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    Why 9/11 Mosque 'Compromise Solution' Is Worse Than None At All

    I posted this as a comment over at TPM, but I think it bears repeating here:

    It's not MY constitution, of course, so maybe I should just butt out and shut up. But does nobody else see the huge problem I do with the so-called compromise proposal?
    The idea is to placate those yahoos with the least comprehension or affection for separation-of-church-and-state (I'm thinking about the "No more mosques anywhere" guy) -- by having the federal government subsidize the mosque's move to a different location.
    I.e.: by violating in the crudest possible way separation-of-church-and-state. This is what people are calling a compromise? So instead of one affront to constitutional principle, you get two.
    Way to go, America's political leadership.


    Are you referring to Patterson's proposal? I wasn't aware that anyone listens to him. If Patterson really wants to make the yahoos' day, the state should then subsidize a church where the mosque was supposed to be. That would also make the ACLU's job more cut-and-dried.

    PS Holy disgraced lame duck, batman, why does Patterson want to placate the yahoos anyway?

    Why does Harry Reid want to placate the yahoos? Or wishy-washy Nancy Pelosi? Or Howard Dean? Because they're politicians, and that's what they do: ride to the sound of the polls. Dean is the most disappointing case, since he usually sees through the BS, is also no longer running for anything, and could have taken the high road.

    You're right, David Paterson's proposal doesn't involve federal money, just a swap of New York state land for the Cordoba House site. Upstate maybe, a wooded area near the Canadian border (I made that part up). The project's developers don't sound very enthusiastic about the idea, and so far any meeting to discuss it exists only in the governor's head.

    The thing is, there's nothing here to compromise about. The mosque/community centre is an affront to American sensibilities only if you buy into the idea that all Muslims are presumed terrorists until proven innocent (if then). If you split that baby in half, you're left with one very dead baby.

    This is exactly why I find this whole nontroversy so disgusting.  Bigotry seems to be on display rather nakedly these days.  It's all the rage.  The whole of the argument against this project seems to be that they're too Muslim to be that close to the WTC site.  All of the talking about "sensitivity" notwithstanding, the argument is precisely that it isn't appropriate for any Muslims to be that close to the WTC site because the perpetrators of 9/11 were also Muslim.  In what sense can this possibly be cast as anything but raw bigotry?  This is, without question, nothing but collective punishment.  It's so fucking wrong and so fucking digusting and so fucking everywhere.  NYT, TPM, NPR, Democracy Now.. everywhere I look this is the topic du jour and seemingly everyone, no matter how "liberal" they ostensibly are, seems to be giving this shitty, hateful argument a pass with disappointingly few exceptions (I don't expect to be hearing any thanks from Robert Gibbs to all amongst the "professional left" that are now backing Obama's position).

    Better still is that the GOP is successfully using it to overshadow their opposition to the 9/11 responders bill.  And what do the Dems do?  Run away! Cheers to Obama for actually taking a principled stand on this, but the rest of his party is despicably silent or worse on this.

    Much as I dislike the Twitterfication of information, Twitter's draconian 140 character limit does enforce brevity if nothing else and brevity, I am told, is the soul of wit.  So it's perhaps not all that surprising that someone has applied the skill needed to drop this gem:

    In fairness, we've been building 'ground zeros' near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.

    That just about sums it up.

    Because they're politicians, and that's what they do: ride to the sound of the polls.

    But that's not what the GOP is doing. Not really. Every politician listens to public opinion of course--and they should. But the right has also been working hard to influence public opinion, whereas the left seems only to react to it.

    The bulk of Republicans are of course beating the xenophia drum; birtherism, reverse racism, Arizonaism, birthrightism and terror-babyism. It's election time; stoking fear and hatred of "the other" is their bread and butter. 

    I was talking about what the Democratic leadership is doing. With certain notable exceptions, of course: Al Franken has been the loudest, clearest voice of sanity, right up there with Bloomberg. Feingold and Obama are both trying to be a bit too nuanced, and Pelosi and Dean are missing the point. Reid is cravenly pandering.

    Republican heavyweight Ted Olson, whose wife died aboard one of the 9/11 planes, also deserves heaps of credit for his principled stand.

    That's probably the most succinct way that one could define the difference between our political parties from the perspective of the actual machinations of politics.

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