Dean’s Response

Here’s part of Howard Dean’s response to criticism of his position on the Ground Zero Freedom Hating Mosque:

My argument is simple. This Center may be intended as a bridge or a healing gesture but it will not be perceived that way unless a dialogue with a real attempt to understand each other happens. That means the builders have to be willing to go beyond what is their right and be willing to talk about feelings whether the feelings are “justified” or not. No doubt the Republic will survive if this center is built on its current site or not. But I think this is a missed opportunity to try to have an open discussion about why this is a big deal because it is a big deal to a lot of Americans who are not just right wing politicians pushing the hate button again. I think those people need to be heard respectfully whether they are right or whether they are wrong.

This has nothing to do with the right to build and unlike same sex marriage or the civil rights movement it is not about equal protection under the law. The rights of the builders are not in dispute. This is about ending the poisonous atmosphere engendered by fear and hate, and in order to do that there has to be genuine listening, hearing and willingness to compromise on both sides I personally believe that there are other possible solutions that could result from such a process and that a genuine exploration of those possibilities is something we ought to try.

This is stupid in so many ways. First, what “compromise” is necessary on the part of Muslims who want to convert that building? The Imam was on 60 Minutes a few days after 9/11 denouncing radicals, so I doubt that he needs to compromise his position on terrorists who claim to be true Muslims. So the “compromise” must mean that the Imam does whatever his benighted, out-of-town critics want him to do.

Second, and more important, what a great way to encourage stupid, cable-driven nontroversies. Instead of just keeping his fucking mouth shut, Dean treats this whole ginned-up affair like some kind of grassroots, serious protest instead of a lie calculated to inflame. You can’t have “genuine listening” when the whole conversation starts with bullshit: It isn’t just a mosque, you can’t see ground zero from it, and it’s nothing new in that neighborhood. Start there, and you have nothing that needs to be “heard respectfully”.

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194 replies
  1. 1
    NobodySpecial says:

    I like Howard Dean, but in this he’s not only wrong, but he’s disastrously wrong. And he really needs a close aide to give him a pimpslap and see if we can shake his brain loose.

  2. 2
    BTD says:

    A “GZMosque” Summit!

    Sheesh.

  3. 3
    Dexter says:

    Common sense tells me that when you made a stupid comment, just shut up and hope that it is sort of forgotten. Why can’t Dean do that?

  4. 4
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Dexter: Who was it not too long ago that kept digging his own hole, and when called on it, kept digging further?

    On the plus side, I have totally forgotten that guys name and the topic. With my brain these days, that doesn’t mean much though.

  5. 5

    Howard Dean was the kid on the playground who tried to break up the fight just when the bully was starting to get what he deserved.

  6. 6
    Zifnab says:

    My argument is simple. This Center may be intended as a bridge or a healing gesture but it will not be perceived that way unless a dialogue with a real attempt to understand each other happens. That means the builders have to be willing to go beyond what is their right and be willing to talk about feelings whether the feelings are “justified” or not. No doubt the Republic will survive if this center is built on its current site or not. But I think this is a missed opportunity to try to have an open discussion about why this is a big deal because it is a big deal to a lot of Americans who are not just right wing politicians pushing the hate button again. I think those people need to be heard respectfully whether they are right or whether they are wrong.

    When the hell did Howard Dean develop a case of the fee-fees? At least during the HCR debate, he was willing to fly off into the left wing and demand free health care ponies for all.

    Who the hell does he think the Cordoba House is supposed to negotiate with? FOX News wind bags and flaming internet racists are leading the charge on this. Might as well negotiate civil rights with Bull Conner. Or immigration reform with Cowboy-in-Chief Arapio.

    Dean is so off-base here, it’s painful.

  7. 7
    Poopyman says:

    I too like Howard Dean, but he’s really stuck his foot in his mouth here.

    Digby has a post up that quotes a NYT article extensively. Mr. Dean needs to read the part in there about Mr. Finnegan’s comments and the reaction.

  8. 8
    NonyNony says:

    @Dexter:

    Why can’t Dean do that?

    Because most of Dean’s political popularity stems from the more liberal elements of the Democratic Party’s base. And they’re the kind of folks who are going to push him to justify his answer – if he can’t, they’ll stop listening to his political direction.

    Dean pretty much stepped in it up to his waist. I don’t know if this was a cold political misfire or if he’s actually so stupid that he thinks this is a real controversy that real people care about instead of a fake August pre-election controversy that only the political wonkosphere, American Muslims, and the Teabaggers gives even a slightest bit of a crap about. And of those groups, the ‘baggers are never going to love Dean, the side of the wonkosphere that’s on his side has already weighed in on the side of letting them build their YMMA in that old Burlington Coat Factory, and the only thing his comments can do is alienate American Muslims even more.

  9. 9
    cleek says:

    This is about ending the poisonous atmosphere engendered by fear and hate, and in order to do that there has to be genuine listening, hearing and willingness to compromise on both sides I personally believe that there are other possible solutions that could result from such a process and that a genuine exploration of those possibilities is something we ought to try.

    ooh, i know!

    maybe some moderate Muslims could build an outreach center somewhere. invite the community in. reach out and get to know people. try to do what they can to get people to see that Muslims are not flag-burning, al-Queda nutcases.

    if only Howard Dean had offered this wonderful advice before they started construction on the Downtown Jihad Palace !

  10. 10
    burnspbesq says:

    @Dexter:

    “Common sense tells me that when you made a stupid comment, just shut up and hope that it is sort of forgotten. Why can’t Dean do that?”

    In order to do what you suggest, Dr. Dean would first have to realize that he had made a stupid comment. Seen any evidence of that?

  11. 11
    roshan says:

    Don’t know if Howard came up with this all by himself, or if the wingnut media machine was successful in giving him an anti-muslim wedgie. Howard, wake up, you are not running for anything, anywhere. Drop off the progressive label in the tray, on your way out.

  12. 12
    Frank says:

    My argument is simple. This Center may be intended as a bridge or a healing gesture but it will not be perceived that way unless a dialogue with a real attempt to understand each other happens. That means the builders have to be willing to go beyond what is their right and be willing to talk about feelings whether the feelings are “justified” or not.

    How out of touch can you be? The bigots are not just after this community center/mosque. It is happening all over the country, TN, CA to just mention a couple. Should EVERY mosque builder now have to start a dialogue before they even apply to build a mosque? Which constitution is Dean looking at. Does he want to change the first amendment?

    Does Dean then think the Catholic Church should start a dialogue with all of its child molesting victims before it is building new churches? Should all Christian churches have to start a dialogue with all Native Americans before it is building new churches? .

    Does Dean think the current real mosque (not community center) that is four blocks from Ground Zero should be destroyed because it could hurt somebody’s feelings?

    This is asinine! It shouldn’t be this difficult. You have Democrats such as Dean, Reid, Paterson, the entire NY Congressional delegation (except for Nadler) who are acting like bigots. Then you have Republicans such as Ted Olson, Kathleen Parker, Mayor Bloomberg etc who are not afraid of standing in front of the lynch mob. It truly is a revealing moment. Yes, I know that it is right-wingers that are driving this. But I don’t see a whole of a Democrats even trying to stand in the way. Pathetic!

