. There really are, and maybe it's time that more of us recognized this.

Posted by: AllButCertain | August 15, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Scott:

"Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans. Islam, as practiced by the vast majority of people, is a peaceful religion, a religion that respects others. Ours is a country based upon tolerance and we welcome people of all faiths in America."
Remarks by President George W. Bush in a statement to reporters during a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan
The Oval Office, Washington, DC
November 13, 2002


"All Americans must recognize that the face of terror is not the true faith -- face of Islam. Islam is a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. It's a faith that has made brothers and sisters of every race. It's a faith based upon love, not hate."
President George W. Bush
Holds Roundtable with Arab and Muslim-American Leaders
Afghanistan Embassy, Washington, D.C.
September 10, 2002

Much more:
http://muslimrepublicans.net/Article.asp?ID=164

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 15, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Nothing to do with politics...

I closed on the sale of my house on Friday. So, there's that.

::high five::

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 15, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

suekzoo1:

Are you suggesting that Obama looks to GWB as an authority on Islam?

How does GWB know that Islam is a faith based on love, not hate?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Congrats, BBQ!

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 15, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Obama:

Against the GZ mosque, but for the right of Muslims to develop a place of worship anywhere in US as protected by first amendment rights.

Against gay marriage, but for the right of gay and lesbian people to join in matrimony anywhere in US as protected by US guarantees of freedom and equality for all.

For the public option, but respectful of the contorted legislative process that is the Senate (and, sadly, interest-controlling lobbyists).

-----

Chief Executive Officer of Nuance, but the country isn't ready and is sinking into the tar pits of black/white emotional logic because conservatives are so, so, so easily spooked.


Posted by: Papagnello | August 15, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Q: Why would an xenophobic US conservative feel freer if s/he had been born in the Middle East?

A: Because then they could do jihad.

Posted by: Papagnello | August 15, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I dare any of you anti-GZ mosque people to come clean and just say it:

"Exterminate Islam"

Don't pretend that civil discourse is a notion that doesn't get in your way. Admit it, you envy jihad.

Posted by: Papagnello | August 15, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

suekzoo1, you say:
"Steve Benen had a interesting post up yesterday that is worth reading...he has a very rational analysis on why yesterday's statement was NOT a walkback."
Right-- you're supposed to call it a "clarification" when an asinine statement has backfired.

Posted by: pjk1 | August 15, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Jihad? What's a jihad? Don't ask me, I'm a simple American teahadist.

Posted by: KevinShinn | August 15, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Good for you, BBQ. Boost that economy!

ABC: Thanks for the thoughtful statement. I agree with you on what I perceive to be the bottom line: We can never really resolve our fundamental national problems while the GOP is committed to derangement. That is surely true. In fact, by the beginning of summer 2009 it was clear to many people that the GOP has taken a path of full-out obstructionism. For several years, the Democratic Party has held the full range of rational political in the country. That is why people like Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln are Democrats instead of Republicans, which they would obviously be if the GOP were sane. That kind of breadth will certainly engender some intra-party conflict.

On the other hand, when a party takes complete power following an embarrassing GOP reign of error capped by an economic calamity, that is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for grand accomplishment and no reasonably competent party leaders would squander that chance. But they did. And, that, I think speaks for itself.

A politically adroit White House would have found a way to, for example, get a public option included in heath care reform and done it before the 2009 Congressional break. Now why was this particular failure so egregious? First of all, it played right into the hands of the GOP-TeaParty obstructionists: they got to drag the issue out interminably and introduced the TeaPartiers to conduct guerilla tactics while Congress went on break. The delay gravely depleted the Administration's post-election momentum and it allowed the GOP to re-energize following the electoral shock. Several other reasons, too, but they all point to this conclusion: the White House lost control of the national dialogue when health care reform bogged down. That is egregious political malpractice.

As for the public option, that was a severe error both policy and politically and policy-wise. To start, this was where the rift between the Left and Obama first manifested. Even assuming it is true that the public option wasn't essential to meaningful health care reform (in my opinion, it is), the Left firmly and vociferously believed that so, as a purely political matter it is was incumbent upon the White House to make it happen. Instead, they killed it and pretended they were behind it: simultaneously betraying the Left and insulting its intelligence.

In short, I think the White House political team has been pathetically inept. Worse, I've seen no improvement since the beginning days where one might expect some missteps. I really don't think Rahm Emmanuel and Robert Gibbs, among others, know what they are doing. This rift with the Left is completely unnecessary and the White House, the power center, is the one responsible for it. I sincerely hope that Obama replaces his incompetent staffers, however high their positions.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 15, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne: "Instead, they killed it and pretended they were behind it: simultaneously betraying the Left and insulting its intelligence."

Right on.

Posted by: Papagnello | August 15, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Amen to wbgonne and papagnello...also as a Vietnam Vet amen to the poster who pointed out Gregory's suck up to General Petraues as deja vu. Yeah...been there and done that.

After watching Petraeus this morning I'm struck by two things. Remember I'm a Vet and so I thank all of my brothers and sisters in uniform...but just as I support Obama but not all of his policies and as just pointed out certainly not some of the losers in his admin...Rahm should go first followed shortly by summers and geithener and the rest of the freaking Wall street boys....but back to what the Petraues interviews showed me this morning...

It's no wonder Petraues has been a huge success...he is a silver tongued devil, very bright and very clever at spinning fairy tales...he has my respect..

However it also illustrated the absurdity of Stanley McChrystal's rise...4 stars you gotta be freaking kidding this moron should have never made it past light colonel. Cover up in the Tillman case should have been enough to end any NORMAL officer's career...and then all the political yammering....General Stanley McChrystal...getting fired by Obama was the best thing to happen to this nation's military in a long, long, long time.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 15, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

BTW...I have also still not received an answer to the question of how Obama knows that Al Qaeda is a gross distortion of true Islam. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 11:53 AM
=======================================

I'm not an Islamic scholar, but I do note that most of the world's Muslims do not hijack and fly jetliners into office buildings.

As for the remainder of your post...not worth the time wasted reading it.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 15, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

That Petraeus is an impressive guy, huh? Even though he had some good luck in Iraq he was smart enough to make it work as best it could. Unfortunately for everyone, that isn't very well at all. Hard to believe that after all this we're leaving an Iraq without a functioning national government, headed god knows where. At least we're getting out, though. Out of Afghanistan next summer, I hope. Also agree re: McChrystal, he's a fighting soldier not a nation-building general. McChrystal is the anti-Petraeus and had no business running Afghanistan. Very poor choice.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 15, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

ittdgy:

"I'm not an Islamic scholar, but I do note that most of the world's Muslims do not hijack and fly jetliners into office buildings."

And this tells you what exactly?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne--Your comment is interesting, and I agree with much of what you say, particularly in the first part. In spite of the fact the White House made mistakes in their efforts to pass healthcare, I'm less sure I'd call it "egregious political malpractice." More importantly, I'm not sure there was a politically adroit and viable way to get much of what the left wanted. And more important than that, we don't know yet how the healthcare reform we did get will evolve. Forty years from now, people may say it started a wonderful transformation. Or maybe they won't. Whatever the effect--and even if there were a public option--it will take time to play out.

I also think it's inaccurate to say that the White House is totally to blame for the conflict with the left. There's been an angry drumbeat of criticism coming from the left ever since this administration took office, some of it justified, some of it just plain intemperate and unrealistic. And it's one thing to claim political malpractice and another to claim moral malpractice, which seems the implicit charge in the tone of a good part of the criticism. I think we should be aware of the difference, which is one of the reasons why I tried to differentiate in my comment between shared goals and the specific policies used to address them. To me, morality attaches to what we aspire to.

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

And it's one thing to claim political malpractice and another to claim moral malpractice, which seems the implicit charge in the tone of a good part of the criticism. I think we should be aware of the difference, which is one of the reasons why I tried to differentiate in my comment between shared goals and the specific policies used to address them. To me, morality attaches to what we aspire to.

Posted by: AllButCertain | August 15, 2010 4:16 PM
=========================

I'd say continuing the military commissions is moral malpractice.

Expanding the Bush-Cheney failure in Afghanistan is moral malpractice and will ultimately be political malpractice as well.

Dealing the public option away in secret is moral and political malpractice.

About the best thing I can say about Obama is he isn't a Republican. And I speak as someone who voted for him in the Ohio primary and general elections.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 15, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The public option was crucial for many reasons, among them these: 1) Creating a program directly involving the government in providing health care to the general public, and constructing the infrastructure to support that, would make the legislation effectively permanent; 2) The public option was the only structural cost containment measure available; when it was rejected the legislation was consigned either to failure or major revision down the road; 3) The public option would have greatly lowered the costs of the reform, thereby depriving the GOP of some of its attack ammunition; 4) The notion of government-as-good would have been fostered, thereby making other Administration proposals more salable; instead the opposite happened; 5) Abandoning the public option demoralized a great many of Obama's most determined supporters, a foolhardy move for a new Administration; and 6) Perhaps most of all, the public option was overwhelmingly popular with the general public from the beginning to the end, routinely polling 60-70%, and even favored by about 30% of Republicans.

That this most timid of steps into national health care was squelched signified either that the White House was embarrassingly weak, or that it really didn't want the public option at all and simply negotiated it away before the real bargaining started, or both.

