political quotes of the day

At a Ramadan ceremony at the White House yesterday, President Obama spoke out in favor of allowing Muslims to build a community center and mosque, close to the site of the World Trade Center towers. He defended their right to build a place of worship by referring to an obscure legal document called the "First Amendment to the Constitution":
But, he continued: “This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are.”
I wish the phrase "But, he continued, 'This is America'" appeared in every article about Obama, or for that matter, any article about politics. Kinda like this. My other favorite quote from this article is:
In New York, Rick A. Lazio, a Republican candidate for governor and a former member of the House of Representatives [said,] “With over 100 mosques in New York City, this is not an issue of religion, but one of safety and security,” he said.
Anyone know what that means? I'm trying really really hard to figure out why a mosque a few blocks from Ground Zero would be a safety and security concern, whereas another mosque, a little further away, would not be. Even if we accept the idea that all Muslims are terrorists, which obviously is not true, I still don't get it. Is he afraid that someone is going to attack the same site again, and he thinks that the Muslims who worship elsewhere in Manhattan, (or elsewhere in the country, or the world), don't have access to, you know, transportation? The only reasonable explanation I can think of, is that this man truly doesn't hear himself when he speaks. He says words, but he doesn't hear himself saying them. Any other ideas?

I'm so excited to see how crazy this country will get during the election season this year. We're off to a great start.


Tyler Breisacher said...

Apparently when you read something on nytimes.com, as you get near the end of the article, a little popup appears, with a link to similar/related/followup news. Apparently Republicans got so mad that Obama had to kind-of-a-little-bit-sort-of-but-not-really back down from his comments.

It reminds me of the joke from (I think) Saturday Night Live about how Obama was going to drink Budweiser at the "Beer Summit" but "the Republicans forced him to water it down."

lee b said...

Fareed nailed this topic: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/06/the-real-ground-zero.html