• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    eurobrat on One Tiny Mistake…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Evil people want to shove a so…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Evil people want to shove a so…
    riverdaughter on Evil people want to shove a so…
    campskunk on Evil people want to shove a so…
    eurobrat on D E F A U L T
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Tina Turner (1939-2023)
    jmac on D E F A U L T
    jmac on Does Game Theory Even Help Us…
    William on Does Game Theory Even Help Us…
    William on Does Game Theory Even Help Us…
    jmac on Does Game Theory Even Help Us…
    William on Does Game Theory Even Help Us…
    Propertius on Does Game Theory Even Help Us…
    Propertius on Does Game Theory Even Help Us…
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    August 2010
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

  • Top Posts

This is why I was never a Deaniac

Transcript via alternet:

HOST: Governor, what is your position on the controversy surrounding the mosque at Ground Zero?

DEAN: I gotta believe there has to be a compromise here. This isn’t about the right for Muslims to have a worship center, or Jews or Christians or anybody else to have a place to worship, any place at Ground Zero. This is something we oughta be able to work out with people of good faith. And we have to understand that it is a real affront to people who lost their lives, including Muslims. That site doesn’t belong to any particular religion, it belongs to all people of all faiths. So I think a good reasonable compromise could be worked out without violating the principle people oughta be able to worship as they see fit.

HOST: You’re calling for a compromise, are you calling for the mosque to be moved?

DEAN: Well I think another site would be a better idear. Again, I would look to do that in collaboration with the people trying to build the mosque. I think the people who are trying to build the mosque are trying to do something good. But there’s no point in trying to do something good if it’s met with enormous resistance from a lot of folks. This is a very delicate, difficult religious and cultural issue. I think it’s great to have mosques in American cities. There’s a growing number of American Muslims. I think most of those Muslims are moderate. I hope they’ll have an impact on the world, because Islam is really back in the 12th century in some of these countries like in Iran and Afghanistan, where they’re stoning Muslims to death. And that can be fixed. And the way it can be fixed is not by pushing Muslims away, it’s by embracing them and having them become just like any other American, Americans who happen to be Muslim. So the way you do that is to integrate people into the fabric of the United States, which is what I think this congregation wants to do. But I do think we should work out a compromise so that everyone is accommodated by this.

A question for Mr. Dean: How are you integrating Americans who happen to be Muslim into the fabric of the US… how are you embracing them and having them become just like any other American… how are you not pushing them away… when you say that building a Muslim community center–two blocks away from Ground Zero, in the same 2-block radius around Ground Zero as a strip club and a McDonalds among other things–is some kind of affront to other Americans, that must be compromised on?

The real affront here is from the  Howard Coward Dean stance, which if it prevails, would amount to us being our own worst ambassadors.

I reject the idea that the community center being built near Ground Zero is a victory for the extremists. It is a victory for the Muslims working toward reconciliation between Muslims and the West. The extremists do not want reconciliation. They want reconciliation efforts of groups like the Cordoba Initiative to fail, because their success would breathe life into the vision of peaceful coexistence.

The extremists and their sympathizers would actually see Park 51 being built near Ground Zero as a defeat. It would make it that much harder for them to indoctrinate the new generation that would be seeing Americans letting a Muslim community center go up 2 blocks away from Ground Zero. It is the new generation that is the bridge to modernity, and if you show them the best of America and American ideals in practice, then you give the terrorists less and less arguments to make. What will they say when a young person asks, how can Americans be so bad if they let a Muslim community center go up 2 blocks from where Muslim extremists attacked them? The extremists will have forever lost the members of the Muslim youth who do have an ability to see themselves included in a pluralist society if you show them that it is possible.

As a corollary of that, if we don’t let the community center go up where it was planned, then we won’t be showing our best. Further, we cede that bit of ground where we could have helped to bridge the modernity gap. And, we will have let fear prevent us from standing up for our American values and constitutional rights.

Over here in Houston, at the end of May, a local hate-wing radio provocateur blurted out something beyond disturbing:

A Houston talk show host this week called for the bombing of a mosque if it’s built near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City.

In comments Wednesday on KPRC-950 AM, Michael Berry said, “I’ll tell you this — if you do build a mosque, I hope somebody blows it up.” Berry added: “I hope the mosque isn’t built, and if it is, I hope it’s blown up, and I mean that.”

This is the politics of FEAR. It is not about respecting the victims of 9/11 or their survivors. That is a cover for hate-based rhetoric. And, Democratic party figures who are pleading for compromise are giving in to that politics of fear and enabling that hate-based rhetoric.

Democratic pols like Howard Coward Dean talk a good game about being bold when the political gain for saying so is huger than the risk. But, when push come to shove, they don’t push and they don’t shove for what is right. They *actively* push and shove to stay within the lines dictated by the hard right. And, for what? It’s not even smart electoral politics.

Independents who have soured on the Democrats aren’t going to come back if they see the Democrats following the right-wing around by the nose. Independents can smell political vulnerability and they vote accordingly. And, Democrats throwing cold water on the activism from the left on this issue doesn’t bring the party any closer to closing that mystical “enthusiasm gap.”

Democrats talk a lot of mumbo jumbo about running on all their great accomplishments under Obama in upcoming election cycles. Well here’s another great Democratic accomplishment they can run on. Howard Dean has managed to make less sense than Ted Olson (from Politico):

Ted Olson, whose conservative status has been questioned over his marriage litigation, but whose status as a Sept. 11 family member has not, tells Andrea Mitchell:

“I do believe that people of all religions have a right to build edifices or structures, places of religious worship or study where the community allows them to do it under zoning laws and that sort of thing. And that we don’t want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an act of intolerance for people of religious faith. And I don’t think it should be a political issue. It shouldn’t be a Republican or Democrat issue either. I believe Governor Christie from New Jersey said it as well, that this should not be in that political partisan marketplace.

If Ted Olson makes more sense than prominent Democratic voices on gay marriage and first amendment rights, that speaks volumes in and of itself.

And, if Howard Dean is talking about Park 51 as an “affront” while all but telling “people of good faith” to “refudiate” it, then yet again, what alternative are the Democrats presenting to anything?

In the end, the Howard Coward Dean stance really isn’t about cowardice. It is a choice and an investment that the Democrats are continually making. They are part of the system keeping ordinary Americans divided and distracted from what is really going on.

If ordinary Americans are busy fighting the mythical threat of the “mosque at Ground Zero,” it is that much less time and energy spent asking the political class to enact policies that will make lives for ordinary Americans better.

This is an open thread, since this topic has already been debated quite a bit. Thanks for listening!