  13. 13
    Svensker says:

    TPM has a post up showing that Dean apparently believes that Park51 is AT Ground Zero, has a congregation, and is in litigation. So, he has no clue what he’s talking about – does he get his info from Fox News?

  14. 14

    OK, I’ve learned two things overnight:

    1. The Park51 website itself calls the prayer room a mosque. So the entire complex isn’t a mosque, and there’s an interfaith room for meditation and a gym and a restaurant and all that and everybody is welcome, but they are also technically building a mosque. As best as I can determine from Google Earth, the Qibla will actually face away from the WTC site, roughly in the direction of the Triumph of the Human Spirit statue in lower Manhattan (before, of course, heading on to Mecca).

    2. The poll I had read about was from Fox News (pdf), which did surprise me. They had the acumen to ask people first if building a mosque was inappropriate (and most said it was), and then asked whether appropriate or not, did the group have the right to build a mosque there – and a smaller majority, but still a solid majority, said, yes, they had the right to build there. That’s not going to stop Pam Geller from making hay, but it does validate my faith in Americans.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I think those people need to be heard respectfully whether they are right or whether they are wrong.

    Oh, fuck this “heard respectfully” shit for bigoted assholes. I’m tired of having to tolerate open unreasoning hatred.

  16. 16
    BTD says:

    @Svensker:

    Josh is wrong on the impending litigation issue.

  17. 17
    Jamie says:

    oooh, not covering yourself in glory there, Dr. Dean,

  18. 18
    NonyNony says:

    @Frank:

    You have Democrats such as Dean, Reid, Paterson, the entire NY Congressional delegation (except for Nadler) who are acting like bigots. Then you have Republicans such as Ted Olson, Kathleen Parker, Mayor Bloomberg etc who are not afraid of standing in front of the lynch mob. It truly is a revealing moment. Yes, I know that it is right-wingers that are driving this. But I don’t see a whole of a Democrats even trying to stand in the way. Pathetic!

    There are also Democrats who are standing in front of the lynch mob and Republicans who are screaming bigots here. The exceptions stand out because they’re exceptional, but mostly this appears to have morphed into a bit of cross-party stupid.

    But if you’ve watched Democrats for any length of time, this really isn’t a surprise. They are fundamentally awful at crap like this – always trying to pivot into a “let’s split the baby and meet in the middle” moment. They’ve been like that as long as I’ve watched politics. It’s one of the reasons that I vote for Democrats, and I’m willing to organize for some Democrats, but I can’t actually be a Democrat – there’s no real identity there, it’s just too much of a muddle with too many people trying to figure out what the most politically expedient thing to do is instead of just doing the right thing.

  19. 19
    gypsy howell says:

    Howard Dean, ca 1957:

    The rights of those niggra kids to go to that school are not in dispute. This is about ending the poisonous atmosphere of fear and hate, and in order to do that there has to be genuine listening, hearing and willingness to compromise on both sides. So, in the interest of compromise, all I’m suggesting is that those little darkies take into account the feelings of the white trash ginning up this furor, and kindly do their educating somewhere else.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Jamie says:

    Remember back before 9-11 when all right thinking conservatives thought Manhattan was the territory of the devil?

  22. 22
    Lolis says:

    Strange how all of a sudden Howard Dean believes in compromise, consensus and conservative outreach. After his neverending criticism of Obama for doing some of those things to achieve legislative goals, Dean just looks ridiculous. This matter is already settled. It is a question of religious freedom.

  23. 23
    Frankie T. says:

    Note to Howard Dean: quit screwing the pooch.

  24. 24
    Ash Can says:

    I’ve always thought Dean had much better sense than this, so this surprises me. Now I’m starting to get an idea of why he was passed over for HHS.

  25. 25
    Punchy says:

    Per DKos, this aint gunna ever be built, so talk about a temporary pest smoking T-pot…

  26. 26
    Stefan says:

    That means the builders have to be willing to go beyond what is their right and be willing to talk about feelings whether the feelings are “justified” or not.

    Just as during the civil rights protests of the 50s and 60s African-Americans had to go beyond what was their right and had to be willing to talk about the feelings of benighted Southern bigots whether those feelings were”justified” or not….

    Because hey, it’s all about feelings. Oh-oh-oh feelings….

  27. 27
    Tonybrown74 says:

    This is a pitch perfect example of “White Privilege”.

    Mr. Dean, it is not my responsibility as a minority to make you comfortable. It is an insult that I be required to. The fact that this has to be explained to you shows that you have a lot yet to learn.

  28. 28
    Dead Ernest says:

    @BTD: Josh is reporting what it appears that Dean is thinking. Marshall is saying there is no impending court case.

  29. 29
    wmsheppa says:

    Fun fact from CNN this morning: There is an interdenominational chapel in the rebuilt section of the Pentagon, less than 100 feet from where the jet hit there, that is used for Muslim prayer services. Somehow nobody in the military has suggested banning Muslims from practicing there.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/08/.....tml?hpt=T2

  30. 30
    wesindc says:

    Not sure if you’ve seen but it looks like the builders of the “coat factory/911/scream!” building are very low on funding to build the actual mousque/ymca From Ben Smith Politico (which I won’t link to for personal reasons).

  31. 31
    suzanne says:

    I think those people need to be heard respectfully whether they are right or whether they are wrong.

    Yeah, no. See, if you’re a racist, hate-filled motherfucker, you shouldn’t even get to come sit at the fuckin’ table.

    Howard Dean, Harry Reid, E.D. Kain, get a damn clue… there are NOT two valid arguments, two equal sides. There’s the side of fairness and justice, and the side of the assholes.

  32. 32

    Keep fuckin’ that chicken, Howie.

  33. 33
    bemused says:

    it’s ridiculous that Dean and other Dems think you can have a genuine listening, hearing dialogue with the people whose agenda is fomenting a poisonous atmosphere, not ending it. This is what drives me crazy about Dems.

  34. 34
    Alice Blue says:

    Saint Howard Dean has fallen off his pedestal. Has Jane Hamsher self-combusted?

  35. 35
    mr. whipple says:

    I love Howard, but on this he’s being a dickhead. STFU.

  36. 36
    jibeaux says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s one of the signs of the apocalypse when Kathleen Freakin Parker makes more sense than Howard Dean.

  37. 37
    Ash Can says:

    @suzanne: Since when does ED Kain think the other side has a valid argument in this? In fact, IIRC, he was the one to break the news of Dean’s stupidity here.

  38. 38
    Hal says:

    Maybe he’s running for President again and doesn’t want this to be an issue for him.

  39. 39
    Anoniminous says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Oh, fuck this “heard respectfully” shit for bigoted assholes. I’m tired of having to tolerate open unreasoning hatred.