I do agree that there were some on the Far Left who were far too quick to turn on Obama and too eager to declare him Bush-lite. But that group was relatively small and isolated. The public option debacle was the first real crack for many Obama supporters. No matter how you cut it, I think, losing the public option was a political calamity for the White House.

Some say that there was nothing Obama and the White House could have done to ensure a public option. But not many on the Left believe that. In short, the Obama White House has a credibility problem with Liberals. And that, coupled with the gleeful and gratuitous Liberal-bashing has caused many people on the Left to lose faith that this Administration is committed to a Liberal view, never mind actual Liberal policies. If the Left feels abandoned by Obama and the Democrats there may be good reason for it. Whatever the confounding schism between Liberals and Centrist Democrats, however, this has been very poor politics by the supposed experts in the White House political office.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 15, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

ABC, I'm really glad to see you back here commenting again, we've missed your thoughtful posts. Let me offer my condolences on the death of your father also. I've gone through the same thing recently and I know how challenging it can be to work through the loss. My father was a WWII veteran as well so we have that in common, there's not many of them left. Anyway, all the best to you and your family.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 15, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I found this over at thinkprogress. This is getting crazier by the minute.

"The right-wing group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) has announced that it will be hosting a rally against the proposed Cordoba House Islamic community center on September 11.

The confirmed list of speakers includes former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, Andrew Breitbart, and, notably, the far-right Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders. “Islam is not a religion, it’s an ideology,” Wilders told the Guardian in 2009, “the ideology of a retarded culture.”

In the past, Wilders’ extremism has been condemned by conservatives such as Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, and even Glenn Beck, who called Wilders “fascist.” It’s a clear sign of how far the Republicans have shifted to the right and embraced Islamophobia as a political tool that movement figures like Gingrich, Bolton, and Breitbart now have no problem sharing a stage with Wilders."

Posted by: lmsinca | August 15, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"Some say that there was nothing Obama and the White House could have done to ensure a public option. But not many on the Left believe that."

wbgonne, I think you and I share the same ideology but I don't know what country you're living in. It's not about what you choose to "believe". It's about you not recognizing reality.

Did you pay no attention to Joe Lieberman's weekly quashing of allowing a cloture vote on health care? This jerk promised to kill the entire health care bill which people like my stepmother who is an ovarian cancer survivor absolutely need in order to have insurance and not be denied due to her pre-existing condition.

I understand that you were perfectly willing to let my stepmom die in the possible event that her cancer returns, but I'm glad Obama and other democrats decided in the end not to capitulate to you and instead do the right thing, even though it was far from perfect result which will undoubtedly cost them on Election Day.

See, I understand that the public option is not dead, unlike the health care bill which absolutely would have been if Obama had listened to your side.

Pressure your representatives. I called both of my senators Feinstein and Boxer, who signed on to a public option pledge. We need more of them. Work to get more progressives elected into the Senate so we can get this. Time did not run out. Let's make this an election issue. It's a popular idea so it shouldn't be too hard. We just can't let the insurance companies and their republican puppets and Joe Lieberman win this one.

Stay focused.

And aside from Gibbs, I really fail to see where the administration engaged in "gleeful and gratuitous Liberal-bashing". That just sounds to me like your gleeful and gratuitous conclusion to the corrupting reality of Washington. You place the blame squarely on Obama even though he repeatedly pushed for the public option and was beaten by congress. Maybe he could've done more but you don't know that. And if you know exactly what he could've done, find a way to relay the message to him.

He also came out in defense of the community center near ground zero even though he's totally outnumbered, even by democrats who are caving to republicans. The man does frequently go out on limb and it doesn't seem as if his former supporters on the left give him any credit for it.

"this has been very poor politics by the supposed experts in the White House political office."

I agree with you on this. If anything, he failed to realize how important the public option was to the base and how he would be not only abandoned but demonized by his own previous supporters for caving to the harsh reality of Washington politics in order to pass an extremely important health care bill.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

There's this also:

"This morning on CNN’s State of the Union, New York congressmen Jerrold Nadler (D) effectively dismantled the arguments of his fellow Empire State colleague Peter King (R), who has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the new Islamic center project in lower Manhattan.

King argued that, while he respects Muslims’ “right” to build a new center, “they should listen to public opinion” and “should voluntarily move the mosque away from Ground Zero.” Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, explained, “We do not put the Bill of Rights…to a vote. The reason we have a Bill of Rights is that you have your religious rights…whether majorities like you or not, frankly.”

Nadler then addressed the biggest fallacy of the right-wing argument: namely, that in their opposition to the Islamic center, they are ascribing collective guilt on all Muslims for the terrorist acts of 9/11:

NADLER: [W]hat they are saying essentially is how can you put a mosque there when, after all, Muslims attacked us on 9/11, and this is ripping open a wound? Well, the fallacy is that Al Qaida attacked us. Islam did not attack us. Islam, like Christianity, like Judaism, like other religions, has many different people, some of whom regard other adherents of the religion as heretics of one sort or another. It is only insensitive if you regard Islam as the culprit, as opposed to Al Qaida as the culprit. We were not attacked by all Muslims. And there were Muslims who were killed there, there were Muslims who were killed there. There were Muslims who ran in as first responders to help. And we cannot take any position like that."

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/08/15/king-nadler-gz-mosque/

Posted by: lmsinca | August 15, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne

Yes I am very very impressed by Petreaus just as I am very impressed by Obama. They are both highly intelligent professionals who I believed are both sincere in the motivation.....HOWEVER...both have been dealt an unwinnable hand in Afghanistan just as Petreaus was in Iraq.

We are getting our of Iraq...not because of Obama or Petraeues but because the Iraquis exercised their sovereign authority and forced the Bush admin (against the bushies wishes) to accept dates certain on these withdrawals.

Given that Karzai is benefitting handsomely from our occupation and given the answers gave Gregory this morning I'm afraid I'm going to be beyond peoed at O when the troops are still there in LARGE numbers in 2012.

I'll go ahead and attract the wrath of the Obamabots and others with my next statement. If the troops are their in 2012 I SHALL ABSOLUTELY LOOK FOR A PEACE CANDIDATE TO EMERGE IN THE DEM PRIMARIES.

I have had enough of stupid unwinnable wars and an imperial nation. I'm growing embarrassed by our HUBRIS as well as our ignorance. I gave Obama a chance after HIS surge. He has given the hawks enough rope to hang themselves and if he doesn't call in his chits and bring the troops home by 2012 he has lost my support!

Before you jump Obamabots notice I said IF.
If you wish to attack me fine but you better be prepared with REAL reasons to stay in Afghanistan after 2011. Actually there is really no reason for us to be there now.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 15, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca, that is freaky. I'm very ashamed of my fellow Americans right now. It reminds me of the months leading up to the Iraq War.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Rocketing to the nutty edge...

"Gingrich, Bolton, Breitbart Team Up With Far-Right Muslim-Basher Geert Wilders For 9/11 Rally

The right-wing group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) has announced that it will be hosting a rally against the proposed Cordoba House Islamic community center on September 11.

The confirmed list of speakers includes former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, Andrew Breitbart, and, notably, the far-right Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders. “Islam is not a religion, it’s an ideology,” Wilders told the Guardian in 2009, “the ideology of a retarded culture.”

In the past, Wilders’ extremism has been condemned by conservatives such as Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, and even Glenn Beck, who called Wilders “fascist.” It’s a clear sign of how far the Republicans have shifted to the right and embraced Islamophobia as a political tool that movement figures like Gingrich, Bolton, and Breitbart now have no problem sharing a stage with Wilders."
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/08/15/911-islamophobia-rally/

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

@SDJeff Agree with your embarrassment. Again the hubris, arrogance, and ignorance of the right is just stunning.

However Jeff I don't think Gibbs is the only culprit in the O admin. Actually I can get past his comment as someone with a hothead who was frustrated and misspoke.

Rahm however is infamous for his effing retard remarks...and yes he too was blowing off steam but in Rahm's case I believe he MEANS it...we on the left are an huge inconvience Rahm doesn't want to deal with. In fact RAHM didn't really want O to go all in on HCR to begin with.
I appreciate pragmatism but Rahm is as conservative as all those blue dogs he helped get elected. I can't wait for the day until that effing little arsehole leaves DC!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 15, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"I'll go ahead and attract the wrath of the Obamabots and others with my next statement. If the troops are their in 2012 I SHALL ABSOLUTELY LOOK FOR A PEACE CANDIDATE TO EMERGE IN THE DEM PRIMARIES."

Ok fine you asked for it. How did that work out in 68 when Johnson was forced not to run due to the unpopularity of the Vietnam War and we ended up staying several more years because democrats in all their wisdom couldn't agree on a candidate, giving the election to Nixon? How many more thousands of soldiers and civilians died as a result?

I'll one up ya....if a republican promises to withdraw, why not just vote for him or her? He/she would have a credible chance of winning unlike your primary challenge opponent who could only possibly emerge as nominee by tearing apart the democratic party, again, as the humphrey/mccarthy split did in 68.

Would you vote for that republican since your opposition to Obama is purely based on his stance in Afghanistan, which by the way has not changed in the entire time he was state senator, war protester, US Senator, presidential candidate or Commander in Chief?

