Patterico's Pontifications

8/14/2010

Greg Sargent: Obama’s Unqualified Support for the Ground Zero Mosque Is a Defining Moment for His Presidency, and Shows the Kind of Courage that Proves . . . Huh? He Said What Now?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:18 pm

Comedy gold at the Washington Post:

One of the finest moments of Obama’s presidency

A few quick thoughts about Obama’s forceful speech yesterday expressing strong support for Cordoba House, which will go down as one of the finest moments of his presidency.

Obama didn’t just stand up for the legal right of the group to build the Islamic center. He voiced powerful support for their moral right to do so as well, casting it as central to American identity. This is a critical point, and it goes to the the essence of why his speech was so commendable.

Many opponents of the project have been employing a clever little dodge. They say they don’t question the group’s legal right to build it under the Constitution. Rather, they say, they’re merely criticizing the group’s decision to do so, on the grounds that it’s insensitive to 9/11 families and will undercut the project’s goal of reconciliation. The group has the right to build the center, runs this argument, but they are wrong to exercise it. In response, Obama could have merely cast this dispute as a Constitutional issue, talked about how important it is to hew to that hallowed document, and moved on.

But Obama went much further than that. He asserted that we must “welcome” and “respect” those of other faiths, suggesting that the group behind the center deserves the same, and said flat out that anything less is un-American . . . .

. . . .

Obama issued this statement in the full knowledge that his opponents have been itching for him to wade into this battle. . . . Yet Obama entered the fray anyway, in dramatic fashion, asserting that our identy [sic] rests on “our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect towards those who are different from us.” . . . . [T]his couldn’t have come at a better time for Obama. His core supporters, frustrated, were badly in need of a display of presidential spine. They got one.

Ultimately, though, Obama’s speech transcends the politics of the moment, and will go down as a defining and perhaps even a breakthrough performance. Obama recognized that this dispute is a seminal one that goes to the core of our running argument about pluralism and minority rights and to the core of who we are. He understood that the gravity of the moment required an equally large and momentous response. And he delivered.

UPDATE, 8:21 p.m.: Did Obama really walk back his support for the project?

D’OH!

53 Responses to “Greg Sargent: Obama’s Unqualified Support for the Ground Zero Mosque Is a Defining Moment for His Presidency, and Shows the Kind of Courage that Proves . . . Huh? He Said What Now?”

  1. you can always tell when you’re dealing with someone who has yet to successfully internalize the understanding that his president is a coward

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  2. Simple odds would dictate that Sargent would get something right, eventually, still waiting

    ian cormac (2e065c)

  3. Yep, comedy gold.

    Just how long will it take for the rest of America to realize that Obama is a coward?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  4. “But Obama went much further than that. He asserted that we must “welcome” and “respect” those of other faiths, suggesting that the group behind the center deserves the same, and said flat out that anything less is un-American…”

    If I have to welcome and respect Satanists, Baal-worshippers, or followers of Fred Phelps in order to be an American…then I’d rather be some other nationality.

    If a bunch of guys wanted to build a U.S. officer’s club at the site of the My Lai massacre, especially ten years after the massacre, I wouldn’t respect or welcome them. That is not a good place to build a U.S. Army installation.

    Same thing with this mosque. The Muslims that are wanting to build this are total assholes, and I have no respect for them at all.

    “Obama issued this statement in the full knowledge that his opponents have been itching for him to wade into this battle…”

    Not really. I already knew he was a total jagoff. No need to keep proving it.

    “…a display of presidential spine.”

    Hardy har har. Get a clue, Lefty. Invertebrates don’t have spines.

    Dave Surls (8de556)

  5. “They say they don’t question the group’s legal right to build it under the Constitution.”–Some WaPo balloonhead tilting at strawmen

    Since there is no such right under the Constitution, it’s kind of hard to question it…you leftist dolt.

    What do you think? That there’s an amendment that says “Gobs of minarets being essential to the security of a free state, the right of the people to design and build mosques shall not be infringed”?

    Good thing we have lots of newspapers so idiots like this guy will always be assured of employment.

    Dave Surls (8de556)

  6. Obama is a man of words and those words are subject to revision at any moment. He reminds me of Groucho Marx who once said, “Those are my principles. If you don’t like them; I have others.”

    Mike K (d6b02c)

  7. I’m not understanding the big deal here.

    Just another case, like him telling the Frisco swells one thing and the gun-loving Bible-thumpers something else, only here he told the other Moslems that building a Victory Mosque is a really good idea, and now the rubes that he didn’t say what he said, or didn’t know the word would get out, or something.

    Kiss your ass good bye America.

