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Time: GOP Must Avoid 9/11 Mosque Battle

From the former news magazine, Time:

Why Republicans Must Avoid a ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Battle

By Mark Halperin
August 16, 2010

Dear Republican Party:

Your moment is now.

This weekend, President Obama defended the right of Muslims to build a community center and mosque two short blocks from Ground Zero, despite cries of insensitivity from some New Yorkers and accusations of mischief from some pundits. This finally gives you an opportunity to add a powerful national-security cudgel to the message of economic woe you have been pushing as the midterm election approaches.

The political potency of the issue is obvious. Polls overwhelmingly show the President has put himself on the wrong side of public opinion. Opposition to the new facility arouses acute emotion and creates near total unity among relatives of 9/11 victims, first responders, Republican officeholders, potential 2012 presidential candidates, Tea Party members, the Fox News–talk radio–Drudge Report echo machine and many of the highly coveted swing and occasional voters whom you will need at the polls to win in November.

Up until now, you have restricted yourself as much as possible to an economic message, eschewing social issues and foreign policy as you try to establish contrasts for the electorate between your brand and the Obama-Pelosi-Reid record. This is a smart, straightforward strategy, since worried voters chiefly are concerned about unemployment and the nation’s future financial prospects.

But you also have been frustrated by the President’s skill at limiting Democratic vulnerability on the party’s traditional weak spot, national-security issues. Sure, Obama remains a young, inexperienced Commander in Chief with few discernible foreign policy achievements. But he has left almost no room for attack on his security record

It really is to laugh. How many near misses have we had since Mr. Obama has taken office? And how many of them were stopped by anything but dumb luck?

And we won’t even mention the sad state of the war in Afghanistan or our international security in general, starting with WikiLeaks and Iran’s nuclear program, but extending almost everywhere we look around the world.

Now Obama has given you an in. At a White House dinner on Friday celebrating the start of Ramadan, the President took a position. "Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country," he said. "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 remark opened the door so wide that walking through it will be effortless. Even your usually tone-deaf national chairman, Michael Steele, could not mess this one up. If you go full force on the offensive, every Democratic candidate in every competitive race in the country will have three choices, none of them good, when asked about the Islamic center: side with Obama and against public opinion; oppose Obama and deal with the consequences of intraparty disunity; or refuse to take a position, waffling impotently and unattractively at a crucial time

Say what you will about the wisdom of Obama’s policies overall, but his belated commentary on religious freedoms clearly was not done for political gain.

Oh, our sides. No, Mr. Obama would never make such a statement during an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan to try to score political points and a few more votes from the Mohammadans. Who could be so crazy as to suggest that?

Quite the contrary. the President knew that he and his party would almost certainly pay a political price for taking a stand, especially this close to the election, and with few prominent leaders, other than New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, on the White House’s side. The reaction since the President spoke has been vitriolic and unvarying from leading voices on the right, painting Obama as weak, naive, out of touch and obtuse (not to mention flip-flopping, after his confusing follow-up comments Saturday suggested to some that he might be hedging his position).

Hint to Mr. Halperin: Mr. Obama is so out of touch he did not have the slightest clue that his comments would be reported, let alone be an unpopular position.

Second hint: Mr. Obama delights in rubbing the noses of the American people in things he believes they can do nothing about. (See ‘healthcare reform.’)

Yes, Republicans, you can take advantage of this heated circumstance, backed by the families of the 9/11 victims, in their most emotional return to the public stage since 2001.

But please don’t do it. There are a handful of good reasons to oppose allowing the Islamic center to be built so close to Ground Zero,

We can think of 3,000.

[P]articularly the family opposition and the availability of other, less raw locations. But what is happening now – the misinformation about the center and its supporters; the open declarations of war on Islam on talk radio, the Internet and other forums; the painful divisions propelled by all the overheated rhetoric – is not worth whatever political gain your party might achieve.

What “misinformation about the center and its supporters” is being promulgated, Mr. Halperin? You have a magazine where you can correct the record. Please tell us exactly what has been misreported?