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

haha ruk, it's funny how I all of a sudden feel bad about my response to you simply because you agreed with me on something else. But I stand by what I said.

I forgot about Rahm. I hate the guy too. Sometimes I wonder if he and Gibbs are holding something over Obama, like the threat of a tell-all book in the event either is fired.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

SDJeff:

Sorry, but that's not how I see it at all. And, before I explain why, I'll reiterate my fundamental point: the Obama White House political operation is horrible. Whatever you think of the merits of Liberals' demoralization during HCR the simple fact is that the White House political people -- Rahm Emmanuel, in particular -- get paid to maximize Obama's political standing. Risking the loss of a significant bloc of supporters, unless there is a very good countervailing for reason for doing so, is stupid politics. You don't drive supporters away unless you absolutely must.

So brings us to the question whether Liberals are justified in believing that the Obama White House unnecessarily abandoned the public option. First, perhaps most importantly, and definitely most important for political analysis, there was no visible effort by Obama or the White House, just a lukewarm preference. What could Obama have done? That is a topic for another time but here are few things: 1) Enforce party discipline or call for it publicly; 2) Make a speech (remember this is when the bloom was still on the rose) explaining how the public option worked, what it would do, how it would save health care costs; 3) Go to Nebraska, Louisiana, Arkansas and Connecticut (remember the bloom) and publicly request that the senate enact a public option. There are many others and quite a few I can't even imagine. But the point is that you can't do nothing and barely bother to argue that you care. Terrible political tactics and strategy no matter how you slice it.

Finally, Rahm's f-ing retards comment, followed by his apology to the disabled, wasn't helpful.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 15, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

@SDJeff....

Here is the flaw in your logic.
NO I could never vote for a R in the foreseeable future. I respected R's up until Reagan. Eisenhower and T Roosevelt were both excellent Presidents in my opinion.
However there really is no semblance of what was a Republican Party...now it's vote for Tea Party ignorance or stay home or vote Dem.
I Choose to vote Dem.

However with all due respect your '68 analogy is totally bogus Jeff. I was on my way to Southeast Asia in '68 and when Kennedy got into the race the Dems were energized..if Kennedy had not been assassinated there is an excellent chance the Dem GOTV would have fared much better and we wouldn't have had Richard Nixon.

Here is where your logic really fails Jeff.
Are you telling me if I and others like wbgonne..thunder..ABC..got behind a peace candidate and he/she unseated Obama in the primaries you wouldn't vote for them? Are you saying Jeff that if we got a peace candidate nominated and retired Obama you'd be so pissed you'd vote Republican?

In other words why do we have to support your candidate in the fear that you Centrists wouldn't support ours if we succeeded?

Public Opinion btw is MASSIVELY against this war already...and so a peace candidate would fare well with indys...

Of course I concede as far as actual politics we are both being premature as their is a 'lifetime' before the midterms much less the 2012 primaries.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 15, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

From the Land of High Cuckoo...Erik Erickson tweets:

"Paging the Church of Satan: Our founding principles demand Barack Obama support your rights to human sacrifice. Carry on."

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne--I admire the tightness of your argument, and I wish we had a public option.

I do find it difficult, though, to understand the idea of some liberals that Obama and his White House don't share the larger liberal worldview. They've worked much too hard in the pursuit of liberal causes for me to think that's a truly valid concern.

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

lms--Thank you. And my condolences to you as well. We're fortunate to have had our fathers' long lives.

Posted by: AllButCertain | August 15, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

@ABC - wonderful to see you and read you again.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

AllButCertain:

I don't know. There does certainly seem to be a split within the Democratic Party between the DLC Centrists and the Liberals. Some Democratic Centrists - like Lieberman, Landrieu, Nelson and Lincoln are really Republicans, and not all that moderate Republicans either. Rahm is from the DLC school: that Democrats do best as stealth Republicans on issues like militarism, crime, drugs, civil liberties, corporate power, wealth inequality, the effectiveness of government, the desirability of government action. Whatever its merits in the past Democratic administration, conceding premises to Republicans is terribly misguided politics today. I think the past year and a half bear that out.

Thanks for the chat. I'll read your reply but I must leave. Over and out.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 15, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Some thoughts from DS on possible consequences of the GOP polling at lowest ever levels...
http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/08/polls_hint_at_need_for_stronge.php#comments

It is encouraging that the party is perceived to be as deserving of disrespect and dislike as this polling shows.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

ABC Let me join with lmsince in welcoming you back and also offering condolences on your loss. You posts are always cogent, reasonable and based on logic instead of simple name calling. I don't believe you think of wbgonne, me and others as effing retards. LMAO Glad to have you back.

Actually I'm afraid I'd have to challenge you on the Administrations "liberal" achievements. Certainly not HCR. We've all discussed the P.O. I do not hold that totally against Obama however...he was trying to create historic legislation against the back drop of an opposition party that has been literally taken over by buffoons like Palin/Demint/Boner and other intellectual lightweights..and those with any brains...i.e. Newt, Romney and others have fallen all over themselves with demagoguery as they pander to the far right. HCR was FAR FROM LIBERAL.

Foreign policy....certainly we on the left give Obama high marks for ending torture(although he completely wimped out on protecting our Constitution by investigating and prosecuting those GUILTY of torture) and changing our tone...less arrogance is certainly a good thing....but he gets no credit for Iraq...good or bad..the Iraquis are basically throwing us out we are not withdrawing...and Afghanistan was a huge blunder. If you saw Petraeus this morning you realize this really is Vietnam redux. Generals in EVERY freaking conflict always want more time, more troops and more money. Petraues is already laying the ground work to triangulate Obama's West Point speech which bought him some time with we on the left. I don't wish him to parse words...I know what the meaning of is..is! If we don't leave when he "suggested" I'm going to be very upset.

Needing to be the Adminstration to nominate Elizabeth Warren is absurd...she is obviously one of the ONLY people in Obama's administration who gives a rat's arse about the middle class. This should have been a slam dunk...not some crumb he tossed to liberals.

And so ABC do suppose Timmy boy G cares about the middle class? How about Larry the arrogant Summers? At least I trust Paul Volcker..not for altruistic reasons..I believe he at least understand our country's middle class is shrinking and that ultimately spells doom for America.

Financial reform...really? Please educate me (no snark intended here) did we get Glass Stegall reinstated or anything similar to control the Wall Street Bankers.

Ultimately I guess what we are all really debating here is not Obama but what is center...left..and right in 2010. As a child of the 60's perhaps I have higher aspirations for my country and am not in a hurry to settle...you know have we all become the "surrender monkeys' the right loves to deride. Their side gets their arses kicked and do they moderate...NOOOO they move to the right of Attila the Hun while our side makes fun of we on the left as "effing retards" etc.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 15, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey all, glad to see you back.

ICYMI, I had a post yesterday on why this wasn't a walkback, too.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 15, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

"you know have we all become the "surrender monkeys' the right loves to deride."

I only see that from democrats who are threatening not to vote or put out primary opponents against the president. That is the only way republicans can win, that is what they're counting on, and it seems as if a low democratic turnout is what we're going to get.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Here's a perfect illustration of how National Review, FOX and the talk radio crowd do propaganda.

"Under a crassly misleading title “9/11 Families Stunned by President’s Support of Mosque at Ground Zero,” Andy McCarthy of National Review quotes Debra Burlingame as being “stunned,” as if she and she alone speaks for the 9/11 families.

She doesn’t. She claims to speak for some of the families though an organization called 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America, but from the group’s own website I can’t tell if anyone beside Burlingame, let alone other 9/11 survivors, belongs to this organization. Whatever her following, she has been the ringleader of a group of people opposed to any sort of memorial on the Ground Zero site that doesn’t reflect their extremist right-wing political beliefs and their vengeful, hateful views. She is, in short, a nasty piece of work.

Let’s review. First off, once again let me remind everyone that no one has polled the survivors, although plenty of people who were no where near Manhattan on September 11 keep presuming to know what they think and to speak for them. And if I were a survivor of one of those killed and not a mere eyewitness to the atrocity, I’d be looking for a lawyer who would sue the asses off anyone who presumed to speak for me.

Of the three principal 9/11 family associations — none of which are affiliated with Debra Burlingame —

The Families of September 11 have made no statement about the Islamic Center that I could find on their website.

The September 11 Families’ Association has taken no stand on the issue, but in a recent addition to the website have said only “Currently, there is a firestorm of opinion on this issue, with September 11th families coming out strongly on both sides.”

The September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a group founded and steered by families of September 11 victims, has issued a strong opinion in support of the Islamic Center."
http://www.mahablog.com/2010/08/14/debra-burlingame-doesnt-represent-the-911-families/

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

ruk, can you name me a single instance in which a sitting president was primaried, defeated and that challenger went on to win?

Didn't work in 68(Humphrey being from the administration and challenged by McCarthy), didn't work in 80 with Ted Kennedy, and it would absolutely not work against Barack Obama, even if we're slow getting out of Afghanistan. He would have to be proven as an absolutely atrocious president for that to be considered. I just don't see it happening. It was so hypothetical for you to throw that out, I just don't see the point. Even you conceded it's way too early to even talk about that, so you invite scorn when you even bring it up.

