Monday, August 23, 2010

Democrats Panic Over NYC Mosque

I have largely avoided discussing the New York mosque issue because there wasn't much to add, until now. Obviously, they have the legal right to build it, but that doesn’t make it right. What fascinates me now though, is just how badly this issue is playing for the Democrats. Sure, we’ve all heard that 65% of the American people oppose the mosque, but that doesn’t tell us anything about the political impact. What tells us about the political impact are some recent events.

Event One: Desperate Democrats Abandon Obama

For the Democrats, the mosque issue couldn’t have come at a worse time. With voters ready to bury them in November, they needed the summer to calm the voters down and to generate a new narrative. But that fell apart when Obama flubbed the BP oil spill in the Gulf. And then Arizona hit, showing not only that Democrats were opposed to protecting our borders and stopping the flood of illegal immigrants, but that they were happy to demonize the public for believing that citizenship means something. Now the housing market and jobs market have tanked, confirming that all that money the Democrats spent was indeed wasted.

The last thing the Democrats needed right now was another reminder that they are weak on the issue of Islamic terror and that they are anti-religious -- except for Islam. Then bam-O! Enter the mosque. For weeks, the Democrats tried not to address the mosque issue, knowing that their response would only anger us hicks. But then Obama did what he does best, he opened his mouth and stupid words came out.

Like a reflex, every Democratic mouthpiece ran to a microphone to repeat his words and to declare how racist and Islamophobic we ignorant hicks are. They whined about religious freedom and tolerance, a freedom and tolerance they never extend to Christians. They spoke of Americans being racist, even though Islam spans many races. They spoke of meeting Islamic aggression with tolerance and whined that we were the villains for refusing to accept this provocative humiliation.

But this wasn’t polling very well.

Soon Democrats in difficult races, like Harry Reid, ran out to express their opposition to the mosque. And don’t underestimate the worry that must have caused this. When the left start with the shrill calls of racism, few Democrats will ever dare cross that line no matter how badly the issue hurts them. So for Harry Reid and others to side with the “racists,” means that this issue must have been truly devastating for Democrats.

Event Two: The Media Falls Back On The Argument Of Last Resort

With the rats fleeing the sinking ship to side with the “racists” and “Islamophobes,” and Obama desperately trying to backtrack without backtracking -- and getting called out for it by both sides. . . and as people all over the country began openly opposing the mosque. . . and as terrorist groups like Hamas announced that this mosque would be a victory for Islamic terrorists. . . and with the racism argument failing so miserably. . .

The media fell back on the truly last refuge to which they flee when the Democrats are in a corner from which there is no escape: they begged Republicans not to politicize this issue. Seriously, I’m not joking.

Democratic activist. . . er, journalist Mark Halperin wrote an article in Time in which he literally begs Republicans not to use this issue against the Democrats:

Obama has given you an in [with his mosque comments]. . . . If you go full force on the offensive, every Democratic candidate in every competitive race in the country will have three choices, none of them good, when asked about the Islamic center: side with Obama and against public opinion; oppose Obama and deal with the consequences of intraparty disunity; or refuse to take a position, waffling impotently and unattractively at a crucial time.

Say what you will about the wisdom of Obama's policies overall, but his belated commentary on religious freedoms clearly was not done for political gain. Quite the contrary, the President knew that he and his party would almost certainly pay a political price for taking a stand. . . The reaction since the President spoke has been vitriolic and unvarying from leading voices on the right, painting Obama as weak, naive, out of touch and obtuse (not to mention flip-flopping, after his confusing follow-up comments Saturday suggested to some that he might be hedging his position).