    FTW

    And here’s some not safe-for-work music to hum along to:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg7jA-H-jMo

  40. 40
    Nick says:

    @Hal: Oh, so you admit the best thing to do when running for President is run from unpopular liberal positions?

  41. 41
    numbskull says:

    @Tonybrown74:

    Mr. Dean, it is not my responsibility as a minority to make you comfortable. It is an insult that I be required to.

    This is exactly how I think about this issue.

  42. 42
    BTD says:

    @Dead Ernest:

    Josh is wrong. A suit is being filed today.

    That was my point.

  43. 43
    Rick Taylor says:

    I’m starting to understand the conservative anger for government officials putting their noses in things that are clearly none of their affair.

  44. 44
    suzanne says:

    @Ash Can: For the last couple of days, I have likened Reid (and now Dean’s) statement to the mosque to E.D.’s view on abortion. My larger point was that, if a group of people have rights under the law, it undermines those people to pretend that those who oppose that right are reasonable people who should be dealt with in good faith.

  45. 45
    Zifnab says:

    @Nick: Maybe not the best, but certainly the most popular.

  46. 46
    Bulworth says:

    I love Howard, but on this he’s being a dickhead. STFU.

    My thoughts exactly.

    And the building developers have talked to some of the 911 families about this. Who else are they supposed to talk to? American Muslim voices have generally been marginalized since 911.

  47. 47
    Leo says:

    @BTD: Any more details on the suit being filed? By whom, on what basis, etc?

    I’m sure someone can scrounge up some theory to gum up the works for a while, but is there actually some kind of legitimate legal basis for a challenge here?

  48. 48
    jibeaux says:

    @suzanne:

    But that’s silly. If I disagree with a Supreme Court decision and hence controlling legal authority that people and corporations have a legal right to contribute as much money as they want to political candidates under the First Amendment — which I do — I can’t have a good faith discussion about that? If I disagree that the City of New London has the right under eminent domain to make homeowners sell their property for a private revitalization project, I can’t discuss that either?

  49. 49
    Admiral_Komack says:

    Another “YEAAARRRGGGHHH” moment, courtesy of Howard Dean.

    Howard Dean, you are full of shit.

    Take your foot out of your mouth and keep it closed.

    Thank you.

  50. 50
    toujoursdan says:

    @Punchy: The whole article merely quotes from POLITICO and they cite a fund-raising amount from 2008, which makes it a bit suspect.

    It’s hard to believe they got approvals from the NY Planning (Zoning) Commission without some kind of plan.

  51. 51
    Zifnab says:

    @suzanne: That wasn’t ED’s abortion point at all. He considered himself “pro-life” because he believed the fetus was human enough to be considered human. He continued to support the right to get an abortion, but like the right to smoke or the right to wave a gun around in down town Philly, it’s the sort of thing he wants to prevent without relying on heavy handed government statutes.

    This is far and away different from the folks that want to bomb clinics, arrest doctors, or publicly slut-shame pregnant women. ED doesn’t oppose the right. He dislikes the act and wants to work towards a world where women have more access to contraception and more financial liberty to keep children they want but would otherwise be unable to afford. That’s a stand I see even the most die-hard abortion rights advocates supporting too.

  52. 52
    benjoya says:

    feingold has not lost his mind:

    http://www.journaltimes.com/ne.....002e0.html

  53. 53
    burnspbesq says:

    @BTD:

    A suit is being filed today.

    To the fainting couches, y’all! Send lawyers, guns, and money!

    By whom, alleging what? You don’t need a case with merit to file a lawsuit. All it takes to file a suit is a word processor and a check for the filing fee. If it’s some laughable piece of shit that won’t survive a motion to dismiss, who cares?

  54. 54
    Kryptik says:

    Everyone else has already said what I wanted to, so I’ll just say this:

    Dean, I love you man, was one of your most ardent supports, but WHAT THE WHOLE HOG FUCK?!

  55. 55
    suzanne says:

    @jibeaux: Sure you can, because you’re not arguing from a racist/sexist/whateverist viewpoint. Dean, Reid, and Kain are trying to equivocate between a law-based argument and a fear-based one, which I think lends unearned legitimacy to the fear-based, illogical argument.

  56. 56
    burnspbesq says:

    @jibeaux:

    If I disagree with a Supreme Court decision and hence controlling legal authority that people and corporations have a legal right to contribute as much money as they want to political candidates under the First Amendment—which I do—I can’t have a good faith discussion about that?

    You can have a good faith discussion about whether it’s sensible policy. You can have a good faith discussion about whether the case was correctly decided based on existing precedent. But you can’t have “that’s not the law” as your starting point, because for better or worse that is the law. At least for now.

  57. 57
    Kryptik says:

    @suzanne:

    In other words, the revenge of the return of Fair & Balanced?

    Good fuck all…

  58. 58
    Culture of Truth says:

    Listen respectfully to who? About what? That all muslims are evil and responsible for 9/11? The whole conversation, or whatever Dean imagines would take place, is insane.

  59. 59
    Cacti says:

    Funny, I don’t recall Coward Dean asking Christians to explain themselves every time they opened a building after Eric Rudolph or Scott Roeder.

    Looking mighty white there Howie. Mighty white indeed.

  60. 60
    suzanne says:

    @Zifnab: I said then, and I still believe, that, regardless of the complexity of Kain’s position (which I acknowledged), discussing his personal moral feelings in a debate about policy serves to obfuscate the clarity of the issue, and that use of the term “pro-life” is a way of trying to make common cause with those who do indeed seek to take away a woman’s right to choose. And I don’t believe that any common ground should be sought with those who seek to take away other people’s rights—that, in my view, should be anathema in a policy discussion.

  61. 61
    Violet says:

    This is such a massive missed opportunity for the Democrats. They could so easily scream “Uphold the Constitution! First amendment!” over and over again at the idiot teabagger and Fox News types. That’s all those idiots have been screeching for the last year and a half. Dems could use this opportunity to show America what that really means.

    Freedom of religion, bitchez. Right there in the Constitution. Suck on that.

    But no. The Dems can’t take a stand, the wishy-wash around every topic and then dumbasses like Dean step out and suggest “compromise” with Fox News. That’s like trying to compromise with a robber after he’s already stolen your money.

  62. 62
    Kryptik says:

    @Violet:

    More aptly, it’s like saying a Civil Rights Museum should be stopped and torn down because White Supremacists who protested believed it was an affront to their Racial Purity.

    That kind of compromise isn’t a compromise at all. It’s a caving. It’s an appeasement. It’s bowing down to the exact sort of intolerance the project in question is meant to fight, and only emboldens the bigots.

  63. 63
    suzanne says:

    @Kryptik: Yes, I think appeasing discriminators is a cowardly, dishonest thing to do.

  64. 64
    t jasper parnell says:

    @burnspbesq: The American Center for Law and Justice suing for a first responder, according to this.

  65. 65
    Cacti says:

    @Violet:

    But no. The Dems can’t take a stand, the wishy-wash around every topic and then dumbasses like Dean step out and suggest “compromise” with Fox News. That’s like trying to compromise with a robber after he’s already stolen your money

    It’s things like this that make me certain the Dems would be rolled on war with Iran about a nanosecond after the Repubs regained power.