You're asking would I vote for a republican who vows to withdraw from Afghanistan over a democrat who vows to stay? Doubtful. If Ron Paul is the nominee, we could be looking at that.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Notes from Texas where penises are profane and guns sacred...
http://jezebel.com/5608398/why-are-kids-getting-less-sex-ed-and-more-gun-ed

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"Sorry, but that's not how I see it at all."

wbgonne, I'm not sure what you're referring to here.

"And, before I explain why, I'll reiterate my fundamental point: the Obama White House political operation is horrible."

No argument here. But that's a far cry from accusing his administration of "gleeful and gratuitous Liberal-bashing".

"You don't drive supporters away unless you absolutely must."

If they made a political calculation, it was that failing health care reform at that point would cost more politically than losing out on the public option AND health care reform. I think they happened to be correct. But they obviously underestimated the number of lefties who would turn on the president over one aspect of legislation that Joe Lieberman joined republicans in blocking.

"1) Enforce party discipline or call for it publicly;"

I think it's ridiculous to believe he didn't try this behind closed doors, that he would give it up without even trying. Obviously Lieberman feels no allegiance toward the president....he campaigned against him for chrissakes. And as far as not looking like he cared, it sounds like you're one of the ones who thinks Obama doesn't show enough emotion, that he doesn't play it up for the cameras, that his response to the oil spill might have been more efficient if he'd just cried on demand.

I just want someone to get the job done. It's a HARD job, you do realize this don't you? I have my share of complaints about what Obama has done, but I don't question his intentions. Unfortunately, that's where his critics seem to focus their anger.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

SDJeff...
you have already answered your own question with your reference to 1968...a year with which I am very familiar as I lived through that turbulence and came to voting age in '66. Again....after Kennedy entered the race (btw a BITTER enemy of LBJ's) the Dems were energized. Humphrey was a nice man who I admire greatly but in honesty he had the charisma of a rock. McCarthy was somewhat better but Kennedy was really beginning to roll after his Calif primary win put an exclamation point on that momentum..alas sirhan sirhan made sure Nixon got elected...not taking out someone in the sitting Administration. So there is your example Jeff...in virtually the exact same situation. IMHO Kennedy would have rolled Nixon easily. He got shot we'll never know.

"It was so hypothetical for you to throw that out, I just don't see the point. Even you conceded it's way too early to even talk about that, so you invite scorn when you even bring it up."

Perhaps Jeff...but while I am simply a humble poster and Greg is the member of the "professional left"...I believe Greg..Ed Schulz..Rachel Maddow and others as well as all the individual posters like wbgonne, myself, thunder and others can have an effect on policy. At least I'd like to think so.

Basically it's the ONLY leverage we have Jeff. The more the W.H. understands our dissatisfaction perhaps the more they will pay attention. If they instead wish to heap scorn then IMHO it is THEY who risk killing the GOTV not we who are unhappy with the center right policies.

You do realize politically there is another way to handle this...YOU..the ADMINISTRATION and others calling us names COULD actually say something Clintonesque such as "I feel your pain" and we're doing the best we can...please give us more time we realize this is not what we all hope to achieve...I talked about change...but change takes time...we are reasonable people for the most part...ALL sides have some crackpots so please don't cherry pick FDL or other sites...what's difficult to accept is all the scorn heaped upon us for simply stating our positions. The Democrats used to be progressive not moderates.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 15, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree with everything Reihan Salam says here, but an interesting take-down of Republican efforts to stop the Cordoba House:

http://www.nationalreview.com/agenda/243752/very-long-post-cordoba-house-josh-barro

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 15, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

My bad...that NRO article was actually written by Josh Barro.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 15, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Bernie says:

"Notes from Texas where penises are profane and guns sacred..."

And he has the unmitigated gall to accuse OTHERS of doing propaganda. The depth of Bernie's hypocrisy is, it seems, bottomless.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

ruk, I only care when you and other lefties, "reasonable people" as you call yourselves, threaten political suicide because you disagree with the president's war strategy, a war you knew full well he supported when you voted for him in 08.

By sitting out or supporting a challenge to a president who is far and away better positioned to succeed than anyone else, you help no one except republican politicians and wealthy Americans.

Who do you think would primary him and win? Kucinich? Grayson? Hillary? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Obviously RFK would've beaten Nixon. I've always believed Sirhan Sirhan did as much to alter the course of American history as almost anyone else.

But the perceived(and perhaps real) political disconnect young liberals felt in 68 came largely as a result of McCarthy losing the nomination. The party was torn, which affected donations and voter turnout.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

s'scat:

"I don't agree with everything [Josh Barro] says here, but an interesting take-down of Republican efforts to stop the Cordoba House:"

I don't understand. According to Bernie, NRO is simply an agent of propaganda for the right, and has come out against the building of the mosque/Islamic center/whatever. What kind of screwed up propaganda organ publishes a piece under its banner that argues specifically against the very position that they are supposed to be propagandizing about? I can only assume that either this link of yours is a hoax, or Bernie himself is nothing more than a propagandist with all his accusations that NRO is a propaganda organ.

BTW, a couple of months ago, after his usual schtick of accusing National Review of being a propaganda organ (I believe he used the term propaganda "functionary"), I asked him to explain how it was that NR routinely published pieces of varying and indeed oftentimes completely opposing opinions on various subjects. I also asked him to identify the distinction between NR and our own host here such that NR could be sensibly labeled a propagandist, but Greg would be innocent of the charge. Not surprisingly, he refused to do so.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Jeff,

Don't worry. You always have the R's. We'll all be out to vote. I mean really if ever voting was a patriotic duty it's in times like these. It's truly hard for me to imagine how Obama could do anything to lose our vote...I mean the R's are no longer offering an alternative. Yes Teabaggers may somehow slip Ron Paul into the mix and he would certainly have a foreign policy I'd support...but OMG look at his domestic desires...

IMHO too much is being made over our disgust with what is going on. I mean really where are we going to turn. If we don't show up and vote Dem morons out to destroy our Constitution and our greatness(which I believe comes from our middle class..not the wealthy) will gain office.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 15, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Mosque mania.

"The mosque controversy is not really about a mosque at all; it’s about the presence of Muslims in America, and the free-floating anxiety and fear that now dominate the nation’s psyche. The mere presence of Muslims at prayer is now enough to trigger angry protests, as Bridgeport, Connecticut, police discovered last week. Those opposing the construction of the center in New York City are drawing on what amounts to a decade of government-stoked xenophobia about Muslims, now gathering strength and visibility in a nation full of deep economic anxieties and increasingly aggressive far-right grassroots groups. Lower Manhattan and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Temecula, California, are all in this together. And it is not going to go away simply because the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission gave its unanimous blessing to the Islamic center plan. Since that is the case, it’s worth pausing to consider what has happened here over the past 10 years."
more here... http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175283/tomgram:_stephan_salisbury,_extremism_at_ground_zero_(again)__/#more

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

All, here's some video of Obama's "walkback."

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/14/obama-government-should-treat-everyone-equal-regardless/

It's simply impossible to reasonably see this as any big deal...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 15, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca (quoting from thinkprogress):

“Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, explained, ‘We do not put the Bill of Rights…to a vote. The reason we have a Bill of Rights is that you have your religious rights…whether majorities like you or not, frankly.’ ”

Nadler is engaging in a classic strawman argument...the same one that Greg and many others here have been using. In no way whatsoever can it be said that King is calling for the Bill of Rights to put to a vote. He has acknowledged the organizers right to build the center where they want, but has said that, considering public opposition to it, they should choose to build it somewhere else. That is not an attempt to put the Bill of Rights to a vote, and anyone who makes the claim is either stupid or a liar.

This type of public pressure is used all the time, very often at the instigation of liberals like you, Greg, and others here. I have already highlighted several instances, such as attempts to use public pressure to get the no-women policy at Augusta National changed despite the constitutional right of the club to have the policy, or the attempts to get FNC to stop broadcasting Glenn Beck (by calling for boycotts of sponsors) despite the right of Beck to say what he wants and FNC to broadcast what they want or the right of sponsors to sponsor what they want. I can come up with more if you want, but it ought not be necessary.

Nadler is being dishonest when he makes the above argument, and so is Greg. You would do well not to sully your own reputation by associating yourself with it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

Still waiting.

Do you "support" and "welcome" Augusta National's no-women policy?

Do you "support" and "welcome" Glenn Beck's appearances/opinions on FNC?

Do you "support" and "welcome" the Catholic church counseling women that artificial birth control and abortion is immoral?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Scott, I'm going to try this one more time.

I am not ducking the argument that you and others are making that the group has a legal right to build but should not exercise that right.

I am saying, and have repeatedly written, that this is a bogus argument, and a phony dodge. Those who are piously claiming they would never question the group's legal rights, but only are questioning their decision to build it, are trying to make it politically impossible for them to exercise their rights, and politically toxic for anyone to defend them. And I say that's wrong. Period.

You can dispute that argument on the merits if you like. But please stop repeating the blatant falsehood that your position is somehow not being addressed.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 15, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

"I am not ducking the argument that you and others are making that the group has a legal right to build but should not exercise that right."

I am not making that argument. I have said repeatedly that I couldn't care less whether or not they build the mosque/Islamic center/whatever on the site.

