Another day, another post on the Ground Zero Mosque
Last night on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart weighed on the uproar over the “Ground Zero Mosque” in a humorous rant that took a shot at Glenn Beck for correctly pointing out that our foreign policy does bring some blowback, but crying foul when someone else, who just happens to be a Muslim, says nearly the same thing.
Stewart also poked fun at President Barack Obama, who defended freedom of religion last week, but then backtracked when questioned on wisdom of building a mosque so close to Ground Zero.
Elsewhere, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform is warning Republicans to backoff the issue:
“You’re not just going to lose Muslim votes,” said Norquist, who has long argued that Republicans should win those voters. “You’re going to lose Jewish votes, Indian votes, Buddhist votes. Every member of a minority group looks at a situation like this and says, oh, the people hitting this minority will eventually start hitting me.”
Norquist dismissively referred the the mosque controversy as a “shiny object,” saying that it, and the Arizona immigration law, would distract Republicans from the winning issues of the economy and the Obama record and give Democrats outs, by handing them wedge issues to oppose the administration on. (We talked before Harry Reid came out against building the mosque near ground zero.)
“It’s a 70-30 issue that any Democrat can jump on the 70 percent side of,” said Norquist.
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.
If Republicans need to focus on isses that affect Americans, such as taxes and spending. The debate over the Cordoba House, now renamed Park51, takes away from substantive issues. It may be a short term issue to beat President Obama on, but what do they gain by demonizing an entire religion?