Right on principle

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has no political capital to expend so his suddenly wading in from the sidelines on the “Ground Zero Mosque” is only slightly less interesting than President Obama wading in suddenly from the sidelines on the same issue.

By now, unless you live under a rock, you have heard that a group wants to put a mosque in a building a few blocks away from the World Trade Center site.

So… Let your Maximum Leader just unload on this issue, and others on the periphery of the issue…

To speak directly to the issue of the mosque…

There are two questions at the heart of the mosque issue. The first question is can a mosque be built near the site of the World Trade Center attacks? The second question is do people want a mosque built near the site of the World Trade Center attacks?

The first question, the rarely asked question, in this discussion is so very important and so constantly overlooked that it makes most of the people on both sides of this “debate” seem like drooling idiots. Can the mosque be located in the building in question? So long as local zoning laws and building codes are followed it can. Of course it can. There is no legal reason why you can’t put a mosque in that building.

It was the this first question that President Obama was trying to address in his remarks on the subject recently. Now let your Maximum Leader go on the record and say that he wonders why the hell the President would inject himself into this “debate.” It is a loser all around for him. It makes no sense, from a political perspective, to comment on this issue. Sure my liberal friends can say “He needed to use the bully pulpit to do the right thing.” Yeah, your Maximum Leader can see that. But in this case doing the “right thing” diminishes the President’s ability to do the right thing later. He is spending political capital (that he is losing at a rapid rate) on an issue that so inflames peoples sensibilities that there is no possibility of coming out ahead. Sure the president is “right on principle” as the linked Washington Post peice says, but he is completely wrong on politics. Furthermore, President Obama’s opinion on this matter cannot affect the situation one bit. The president isn’t on the Zoning Board for lower Manhattan. He doesn’t own the property. He isn’t a stakeholder in the neighborhood. His opinion ain’t gonna change a thing.

In fact, President Obama’s opinion and the opinion of your Maximum Leader are worth about the same in this “debate.” Neither of us are contributing to the discussion. We are throwing our opinions into the crashing noise of raised voices that passes for debate on this subject. We are just two more voices crying out into the cacaphony. Two more voices that, frankly speaking, don’t need to be heard on this.

Of course, your Maximum Leader is a lowly blogger with minimal following and no future in politics short of an armed coup and Barack Obama is President of the United States. He is coming up with the short straw in this game.

Your Maximum Leader hasn’t addressed the second question yet. Does your Maximum Leader want a mosque built on the site discussed? When this “debate” first began his answer was that he didn’t care much one way or the other. He sympathized with the many who just didn’t want the mosque so near the World Trade Center site; but in the end he figured out that NYC officials and stakeholders in the project would do the right thing.

Your Maximum Leader has changed his mind now. He wants the mosque built. He is willing to stand up for the principle involved. The principle involved is twofold. The first is a straight property rights issue. If you follow local laws you should be able to build what you want on property you own. If the landowners want to lease the space for a mosque, great! Let them do it. The mosque shouldn’t get any special treatment or concessions. If they can put a mosque there they should. The second issue is the religious issue. This site is a few blocks away from the World Trade Center site and was damaged in the attacks of September 11. But it wasn’t the object of the attack. The building in question wasn’t destroyed and rebuilt. How close is too close? From what your Maximum Leader reads there are some mosques in the general vicinity already. Why is this one a big problem? Would it be a big problem if it were a block further away? Two blocks further? 10 blocks further? Would “society” object to a Christian Church being put in the same building? A Buddhist temple? A meeting hall for the followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

This brings your Maximum Leader to a issue that has now been simmering in his mind for a year or two. How long are we going to fetishize the whole lower Manhattan area around the World Trade Center site? Your Maximum Leader doesn’t like calling the site Ground Zero. He doesn’t because Ground Zero is a term that can be used in any disaster. He is concerned that at some point in the future people will be upset by some other disaster site being called “Ground Zero.” Sad isn’t it.

If your Maximum Leader could point out a few items… The World Trade Center site is very valuable real estate. He should be redeveloped (and is being redeveloped). But many Americans have a maudlin fixation on the site. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks there was a sort of consensus that we needed to get on with rebuilding the World Trade Center site. Now your Maximum Leader wonders if we are going to start objecting to certain uses of the redeveloped space? Would a muslim charity renting office space in a new World Trade Center building be objectionable? Would investment bankers (given their role in the recent economic troubles) be objectionable in that they weren’t a “good enough” type of organization. Should we just build a mega-public safety center on the site and fill it with Firefighters and Police officers?

Is your Maximum Leader the only one that worries about this? (Well… When he’s not waxing eloquent over Lindsay Lohan and mastubating furiously Skippy might have some similar concerns. But that could just be your Maximum Leader projecting on Skippy.) We still use Pearl Harbor. Is it “less sacred” than the World Trade Center site? We have built all over Bunker (and Breed’s) Hill? Is that site less meaningful because of it’s continued use? Is it just a question of scale? If more patriots died at Bunker Hill would we have objected to building on and around the site?