(Of course these are rhetorical questions. We realize that Mr. Halperin is in the ‘misinformation’ business himself. And he is just doing the bidding of his DNC masters.)

It isn’t clear how the battle over the proposed center should or will end. But two things are profoundly clear: Republicans have a strong chance to win the midterm elections without picking a fight over President Obama’s measured words.

Who knew that Mr. Halperin was so concerned about the welfare of the GOP?

And a national political fight conducted on the terms we have seen in the past few days will lead to a chain reaction at home and abroad that will have one winner – the very extreme and violent jihadists we all can claim as our true enemy.

You see, we had better not talk about the ‘Ground Zero mosque.’ It might make the terrorists angry.

As I said, Republicans, this is your moment. As a famous New Yorker once urged in a very different context: Do the right thing.

How fitting that one despicable propagandist should quote another despicable propagandist.

What? You didn’t know that Mr. Bush blew up the levees in New Orleans? Remember how Mr. Halperin squealed about Mr. Shelton ‘Spike’ Lee’s lies?

We don’t either.

But for Allah’s sake, let’s not speak the truth about Mr. Obama. That might hurt the Republicans’ chances in the fall. And we can’t have that!

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, August 16th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

31 Responses to “Time: GOP Must Avoid 9/11 Mosque Battle”

  1. proreason says:

    “But he has left almost no room for attack on his security record”

    Well, if that isn’t enough to make him the replacement for Baghdad Bob, then nothing is.

  2. artboyusa says:

    ABU ‘N’ Tariq, the angry Muslim brothers share some “READING MATTER”!

    “Look, my brother – look!”

    “What have you there? Is it the new Victoria’s Secret catalogue? I get first dibs if it is!”

    “You have as much chance of putting your paws on that catalogue as foreign aid has of reaching a flooded Pakistani, my brother. You’ll only give it back with the pages all stuck together, like the last time. And besides, this is TIME magazine!”

    “Big deal. TIME schmine. Nobody reads that rag anymore except the people in dentist’s waiting rooms”.

    “What would you know about dentists? Your yellowed stumps and graveyard breath confirm your sorry want of oral hygiene”.

    “You lie, you lying liar you! I have a tooth stick. My breath is as fresh as a desert breeze!”

    “Believe me; it is not. If you really have a tooth stick I suggest you use it – but we digress. This TIME is mega!”

    “Why mega? Are there any soft focus shots of infidel women in their underpants?”

    “No, no, no. Nothing like that but there’s a thoughtful essay here telling Republicans how to respond to our Ground Zero provocation stroke insult”.

    “Uh oh…they’re not going to start playing hard ball with us, are they? I knew it! I knew we’d push them too far this time. Infidels – you can blow them up, you can burn them alive, you can cut off their heads but you can’t take over the old Burlington Coat Factory and turn it into a mosque and Islamic Center right next to their mass grave. They won’t stand for it!”

    “Apparently, they will”.


    “They love it. They just love it. They need to show their ‘tolerance’. It makes them feel good”.

    “Doesn’t ‘remaining alive’ make them feel good?”

    “You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But no, not that much”.

    “So what does this thoughtful essayist suggest that they do?”

    “Nothing, basically. He says that doing nothing will win the Republicans votes in the autumn”.

    “That’s nuts!”

    “You’re telling me…”

    Meanwhile, in his oak panelled, marble floored, fur lined Washington D.C. office Michael Steele, Chairman of the GOP, put down his copy of TIME and paused in sober reflection.

    “Hmmm” mused Steele. “This thoughtful essay makes a lot of sense. We wouldn’t want a chain reaction at home and abroad that can have only one winner. That might be us! And we’ve always had good advice from TIME before…”

  3. Chinnubie says:

    Outstanding commentary Art amusing and truthful all at the same time. We have to start taking a stand on things before we loose complete control of this country. The liberal media will always tell you who & what they are fearful of, always telling us(conservatives) what we should or should not do.