My argument is that your claim, ie that because they have the constitutional right to build it "American ideals" demand that we "support" and "welcome" the project, is absurd and one that you yourself would not accept in other, similar circumstances. I have highlighted 3 circumstances in which I believe even you would reject the logic of your argument. Your obvious and continued reluctance to provide answers to my questions strongly suggests that you know I am exactly correct about this. So it is you, not I, who is engaging in a blatant falsehood here.

"Those who are piously claiming they would never question the group's legal rights, but only are questioning their decision to build it, are trying to make it politically impossible for them to exercise their rights, and politically toxic for anyone to defend them."

Perhaps some of them are, although you still seem incapable of grasping the (frankly obvious) difference between objecting to a group of people exercising their rights as a general principle and objecting to the exercise of a particular right in a specific context. But in any event, this is no different from those who were attempting to make it politically impossible for Augusta National to exercise their right to freedom of association, and politically toxic for anyone to defend the no-women policy.

So I ask yet again...do you "support" and "welcome" the policy?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

scott complains about strawmen and debating tactics of people on the left who best him rhetorically. but his questions are irrelevant.

the group wants to build a center to focus on outreach and coexistence.

all that those of us who are opposed to the unthinking, reactionary islamophobia are doing is a) reiterating that they do in fact have that right (by no means a settled notion among frightwingers) and b) encouraging people to respect that right.

scott, why is it so hard for you to accept the pluralism that is our greatest strength?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

basically, scott's argument is a version of the insipid frightwing line that goes like this: you libs say you are for tolerance but why won't you tolerate my intolerance?

it's silly and bogus. trying to persuade people not to oppose a building solely because of the religion of the people building it does not mean we have to welcome misogyny, demagoguery or even specific religious views.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

"We'll all be out to vote."

I'm not so sure but I hope you're right

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

ScottC

"Nadler is being dishonest when he makes the above argument, and so is Greg. You would do well not to sully your own reputation by associating yourself with it."

If this is for me, I'm surprised you would think I still had a reputation to sully. I'm not arguing against people arguing against the cultural center. I do however think that a number of people are entirely too preoccupied with the demonization of Muslims in general or Islam in particular. And I seem to recall King saying something a few years ago that we already have too many mosques in America, I'll have to look for the quote.

I think the people of NY should be able to figure this out and as far as I know they already had via zoning issues etc. What Nadler is saying that I agree with is the Bill of Rights and the Constitution protect their rights as a minority....not debatable AFAIK, "whether anyone likes it or not."

Whether the people of Manhattan, or Murfreesboro, or Temecula or anywhere else in the country try to deny or shame them into moving their mosque or not building a mosque is up to those communities I suppose. That's what activism, protest and free speech are about. In this case I would have to stand with the minority because I believe it is simply the right thing to do, and I have now doubts about it whatsoever.

Those of us who support the building of the center shouldn't have to defend their right to do so. It is incumbent upon those who oppose it to defend their position. I made the point earlier that I don't believe it is only because it is "close" to ground zero. Temecula, CA is about as far away from ground zero, traveling due West, as you can get without falling into the Pacific Ocean and much of the rhetoric is the same as I've seen anywhere.

Once again, as has been done with illegal immigrants, a class or group of people have been targeted, and no one can convince me that it is not intentional. All you have to do is read the comments at numerous blogs, websites, or online newspapers to see the resounding success of the strategy in turning American citizens against not only each other, the President, but minorities who have less of a voice and very few to stand up for their rights.

Forgive me for being discouraged.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 15, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

"But in any event, this is no different from those who were attempting to make it politically impossible for Augusta National to exercise their right to freedom of association, and politically toxic for anyone to defend the no-women policy."

Pressure group X is always equal to pressure group Y. Those trying to remove Jews from the community are equal to those who wish to include Jews in the community. No difference. Two opinions, two sets of wishes, two different (but equal) community voices.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 15, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

blah:

“the group wants to build a center to focus on outreach and coexistence.”

And you know this how exactly?

“a) reiterating that they do in fact have that right (by no means a settled notion among frightwingers)”

I do not dispute this.

“b) encouraging people to respect that right.”

There is a difference between respecting a right, and respecting a specific exercise of that right. It is the difference between respecting Glenn Beck’s right to free expression, and respecting the expressions in which he is engaging.

“scott, why is it so hard for you to accept the pluralism that is our greatest strength?”

By pluralism you mean the wide variety of political thinking we have? Does that include the “reactionary Islamophobia” you were so recently objecting to? Why do you object to something that is a part of what you think is our “greatest strength”?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Scott, why don't you and anyone else who feels the gov't should intervene just grow a pair already?

Get some thicker skin. Jeezus, is this really gonna affect your life in any way? You're all a bunch of NIMBYs. Let's solve some real problems.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Bernie says:

"Pressure group X is always equal to pressure group Y. Those trying to remove Jews from the community are equal to those who wish to include Jews in the community. No difference. Two opinions, two sets of wishes, two different (but equal) community voices."

Please do explain, Bernie. Are you suggesting that your respect for constitutional rights in general is contingent upon the manner in which they are exercised, or that your respect for a given exercise of a right is contingent upon the manner in which it is being exercised? If the former, then you are displaying your own hypocrisy (again) by doing exactly what you accuse those who object to the building of the mosque/Islamic center/whatever of doing. If the latter, then thanks for helping to make my point that Greg's assertion that the mere right of the organizers to build the m/Ic/w means it should be "supported" and "welcomed" is absurd.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

SDJeff:

"Scott, why don't you and anyone else who feels the gov't should intervene just grow a pair already?"

Do you pay any attention at all? I have already said I don't care at all whether the thing gets built or not. I have also said that, as far as I can tell, they have the right to build it. I don't think the government should intervene.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

AFAIK, I think Greg's the only one to ever link a politico piece, LOL, but here goes. I thought they made some interesting points.

"Muslim leaders say, regretfully, that they also see a dramatic change.

Republicans have "shifted completely away from the Bush administration line on relations with Islam and they've obviously made the political calculation that bashing Islam and Muslims is a winning issue for them," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who blamed the "tea party movement [for] liberating the inner bigot in people."

The shift has various causes. One is simply the freedom of opposition. "The stronger imperative for Bush's stance was geopolitical," said former Bush speechwriter David Frum, referring to the Bush administration's reliance on Islamic allies for the prosecution of conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now Republicans are liberated to say what many think, and what many of their supporters want to hear.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41076.html#ixzz0wjIi1hLG

Posted by: lmsinca | August 15, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

"I have already said I don't care at all whether the thing gets built or not. "

I guess I missed where you said that, but to me, it came across like you're concerned. You seem to be questioning the intentions of those planning and proposing it, and you continue to draw false parallels.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

I disagree w/ you on the seeming "field change" but your argument isn't daft by any means. I thought he was essentially voting "present" (again) at the Iftar. It's Rashomon DC style. Your support of the President is admirable and appropriate for PL.

Imam Rauf is on a State Dept sponsored "outreach/dialogue" trip to the Middle East. Has anyone interviewed him, or reported where he is outreaching, also is he fundraising?

Couldn't he shed some light on the specific
components, programs, contacts, events, ect., of the co-existence goals of the Center?

Know anybody @ State?

Posted by: tao9 | August 15, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca:

"...the resounding success of the strategy in turning American citizens against not only each other, the President, but minorities who have less of a voice and very few to stand up for their rights."

Are your opinions about things your own, or are they merely the result of being manipulated by the strategy of some unnamed group?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

"Are your opinions about things your own, or are they merely the result of being manipulated by the strategy of some unnamed group? "

We've all witnessed and studied enough overt bigotry in our country's history to recognize when it is happening. This is an attempted tyranny of the majority over a minority. I don't know why you would assume they have bad intentions unless you're ignorant or a bigot, or a wuss(hence the "grow a pair" suggestion)

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

SDJeff:

"it came across like you're concerned."

My concern is that Greg claims that American ideals demand that the project be "supported" and "welcomed". That is absurd.

"You seem to be questioning the intentions of those planning and proposing it."

I don't know anything about their intentions or motivations. I was merely questioning someone who claimed to know. I doubt he has any better idea than I do.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

SDJeff:

"We've all witnessed and studied enough overt bigotry in our country's history to recognize when it is happening. This is an attempted tyranny of the majority over a minority. I don't know why you would assume they have bad intentions unless you're ignorant or a bigot, or a wuss(hence the "grow a pair" suggestion)."

I confess I have no idea what the connection is between the above response and the quotation (direct to lmsinca) that you were ostensibly responding to.

In any event, I don't assume their intentions are good or bad. As I said, I have no idea what their intentions are.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

"In any event, I don't assume their intentions are good or bad. As I said, I have no idea what their intentions are."

Why would you assume their intentions are anything other than good?

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

@scott: blah:

“[my comment]the group wants to build a center to focus on outreach and coexistence.”

And you know this how exactly?

why do you think they're not?

...

"Are your opinions about things your own, or are they merely the result of being manipulated by the strategy of some unnamed group? "

...

"In any event, I don't assume their intentions are good or bad. As I said, I have no idea what their intentions are."