  66. 66

    This is like gay marriage. You know how acceptance of gay marriage has grown over the past decade? By ramming it down the throats of an unwilling, unsupportive public and giving them the real world experience of living with it.

    A year after the gay guys down the block get married, when you’ve seen them pushing their adopted Philippino baby in a stroller and talked about siding when you ran into them using a power washer, you wonder why this was ever a big deal. A year after the community center is built in that slightly run-down section of Lower Manhattan, and they’ve hosted some neighborhood events and stood out front collecting canned goods for the homeless a couple of times, everybody is going to wonder what the big deal was with their building their church there.

    Except for the small faction of devoted haters, who will look increasingly shrill and out of touch.

  67. 67
    Mark S. says:

    Yes, if only we could have an open dialogue with Pam Gellar and other citizens who are concerned about this and don’t routinely argue that Muslims are subhuman. This would also be a good opportunity to bring in politicians such as Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin who are coming to this debate in complete good faith and would never think of using bigotry for political gain.

    And we should of course televise this on Fox, which is committed to giving its viewers a fair and balanced perspective on today’s issues.

  68. 68
    roshan says:

    @suzanne:
    What Kain tried to do, was to wrap himself in the seeming glory of his overly verbose position on an issue which doesn’t affect people of his sex in the least. All he wants to say is, look at me, look how moral I am, I allow women to have babies, I am also generous in allowing them the option of abortions on my terms, ain’t that great of me?
    He might also have such generous opinions of himself on the issue of same sex marriage, if not, then it still makes sense to credit him for being so thoughtful about it.

  69. 69
    YellowJournalism says:

    @jibeaux: I think the point is also that the people who supposedly want to have a good-faith discussion are not really interested in having a good-faith discussion. This is all about bigotry and political posturing. The misguided people who are closest to being called reasonable in this debate are the ones who probably wouldn’t have bothered with the subject in the first place if it hadn’t been for the outcry coming from wackjob bigots like the Atlas Shrugged lady and probably wouldn’t bother with it if they knew all the facts or understood that Islam does not equal terrorism because some terrorists are Muslim.

  70. 70
    Violet says:

    @Kryptik:
    It’s just awful. And it’s typical of the Dems to accept the rightwing framing of the argument as a starting point and then trying to “compromise” from there. Why don’t they call the rightwing the liars they are and describe this building properly?

    The way it’s described “The Ground Zero Mosque” makes it sound like some massive Wahabbist turreted building is going to be the only thing erected at the Ground Zero site, and that only practicing Muslims in proper burkhas will be allowed to enter. And even to me, that doesn’t sound like a good idea.

    But that’s not what this is. And instead of using this discussion as an opportunity to point out yet another example of the rightwing lying, fearmongering, and stomping all over the Constitution, the Dems start with, “well, maybe we should compromise.” Give me a freaking break.

    You know why people say the Ground Zero mosque is a bad idea? Because they don’t know what the fuck it is. “Ground Zero Mosque” sounds like what I described above. No wonder people are against it in the polls. They don’t know what it is.

  71. 71
    jibeaux says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I know that. I got one a them JDs they hand out all over the place too. My point was that, using suzanne’s language, I can oppose a right and have a good faith discussion about it. There’s nothing unique about legal rights that renders them outside the realm of good faith discussion, it’s stupid arguments about anything that take them outside the realm of good faith discussion. My whole response was that I disagree with the Supreme Court’s identification of a right, which I acknowledged as authority that the right exists.
    Ain’t we got fun, though? I could nitpick anything.

  72. 72
    YellowJournalism says:

    @joe from Lowell: I agree with everything you said. Just wanted to add that Dean’s position here isn’t much different than the people who claim that the gays would be accepted if they would just stop being so darned flamboyant and quit pushing their relationships in everyone’s face by, for example, holding hands in public and wanting to have their relationships legally joined.

  73. 73
    Cacti says:

    @YellowJournalism:

    The Community Center opponents want to have a good faith dialogue about Cordoba House as much as George Wallace wanted to have one about school integration.

    The lead Attorney for the horribly misnamed American Center for Law and Justice has said, point blank

    “Would I be personally involved in this matter if this were a church? No.”

  74. 74
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Hey, Christians! When Jesus looked down from the cross and said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” he was talking about crap like this.

  75. 75
    Culture of Truth says:

    So now Howard Dean = “the Dems”? No he doesn’t.

  76. 76
    Ash Can says:

    @suzanne: So am I undermining gun owners if I express concerns about unregulated gun use and ownership? Or am I undermining everyone who speaks in public when I question whether or not hate-radio screamers should have free rein to encourage their listeners to murder abortion doctors?

    I agree with your basic point, but you’re basing your argument on a very narrow point of view.

  77. 77
    wilfred says:

    After reflecting a bit, I’ve come around to Dean’s point of view. As a Muslim, although not particularly observant, it would be wrong to be insensitive in any way to those who continue to suffer the dreadful aftermath of that day.

    But while it may be a relatively easy thing to move the mosque complex to another place I fear that in some way my Muslimness might offend the families of the victim. So we need to establish what distance Muslims need to keep away from those who continue to suffer. Further, would it be better for me to wear some indicator of my beliefs, the better to warn an approaching person who continues to suffer, so that he or she would be discomforted by the sight of a Muslim and be reminded of that day? Or would it be better to have some distinctive badge on the clothing of those who continue to suffer so that I could recognize it and make sure to cross the street or duck into some convenient alleyway?

  78. 78
    suzanne says:

    @jibeaux: Then I apologize for my lack of clarity. Have I since clarified my position?

  79. 79
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    This is such a massive missed opportunity for the Democrats. They could so easily scream “Uphold the Constitution! First amendment!” over and over again at the idiot teabagger and Fox News types. That’s all those idiots have been screeching for the last year and a half. Dems could use this opportunity to show America what that really means.
    Freedom of religion, bitchez. Right there in the Constitution. Suck on that.
    But no. The Dems can’t take a stand

    Well the President can, but no one backs him up. Honestly, I’m not sure it would’ve helped. The American people have a history of ignoring Constitutional rights when they’re unpopular, and voting for candidates who desecrate the Constitution when people want them to.

    It’s kinda like the Iraq War, it would have been nice if the Democrats had stand united in opposition to it, but it wouldn’t have mattered, it was popular and Bush didn’t need the Dems to do it.

  80. 80
    Kryptik says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    He doesn’t, but he’s hardly been alone in this. Reid, every single NY rep it seems aside from Jerry Nadler (the only one who actually represents the area where the center would serve)…fuck, seems like everyone who lives outside of Manhattan. Because they all think it’s smack dab on the goddamn ashes with a giant statue of Bin Laden teabagging the statue of liberty.

    We’re pissing in the wind here because it honestly seriously fucking seems like the whole of America really thinks every single Muslim, all 1.8 billion of them including every single one who lives in the US without controversy or issue, really just wants to eat us alive and shit out a minaret on us.