    I have to be terribly candid on this topic of a mosque being built on ground zero. If this were to come to fruition I’m not sure I’ll be able to stay complicit in its construction. There would need to be some kind of serious reaction to the defamation of the character of our grieving families and the dead themselves. Everybody KNOWS this is a stab in the eye of America and a sounding call of victory for jihadists. This must not stand!!!!!

  4. Huh.. wonder how Daddy Morton Halperin
    would view his son’s newfound concern for the welfare of Republicans?

    Wiki notes:
    “On November 21, 2008, at a Politico/USC conference on the 2008 election, Halperin called the election media coverage “the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war. It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.”

    Yeah thats right.. AFTER the “disgusting failure” had worked its magic, that he decided to take note of it.


    Of course there was Drudge, in 2004 who posted this Halperin Memo:
    “Halperin Memo Dated Friday October 8, 2004

    It goes without saying that the stakes are getting very high for the country and the campaigns – and our responsibilities become quite grave

    I do not want to set off (sp?) and endless colloquy that none of us have time for today – nor do I want to stifle one. Please respond if you feel you can advance the discussion.

    The New York Times (Nagourney/Stevenson) and Howard Fineman on the web both make the same point today: the current Bush attacks on Kerry involve distortions and taking things out of context in a way that goes beyond what Kerry has done.

    Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win.

    We have a responsibility to hold both sides accountable to the public interest, but that doesn’t mean we reflexively and artificially hold both sides “equally” accountable when the facts don’t warrant that.

    I’m sure many of you have this week felt the stepped up Bush efforts to complain about our coverage. This is all part of their efforts to get away with as much as possible with the stepped up, renewed efforts to win the election by destroying Senator Kerry at least partly through distortions.

    It’s up to Kerry to defend himself, of course. But as one of the few news organizations with the skill and strength to help voters evaluate what the candidates are saying to serve the public interest. Now is the time for all of us to step up and do that right.

    Step up Mr Halperin.. Gotta make sure its fair.

  5. bill says:

    Didn’t Time sell the company for less than the price of a copy?

    Would anyone see the advantage in not taking advice from that?

  6. Liberals Demise says:

    I recently saw a photo of Time magazine pages being used as arse wipe in Afghanistan by indigents.

    Just a few years ago, these people didn’t have a clue. But know they know what works better than most objects.

    It’s about Time!!

  7. oldpuppydixie says:

    Poor little Mark…wringing his hands in terror at the prospect of republicans actually taking a STAND on the side of the American people, the nation and what is RIGHT!!!! Doesn’t he know by now how spineless, limp-wristed, craven and brainless the majority of elected republicans and party “leaders” are??!! Why it would be unfair, non-bipartisan, Islamophobic, bigoted, mean spirited and downright ICKY to support 70-80 percent of the public! What would the NY Times say??!! So relax, Mark. Republicans will graciously allow this disgusting display of contempt for our country by the ONE go right by as if it never occurred. It’s what the party DOES!! Oh. If you don’t believe me, you can ask Mitchie the Kid McConnell. He’ll be relaxing in the crawl space under his desk, as usual. You probably know the fax number already, don’t you Mark?

  8. tranquil.night says:

    If I remember, Mr. Halperin is one of the insider Partisan Political Operatives who was allowed by his media masters to co-author the superbly late and profoundly soft-hitting “Game Change” about the 2008 primaries and election. I believe the most interesting story to come out of it was Der Schlikmeister telling Teddy “a few years ago Barry would’ve been getting us our coffee.”

    Anyway, by this piece alone you’d almost think Halperin is like a Compassionate Conservative here. Really this rat that’s abandoning the wreckage of Liberalism wants us to throw them a life-raft. Silly.

  9. jobeth says:

    Good Lord! Where to begin?

    There are so many jaw droppers in this story one wouldn’t know whether to be shocked, ridicule or laugh…or all the above.

    What a complete idiot!

    It does say volumes though at the condition Obama’s minions find themselves in.

    People are bailing from WH positions…candidates don’t want him near them for fear of reminding their constituency of the idiocy of the progressive left Democratic Party.

