Skip to comments.'Mosque' Debate Is a Red Herring
Posted on 08/21/2010 11:14:03 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
By 2012, our national debt will be larger than the entire U.S. economy, according to the International Monetary Fund. So what's on the front burner in Washington these days? Zoning issues in lower Manhattan!
Is it OK to put a Muslim community center close to Ground Zero? I don't know, but local authorities don't seem to mind.
That should settle it, but what Sarah Palin calls the "9/11 mosque" has somehow become a headline-grabbing controversy.
On Friday, President Obama insisted that Muslims have the "same right to practice their religion as anyone else" and can build a mosque near the former World Trade Center site. House minority leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, found the president's comments "deeply troubling." Newt Gingrich accused him of "pandering to radical Islam." (Are there a lot of votes there?)
All this posturing is getting tiresome. The "mosque" controversy isn't about property rights or religious freedom. It's a bogus issue seized by the GOP establishment to distract the rank-and-file from the party's reluctance to shrink government.
From all the caterwauling, you'd think the Park51 group planned to fashion a mock Kaaba out of trade center ashes and mount it atop the wreckage. But you can't see Ground Zero from the Park51 site it's separated by two canyonlike city blocks, occupying the former site of a Burlington Coat Factory. "Hallowed ground," indeed.
The plans include building a large mosque and a 500-seat theater, swimming pool and food court which makes calling it a "mosque" just slightly more accurate than calling a YMCA a "church."
Republicans pose as the party of decentralization, yet here they are reversing Tip O'Neill's dictum, insisting that "all politics is national."
There's plenty of hypocrisy to go around, though. It's insulting to hear New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has persecuted bar owners for the crime of displaying ashtrays, wax rhapsodic about private property.
Apparently, if you want to pray to Mecca, your rights are sacrosanct, but if you'd like a cigarette at the bar after a hard day's work, then head on out to the stoop, peasant.
And while Obama pats himself on the back for defending religious freedom and private property, it's not clear who he's arguing with. The mainstream Right has renounced "using the machinery of government to stop this project," as National Review's editors put it.
You don't need to buy amateur theologian George W. Bush's line that Islam is "a religion of peace" to recognize that the Park51 controversy is a red herring. With Muslims making up 0.8 percent of the U.S. population, dhimmitude seems a more remote threat than national bankruptcy.
In a recent (pre-campaign?) appearance in Des Moines, Iowa, Newt Gingrich denounced Obama's "secular socialist machine," but, when asked, he declined to specify federal programs he would cut.
You see, cutting government is hard, and often unpopular. No surprise, then, that Boehner would rather play urban planner than embrace Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's "road map" for shrinking middle-class entitlements.
Faced with difficult choices, the alleged party of small government always retreats to the lazy politics of Kulturkampf. Hey, that guy's a "card-carrying member" of the ACLU! Ask me about my flag-burning amendment!
John Cornyn, R-Texas, head of GOP efforts to take back the Senate this fall, plans to make the Park51 "mosque" a major campaign issue. It's all too typical: Feed the rubes conservative identity politics, and, with luck, they'll be too distracted to notice you've grafted a Republican "K Street Project" atop the same old edifice of Big Government.
The establishment Right wants to play the Tea Party movement for suckers. It remains to be seen whether they'll play along.
Personally, I wouldn’t vote for Newt Scozzafava Gingrich for dog catcher, but if he winds up running against Obama after the 2012 primaries, then I guess I’ll hold my nose...
While the economy will be the biggest issue, this will play a huge role.
yes...so they say..I still dont think we should fund any mosque and thats exactly what we have been doing, why are we paying for the destruction of our contitution and the nation?
Or would he rather try to sway the masses with economic forecasts and talk of leading economic indicators?
Anther gem of an article, where arguments go in all directions simultaneously. Cato...
Dhimmis say the darndest things.
This guy dips in to logical fallacies, but he seems not to notice his own.
A red herring? Really? Like the human brain is only capable of processing one issue per news cycle? Like the mosque is a distraction from their own unemployment? Their misery index?
The Cato Institute used to have intelligent writers. I used to respect them.
Now they have this guy.
What a damnable dunce.
Can’t help noticing CATO uses the same pro-mosgue arguments as MSNBC. Hmm.
The question whether Obama is hiding his muslim faith is perhaps the single biggest issue right now.
It calls into question fundamentally, his honesty. His belief in America.
And frankly, his Constitutional eligibility. All of it, could be BS. And this is the first time, a significant proportion of Americans have started to take note.
>> Healy: All this posturing is getting tiresome.
Then go to sleep.
>> Healy: The “mosque” controversy isn’t about property rights or religious freedom.
It’s definitely not about religious freedom.
>> Healy: It’s a bogus issue seized by the GOP establishment to distract the rank-and-file from the party’s reluctance to shrink government.
It’s a real issue, it’s not a distraction, and the GOP is not in control of the govt.
Is it OK to put a Muslim community center close to Ground Zero? I don't know
reversing Tip O'Neill's dictum, insisting that "all politics is national."
It is not a zoning issue, and you SHOULD know if it's ok or not to put an Islamic center near GZ. As for the politics, it isn't national OR local, it's personal. If you're an American, you take the 9/11 attack personally.
Shame on Cato Institute for hosting that blithering fool.
That’s what I was going to say. What was the point of this article?
The mosque issue is driven by the outrage of normal Americans who view it simply for what it is: a terrorist victory monument. It is not an issue “ginned up” by the Republican establishment. Friends I have who normally ignore politics are talking about the mosque. Amazing to me how these beltway elites are completely out of touch with America.
So being concerned about the fact that the mosque builders may be getting money from potential terrorists, and the fact that the imam has been caught on audio tape praising bin Laden’s violence isn’t an important national issue.
I dont just have a problem with this mosque. I have a problem with EVERY SINGLE mosque in this country. I do not view Islam as a religion. I see it as a totalitarian movement that has mastered the arts of deception and mass hypnosis. Intolerant? When it comes to this, damn right I’m intolerant. My country is at stake.
A ‘mosque’ and ‘community center,’ the latter of which will receive federal funds for BEING a ‘community center,’ (at least eligible for them), and the FORMER receiving a poll tax, and an exhoribant one (per Atlas Shrugs) on non-believers—in compliance with Sharia.
Red? Maybe, even probably.
Herring? No. Coral snake. Even with injectable toxin in hand, you may not live after having been bitten.