Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Frankly, I'm impressed they found another 9/11 issue before the election

The Ground Zero Mosque is neither a mosque nor located at ground zero. Awesome. None of this shit surprises me anymore.

Shockingly, I really enjoyed The Daily Show's take:

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I'd like to say I couldn't care less about the mosque/community center but that's not quite true (since, well, I am writing about it). I care about the people trying to make hay out of it. As for the actual mosque itself... meh. It doesn't really affect me.

To me, this is fairly straightforward. The local New York zoning boards have all signed off on it, the group, Park51, seems to have jumped through all the requisite hoops, we still have religious freedom in this country, the Bush Administration used this group in the past to promote tolerance, there's another mosque near to Ground Zero already and the World Trade Center site isn't exactly "hallowed ground" (there's going to be a mall in the new site!!). Let these non-Al Queda affiliated Muslims build their community center and leave 'em alone (and god forbid we'd talk to a Muslim about this).

But of course that won't happen. This is an election year.

One of my biggest pet peeves with politics and the media is the idea that everything must be balanced and "both sides do it". That's how you show that you're unbiased; you point out that both sides suck. See, you didn't choose a side or a political party! You're above the fray and principled. Both Democrats and Republicans are awful and that's that (and I don't disagree. I just think they suck for different reasons).

Hell, sometimes this is even true. But other times, notsomuch.
A political football from both parties? Spare me. Republicans, and the right more generally, have spent weeks demonizing the proposed mosque. They've painted it as treacherous, insensitive, and a menace to American values. Fox News has been been running the outrage machine 24/7. A-list pundits and top elected officials have joined in. But when, finally, Barack Obama steps in with a modest statement of support for religious freedom, both parties are now equally inclined to demagoguery? Give me a break.
Yup. It's fairly obvious that the Democrats want nothing to do with this but the Republicans are flogging it for all it's worth (could you imagine how they'd freak out if Obama told a church congregation where they could or couldn't build a church?).

What kills me is, in the grand scheme of things, this isn't important. Whether or not a mosque or mosque-like-thing is built near to Ground Zero isn't really a pressing issue. The country is at 9.5% unemployment, there's immigration reform, financial reform and a host of other pressing issues and all our media can focus on is the political fall-out from the mosque that isn't a mosque.



LargeBill said...

We do still have freedom of religion in this country. No one is saying they have no legal or constitution right to build the mosque in lower Manhattan. However, we also still have free speech in this country. That means I still have the freedom to say it's insensitive and a pretty stupid idea to build a victory mosque there. As President Obama said there is no legal reason they can not build at that location. There was no legal reason the Browns could not draft Mike "Mad Dog" Junkin. The fact that it was legal for the Browns to draft Junkin did not make it the right thing to do. Politically, it is not an issue for either party to exploit. All should agree it is legal, but also acknowledge it is needlessly provocative.

Ben said...

See, I don't think it's really all that provocative. The people in the city don't really seem to mind and their opinions are really the only ones that matter in all this. There's already as mosque in the area.