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. . . . As I said, Republicans, this is your moment. As a famous New Yorker once urged in a very different context: Do the right thing.
Yes, please don’t point out how anti-American our side is, those ignorant hicks in Hickville will hold it against us. ** boo hoo hoo **

And it gets even stranger than this. Communist. . . sorry, “columnist” Maureen Dowd has begged Bush to bail the Democrats out. Honestly, I’m not making this up: “It’s time for W. to weigh in. [Bush understands that] you can't have an effective war against the terrorists if it is a war on Islam.” The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson also thinks Bush needs to lend his support to this mosque: “I would love to hear from former President Bush on this issue. He held Ramadan iftar dinners in the White House as part of a much broader effort to show that our fight against the al-Qaeda murderers who attacked us on 9/11 was not a crusade against Islam. . . it would be helpful to hear his views.” Even Peter Beinart of the far-left New Republic “pines for George W. Bush. Whatever his flaws, the man respected religion, all religion.” He longs for Bush to remind us that “‘the was on terror’ was a struggle on behalf of Muslims, decent folks who wanted nothing more than to live free like you and me.”

How strange to hear the left calling for us to “respect religion.” And how bad must their troubles be if they are calling on Bush to save their rear ends on this?

Sadly, various Bushies have been happy to comply. Bush advisor Peter Wehner attacked Gingrich’s opposition to the mosque and warns us that we are “conflating all of Islam . . . with wahhabism and bin Ladenism.” Michael Gerson and Mark McKinnon (who you may remember from this article) also have weighed in defending the mosque, as have Bush alums Ed Gillespie and James K. Glassman, who insists Republicans should be “communicating a message of tolerance to most Muslims.”

Event Three: Democratic Fratricide Begins

Finally, the Democratic fratricide began this weekend, when Howard Dean said: “we have to stop the polarization in this country, [and] some of the folks on my end of the spectrum are demonizing some fairly decent people who are opposing this. Sixty-five percent of the people in this country are not right-wing bigots.” He was skewered for his comments.

So there you have it. Forget the poll about 65% of the public, look at the panic on the left to tell you how this issue is really playing.


Tennessee Jed said...

It is our moment, and I absolutely agree this is playing out beautifully from a political viewpoint. If I have to nitpick, I would say your picture would have been even better if you could have made the Islam crescent moon be the "O" in Obama

Notawonk said...

daisy and imam are making me crazy with their trying to parallel their fight with those who persecuted the jews. they just keep layering it on to a group of folks (majority of americans) that are not having it. and i hate the word "islamophobia". a more accurate word to describe our feelings would be imamophobia.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I think this is blowing up on the Democrats literally at the right time. They had just switched over to attacking the individual opponents and were trying to make each of the races into local issues, when suddenly this thing hits and reminds everyone about what is wrong with their parties.

I particularly find the "can't we all just get along" argument to be really telling. . . and pathetic.

By the way, finding the right image is not easy. Having a full time graphic designer would make it easier, but we blew our budget on stimulus donuts.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, I don't like the term either. It's meant to imply some sort of irrational fear of Islam. My concerns with Islam are quite rational. They are also not fears. I'm not the one who would suffer if Islam got what it wants. Ironically, liberals would be the first to suffer.

Writer X said...

The air is thick with desperation in the Democratic camps. I had to laugh when Harry Reid puffed out his chest and condemned the mosque. No doubt we'll get another photo today from the media of Obama slurping another ice cream cone during his Martha Vineyard "working vacation," in the hopes that we'll forget everything else going on. Not.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I laughed too when Reid said he opposed it. And I almost fell out of my chair when I read the Halperin article begging us not to use the issue against the Democrats. This thing has clearly struck a nerve (and it's done it at the right time) and they're paying a huge price for it.

You're right about the ice cream shot. Although, vacation shots are becoming dangerous because the people are getting fed up with his constant vacationing.

Unknown said...

Andrew: Thanks for an excellent analysis and update. In just the short time since I posted my article on the subject last Tuesday, the disarrayed Democrats have done a quantum shift in defending their indefensible position on the mosque. Then, it was the First Amendment right to build the mosque. It didn't fly. Nobody with an education above sixth grade believed that the First Amendment was the issue.

As of your article today, the flailing Democrats have shifted to "don't politicize" the mosque. Politicize? Aw, phooey. These are the same people who accused George Bush of "politicizing" the original attack on Ground Zero which brought on this poor stepchild issue nine years later. It is logically and morally impossible not to politicize this issue. It's like saying that FDR politicized Pearl Harbor.