Your Maximum Leader isn’t advocating that we all forget the attacks of September 11th. Not at all. But at some point we need to take a more practical approach to how we will use the land of lower Manhattan.

Carry on.

Kevin Kim said:

I like the idea some people have of building a Hooters next to the mosque. A carnicería specializing in pork products might also work, as would strip clubs, bars, a synagogue…

I seem to recall reading (perhaps on Outside the Beltway blog) that the space next door was slated to be a gay dance club. The club hadn’t opened yet and the owner hadn’t selected a name yet. This blogger suggested possible club names, the best of the lot in my opinion was “Outfidel.”

Mrs.Peperium said:

Did you see Hamas has weighed in? They are for it too.

Greg Gutfield is the one opening a gay bar named “Dialog” catering to the tastes of Islamic men (downstairs will offer non-alcoholic fruit drinks for a starter) There used to be a blogger in our original blogging neighborhood- he and his wife lived in LA and she was like Misspent - Danish or Finnish or something. They had a blog and she called him A but he blogged by a different name ad his cancer returned and have no clue what happened. Card’s wife would know more. anyway, he once told me how he went to a Green Peace or something like that group PETA? concert on the Mall with Greg Gutfield. Greg had made bumperstickers the two of them passed out for free (after imbibing heavily) The bumper sticker read :

I (international playing card sign for club) baby seals.

What was interesting was that people loved them. They went awww and asked for another Greg and A concluded they were either too stoned or too stupid to get the message. They thought it read I heart baby seals. If recalling correctly the truth did hit eventually about 15 minutes they’d hear a distant wait a minute…and then they’d start moving quicker down the mall.

Anyhoo the WaPo article ’s title is interesting - “With mosque remarks, Obama purposefully walks against the traffic”

Purposefully? Really? I only ask because like with Roger Simon’s article today at Politico making a similar point there is no mention whatsoever of the President’s clarifying remarks - clarifying the remarks he made less than 12 hours earlier to a crowd who was not expecting him to weigh in on the subject:

“I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there,”

Kind of whacks the purposeful meme…

It’s not a wise decision to place the mosque there. The governor had the right idea - he offered to help the group find another place in NYC to build a mosque. They turned him down. There’s word Andrew Cuomo is going to try and get them to move it. We’ll see. The Imam involved with this mosque is currently at a mosque 10 blocks away. Just 10 blocks. I never realised that there was such a large Muslim community at Ground Zero that they needed two mosques within 10 blocks. If there is why not split the difference and place it at 5 blocks?

Oh, and do we know if the prayers will be broadcast out onto the streets like they are in neighborhoods of Detroit? That’ll be an interesting city council meeting…

This from the mayor that controls the amount of butter you eat and the time you are allowed to idle your car on the street (3min) so you won’t cause an asthma attack on a passerby….

Mrs.Peperium said:

Oh my math was wrong - the Imam’s current mosque is 8 blocks away from the proposed site which is 2 blocks away from Ground Zero.

Mrs.Peperium said:

This is an interesting read from this morning’s NYPost:

WASHINGTON — Ultimately, politics is all about priorities.

Whose defense a politician rushes to first tells you whose side he is on. And will always be on.

No amount of backpedaling and obfuscation later by even the most magical of politicians can erase the colors he has chosen.

So, after weeks of his administration’s repeatedly dodging the scary issue of whether a mosque should be built within sneering distance of Ground Zero, President Obama decided to pick a side.

In a roomful of Muslim-Americans observing a religious feast at the White House, Obama once again embraced them first over the victims, survivors and rememberers of 9/11.

With our soldiers still fighting wars overseas and atrocities still committed regularly in the name of Islam, Obama did not — standing there in the White House — see the opportunity before him to demand that Muslim leaders do more to scrub away the blight in their religion.

Nor did he see the opportunity, given his personal legitimacy among Muslims, to demand that the Islamic world practice the tolerance and love of freedom that is the hallmark of the very civilizations that the terrorists want to obliterate — again, in the name of Islam.

Instead, in the sea of pain and agony that lingers from that horrible terrorist attack nine years on, Obama determined once again that it is Americans who must do more.

Survivors of 9/11 need to just get over it.

They really need to be more tolerant.

Just as Obama always seems to side against Israel in Middle East matters, Obama has once again sided against a massive group of Americans on this issue.

If we have learned nothing else from the plotters of the Ground Zero mosque, it is that they certainly are not tolerant of those who justifiably feel maligned by their designs.

At the very least, they are provocateurs willing to insult those innocents upon whom hell on earth was unleashed nine years ago — in the name of Islam.

In a speech to the Muslim world last year in Cairo, Obama made the astonishing assertion that “it is part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

You cannot say you were not warned.

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