Obama and the mosque
At the risk of coming late to the party on this story, I'd like to offer a few brief thoughts on Barack Obama's getting involved in the issue of the proposed Ground Zero mosque:
While Obama (and other Democrats and jihad apologists like Michael Bloomberg) are wrong to pose the question as one of First Amendment rights or property rights, doing so was not Barack Obama's biggest mistake at the Friday evening White House Iftar (Ramadan) dinner at which he expressed support for the Cordoba House project.
Obama's biggest mistake was getting involved at all, but of course nobody thought he'd be able to restrain himself from this obvious continuation of his Muslim Apology Tour...which has been fabulously unsuccessful in improving the popularity of the US in the Muslim world -- or the important parts of the world.
By saying that he supports this project, which me most certainly did, the man-child who thinks he's still involved in Chicago machine politics left himself in a position where his wiser political advisers would have made it clear to him that he'd need to try to back away from those words. And so he did, with Obama himself walking back his support slightly and then an Administration spokesman walking back the walk-back. From a Fox News article on the subject:
On Saturday, while spending the day in the Gulf, the president clarified, "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about."
Later in the day, spokesman Bill Burton issued a statement saying "the president is not backing off in any way from the comments he made last night.
Obama's political risks from his support of the mosque are several and not small. In no particular order:
- Reinforcing the perception of him as a man who approaches issues in a way which is distinctly out of touch with the way Americans think and feel. Obama is cementing the view in the minds of some (many? most?) as a guy who is far more interested in being a "citizen of the world" and in apologizing for America than in understanding the nation's history and its people. Something about Barack Obama has always struck me as foreign in character, by which I do not mean a xenophobic comment nor a question about his place of birth, but rather that his mind operates on a wavelength distinctly incompatible with the average American.
- Damaging the already faltering support for him, and perhaps for other Democrats, among the almost insanely loyal Jewish population in America, a particular problem for the Florida Senate election where Charlie "Tanning Booth" Crist has already piped up saying "I think (Obama) is right." Republican candidate Marco Rubio offered a different take: "It is divisive and disrespectful to build a mosque next to the site where 3,000 innocent people were murdered at the hands of Islamic extremism. I strongly disagree with President Obama and Charlie Crist." It's hard to imagine the Obama/Crist position playing well with Florida's large Jewish voting population going into a Senate race which, esp. if Sharron Angle can get back on track in Nevada, could spell the difference between a Democrat-controlled Senate and a Republican takeover of that body.
- Broadly giving Republicans yet another issue to use to campaign against him in 2010 even though Obama is not on the ticket. By that I mean the more unpopular they can make Obama -- who is by far the most popular Democrat (at least among Democrats) -- the more they can drive a wedge between him and candidates who might otherwise be able to use Obama for fund-raising help even if they'd do so in a way which minimizes Obama's visibility in the local district. To the extent that the GOP can make Democrat candidates have to run against Barack Obama, they weaken Democrat chances in 2010 and Obama's chances of winning re-election in 2012.
A couple other small points I'd like to make:
First, as Backbone Radio producer Joshua Sharf noted dryly last night after Obama mentioned property rights as a justification for the mosque, "since when has Barack Obama cared about private property?" GM and Chrysler bond holders certainly have that same question...
Next: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (one of the most ridiculous members of the House) argues that when thinking about the 9/11 attacks, it is "insensitive if you regard Islam as the culprit, as opposed to Al Qaeda as the culprit." I disagree. As I mentioned on Backbone Radio last night, just because we weren't attacked by "all Muslims" does not mean we were not attacked by Islam. We were. Let me put it another way: When Crusaders went to Jerusalem to take that city back from Muslim domination, do you think the Muslims said "We're not being attacked by all Christians or by Christianity. It's just a bunch of soldiers who happen to be Christian"? I think not.
And they would be right to think they were essentially being invaded by the religion. 9/11 was the same. It was an attack in the name of Islam by terrorists who represent what the Muslim holy book, the Koran, arguably calls for. As I've said before, "extreme Islam" or "radical Islam" is redundant. It is an inherently extreme religion, actually a system of political domination disguised as a religion. This is absolutely not to say that all Muslims, especially American Muslims, are interested in the destruction of our republic or the institution of sharia law. It is to say that they are fighting against, and not with the fundamental current of, their own religion. I applaud "moderate" Muslims but fear they are fighting a losing battle.
It is absolutely reasonable to consider the Cordoba House project -- as implied by its very name -- to be intended as a symbol of Muslim conquest, just as they built a mosque on the Jewish temple in Jerusalem or converted the Hagia Sophia cathedral of Constantinople (now Istanbul) into a mosque in 1453 after it had been a Christian church for more than 1000 years. (No, I did not accidentally type an extra zero in that number.) The very name of the project hearkens back to the Cordoba caliphate when Muslims ruled most of Spain for about a century roughly straddling the year 1000. That time is known as one of the high points in Muslim history, perhaps another interesting point about a religion which claims greatness but has done almost nothing to advance the intellectual growth of the human race in at least 5 centuries. (It must just annoy the Muslims to no end to think about there being about 1.6 billion Mulsims and about 13 million Jews in the world but there have been around 170 Jewish (or at least half-Jewish) Nobel prize recipients and only 5 or 6 Muslim recipients, of whom one was the repugnant terrorist Yasser Arafat.)
Let me repeat, in case I haven't been clear: We were attacked by Islam and we are at war with Islam, even if we are not at war with all Muslims. The politically correct garbage spewed by Nadler, Obama, Bloomberg, and others is not just intellectually pathetic, but it is dangerous to our national security. How can we fight an enemy we refuse to recognize or name? The fact that Obama is so deeply committed to neither recognizing nor naming the evil inherent in Islam is what allows him to make statements as poorly considered as his support, then semi-support, then support-by-proxy for a gloating monument to the successful murder of 3,000 Americans by Muslim soldiers.
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