Yes, Republicans, you can take advantage of this heated circumstance, backed by the families of the 9/11 victims, in their most emotional return to the public stage since 2001.
But please don’t do it. There are a handful of good reasons to oppose allowing the Islamic center to be built so close to Ground Zero, particularly the family opposition and the availability of other, less raw locations. But what is happening now — the misinformation about the center and its supporters; the open declarations of war on Islam on talk radio, the Internet and other forums; the painful divisions propelled by all the overheated rhetoric — is not worth whatever political gain your party might achieve.
It isn’t clear how the battle over the proposed center should or will end. But two things are profoundly clear: Republicans have a strong chance to win the midterm elections without picking a fight over President Obama’s measured words. And a national political fight conducted on the terms we have seen in the past few days will lead to a chain reaction at home and abroad that will have one winner — the very extreme and violent jihadists we all can claim as our true enemy.
Yes, Mark Halperin, you can take advantage of this heated circumstance, backed by the administration and most of the loudest voices in the mainstream media, by denouncing any mention of this on the campaign trail as political opportunism, Islamophobia, and somehow a victory for al-Qaeda…
But what is happening now — the misinformation about the center and those who oppose it; the open accusations of mosque opponents’ “war on Islam” in magazines and on television, the Internet and other forums; the painful divisions propelled by all the overheated rhetoric — is not worth whatever political gain or sense of self-satisfaction you and those who agree with you might achieve.
Democrats have a strong chance to lose the midterm elections without attempting to paint those who disagree with the president as bigots, or a full-throated defense of President Obama’s oh-so-measured and then remeasured and then adjusted and readjusted words. There’s no need for media commentators or Democrats to insist the majority of Americans are driven by hatred on this issue; they’re already doing so on Arizona’s immigration law, California’s gay-marriage law, the investigations of Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters, the desire to see voter intimidation in Philadelphia prosecuted, and opposition to most Obama policies.
I wonder if Halperin wrote any columns in say 2004, 2006, or 2008 imploring Democrats not to attack Bush over Iraq, Afghanistan or anti-terror programs out of fear it might have given comfort to the insurgents in Iraq or terrorists around the world? I doubt it.
On the upside, it’s nice to see a guy like Halperin not even pretending to be anything but a Democratic partisan. I salute the honesty involved…
The fact that liberals like Halperin are pleading for mercy show they know they are getting killed on this.
They must take a position opposite the common people, otherwise, how could they be elite? One cannot be elite if one holds common positions, can one?
No, I think there is something more to this, a subterranean need to differentiate themselves from the common, and signal themselves to other supposed elites, to define their tribe not by what it is, as a primary matter, but by what it is not, and what it is not, and can never lapse into being, is so regrettably, unfortunately common.
And this allows them to put themselves, of course, where they always seek to be: In a position where they can preen and posture and deign to lecture their fellow Americans about how unenlightened us lot are.