May 19, 2024

Obama Supports And Opposes Ground Zero Mosque – How’s That For Conviction?

It should come as no surprise that the President strongly endorsed building a mosque on Ground Zero in Manhattan.  Nor should it come as a surprise that he later tried to backpedal and obfuscate his original defense of the mosque when various groups expressed outrage at his position.  Perhaps the President is merely trying to tell every side what they want to hear – perhaps worse, he simply lacks any real convictions on the matter due to the absence of a core set of values or beliefs.

James Taranto of Wall Street Journal gives a great critical summation of the back and forth retractions issued by the White House after Mr. Obama’s original endorsement of the mosque, and concludes that Mr. Obama “is a stubborn man without conviction”.  Mr. Taranto’s analysis is definitely worth the read – excerpts from his article follow:

So why did nearly everybody construe the Friday remarks as a strong endorsement of the Ground Zero mosque? Blame the professional left, which, in its characteristic neo-McCarthyite style, has sought to portray all criticism of the mosque project as, to quote Sargent, “un-American” and the critics as an undifferentiated lunatic fringe that rejects the First Amendment, at least as it applies to Islam.

Obama is a man of the left, so when he deployed the left’s rhetoric about the First Amendment, allies and adversaries alike assumed that he also intended to level this accusation at the mosque’s critics. They might well have been right about this, but if so, the president quickly made clear he does not have the courage of his convictions.

In doing so, and despite himself, he managed to make an important point. It is not a “clever little dodge” but a principled position to say that while the mosque’s developers have a right to build it near Ground Zero, doing so is not the right thing to do. Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from criticism.

Obama, however, made this point in a way that showed him to be small and weak, offering it not as a defense of the mosque’s critics but of himself against them. Imagine if on Friday he had not only pandered to his guests by defending their constitutional rights but also challenged them by saying forthrightly what he acknowledged evasively on Saturday: that building a mosque near Ground Zero may be unwise even though the law clearly allows it. That would have been presidential.

Instead we got what sounded like a strong endorsement, followed by a backpedaling denial that it was any such thing, followed in turn by a denial that the earlier denial was backpedaling. The president stands behind everything he said but denies that he said much of anything.

Barack Obama is a stubborn man without conviction.

Once again the President has shown a mindset that is alien to the common sense values of the average American.  Even worse, our accidental President was not shown the capacity to listen or learn even as his poll number plummet.

More On This Topic:  Sacrilege at Ground Zero – Washington Post

Location matters. Especially this location. Ground Zero is the site of the greatest mass murder in American history — perpetrated by Muslims of a particular Islamist orthodoxy in whose cause they died and in whose name they killed.

America is a free country where you can build whatever you want — but not anywhere. That’s why we have zoning laws. No liquor store near a school, no strip malls where they offend local sensibilities, and, if your house doesn’t meet community architectural codes, you cannot build at all.

These restrictions are for reasons of aesthetics. Others are for more profound reasons of common decency and respect for the sacred. No commercial tower over Gettysburg, no convent at Auschwitz — and no mosque at Ground Zero.

Build it anywhere but there.

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