    Progressive pundits and talking heads are racing over time to do damage control all the while the Prez just keeps opening his mouth and creating more chaos for them.

    Guess this is what happens when you are a minor leaguer but think you’re a god and your enlarged head starts bursting at the seems.

    But it IS great theater watching all the scurrying about by the left trying to convince us all of the little emperor’s new clothes.

    Note to Dufuses…The little king is naked and the whole would knows it now. Give up and bail out…its the only way to save your sorry selves.

    Yep…That is a big smile on my face…Can’t help it. lol

    • Mithrandir says:

      Exactly. When their guy screws up on an issue, they “warn” the G.O.P., “You better not try to capitalize on this one…..”

      They always have ready-made threats / advice for the G.O.P., like my favorite, “You will PAY dearly for impeaching Bill Clinton!” –Nope, actually the GOP got the White House and Congress after that…..I can’t see where they were made to “pay” at all do you?

      It is just their scare tactics. MOST of America gives them no attention at all with their MSNBC, crappy newspapers, etc. Repubs lost in 2006 b/c of George Bush’s amnesty attempt, and the lingering war, and their inability to get rid of affirmative action etc. I sat on my hands and didn’t vote Republican that year, neither did my family.

  10. JeannieB says:

    Over the past couple of years O’s idiocies have made me cringe, groan, gnash teeth, grimace in horror, yell, and punch walls.

    But the two most recent ones — Michelle’s Excellent (and wildly expensive) Adventure on the Continent, and O stepping knee-deep in it this weekend — have just made me laugh out loud. Over and over and over again.

    How precious that Halperin, one of the folks MOST dedicated since 2007 (and even before) to foisting these fools upon us, is now deigning to advise Republicans on “doing the right thing”.

    I LOVE all the backpeddling in the omedia, I LOVE the utter confusion and disbelief (“but O & M are so BRILLIANT! — how can this be happening?”), I LOVE how most of the MSM Obots studiously try to ignore Sarah Palin’s spot-on analysis of this entire issue from Day 1, including her wonderful “Legitimate Questions” Facebook posting on Saturday.

    And I especially love that O has totally cooked the goose of Lord knows how many Dems come November. A festive holiday month made even better this year!

    These couple of weeks have truly been filled with gifts that keep on giving.

    ROTFLMAO … …

  11. proreason says:

    Halleprin’s plea must certainly be unprecendented in US, if not world history.

    Boiled down, it amounts to this:

    “Don’t use El President’s latest idiocy against him, evil Republicans. Things already look bleak for my Ruling Class, and exploiting this new assertion that Islamic Terrorists should be exalted over Americans, can’t help. Republicans, please!! If you don’t stop, be on notice. Keep up and we will never let you join the Ruling Class.”

    • jobeth says:

      We as a country have been under attack by the progressive left for many years, but until Obalmy took office they’ve always couched their behavior in a cloak of “do it for the children” crap and other such tripe.

      But Obalmy has taken all facades off his intentions, or at least left only the most sheer cover easily seen through by just about everyone now…even the left.

      It’ going to be interesting to read future historians’ assessment of the disaster known as this 44th presidency and the 111th congress.

      And how long it took to unravel and how it all happened.

  12. Right of the People says:

    For once I agree 100% with this liberal ass clown. The Republicans DO need to do the right thing and shout this travesty down!

    Halperin is a major tool and the rag he writes for is teetering on the brink of extinction. Why anybody would ever listen to this bozo is beyond me.

    I’d love to see a huge crowd demonstrating when they try to break ground on September 11th. The only problem with trying to organize a demonstration like that is that we all work and would have to take time off to do it unlike the loony left. Maybe we can hire some out of work union guys to protest for us.

  13. NoNeoCommies says:

    What they need to do is avoid framing the argument in terms of refusal to allow it.
    The argument should be that the mosque backers are the ones (truly) being insensitive to the host city and its inhabitants.
    They are trying to force something that is not only unjustified, but aggressively antagonistic.
    Every time someone starts arguing for it based on our legal freedoms, demand that they condemn the harassment, intimidation and, murder of Christians in Muslim countries.
    Ask them how people who have no problem denying Christians the right to worship or build churches can argue for religious freedom here.
    Put them on the defensive and keep them there.