----------------

i think it's rather clear that you are being disingenuous. like some other commenters here, you are dancing with islamophobia without fully embracing it.

here's a question: all the murderers of doctors who provide abortions in this country have been committed by christianist extremist terrorists. do you oppose churches near hospitals? if not, why not?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Do you pay any attention at all? I have already said I don't care at all whether the thing gets built or not. I have also said that, as far as I can tell, they have the right to build it. I don't think the government should intervene.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 9:53 PM
==================

Then explain why you support the race-baiters, liars, and republicans who seek to profit from this?

Why do you carry water for bigots?
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 15, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

SDJeff,
Which category cited (in the assumed comprehensive "we've") above occured with the greater frequency: Bigotry witnessed or bigotry studied?

Posted by: tao9 | August 15, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Scott

"Are your opinions about things your own, or are they merely the result of being manipulated by the strategy of some unnamed group?"

I have to say I wasn't expecting that question. AFAIK I am one of the oldest posters here except for Liam and rukidding. Believe it or not I have been involved in politics since I was 10 years old and had a fifth grade teacher who set up a debate team for the 1960 election. I was the team leader on the Kennedy side, LOL.

I have debated politics, social issues, and civil rights for 50 years as well as being involved in local politics and elections. I don't really need anyone to suggest an opinion to me and I believe if you take the time to remember, or if it's possible to research my comments over the past year, I have been consistent in my opinions.

I am who I am, and I make no apologies for it. I am not easily manipulated or persuaded by certain one sided arguments from either side. I research information and base my opinions on both the knowledge I've acquired and I think more importantly my own life experiences.

I was raised by conservative, racially challenged, but loving parents and extended family, and was always encouraged to speak my mind even if it was diametrically opposite to the group opinion. Somehow they loved me anyway, crazy people.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 15, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

@t9: 'SDJeff,
Which category cited (in the assumed comprehensive "we've") above occured with the greater frequency: Bigotry witnessed or bigotry studied?'

what, exactly, is the point of a comment like this?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3,

lms is an honest broker, no follower of strategist/spinners, nor susceptible to charisma or hoo-ha.

truth

Posted by: tao9 | August 15, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

blah:

"why do you think they're not?"

I don't think they are or they are not. I have no idea what their motivations are. I take your (non) response to my question to mean that you have no idea either. Why pretend that you do know?

"here's a question: all the murderers of doctors who provide abortions in this country have been committed by christianist extremist terrorists. do you oppose churches near hospitals?"

Of course not.

"if not, why not?"

Because I have no reason to. What reason should I have?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

if:

"Why do you carry water for bigots?"

I don't. But let me understand, just so I am clear. Is it really your belief that a majority of Americans are bigots?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

blahg,

Curiousity.

I see much bigotry at PL, but not the kind you or others here may consider objectionable.

Posted by: tao9 | August 15, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

"@t9: 'SDJeff,
Which category cited (in the assumed comprehensive "we've") above occured with the greater frequency: Bigotry witnessed or bigotry studied?'

what, exactly, is the point of a comment like this?"

Thanks blah, I was gonna ask the same thing.

The answer is I've witnessed bigotry very often in person, and have studied probably much more, since so much has existed in the course of human history.

The reason I made the comment in the first place was to back up what lmsinca said about the strategy of turning Americans against minorities without a voice.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Buzz in DC is that the President is walking back the walkback back.

Supposedly a new statement coming 2moro.

Gotta go to Netflix & rent Vertigo.

Posted by: tao9 | August 15, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

@lm,

awesome response.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

"I don't. But let me understand, just so I am clear. Is it really your belief that a majority of Americans are bigots?"

I'll chime in....it's possible to be bigoted toward certain groups, and I believe a sizable percentage of Americans are bigoted toward Muslims. Possibly half. I think that's about the percentage of people who said they would vote for a qualified Muslim for president.

There's other ways to measure bigotry. For example, I know many racists actually voted for Obama, so that doesn't necessarily rule it out.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

@scott

i'd have thought this would be clear from my other comments and those of the other posters who don't oppose the building. but okay. i believe them because a) i have no reason not to and b) they have done and are doing other outreach work. why should i buy a xenophobic frightwing scare tactic when not only is there no evidence to support it, but there is also evidence to refudiate it?

why do you toss your lot in with the likes of fringe extremists like palin?

and, if you don't blame all christians for the acts of christianist terrorists, why do you align yourself with those who blame all muslims for the actions of fringe islamists?

again, i think you are being disingenuous and are, quite obviously, attempting to play at crypto islamophobia.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"I am who I am, and I make no apologies for it. I am not easily manipulated or persuaded by certain one sided arguments from either side."

Why do you assume that the rest of the nation (or at least those who seemingly disagree with you) are so different from you and that their opinions are the result of outside manipulation?

tao:

"lms is an honest broker, no follower of strategist/spinners, nor susceptible to charisma or hoo-ha."

I don't doubt it. Apparently, however, she does not afford those who disagree with her the same benefit of the doubt, which was the point in asking her the question. She attributes the large majorities of Americans who hold different views from hers on illegal immigration and this mosque thing to the result of some "strategy" of an unnamed organization or movement in "turning American citizens against not only each other, the President, but minorities who have less of a voice and very few to stand up for their rights."

It's a rather typical intellectual tic of liberals far and wide. They believe their view of the world is so manifestly and obviously correct that only nefarious doings can account for disagreement.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

@t9,

care to elaborate?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Jeff,

Could have{ing} studied probably much more bigotry (is that an academic discipline?), have an effect of always accurately recognizing bigotry as witnessed...1st hand or 2nd hand, or, perhaps, reinforce a propensity to see bigotry where there is none?

again, curious

Posted by: tao9 | August 15, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

@t9,

i mean, care to elaborate on the prejudices you perceive as rife here?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

@tao9 | August 15, 2010 11:08 PM

as with scott, the disingenuous bit isn't really working.

it seems clear that the point of your question is to posit that liberals and minorities 'see' racism where there is actually none present.

would you please clarify if this is or is not true?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

care 2 elaborate?

Not really.

However, per your tu quoque analog:

There are three major hospitals within ten miles of me in this capital district that are named after Catholic Saints. Should there be an outcry for them to change their name because (as best as I can tell) three doctors performing abortions have been shot in the US in the last 250 years by "christianists."

5, 4, 3, 2, 1......

Posted by: tao9 | August 15, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

tao, I've heard deeply offensive racial remarks uttered from friends, family, acquaintances, people I don't know so well, and perfect strangers, throughout my entire life.

Don't try to pretend bigotry only exists in small quantities. Let me ask you this, do you think the average black kid is born with the 100% exact same opportunities as the average white kid?

Do you think the average Muslim has equal opportunity as the average Christian in our country?

"Could have{ing} studied probably much more bigotry (is that an academic discipline?),"

Here you're just being a dick. If you want to pay me for my time, I can spend a few days or weeks compiling data on all the historical examples of bigotry I've learned so far in my life and try to remember as much as I can from what I've personally witnessed, and interview my parents and grandparents and brothers and past friends who might remember certain events I may have forgotten. I can quantify this data and determine if I have in fact studied more or witnessed more.

Or I can give you the short answer, which is "probably". You can dance around the subject as much as you want, but racism is alive and well in this country, and the opposition to the mosque is a prime example.

Of course, many who are opposed are simply ignorant or scared, and not necessarily bigots.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

"(as best as I can tell) three doctors performing abortions have been shot in the US"

more than 3:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence

We all know that modern day Muslim terrorists are, by almost anyone's definition, more dangerous than modern day Christian terrorists, on average.

But the odds that any of us will die in a terrorist attack from any group are still EXTREMELY low, and it's a major insult to Muslims everywhere to attach this stigma to them.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

blah:

"i believe them because a) i have no reason not to..."

Is it beyond the realm of possibility that a group Muslims might do this as a provocation?

"and b) they have done and are doing other outreach work."

It is a strange exercise in "outreach" to insist on an undertaking opposed by a great majority of those ostensibly being "outreached" to, don't you think?

"why do you toss your lot in with the likes of fringe extremists like palin?"

I don't. But in any event, in what sense is Palin a "fringe extremist" on the mosque issue, given that her position is the position of a majority of Americans? Typical leftist abuse of language.

"why do you align yourself with those who blame all muslims for the actions of fringe islamists?"

I don't. But how do you know what is and isn't "fringe" with regard to Islam? Is there an authority which defines "mainstream" Islam.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 15, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

"...posit that liberals and minorities 'see' racism where there is actually none present."

No.

That's specious, ridiculous, and typically predictable.

It's "see" minute-to-minute-24-7-365 outrages when there is, in comparison to the history Jeff (and I) studied, nothing remotely as virulent contemporarily, nor has been for probably a decade or 2.

Remember kidz, I'm from Boston and was right there on the ground in the 70's. & if you don't know what I'm talking about y'all need to study more.

Posted by: tao9 | August 15, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

@t9: "5, 4, 3, 2, 1......"

huh?

is this some demand that i respond in five secs? delusions of authoritarian grandeur?

why not provide evidence for your assertion that prejudice is rampant here?

again, as with another poster earlier, it's weird that you restrict your response of my mention of christianist terrorist to catholic churches. but okay.

some people, especially certain protestants, like to demonize catholics and even say they're not really christian. as someone who was baptized catholic and is from a 'white ethnic' background, i am always suspect of people who single out all adherents of a particular religion as not *really* american.

that said and in response to your question, the catholic church, and other denominations as well, have problems with child abuse. maybe all christian churches should be banned near schools and day care centers too. of course i don't believe this, but how, by your logic, does that not follow?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

"Is it beyond the realm of possibility that a group Muslims might do this as a provocation?"

