JONATHAN CHAIT AUGUST 17, 2010
Checking in from the beach, I see that President Obama hedged his clarion call for pluralism. That makes his statement still more of a principled stand in the face of public opinion than I expected beforehand, but less than I expcted after his original statement.
Meanwhile, somebody emailed this noxious but revealing bit from Commentary's Jennifer Rubin:
At the Iftar (end of Ramadan-day fast) shindig at the White House, Obama sided with CAIR, J Street, the ACLU, and the 29 percent of Americans who favor the Ground Zero mosque...
Obama has shown his true sentiments now, after weeks of concealing them, on an issue of deep significance not only to the families and loved ones of 3,000 slaughtered Americans but also to the vast majority of his fellow citizens. He has once again revealed himself to be divorced from the values and concerns of his countrymen. He is entirely – and to many Americans, horridly — a creature of the left, with little ability to make moral distinctions. His sympathies for the Muslim World take precedence over those, such as they are, for his fellow citizens. This is nothing short of an abomination.
Notice that Rubin defines "the Muslim World" as a category opposed to "his fellow citizens." Which is to say, Muslims are not Americans. Certainly not everybody who opposes the Park51 project thinks this way, but Rubin's sentiment gives a pretty good picture of the emotional impetus behind much of the opposition.
I'll try to check in this week and write about this in more detail.