  81. 81

    Again with the abortion deal? Is this going to come up in every fucking thread now?

  82. 82
    jibeaux says:

    @suzanne:

    But that’s a pointless line in the sand also. Nicholas Kristof and Cheryl WuDunn wrote a great book called Half the Sky, and here on this near-anniversary of women earning the right to vote I think you should all read it. One of the causes they identify as something that pro-choice and pro-life advocates (at least abroad) can find common cause in is the incidences of forced abortion in China. Admittedly, we don’t have a lot of sway over Chinese reproduction policy, but there has also been forced abortion in the Marianas islands, where we do have some influence. If these groups chose to do so, they could combine to bring pressure to bear on that issue. If the pro-life movement were more pragmatic, and some of them are, they would seek to join forces to craft policy that allows women to make a more evenhanded choice on the issue, such as requiring some paid time off for childbirth, and health insurance coverage. But these things aren’t going to happen, because the political pressure to not find any overlapping interests win out.

  83. 83
    Ash Can says:

    @roshan: FWIW, I’m female, and his views are virtually identical to mine.

  84. 84

    Howard, STOP digging. Please! Just stop digging.

  85. 85

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I sense some serious OCD setting in around here. Hope it’s not contagious.

  86. 86
    jibeaux says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I really am sorry. I didn’t mean to head that way.

  87. 87
    TOB says:

    First of all, as others have said, yes, this does indeed relate to same sex marriage and the Civil Rights movement. And as a number of you have pointed out already, it is exactly to the point that one should not have to have a discussion over the feelings of others before exercising one’s civil rights, be they to marry, vote, or ride in the front of the city bus.

    My other immediate head-slapping reaction when reading this, though was… so what if, as is suggested, the building is not perceived as a “bridge or a healing gesture”? The ecumenical outreach is a feature of the proposed center. The community dialogue and interaction this would encourage would be, indeed, a great benefit of the Cordoba House. Its primary function, however, would be to serve as a community center for thousands of New York Muslims. If not a single Christian, Jew or atheist ever sets foot in the building, it will still be serving a useful purpose for many American families. It’s high time that was given greater recognition.

  88. 88
    suzanne says:

    @Ash Can: I would argue that no, you’re not undermining those people, because you are arguing in good faith by not being discriminatory. True, it may be a narrow point I’m making, but based on the amount of equivocation and appeasment I see coming from people I otherwise typically respect, I think it is indeed a salient point. As far as I’m concerned, we don’t get in the sandbox with bigots, end of story.

  89. 89
    Kryptik says:

    @TOB:

    You’re approaching it from the view of someone who doesn’t think Islam wants to eat everyone’s babies and take over the whole US gov’t via suicide bombs. Thus, you have no place in the larger political discourse and are safely ignored.

  90. 90
    Nick says:

    @Cacti:

    It’s things like this that make me certain the Dems would be rolled on war with Iran about a nanosecond after the Repubs regained power

    If a war with Iran is popular, that is if the media decides it should be, then yeah. But the conservatives aren’t stupid. They’ll just see to it that Israel is attacked, the media will present it as the “new 9/11” blame Iran and Democrats won’t even get a chance to counter if they wanted to.

  91. 91
    suzanne says:

    @jibeaux: I’ll check it out.
    @arguingwithsignposts: You’re right, I’ll shut up about it now.

  92. 92
    Cacti says:

    Is anyone else a little nauseated by Greenwald’s kid gloves treatment of St. Howard?

    If the same comments had come from President Obama, Greenwald would be calling for him to be ridden out of town on a rail.

  93. 93
    Brachiator says:

    This has nothing to do with the right to build and unlike same sex marriage or the civil rights movement it is not about equal protection under the law.

    Fuck. Howard. Dean.

  94. 94
    Allison W. says:

    I was pretty shocked to hear Dean say there is no point in doing something good if so many people oppose it.

    Anyone who thinks like that cannot be president.

  95. 95
    roshan says:

    @Ash Can:
    Oh, I didn’t forget that, even women folks seem to possess this amazing capacity to undermine any other woman or force their beliefs on them by trying to appear moral, folksy, superior or thoughtful about it. Just look at the GOP side of the aisle, starting with the Alaskan moron. It’s not exclusive territory of men, although we do a bangup job of applying it to any piece of life slithering on this planet.

  96. 96
    Allison W. says:

    @Cacti:

    Is anyone else a little nauseated by Greenwald’s kid gloves treatment of St. Howard?

    If the same comments had come from President Obama, Greenwald would be calling for him to be ridden out of town on a rail.

    Greenwald, Hamsher and the whole lot would have started a major campaign to primary Obama and their number one picks would have been Dean, Weiner, Feingold, etc – the very people who have kept quiet or came out on the wrong side of the issue.

    I’m sure its killing them that Obama stepped up while the usual liberal icons have not.

  97. 97
    Ash Can says:

    @suzanne: On the contrary, I’m being very discriminatory, on the basis of what I consider inappropriate behavior. And I certainly do believe that my opinions are open to legitimate discussion and challenge by people who view the first and second amendments differently than I do.

    By “viewpoint,” I’m not talking about the point you’re making, I’m talking about the basis you’re making it from. That basis looks way too much like “if I agree with what I’m calling ‘undermining,’ then said undermining is OK.” There’s an inconsistency in your arguments that doesn’t sit well with me.

  98. 98
    Kryptik says:

    @Allison W.:

    I was pretty shocked to hear Dean say there is no point in doing something good if so many people oppose it.
    Anyone who thinks like that cannot be president.

    THis. I mean, seriously…

  99. 99
    Cacti says:

    @Allison W.:

    I was pretty shocked to hear Dean say there is no point in doing something good if so many people oppose it.

    That sound you hear is Martin Luther King puking in his grave.

  100. 100
    Ash Can says:

    @roshan: Um… yeah.

  101. 101
    Allison W. says:

    @wilfred:

    indeed.

  102. 102
    Violet says:

    @Nick:
    Nick, how do you reconcile the recent poll that came out showing the American people have near record lows of trust in the MSM and the fact that the MSM is struggling financially with your view that the media controls the narrative and that whatever the media decides is what is going to happen?

    You may be right, but on the face of it it doesn’t seem like it follows. Or if it follows at this point, then the media’s power should be diminishing because they’re struggling financially and won’t have the resources to continue to dominate the discussion.

  103. 103
    Cacti says:

    @Allison W.:

    Greenwald, Hamsher and the whole lot would have started a major campaign to primary Obama and their number one picks would have been Dean, Weiner, Feingold, etc – the very people who have kept quiet or came out on the wrong side of the issue.

    This whole episode has been useful for at least one reason.

    The mild or non-existant rebukes of Dean by the professional left have shown that their anti-Obama invective is personal and not based on any sort of principle.

  104. 104
    Zifnab says:

    @suzanne: He also defined himself in terms of anti-death penalty and anti-war. I think he was striving for some degree of label homogeneity, not ideological affiliation.