Is it beyond the realm of possibility that you enjoy screwing goats? Supposedly some men do like to screw goats, so I guess it's technically possible.

I seriously doubt you screw goats, and I also seriously doubt this community center is a front for a terrorist group, if that's what you're afraid of.

If they were, why did your favorite president Bush invite their imam to the White House and send him on diplomatic trips? Why would this one center be the one planning terrorism, and not the thousands of others all across the country?

This is what I meant when I told you to grow a pair. If you're this afraid, you shouldn't even leave the house. After all, it's not outside the realm of possibility that you'll get hit by a car, or maybe a kid on a bike.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

@scottc

Apparently you must have missed my comments for TWO days where I actually said I supported the "possibility" that there might be a mitigating factor regarding the proximity to "ground zero". I do not know anyone personally who lost someone there, but I certainly do remember the horror we all experienced.

My problem with the conversation regarding the "not ground zero mosque" is that now it has become a national (60% or whatever oppose it)issue. Why? Because conservative/republican/libertarian/we didn't really like Bush/citizens(and I use the term loosely) decided to make it an election issue.

I have hope still that most Americans will support the separation of church and state and will realize, perhaps belatedly, that our founding Fathers actually got it right.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 15, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

"Let me ask you this, do you think the average black kid is born with the 100% exact same opportunities as the average white kid?"

No.

Is this caused by bigotry alone?

Posted by: tao9 | August 15, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

no blahg,

the countdown was how long it would take some squint (not necessarily you) 2 go straight to the child abuse issue.

U bit 1st.

See what i mean re: acceptable bigotry.

Posted by: tao9 | August 15, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

scott ant t9 are insinuating what they know is unpopular to say.

seriously guys, as jeff said: grow a pair.

embrace your bigotry and nativism. it's obvious to anyone with a brain anyway. why not own it?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

"No. Is this caused by bigotry alone?"

I don't think so, but it is a major factor, although I'd say it's more out of ignorance. For example, educational opportunities are extremely unequal.

Is that what you're talking about with Boston? The busing?

Posted by: SDJeff | August 15, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

@t9: "the countdown was how long it would take some squint (not necessarily you) 2 go straight to the child abuse issue.

U bit 1st.

See what i mean re: acceptable bigotry."

again, i'll ask: care to elaborate?

are you insinuating that i'm bigoted against catholics?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

t9,

also, please note, that i didn't limit the child abuse problem to catholics...

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

and t9,

if you mean past acceptable bigotry against catholics, how is that different from the current frightwing acceptable bigotry agains muslims?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Is that what you're talking about with Boston? The busing?

yes
--------------------------------------------------

"are you insinuating that i'm bigoted against catholics?"

no

I am saying the most vicious anti-Catholic bigots and anti-Semites in the country are liberals, a handful comment right here at PL. That is a stone fact.

Posted by: tao9 | August 15, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

@t9,

for the *third* time, care to provide evidence for you vile accusations?

if not, why not?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 15, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

"embrace your bigotry and nativism. it's obvious to anyone with a brain anyway. why not own it?"

pulled the negative-charge, low-voltage synaptical hair trigger stock/rote non-rebut rebut on that one didn'cha?

seen it a 1,000,000 X.

Posted by: tao9 | August 16, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

t9,

again with the avoidance of direct questions?

meh.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 16, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

@sold2u: "Only the the most committed partisans are taking that statement as not endorsing the mosque."

I know I'm late to this, but here goes: I'm not a committed partisan (at least, perhaps not in that sense--I voted for McCain, will vote against Obama in 2012) and I didn't take that statement as endorsing the mosque. Rather, Sue is 100% right--Obama was endorsing freedom of religion, and making a pretty conservative case for it. The clarification was mostly because folks in the media were trying to spin it into an endorsement, which it was not.

Should he have commented on the issue at all? No. However, were his comments cogent and 100% hand-of-your-heart, pledge-allegiance-under-God patriotic? Absolutely. Did he say that a Ground Zero (yes, it is Ground Zero, the original building was ruined by debris from one of the airliners) Mosque (or Muslim-centric Community Center) was an awesome idea, and he couldn't wait to go, because he's secretly a Muslim?

Nope, he didn't say that, and without specifically saying that he fully supports Cordoba House and thinks it'll be a great boon to the community, he's not really endorsing it. His clarification is a losing battle to combat right wing and media-ratings-baiting spin.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

@SDJeff: "If they were, why did your favorite president Bush invite their imam to the White House and send him on diplomatic trips?"

It could be that Bush was an idiot. Certainly, you'd have to entertain the possibility. At the very least, you'd have to say that Bush could have applied the same reasoning and background information into that decision as he did to going to war in Iraq over all those WMDs that were just lining the streets.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

well everybody it's been fun but I'm out. Good night and peace to all

Posted by: SDJeff | August 16, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

"It could be that Bush was an idiot."

Kevin, you get no argument from me. Ok now I'm really gone!

Posted by: SDJeff | August 16, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

@ tao9, my friend, you are generalizing grande.

"I am saying the most vicious anti-Catholic bigots and anti-Semites in the country are liberals, a handful comment right here at PL. That is a stone fact."

I know most conservatives "believe" all liberals are anti-religion, atheists, agnostics or whatever, but it is completely untrue. And please, while we may not agree with the political or protectionist philosophy of Israel, it does not mean we are anti-Semite.

tao, I am probably more liberal in the extreme here but there is absolutely no way in hell I am either anti-catholic or anti-semite. We may have a few people here, or even more, who are agnostic or even atheist, but I really haven't heard them demean or degrade religion in the general sense.

You know I try to compromise with you whenever possible, but I'm afraid you've gone ballistic on this one.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 16, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: "the resounding success of the strategy in turning American citizens against not only each other, the President, but minorities who have less of a voice and very few to stand up for their rights."

Who are the minorities that have less of a voice in this scenario? I'm assuming it's not Muslim-Americans, who have just recently had no less than the President of the United States speak out for their rights in this country. While they may not always get what they want (and all opposition might not be reasonable, and even if the hinterlands are, in fact, teaming with angry white racists), they most definitely have a voice, and folks to speak up for them.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

@kevin,

your islamophobia is showing again. per your previous comments: they are a global plurality (fear the muslim peril); they are plotting nefariously (just like them durn commies).

and now: and they have disproportionate representation in the country (y'know, like various other religious minorities).

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 16, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

blahg,

I've cleaned obscene graffiti off the interior walls of my parish church (had to lock it up except for services...a terrible loss to the community. Seen blood, condoms, and urine tossed at seminarians at Invocation at Holy X Cathedral in Boston. Read the NYTimes & Time mag pound Benedict16 with hearsay, innuendo, incomplete chronologies and outright lies. Heard depraved graphic mockery hurled at pro-life men and women at peaceful, silent vigils.

Those gargoyles must have been libertarians. Or GOP, definitely that, yeah!

Incidentally, I walked a friend of my future wife's through a gauntlet of obnoxious a-wholes into the Beacon St. PP clinic Saivi shot up a few weeks before. She was scared sh#tless, I was ready to beat one of them into the same condition.

So...there you are.


Posted by: tao9 | August 16, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

t9,

i'm not sure what the point of your last comment is.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 16, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

ok lms, the Irish's up, don't like being called a bigot, don't like intellectual midgets whose default position in a tete-a-tete is to do the calling w/ zero basis.

so I'm guilty of lowering myself to the oppo.

thnx, compass of CA :)

Posted by: tao9 | August 16, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

blahg,

myself, I'm not sure what the point of fencing with the blind is.

Posted by: tao9 | August 16, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

t9,

can you at least tell me why you make assertions and will not -- or cannot -- back them up?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 16, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

When he says "I'm not commenting on the wisdom" doesn't that make it clear that he realizes that it may not be a wise move?

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 16, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

kevin, the problem with your argument is that according to the polls we've been seeing the majority of Americans oppose the community center. Hence, they are in the minority. May I ask where you stand on the issue? Obama supported the constitutional right to freedom of religion, but obviously that is not enough for some people.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 16, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

@blahg: "your islamophobia is showing again. per your previous comments: they are a global plurality (fear the muslim peril); they are plotting nefariously (just like them durn commies). and now: and they have disproportionate representation in the country (y'know, like various other religious minorities)."

Blahg, if you want to think I'm Islamaphobic, please feel free. I can't stop you, and, heck, you seem to like doing it.

That being said, almost none of the things you mentioned would automatically equal any form of phobia, be it Islamaphobia or Communitycenterphobia.

Additionally, two of those things ("they are plotting nefariously" and " they have disproportionate representation in the country") simply do not accurately reflect what I said. Since it's pretty easy to go back and read what I just said few blog comments up, I'm curious as to where the word "disproportionate" comes from. Also, even though I did suggest it's interesting that we refer to a group with a 1.5 billion+ global population as a "minority", your translation of this into "hey are a global plurality (fear the muslim peril)" is interesting. I'm not sure where I suggested or implied that Muslims should be feared simply because they have a large global population. But your logic, I must also be suggesting what we should really, really be afraid of Christians, who make up an even larger share of world population.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but based on your questions to me, I'm kind of forced to conclude that you choose to view other people (and what they say) through a very narrow, limited template that imposes a lot of imaginary afflictions and limitations on the (scary?) Other that you're so eager to stereotype and categorize.