    Larry Sheldon (7d77d0)

  8. @DaveSurls — As Hamilton so aptly pointed out, Rights to not stem from the Constitution. They are ours by Natural Right. To accede that Rights come “from” the Constitution is to accede that Rights are granted by governments. To do so ends conversations regarding violations of rights, as if rights come from the sovereign the sovereign can by definition never violate them.

    That the people who want to build the mosque have a Right to do it is without question. If they own the land, they can build what they wish. If they wanted to build a museum dedicated to celebrating the death of the 3,000 who were killed on 9-11, they would have the right to.

    They would also be wrong to do so — as they are wrong in this case.

    Christian (f10530)

  9. Greg Sargent had a broken nose by noon today.
    You shouldn’t follow Obambi’s backside too closely.

    Mike Myers (3c9845)

  10. “If they own the land, they can build what they wish.”

    Can’t do that where I live. There’s a building moratorium.

    So much for my supposed right to build what I want on property I own.

    And, there is no right to build stuff under the Constitution.

    It might well be a right, that I’m being unjustly deprived of, but it’s not a right under the Constitution…’cause it ain’t in the Constitution.

    Kinda like the right of a child molestor to molest children. There ain’t no such right under the Constitution…’cause it ain’t listed in the Constitution.

    Hopefully, matters will remain that way.

    Dave Surls (8de556)

  11. Who knew the man who nationalized auto companies, ripped off bond holders, and bullied BP into handing 20 billion to the government was such a defender of private property rights.

    Socratease (cdbada)

  12. As Hamilton so aptly pointed out, Rights to not stem from the Constitution. They are ours by Natural Right.

    Do Muslims believe in either the Constitution or “Natural Right”?

    If you want to live in Hamiltons nation you need it to be populated with a specific type of people, who think in a specific way.

    subotai (e8b159)

  13. “Ultimately, though, Obama’s speech transcends the politics of the moment”

    Sure it does. That’s why just a short time ago Obambi was telling Jews they needed to quit building in the West Bank, on account of it hurts the tender feelings of the poor little Muslims.

    Quite the man of principle our Prez is.

    Dave Surls (8de556)

  14. Obama said any delays by BP or officials in paying claims to individuals affected by the spill are “unacceptable.”

    BP being careful not to pay people what are undeserving?

    unacceptable.

    Jihadists building a victory mosque atop the ashes of dead Americans what died screaming?

    Cool beans!

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  15. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country.

    A pity that he doesn’t feel the same about the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

    Vatar (3899d0)

  16. Sargent repeatedly refers to the ‘constitutional right’ to build the mosque, as if the building itself is a form of speech.
    Is there ANY legal precedent for such a claim?

    Icy Texan (ca7093)

  17. Any way we can get Lower Manhattan to form an HOA?

    Just the phone calls alone that had to be made to approve ths replacement shingle color for my roof that had been partially ripped away thanks to a pesky tornado made me want to take the chance that it might never rain again here in North Texas.

    Is there really such a thing as “private property?”

    em (ae4747)

  18. Doesn’t a Saudi own the Washington Post?

    Atlanta Media Guy (60d291)

  19. No, but they did own a part of UPI, back before officials for the Unification Church took it over, Helen Thomas had no qualms then

    ian cormac (2e065c)

  20. Greetings:

    Back during my all-expense-paid tour of sunny Southeast Asia, the bad guys had a trick they used to use when the good guys showed up in their junglehood. They would send out a couple of their guys to serve as lures to try to draw us into their kill zone.

    The problem isn’t the mosque or its location. The problem is the Islam. Muslims have been doing things like this for 13 centuries. They are well practiced at it. While trying to resist the mosque is, in a sense, admirable, it takes the focus off Islam and Mohammed and his 9-year-old trophy wife Aisha. The muslims are getting their jollies watching the idiot infidels banging their heads against their Islamic wall. They have put the infidel, once again, into a no-win situation. If the mosque is stopped, Americans have suspended their American values. If the mosque goes forward, the muslims have put their supremacist Islamic thumb in America’s eye. If the muslims walk away from the deal they are magnanimous benefactors to their fellow citizens.

    My youth in the Bronx tells me to get in touch with the owner of the property across the street and propose putting one of those computer message boards on the outside of his building. The message board could be entitled “Islamic Thought of the Day” or some such. I would recommend for the opening day,
    “Mohammed married Aisha when she was six and consummated the marriage when she was nine.” Oh, yeah, and perhaps an artful “Have a Nice Day” across the bottom of the board would be appropriate.

    It’s the Islam, stupid!!! It always has been and always will be. What they want most to protect is what we must attack. There is a reason why muslims are so easily aggravated by criticism of their “religion” or proselytization of its adherents by other religions. It’s their greatest vulnerability.