    When someone says, “I’m pro-life, but I don’t want to pass any laws that prevent a woman from getting an abortion” then you’re just arguing over name tags. If he wants to call himself pro-life, it generates a little confusion but no harm. So long as his votes are in the right place, the name tags are trivial.

    @roshan: /rolls eyes.
    Oh please. He was asked to clarify his stance on abortion and he did. If you’re going to tear off his face for answering a request for an opinion on a hot-button political issue, you’re just being a jerk and adding nothing to the discussion.

    Like it or not, in a Democracy everyone votes on how the laws are made. Gays have to put up with DOMA and DADT. Dusky hued gentlemen have to put up with racial profiling. And women suffer for men legislating on abortion. Telling a guy to shut up on abortion because he doesn’t have a uterus is asinine, firstly because it makes you no friends and secondly because – for better or worse – his voice at the ballot box is just as loud as yours.

  105. 105
    Kryptik says:

    @Violet:

    It follows as long as you realize that the media’s target audience really isn’t the public. It’s Washington.

  106. 106
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    Nick, how do you reconcile the recent poll that came out showing the American people near record lows of trust in the MSM and the fact that the MSM is struggling financially with your view that the media controls the narrative and that whatever the media decides is what is going to happen?

    They don’t trust the media, but they trust them more than politicians.

  107. 107
    salacious crumb says:

    Howard Dean is just hopping mad he couldnt get a cabinet level position in the White House. he figures he has nothing to lose now, so might as well show his true colors. Remember when he was running for the White House and the way he had set himself up as being the saviour of black people who would lecture racist white folks a thing or two about slavery? Well turned out he himself never had hired much minorities as governor of Vermont. Not saying this is an outright disqualifier for anything but it does say a lot about Howard Dean, especially with this new episode.

  108. 108
    Mark S. says:

    This has nothing to do with the right to build and unlike same sex marriage or the civil rights movement it is not about equal protection under the law.

    I remember when some Lutherans wanted to build a church in my neighborhood and there was a big uproar and death threats and the whole thing got really fucking ugly.

    Oh wait, that never happened.

  109. 109
    Violet says:

    @Kryptik:
    Well, not all the time. How would the rightwing gin up support for the tea parties if they didn’t use Fox News to tell Real Americans when they should show up at protests? It’s not they have a pen full of chunky, middle-aged white people they let out in the light of day only to fill out rallies.

    And is “the media” really only trying to influence Washington? That’s it’s only goal? Really? They have zero interest in accomplishing any other task?

  110. 110
    Toni says:

    @Allison W.: That comment by Dean is even more telling than what he said specifically about this current issue.

  111. 111
    TOB says:

    @ Kryptik:

    you’re probably right. Being born in Manhattan, I was from infancy dangerously exposed on a near-daily basis to Muslims, immigrants, and people who looked frighteningly unlike me or my parents. This damage, beginning at such a vulnerable age, likely has rendered me, like many of my fellow New Yorkers, permanently incapable of thinking like real Americans, and likely even made me dangerous to Freedom and America itself. We probably shouldn’t really be allowed to vote. Or at least, should be made to think about Real Americans’ feelings, first…

  112. 112
    EJ says:

    I’d like Howard Dean to respectfully address my concern that Jews control the media and the banks. Oh, and that the Nixon administration faked the Moon landings.

  113. 113
    Cacti says:

    @salacious crumb:

    Maybe he’s still just trying to be “the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.”

  114. 114
    Karen says:

    No Howard Dean, this is not your time to make yourself relevant, however pathetic you are.

    If you haven’t figured out that this fight isn’t really about this community center/mosque then you’re either a moron or oblivious of any agenda but your own.

    The goal of the Fox/GOP is to challenge Islam period.

    The bigotry of the NY Dems (several who not coincidentally happen to be Jewish) makes me ashamed to be one. However as someone originally from Long Island and still has relatives there, I know for a fact that a lot of people lost love ones and it’s as if 9/11 just happened for them. It’s a gut reaction. They remind me of people in my family who STILL feel animosity toward Germans because of WWII. It’s not reasonable but paranoid emotional reactions never are.

  115. 115
    Mark S. says:

    @EJ:

    I think out of respect for people who believe that 9/11 was an inside job, all federal buildings should be removed from lower Manhattan.

  116. 116
    Flugelhorn says:

    In his so-called “denouncement” of radicals, he also blames the US for creating Al Qaeda and Bin Laden and that the US is responsible for getting attacked because of their policies.

    So it is ok to blame the victim of a rape for dressing scantily. She brought it on herself, right? She should not have had a scantily clad dress policy.

    If you people can’t see that Dean is actually making sense (wonder of wonders) then you really have an intellectual disconnect. The stated purpose of this mosque is to act as a cultural and religious bridge. I submit they will not go very far in their goal if they do not listen to the very people they are intending to build a bridge to. The fact that they are not listening causes me to doubt the veracity of their stated goal.

    There is also the issue that putting this mosque at this site would be a symbol of victory for the more radical muslims in and outside of the US. This is undeniable. We would be allowing the creation of a symbol of propoganda that would ring loudly throughout radical islam.

    They also need to show us the money, which they have not been willing to do. I would bet that much of their funding is predicated on the mosque being built at the current site. See the above paragraph for why foreign muslims with deep pockets would want to donate to the project.

    Let them build it where they want it. It is their right. However, do not hate those that are against it for expressing their opinion and trying to impart a little wisdom on the Imam.

  117. 117
    Sentient Puddle says:

    On a more positive note, Al Franken is awesome. But we already knew that.

  118. 118
    Zifnab says:

    @Violet:

    Nick, how do you reconcile the recent poll that came out showing the American people near record lows of trust in the MSM and the fact that the MSM is struggling financially with your view that the media controls the narrative and that whatever the media decides is what is going to happen?

    The media doesn’t have to be liked to control the narrative. If your options for information are cable news, network news, or nothing, hating on the news swarm doesn’t change the fact that the only news you get is from the news swarm.

    Given that blogs tend to be very sensitive to what the MSM produces – we’ve had no less than two BJ articles on Howard Dean’s reaction to the Cordoba House, just as a for-instance – it’s hard to say that simply escaping to the internet will shield you from MSM narrative.

    That said, the media doesn’t decide what is going to happen. Bloggers, small town newspapers, and celebrities can all push the narrative with individual or collective effort. So it’s not like MSM has a monopoly on narrative control. But you’d be foolish to discount the very powerful force the MSM is when delivering (or withholding) news – and thus shaping the narrative – among the general public.

  119. 119
    Nick says:

    @Violet: The media is trying to protect their owners, they’re corporate propaganda networks masquerading as “news outlets”

    Ever see those ads where there’s a news anchor and she’s like “BREAKING NEWS: Moneyfriend can refinance your home at no money down” and there’s that little warning in the corner to tell you its not really news, but just a commercial.