Ironic, that.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

tao9, I really do love how we keep each other honest, feel free to call me out if and when I get carried away. We're all susceptible to generalizations and grandstanding.

p.s. thanks for sticking up for me with you know who...........lol
And I'm so glad you liked my snowman with a white background the other night.....so embarrassed.

See y'all manana.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 16, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca: Where I stand would be that (a) they have every bleepin' right to build a Community Center there, and (b) the opposition seems painfully oblivious to the constitution.

See my post to Sold2U on Obama's statement, which I 100% agreed with, don't see as an endorsement, and really don't think much of the criticism offered. And, to be clear, I'm a conservative. I'm used to nodding in agreement when I peruse many a conservative blog, and I'm a little at a loss with the spin and general constitutional amnesia going on with this issue.

Plus, as I have mentioned on several occasions, I don't understand where conservatives get off trying to tell not just a state but a city what to do. What happened to the rights of local governments? I also feel this way about the recent gun ban decision. Localities should have the right to restrict handgun ownership. The federal government should not--but should also not have the right to contravene localities and force them to allow gun ownership.

But, back to point: if they want to build there, and it's cool with the local zoning authorities, they should be allowed to do it, and I think most of the protest is trumped up, ill-considered, garbage. And while I believe Radical Islam is a Very Bad Thing and does Want to Destroy America (that's for you, Blagh), sticking to the constitution and the rule of law and allowing folks to build a Muslim Community center (given that the folks involved are, as far as I've heard, members of Al Qaeda) is about as all American as apple pie and Chevrolet.

That being said, I'm not arguing the the folks advocating for the community center, or NYC Muslims, or anybody else involved *isn't* a minority, I'm arguing that they most definitely have a voice and are behind heard. As nice as it would be, being heard does not automatically translate into being agreed with. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

@ kevin

"And while I believe Radical Islam is a Very Bad Thing and does Want to Destroy America (that's for you, Blagh), sticking to the constitution and the rule of law and allowing folks to build a Muslim Community center (given that the folks involved are, as far as I've heard, members of Al Qaeda) is about as all American as apple pie and Chevrolet."

I really thought we had a good thing going until you claimed that the folks involved are members of Al Qaeda. WOW, that pretty much says it all. Your true colors are finally showing and btw thanks for stringing us along.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 16, 2010 1:49 AM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with the constitutional right to the "freedom of religion."

The constitution reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or abridging the free exercise thereof...

No one is saying that Congress outlaw the construction of this building. There are numerous remedies to this situation sort of the Congress outlawing the mosque. So don't wrap yourself it the Constitution to defend this thing. The fact is that the people who want it built just want it built for whatever reason, but upholding the Constitution is not one of them.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 16, 2010 2:09 AM | Report abuse

blahg,

Honestly, if you haven't discerned an animus, in most cases outright contempt, for Catholics and Jews (particularly conservative Jews) that actually practice their religion, in University faculties, print & electronic newsmedia, entertainment media, and in particular the very powerful and vocal gay and pro-choice sectors of the Democratic party, you are truly a victim of one of the most profound cases of confirmation bias on record.

Now here's one of multiple reasons I know this: I used to be one of you...worked for McGovern as a college/Dem. Read everything from Adorno-2-Zinn w/Marcuse in the middle.

Then I went to work, actually making something, in America, that you could touch, pick up, and utilize to make other things.

{Apropos to this current controversy} I became apostate. And you know what the penance is for apostates? There is no penance...it's straight to annihilation. Blessedly, on a silly blog, it's only verbal, as when some abysmally schooled minor-league totalitarian git assumes and asserts your "ignorant intolerance{TM}", or calls one a bigot, supposing that is the end of the matter.

Well, you're blind. And wrong. Cosmically, almost.

Posted by: tao9 | August 16, 2010 2:09 AM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with the constitutional right to the "freedom of religion."

The constitution reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or abridging the free exercise thereof...

No one is saying that Congress outlaw the construction of this building. There are numerous remedies to this situation sort of the Congress outlawing the mosque. So don't wrap yourself it the Constitution to defend this thing. The fact is that the people who want it built just want it built for whatever reason, but upholding the Constitution is not one of them.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 16, 2010 2:19 AM | Report abuse

sure, tao. sure.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 16, 2010 4:20 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca:

"thanks for sticking up for me with you know who"

Do you mean me? I am like Voldemort or something...afraid to say my name?

BTW, you said this to Kevin

"I really thought we had a good thing going until you claimed that the folks involved are members of Al Qaeda."

I think it is pretty clear from the context of his post that he meant "NOT from Al Qaeda."

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 16, 2010 5:27 AM | Report abuse

My take on the Not-Mosque Not-At-Ground-Zero:

The merits are plain and Obama has it exactly right. Principles of religious freedom mean that the builders have the right to erect the facility. Whether they should do so, however, is another matter and best left to locals.

The bigger picture is that this is yet another example of how the present GOP focuses on symbols rather than actual problems because symbols are easy to demagogue and problems are complex. The current GOP is not only anti-intellectual it is anti-rational. It thrives on division and jingoism. Every moment spent thinking and arguing about a Mosque in New York is a win for the GOP because it allows them to hide the fact that they have no solutions for the nation's problems. In fact, this kind of incendiary topic plays perfectly into the GOP's nihilist strategy: the story plays perfectly on cable news and allows the GOP, once again, to assume the hyper-nationalist stance guaranteed to whip emotions. Anyone who thinks the GOP is not exploiting this "controversy" for political reasons is hopelessly naive and certainly hasn't been paying attention for the past 2 years.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

All, White House says they're not afraid of GOP efforts to make mosque a key issue in the midterms:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: "I really thought we had a good thing going until you claimed that the folks involved are members of Al Qaeda. WOW, that pretty much says it all. Your true colors are finally showing and btw thanks for stringing us along."

Sorry, it was late. Plus, I'm a dyslexic typer, so more than once have I made comments that are exactly the opposite of what I meant to say.

Clearly, from the context, what I meant to say was "(given that the folks involved are *NOT*, as far as I've heard, members of Al Qaeda)"

While I could complain that you've got a little too much enthusiasm for turning a syntax error into a broad indictment that, given the larger context, makes no sense, it's my sloppy typing, and I apologize for the lack of clarity caused.

@ScottC3: Thanks! You're right, and I would hope my actual meaning would be clear from the larger context, but it was still a doozy of an error. Just goes to show I shouldn't be commenting when I should be in bed. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Bernie says: "Pressure group X is always equal to pressure group Y. Those trying to remove Jews from the community are equal to those who wish to include Jews in the community. No difference. Two opinions, two sets of wishes, two different (but equal) community voices."

Scott replies: "Please do explain, Bernie. Are you suggesting that your respect for constitutional rights in general is contingent upon the manner in which they are exercised, or that your respect for a given exercise of a right is contingent upon the manner in which it is being exercised? If the former, then you are displaying your own hypocrisy (again) by doing exactly what you accuse those who object to the building of the mosque/Islamic center/whatever of doing. If the latter, then thanks for helping to make my point that Greg's assertion that the mere right of the organizers to build the m/Ic/w means it should be "supported" and "welcomed" is absurd."

My suggestion, Scott, is that you are being purposefully obtuse whenever you believe it suits your rhetorical needs. It's a shallow exercise. If you had a record here of, say, honest consideration of when and where and why a right might be deemed absolute and when contingent (as if this was a simple matter) or if you had an honest record here of admitting and actually confronting the bigotry that has arisen on this issue, it could be worth someone's time to discuss these things with you.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 16, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

@Truthteller: The constitution reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or abridging the free exercise thereof...

The Constitution also reads: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. "

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 16, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"...it could be worth someone's time to discuss these things with you."

Yada, yada.

My point stands. Either we are obligated by the mere existence of a given right to "support" and "welcome" any exercise of that right, or we are not. Greg has argued that we are obligated to "support" and "welcome" this m/Ic/w project for precisely this reason. I say he his wrong (foolishly and obviously so, in fact). If the building of the m/Ic/w ought to be supported and welcomed, it must be on grounds other than that they have a right to build it. Your previous post suggests that you agree with me (and therefore disagree with Greg), but you are obviously reluctant to admit it. So you call me dishonest. Typical.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 16, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

@ Kevin

Yes, I see now the mistake I made. Sorry for the nasty comment on my part. Too many days of wild language and anti-Muslim rhetoric from others has colored my vision. No hard feelings I hope. I'll pay closer attention in the future.

@ Scott

Re Voldemort, you're not that bad, I was just being goofy.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 16, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

The best thing all parties concerned could do is postpone any decision for at least 10 years. Why is it imperative this project move forward now? The timing is certainly bad and the discussion is too intense and charged. Let this all cool down and re-visit in 2020. Then postpone it again!

Posted by: mmrafferty | August 16, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Didn't see if anyone else has posted it yet, but Ha'Aaretz is reporting Cordoba will move sites away from Ground Zero.

Kinda sad really.

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

Posted by: DerekY | August 16, 2010 5:53 PM | 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