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Monday, August 16, 2010

Obama Backtracks Leaves Supporters in Lurch

How must Glenn Greenwald be feeling today? After all, here's what he wrote immediately following Obama's pronouncement on Friday.

This is one of the most impressive and commendable things Obama has done since being inaugurated:

President Obama delivered a strong defense on Friday night of a proposed Muslim community center and mosque near ground zero in Manhattan, using a White House dinner celebrating Ramadan to proclaim that "as a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country" . . .

...

What makes this particularly commendable is there is virtually no political gain to be had from doing it, and substantial political risk. Polls shows overwhelming opposition to the mosque nationwide (close to 70% opposed), and that's true even in New York, where an extraordinary "50% of Democrats, 74% of Republicans, and 52% of 'non-enrolled' voters, don't want to see the mosque built."


Greenwald wasn't the only one. Here's a sample of the comments on the Huffington Post following a story about this on Friday.

Once again Obama does the right thing. Conservatives only care about the constitution when it aligns with their ideology/goals. As usual.

....

America cannot let the demagogues win this one. Sarah's "win" will be the terrorists' win. It is sickening and disheartening that part of this great country will let this woman lead them. However, we must persevere. America is infinitely greater and better than her.

...

The headlines should state, President defends the Constitution. Come on HP!! stop trying to compete with Faux News headlines, it is below you. Well, I used to think it was below you, but I am beginning to wonder.


Of course, not a day after taking what some liberals called a principled stance, Obama backtracked.

I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there," he said. "I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding.


So, now, most of those same liberals have egg on their face. It turns out that Obama's "principled stance" lasted all of one day. Now, liberals are taking Obama on for blinking.

A mere 24 hours after he threw his presidential weight behind the proposed mosque near New York’s ground zero—in a display of statesmanship that was delicious as much for its rarity as for its apparent cojones—Obama recalibrated his position in a frightened, mealy mouthed attempt to placate the anti-mosque opposition (which, depressingly, appears to comprise almost the entire Republican Party).

On Friday, Obama said, in words that were plainly at war with the conventional wisdom that holds that the mosque is offensive to popular American sentiment: “As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America.”

All those that reflexively defended him are stuck licking their wounds. No word yet from Glenn Greenwald.

3 comments:

AG said...

You seem surprised that a Democratic politician would leave his supporters in the lurch. If last week's incident with Robert Gibbs is any indication, not even Obama is above this. In fact, Democratic activists have a name for this: its called "hippie-punching."

In any case, stuff like this makes me wonder if we're going to see a liberal tea party movement erupt if the Democrats lose the House in the fall.

mike volpe said...

I'm not surprised though maybe Mr. Greenwald is. I wonder what a liberal tea party would look like?

xformed said...

A bunch of people with their pinkies in the air....