    News is just a giant commercial for Viacom, News Corp and Disney

  120. 120
    cleek says:

    @Flugelhorn:

    There is also the issue that putting this mosque at this site would be a symbol of victory for the more radical muslims in and outside of the US.

    so what ?

    are we obligated to stamp on the things we’re supposed to be fighting to protect in order to make sure we don’t encourage a handful of lunatics who want to hurt us ?

  121. 121
    j low says:

    @roshan: Ouch! Did you just compare Ash Can to Sarah Palin?

  122. 122
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    You can’t have “genuine listening” when the whole conversation starts with bullshit: It isn’t just a mosque, you can’t see ground zero from it, and it’s nothing new in that neighborhood. Start there, and you have nothing that needs to be “heard respectfully”.

    Absolutely and exactly right.

    they will not go very far in their goal if they do not listen to the very people they are intending to build a bridge to. The fact that they are not listening causes me to doubt the veracity of their stated goal.

    What a total crock of horseshit. We can’t exercise our property rights unless we properly sell the sincerity of our purpose to a bunch of lying, ratfucking politicians and cable tv pundits? In other words, the rights are now valid only when we successfully mount what amounts to a popularity contest?

    Fuck that.

  123. 123
    Brachiator says:

    @Zifnab:

    If your options for information are cable news, network news, or nothing, hating on the news swarm doesn’t change the fact that the only news you get is from the news swarm.

    But those are not your only options. Never have been.

    @Nick:

    News is just a giant commercial for Viacom, News Corp and Disney.

    Yeah, and so? How did you get immunized?

  124. 124
    BTD says:

    @burnspbesq:

    No idea what the basis is, but it is an Article 78 proceeding in NY state court alleging the Landmarks Commission abused its discretion in not designating the Burlington Coat Factory a landmark.

    Personally, I think they should just bag the community center and call it a mosque right now.

    I think that would be a cool response.

  125. 125
    Mayken says:

    @wmsheppa: Oh, good. Glad to see some media outlet actually bringing that to light. I was arguing with my brother and I brought that up and he says “Well it’s been there for a while and nobody knows about it so it’s ok!” Seriously?! Unfortunately I think that is likely to be the answer we get if anyone has the guts to ask Palin, Newt or the Tea baggers the question.

  126. 126
    BTD says:

    @Cacti:

    Wha? Greenwald is killing Dean on this.

    Some of you are insane.

  127. 127
    Rick Taylor says:

    Greenwald, Hamsher and the whole lot would have started a major campaign to primary Obama and their number one picks would have been Dean, Weiner, Feingold, etc – the very people who have kept quiet or came out on the wrong side of the issue.

    __
    Feingold said the right thing. There’s a link to it in message 52.

  128. 128
    Zifnab says:

    @Brachiator:

    But those are not your only options. Never have been.

    If you don’t have a newspaper, yeah they are.

    Even the blogosphere doesn’t immunize you from the MSM because the blogosphere itself is heavily influenced by the MSM.

    They have a very loud, very omnipresent megaphone. If the MSM wants to make something an issue, they can make it an issue.

  129. 129
    J sub D says:

    Shorter Dean:

    If only those niggers weren’t so uppity. Hell, we’ve already put in water fountains in darkie town, why do they want one here.

    And the Mormons have all of Utah for their churches, right?

    Sheesh, America’s gone batshit crazy over the YMMA.

  130. 130
    Flugelhorn says:

    @cleek:

    are we obligated to stamp on the things we’re supposed to be fighting to protect in order to make sure we don’t encourage a handful of lunatics who want to hurt us ?

    You are still holding on to the old arguement. They can build it there if they want. Those against it being built THERE (Not against the mosque being built at all) have a legitimate reason for it and the Imam should be sensitive to that if he really wants to go around building bridges of good will and rainbows.

  131. 131
    roshan says:

    @j low:
    Nope, I didn’t. I just said that I realized that women are allowed to be bigots too, just not without ever getting called out for it. She has her agreements with the new guy Kain, on the abortion issue. I don’t. So I said so right here, @roshan:

  132. 132
    j low says:

    Here’s the money quote where Glennzilla goes “easy” on Howard Dean.

    Certain things are disappointing and surprising even for the most hardened cynics. Hearing Howard Dean — the former liberal standard-bearer — join Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin by saying the following is definitely one of them:

  133. 133
    Xenos says:

    @Flugelhorn:
    1- Are you saying the US did not encourage the development of al Qaeda, including arming and training its members?

    2 – Are you saying that US support for dictators in the Arab world is not the officially stated reason why al Qaeda has targeted the US? So that is a lie, they just hate us for shits and giggles?

    3- Please explain how a community center, including a prayer room (‘Eek! A Mosque'(c)) that is run by Sufis under the authority of an American Nonprofit board containing Christians and Jews is a propaganda victory for al Qaeda? Sure, they might claim something like that, but we can’t let al Qaeda’s willingness to make stupid and irrational claims override our own program to promote tolerance and inter-sectarian peace as part of our own ‘War on Terror’.

    There are so many layers of stupid, uneducated, foolish and wrong-headedness on the part of Dean and yourself it could take days to refute them all.

  134. 134
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    Those against it being built THERE (Not against the mosque being built at all) have a legitimate reason for it

    In case you have not been paying attention for the last six months … no, they don’t. There is no legitimate reason, no matter how you slice and dice the question. None, at all.

    You have invented a model in which rights are controlled by ill informed mobs with hurt feelings. A world in which rights mean essentially nothing.

  135. 135
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @BTD:

    No idea what the basis is, but it is an Article 78 proceeding in NY state court alleging the Landmarks Commission abused its discretion in not designating the Burlington Coat Factory a landmark.

    Doesn’t sound like this can really go anywhere. As far as I can tell from a brief search, the Landmarks Commission doesn’t really have any guidelines for landmark designation, and just go by discretion. As long as the commission went through proper protocol (which is basically hold a hearing), these guys’ case amounts to “We don’t like their ruling!” To which the proper response from courts is “Tough shit.”

  136. 136
    Kryptik says:

    @Flugelhorn:

    Bullshit. It’s only an argument if you lay the 9/11 attacks at the foot of every single Muslim and the Islamic religion as a whole, and want to persist in that impression.

    And the repeated Mosque protests around the country, where said mosques don’t have the issue of being near Ground Zero, and where the opponents have been much less restrained in believing that Islam as a whole is our enemy, puts a lie to the bullshit argument about ‘sensitivity’.

  137. 137
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Flugelhorn: I don’t know what’s worse, that you spew noxious tripe like this:

    There is also the issue that putting this mosque at this site would be a symbol of victory for the more radical muslims in and outside of the US. This is undeniable. We would be allowing the creation of a symbol of propoganda that would ring loudly throughout radical islam.

    or that you apparently are a fan of Chuck Mangione. The flugelhorn’s nothing but a trumpet with its balls cut off.

  138. 138
    Cacti says:

    @BTD:

    Certain things are disappointing and surprising even for the most hardened cynics. Hearing Howard Dean—the former liberal standard-bearer—join Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin by saying the following is definitely one of them

    Disappointing and surprising.