  14. Chinnubie says:

    For the left to continue to claim religious rights to build a mosque wherever they wish continues to laughable and ignorant. The 1st Amendment gives everyone the right to worship anyway they see fit but, not the right to build a mosque or church wherever one wishes. This is an arguement I don’t hear enough. Even Obama attempting to walk his stupid comments back from Friday claiming the Founding of this country gives someone a RIGHT to build a mosque anywhere they want. When will somebody get the guts to contradict this nonsense??

  15. wardmama4 says:

    Chinubie – You hit the nail on the head – this is not Muslims can not worship in NYC/America (violation of the First Amendment), it is that there are other places in NYC (bet you there are more than 30 mosques in the City now) – and oh btw, the imam is head of a mosque 12 blocks from Ground Zero – so exactly why does this building (that the only reason this issue is relevant is that it is the first building denied Landmark status) need to become a mosque?

    And like all leftist, Halperin lays all the blame on the emotional (takes one to know one) 9/11 families (with the slur, implying that this is just another moment to “return to the public stage since 2001”). When the local community is against this, when a local story had national implications (actually world implications) – and when most Americans are against it.

    Halperin – don’t worry about the GOP – they are too spineless to even stand up to RHINOs much less do anything so anti-PC as to stand up for Americans and the 3000 people murdered on 9/11.

    Want religious freedom – America lets start putting Nativities & Crosses & Star of Davids every where we can think of (like Ground Zero, oops my bad, like 2 blocks from Ground Zero) and see just how long that would fly – heck we have people, communities and groups forcing American citizens to take down their American flags – much less any Christian or Jewish symbol – wouldn’t want to ‘offend’ anyone’s fragile feelings.

    I will phrase it simply so that the moronic left, spineless GOP and radical islamic terrorists (and their enablers) can understand it:

    A MOSQUE AT GROUND ZERO OFFENDS ME & MY FAMILY – and no idiot Halperin, we did not lose anyone on 9/11 – We are simply patriotic, compassionate Americans.

  16. beautyofreason says:

    Yes, let’s not focus on an issue that 70% of Americans agree on and our president yet again ignores.

    “the misinformation about the center and its supporters”

    Misinformation? The guy (imam) wrote a book called “Prayer from the Rubble of the World Trade Center: Islamic Da’wa in Post 9/11 America” in Muslim Malaysia. He scraped that title for his American readers. The photo, a picture of a crescent over the statue of liberty, was also changed. The information is too damning to invite misinformation.

  17. joeblough says:

    Does one have to repeat the Coulter warning about getting political advice from the other side?

    This is a pretty good indicator that it would be a swell idea to start right now with a significant advertising campaign to tie the 911 victory mosque firmly around Obama’s skinny commie neck.

    Let the bastard be called to answer for it at every campaign stop.

    Americans that are foolish enough not to fully understand what a threat the SOB is will at least recognize what that albatross means and run from it.

  18. Reality Bytes says:

    This weekend I drove by anti-war protestors across the street from a veteran’s memorial ringed by patriots & vets of all ages, shapes, sizes, colors & sexes (does that cover it?).

    I gave a good ol’ double beep & first pump to my fellow Americans – in particular one guy in a lawn chair who was late into his 80’s – maybe even 90.

    Upon approach to the anti war foks, there was this one sign, “Honk for Peace”. I did everything but mouth the usual two sylable curse or one finger salute. Instead, I thought I’d post what the Anti War crowd are really for:

    If you Honk for Peace you are for:

    taking half of the population – women – and subjecting enslaving them making it legal to

    strip them of education
    sell them in exchange of property
    mutilate them, torture & kill them in public in order to make examples of them

    If you Honk for Peace, you are for:

    surrendering non Muslims to persecution & execution

    If you Honk for Peace, you are for:

    Seeking out homosexuals & killing them – in public – like their sisters above, to make examples of them.