I would add a note about the use of the word "Islamophobia." I think we're stuck with it. It makes about as much sense as "homophobia" which technically means "fear of man." But they picked it, it's become ubiquitous, and everybody knows what is meant by it. We might as well give up and argue the fallacious crap coming out of the mouths and pens of the jihadists and their apologists rather than waste time debating the use of the word itself.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I agree. They Democrats went through their usual line. This is a First Amendment issue, what about freedom of religion, we need tolerance, you're just afraid, you're hicks, you're racists. . . and they came out the other side with "this is going to kill us with the voters."

So they've fallen back on the old "don't politicize" this argument which they always use when they're on the wrong side. Of course, as you point out, there is nothing they won't politicize themselves, so this is pure hypocrisy. And the appeals to "let's just do the right thing" assumes that we accept that this is the right thing. It's not.

I agree with you about Islamophobia. It's a lots cause. But it's worth pointing out that our "fears" of Islam are not irrational -- they are well grounded in reality.

Ed said...

I love it when the Democrats panic. It smells like a lot of desperation in the air right now!

darski said...

>>> But then Obama did what he does best, he opened his mouth and stupid words came out.<<<

Thia line alone makes my daily visits here worthwhile. ROTFLMHO

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, It is full on panic at this point. They've tried everything they could think of to attack and discredit the opposition on this one and none of it worked. So now they need to bail out, and they're having a hard time figuring out how.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks darski. We do our best!

BevfromNYC said...

It's getting kind of desperate here. At a rally yesterday, there was alot of pushing and shoving, but the Anti-mosque people apparently outlasted the Pro-mosque people by about 2 hours. the Pro people gave up and went home...

Donald Trump has now come out against the GZ mosque, probably 'cause it's the only piece of property in NYC that he hasn't goldleafed yet...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I think the energy really is on the anti-mosque side on this one. And, frankly, at this point whether they build it or not, the damage is done to American Muslims, who has shown a total insensitivity here.

Also, I heard that there's a movement building among union construction workers that they're going to refuse to work on it. I hope they follow through. Boycotts are the oldest form of social protest in America.

BevfromNYC said...

You are right. The well has already been poisoned as they say, and frankly they will never have a moments peace if they choose to build there.

And yes, Andrew Sullivan started a petition that has gained momentum quickly for signatures asking buildings trade union guys to pledge to refuse to refuse to build on that spot. This is a union town and nothing can get built without the unions. But they have pledged to build it anywhere else in the city. Sullivan even offered to build it next door to where he lived, just not at or near Ground Zero. He is actually a member of my tea party group though our TP group does not officially support this movement.

As I have said before, I have not been against this until recently. But with every new day, it just gets to be more and more like a "Trojan horse" to me...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, It's kind of funny that a union guy would be a member of a Tea Party group, and it really shows the disconnect between the rank and file and their far-left, corrupt leaders.

On the mosque, everything I've ever seen about how mosques get used, tell me that they are political in nature, not religious. I've seen them described repeatedly by Muslims as "symbols of occupation" in infidel lands. I've seen them used to hide weapons and other contraband in the Middle East, I've seen them used as headquarters for informal armies and militias, and I've seen them used as gathering places for raids on churches, synagogues, and even other mosques.

I've got an Indian friend who tells me that this has been going on in India since the 1950s at least. And I've seen it go on all over the rest of the world in the last decade.

So I have little problem believing that the purpose behind this NYC mosque is anything other than peaceful.

CrispyRice said...

Great article, Andrew. But you probably ought to keep an eye on those slips of the tongue! ;)

Personally, I'm really glad to see this issue is staying alive. And I'm even more glad to see that middle-America -- excuse me, I mean the "hicks" -- are finally standing up en masse and refusing to be labelled racist, whatever-a-phobes. I'm sick of that.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Crispy, I'll work on the slips of the tongue. LOL!

Yeah, this one seems to be gaining traction and I think the calls of racism not only have fallen flat, but I'm starting to think that the whole charge is worthless by now because they keep whipping it out in every single argument.

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