The other night we had some dinner guests and one of them put the question to me what I thought about the "mosque at Ground Zero." I think she was taken aback when I told her that the so-called mosque was actually a large building which would contain a mosque, that it was two blocks from Ground Zero on a side street, and that the Muslims had owned this property in Manhattan since before 9/11. None of which she knew. And she said no more about it. I wonder just how representative this ignorance is of the howling mob that's demanding that the "mosque" be moved some other place further away from the hallowed ground? I will confess to you that though I can understand why some people might be discomfited--else how could the unscrupulous fear mongers be so successful--I'm at a loss to understand how readily people are willing to jettison the foundational principles of this country.
But to point. Naturally the Republicans are all over this, and polls show that a majority of Americans oppose the location of the mosque. And though Mr. Obama on Friday staunchly defended the right of a Muslim group to build a mosque on the disputed site when he was talking to a group of Muslin-Americans, he made it clear in remarks on Saturday that he was not endorsing the wisdom of the placement of the mosque, and he would be making no statements about this. As the writer of this piece points out, what's going on here is that the president can be seen to question the location of the project without actually saying so. Slick, and weaselly. And basically showing once again that Obama's finest instincts are all about tacking with the political breezes. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Barack Obama talks a good game. Delivering one is something that's obviously beyond him.