    If you Honk for Peace, you are a racist / sexist who would rather abandon a nation of people to their oppressors, their murderers for no other reason that to win a political victory.

    But if you Honk for Peace, your victory will be one of humanity’s greatedst loss. It is nothing less than that.

    “America is great because America is good. When America ceases to be good, it will also cease to be great.”

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Good point you brought up, RB.
      Where are all the protesters we saw on the MSM every night when Bush was our leader (God, I miss him)? It is the samey-same war just a Muslim wombat running it now.

      Did Code Pink ugly itself to death?

    • wardmama4 says:

      Oh LD, it’s not that Mother Sheehan has gone with the wind (dare we dream) – it’s just that the Thug Administration arrests her and the Dem propaganda machine (formerly known as the media) don’t report her various (usually ending in arrest) protests. I think it should be Mother Sheehan that we should ask about Bush – Miss Him Yet?

      The rest of the anti-war shtick crowd are busy protesting the soldiers who don’t control a damn thing about the wars.

      Talk about being Stuck on Stupid. And the damn morons have all the power right now.

  19. Rick Caird says:

    Whenever someone on the left offers you heartfelt advice, reject it immediately. That advice is never, ever designed to help you.

  20. jambon says:

    The GOP/Republican party of today is more liberal than the Democrat party of 1980.

    Newt really isn’t a solid solution to Obama, either.

    I can only hope that someday the Tea Party will get a horse in the race.

  21. Reality Bytes says:

    Jambon – in 1980 the Democrats had Jimmy Carter & Ted Kennedy. I rest my case. Next! If you want to save the country then take Mark Levin’s advice. Every time you vote, vote for the most conservative candidate THAT HAS A CHANCE OF WINNING!!!!

    For crying out loud! The idea that throwing an election to a liberal / socialist must come from those people who would hold their breath until Mommy would give them what they wanted. It’s gotta be the result of brain damage.

    It never worked in my house & my mother WAS A SAINT! Every time I tried it the Ol’ Man would come out of no where from behind & smack me upside the back of my head with a newspaper – usually with “get over it – ya silly bastard.” That last part always got Mom upset. “He’s not a bastard. He’s an
    a (*) hole. There’s a difference.”

  22. Mithrandir says:

    The left always likes to tell the Right what to do.

    They just want everyone to have no comment at all about this issue, and let the Victory Mosque go forward as planned.

    The RIGHT absolutely should capitalize upon this gaffe by Obama. They just don’t want Republicans to do it because Obama has painted himself into a corner, and just want the issue to be dropped by everyone.

    This is a 100% win no matter what for Republicans and everyone knows it.

  23. GL0120 says:

    Taking advice from liberals on how to run a conservative campaign is a lot like the scene from Stripes where John Candy is advising another player on how to play poker.
    Keep in mind that these same people pushed to have John McCain as the Republican opposition to Obama thereby ensuring a win for Obama.
    Wise up people, Superbowl and World Series teams don’t ask each other for advice on what plays to run or pitches to throw; it’s simply a stupid idea.

  24. Tater Salad says:

    That isn’t all Obama is doing. He is NOW letting Saudi Arabia to bring Sharia Law to the United States. Saudi Arabia is paying American bankers huge sums of money to have themselves, the banks, become Sharia Law compliant.

    Do you know who your bank is doing business with?

    Citigroup pioneered the big bank embrace of Sharia finance back in the 90’s. Citigroup co-launched the Dow Jones Sukuk bond index in 2006. Citigroup continues to help bring Sharia finance across the world with its wholly owned subsidiary, the Citi Islamic Investment Bank. –



  25. GetBackJack says:

    Diane Rehms (NPR) casually noted that the WTC mosque
    is led by a Sufi cleric. A very real possibility is that the WTC
    mosque will have exactly the opposite effect from what
    Rehm’s guests posited — Sunnis and Shi’as, irrespective
    of previous opinions of America, will be furious if they
    see us as promoting Sufism.

    In other words, delicious is as delicious does.

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