    11B40 (dbea3a)

  21. But Obama went much further than that. He asserted that we must “welcome” and “respect” those of other faiths, suggesting that the group behind the center deserves the same, and said flat out that anything less is un-American…”

    If I have to welcome and respect Satanists, Baal-worshippers, or followers of Fred Phelps in order to be an American…then I’d rather be some other nationality.

    If a bunch of guys wanted to build a U.S. officer’s club at the site of the My Lai massacre, especially ten years after the massacre, I wouldn’t respect or welcome them. That is not a good place to build a U.S. Army installation.

    Same thing with this mosque. The Muslims that are wanting to build this are total assholes, and I have no respect for them at all.

    “Obama issued this statement in the full knowledge that his opponents have been itching for him to wade into this battle…”

    Darn excellent point — well said

    Joe (2bb89b)

  22. I am not sure it would be physically possible to run over so many people with a bus in real life, as Obama has thrown “under the bus.”

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  23. 23.I am not sure it would be physically possible to run over so many people with a bus in real life, as Obama has thrown “under the bus.”
    Comment by Aaron Worthing (A.W.) —

    The Chinese have developed a bus with greatly elevated axles, so cars can literally drive under it when it is stopped to pick up or unload passengers. As he has spoken highly of Chinese industrial innovation, perhaps he is thinking of this kind of bus.

    If so, it would also lead to the possibility that those thrown “under the bus” could pop their heads back up at a moments’ notice.

    No point, just sayin’.

    MD in Philly (ff9465)

  24. He did NOT walk back – he didn’t say it is unwise.

    Think about this – our president can’t say putting a mosque near ground zero is unwise.

    Amphipolis (e01538)

  25. While trying to resist the mosque is, in a sense, admirable, it takes the focus off Islam and Mohammed and his 9-year-old trophy wife Aisha

    I actually believe just the opposite will occur, with all due respect. When you couple the white – hot intensity that now will be focused on this development with the upcoming trial of the wanton murderer of US soldiers Hassan (with our media and military bigwigs trying their best to avoid the 800 lb. gorilla in that room), it only makes Islam itself much more isolated and ripe for more inspection. The media’s been trying their best to keep this from happening, but our President/Lecturer keeps shooting himself in the foot. The game’s up, even though the MSM doesn’t realize it yet.

    Dmac (d61c0d)

  26. “Darn excellent point — well said”

    Thanks for the compliment.

    I figure if I keep blithering long enough, I’m bound to get something right eventually.

    😉

    Dave Surls (04f338)

  27. Spectacular. Buffonish too.

    HeavenSent (ff0596)

  28. ====================================
    Still trying to figure out….
    ====================================

    exactly why it is that EVERYONE utterly MUST be soooooo sensitive
    to what offends Islam (depictions of Mohammad, etc.) but DON’T
    have to be even vaguely sensitive to the interests of the victims of
    911’s families and people in general…

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (9eeb86)

  29. “#29

    ====================================
    Still trying to figure out….
    ====================================
    exactly why it is that EVERYONE utterly MUST be soooooo sensitive
    to what offends Islam (depictions of Mohammad, etc.) but DON’T
    have to be even vaguely sensitive to the interests of the victims of
    911’s families and people in general…

    Comment by IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society — 8/16/2010 @ 5:43 am”

    Because, in the left loon version of reality, the people who died in the WTC deserved their fate because they were citizens of the “Great Satan”.

    Whereas, Islam being mostly 3rd World, and backwards, and non industrial, and non capitalist (the 7th century was like that) deserve our love and respect because of their complete innocence of our modern sins.

    Why do I have to keep explaining it all to you(do I really need to add a sarcasm tag?).

    Mike Giles (987fcc)

  30. What do you think the response from the Arabs would be if the Israel’s tried to build a Mega-Synagogue at the site of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem?

    Robert L (447db4)

  31. btw, there are reports that they are moving the ground zero mosque, voluntarily.

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

    its just one report, so i won’t celebrate… yet.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  32. Park 51 twitter denies that relocation report, AW. It doesn’t appear to be accurate.

    sorry, but far from being concerned that people will view this mosque as an act of triumph, and learn bitterness at Islam, this mosque is delighted with that idea. That’s what they want.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  33. This is not a mosque. It is a community center, with an area dedicated to prayer.

    JD (3dc31c)

  34. I went to church in two schools in the 1980s. One was a public school that allowed a church to use one of its classrooms as a church on Sundays and on Wednesday evenings. The other was a church that built its sanctuary as a multi-use room. The santuary served as a gymnasium and cafeteria for a Christian school during the week.

    A rose by any other name…

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  35. I would hope that they don’t back down and that we can have an honest discussion about all of this leading up to November.

    Dmac (d61c0d)

  36. Dustin

    Well, bluntly i was dubious that an isreali paper would scoop the issue. But we will see.

    Then again their twitter is apaprently manned by twits, so who knows?

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  37. BTW, I have yet to hear from the organizers just why they have to have this building built on that particular site.

    Dmac (d61c0d)

  38. —@35.This is not a mosque. It is a community center, with an area dedicated to prayer

    Will there also be a court for adjudicating Sharia Law? Perhaps Mr. Holder could use that as a location for his trial?

    elissa (2a48e5)

  39. AW, how dare you impugn the serious journalistic nature of Twitter!!!!!!!!!!

    Me, personally, i don’t give a crap about this mosque. It isn’t blocks away from ground zero, since the building was damaged by the attacks (and I vividly remember reports about this specific building on 9/11/2001). These guys want to build a mosque on ground zero. That’s a very clear message about how they are and what they are all about. Their religion is named ‘submission’, and we should just start calling it that instead of the Arabic word for Submission.

    The religion known as Submission is building a mosque on the Submissionist radicals massacre site from 2001. Got it.

    Indeed, that’s their right, as Obama has noted. It’s also disgusting and meant to be, and those who deny it are liars. No one, not even the liberals, are fooled by this for a second.

    but I’m delighted by the idea. Ideally, the WTC would be rebuilt, good as new, and full of business, but that’s not America anymore. If they had attacked Houston, that’s about what would have happened, but they attacked Manhattan. This makes sense, and hopefully will complete the message 9/11 should have gotten across originally. These people want you to submit.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  40. Dmac

    if they wanted to prove their intent was honorable, right now instead of cordoba house, how about naming it after one of the many genuine, muslim heroes against terrorism? preferably a person who was martyred in the cause of freedom. I mean i am not being facetious, there really are people who meet this description who acted in the name of Allah. So why not name it after one of them?

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  41. That Twitter is hilarious, btw. This is the officail PR campaign for the mosque (or call it a pinata if you want to).

    “if Haaretz likes publishing fables, perhaps they could go back to the Yiddish ones with parables”. I just saw that quoted from the twitter at Ace of Spades Blog.

    These people are baiting Jews. I don’t disagree that they are here to provide a dialogue, but this dialogue is that we need to submit. This is a celebration of 9/11.

    If they wanted to prove their intent was honorable, their PR team wouldn’t be baiting Jews, for goodness sake.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  42. Dustin

    Yeah, seriously, what does them being jewish have to do with anything. They misreported a story. Why hate on them?

    But hey, none of that beats the high comedy of them telling Gutfeld he should be sensitive to the community.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  43. Oh snap! Harry Reid says it shouldn’t be built there.

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

    Double Heh!

    daleyrocks (940075)

  44. haaretz is like the NY or LA Times, Jerusalem Post is the fairly reliable paper there, like the Wall Street Journal

    ian cormac (8e4d9a)

  45. if they wanted to prove their intent was honorable, right now instead of cordoba house, how about naming it after one of the many genuine, muslim heroes against terrorism?

    Or as has been suggested elsewhere, they could condemn the treatment of religious minorities in Muslim – dominated lands like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran. But that’s not fair (their proponents claim), since we’re attempting to make them submit to our values, and not theirs. They have no concept of irony, apparently.

    I would be happy if they only allowed some cartoonists to make fun of Allah for once, instead of allowing their infantile and insane adherents to announce fatwas on anyone who has the temerity to criticize His holiness. Only when a religion allows itself to be mocked openly without retribution has it truly become a mature practice and belief.

    Dmac (d61c0d)

  46. ian, I tend to agree with that, but it’s a sign that they just don’t care to make such a comment.

    Imagine if Sarah Palin mocked Obama’s press conference telling him he might as well be on BET. It just says everything that they leaped to JEW JEW JEW on that, instead of correcting the report in a civil and non racist manner.

    These guys are kooks who are out to get as much reaction as possible. We don’t treat Perez Hilton with respect, but this is similar behavior. Some really are submitting to the Religion of Submission.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  47. JFK wrote (or at least got credit for writing) “Profiles In Courage“.
    Teh Won will be included in “Profiles Of Jello“!

    AD - RtR/OS! (17dd7c)

  48. AD – Or the song Rubberband Man.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  49. Riiighttt!

    AD - RtR/OS! (17dd7c)

  50. I thought Profiles in Courage was ghost-written.

    JD (4fc476)

  51. It was…most likely by Ted Sorensen.

    AD - RtR/OS! (17dd7c)


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