    Ouch, how harsh.

  139. 139
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    The flugelhorn’s nothing but a trumpet with its balls cut off.

    Fabulous line, which I of course will steal and use as my own.

    But hey, at least he doesn’t listen to Kenny G.

  140. 140
    Flugelhorn says:

    @DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective:

    You have invented a model in which rights are controlled by ill informed mobs with hurt feelings. A world in which rights mean essentially nothing.

    I did not invent anything. This is not about rights. This is about common sense. As I stated before, on several occassions, they have the right to build it there or anywhere. Just because you have the “right” to do something does not mean you SHOULD do something. Do you understand? Why in the hell would an organization that purports itself to be a “bridge builder” want to erect a structure designed for that purpose when the place they chose to build it starts them off with 70% of America hating them for it? Does that make sense to you?

  141. 141
    Lolis says:

    @BTD:

    Greenwald used the words “surprised” and “disappointed” to describe Dean’s comments. Those are actually pretty mild terms. He does destroy Dean’s rationale (as he should), but it lacks the same level of rage that most of his posts criticizing Obama do.

  142. 142
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    This is not about rights.

    Uh, as a matter of fact, yes, it is entirely about rights.

    The fact that you don’t understand that makes it clear that you are either just fucking with us here, because you got a spooftroll fu thing when you got up this morning, or else you are incapable of seeing the plain and simple truth.

    In either case, you are full of shit.

  143. 143
    Svensker says:

    @BTD:

    Josh is wrong on the impending litigation issue.

    Is there litigation?

  144. 144
    Suffern ACE says:

    Well, I agree with Dean’s revision to his statement, although it is still a bit unfair to expect that one tiny, unfunded center on its own will be able to take on this burden. Nor is it fair to expect that American Muslims and Arab Americans will automatically accept Feisal Rauf as a spokesman on the very important issue simply because he is a Muslim and is in the press at the moment. But then history doesn’t always present the best conditions for progress.

    Look, I don’t want Pam Geller to be the spokesman for me on this issue. A perusal of her website indicates that she is a hateful human being. It is not likely that her “fee fees” are going to ever be soothed. If the standard set for Muslim Americans is that they will never have Mosques anywhere until Pam Geller isn’t upset, well then we aren’t going to get anywhere. But I don’t think that Howard Dean is talking about that standard. He’s talking about the “fee fees” of another set of people.

  145. 145
    j low says:

    @Cacti: How about this.

    It’s episodes like this which breed increasing levels of pervasive disgust and even indifference about electoral outcomes.

    But obviously you’ve made up your mind and facts aren’t going to influence you.

  146. 146
    FlipYrWhig says:

    This has nothing to do with the right to build and unlike same sex marriage or the civil rights movement it is not about equal protection under the law. The rights of the builders are not in dispute.

    I think some people on the thread may be misreading this section by leaving off the second sentence. IMHO he’s saying that everyone already agrees that the builders of the “mosque” _have_ rights and _have_ equal protection, whereas in a debate like that over same-sex marriage the clash is precisely about _whether_ people have certain rights or deserve equal protection.

    (I myself think that’s overly generous to the mosque opponents, but I think that’s Dean’s point, not that it has nothing to do with larger issues of rights.)

    When BTD compared Dean’s vision to the “beer summit,” I think he was quite right. Dean wants to have a “teachable moment.” The underlying idea of bringing the people who want to build together with the people who don’t want them to seems rather innocuous, and rather New England town meeting-ish.

    Of course the word “compromise” doesn’t sound good, and my gripe would be that I’m not sure what the “mosque” side is supposed to do to “compromise.” But I think Dean’s emphasis was more on talking it over and clearing the air than on compromising by, essentially, caving in.

  147. 147
    Cacti says:

    @Flugelhorn:

    This is not about rights.

    This phrase is quickly becoming the constitutional equivalent of:

    “I’m not a racist, but…”

  148. 148
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    Why in the hell would an organization that purports itself to be a “bridge builder” want to erect a structure designed for that purpose when the place they chose to build it starts them off with 70% of America hating them for it? Does that make sense to you?

    Yes, you moron. Because THE 70% IS WRONG. Get it? Rights aren’t valid only when the mob approves of them. If they are then all the gays in America would have been run out of the country a long time ago. Negroes would still be sitting in the back of the bus and eating at separate lunch counters. Rights are valid because we are a nation of laws and not a nation of maudlin bullshit and mob rule, where cable tv pundits can gin up phony controversies and run people off their own property.

    Even if the requested building were an actual mosque, which it is not, and even if it were built in sight of the supposed “hallowed ground,” which it is not, and even if there were not already a Muslim facility just yards away from the subject property, which there is, and even if the property owner were not obviously a friend of peaceful Islam, which he is … the issue would still be the rights, the whole rights, and nothing but the rights.

  149. 149
    j low says:

    @Lolis: Perhaps it’s because Obama is the President of the United States, defacto leader of the “free” world and all that comes along with that, and Howard Dean is a prominent citizen not actually in charge of anything. Or maybe it’s that you are reading preconceived notions into what GG wrote.

  150. 150
    Rick Taylor says:

    Why in the hell would an organization that purports itself to be a “bridge builder” want to erect a structure designed for that purpose when the place they chose to build it starts them off with 70% of America hating them for it? Does that make sense to you?

    __
    Quite honestly, I don’t care. I don’t have much interest in the best way to do Muslim outreach, it’s none of my business, It’s entirely up to the people attempting to build the center what would best serve their goals, and I haven’t a clue why it’s any business of Harry Reid or Howard Dean or any other elected official to tell them how to best go about pursuing their goals. I just think government officials should mind their own business and get to work on things that are actually their job.

    I guess this must be what it feels like to be a conservative.

  151. 151
    Mark S. says:

    @Flugelhorn:

    when the place they chose to build it starts them off with 70% of America hating them for it?

    That’s bullshit, too (I’m starting to notice a theme to your work). Laura freaking Ingraham had no problem with it back in December:

    Dec. 21, 2009: Conservative media personality Laura Ingraham interviews Abdul Rauf’s wife, Daisy Khan, while guest-hosting “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox. In hindsight, the segment is remarkable for its cordiality. “I can’t find many people who really have a problem with it,” Ingraham says of the Cordoba project, adding at the end of the interview, “I like what you’re trying to do.”

    Fee-fees didn’t start getting hurt until May of this year, when the right wing media decided to start taking cues from the deranged Atlas Pam.

  152. 152
    Hob says:

    Before this thread blows up into 500 pages of useless flames, could I meekly suggest two things?

    1. If you feel like arguing with Flugelhorn, but you’re not sure whether maybe he is a troll, you might want to search the BJ archives for his name and see whether he’s ever posted anything non-trolly here. Short answer: he’s a troll.

    2. If you want to complain about and/or defend E.D. Kain, why not do it on one of his posts or on an open thread. That shit is pretty far off topic here.

  153. 153
    Kryptik says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    But that’s the whole point. The “mosque”, in and of itself, was conceived and designed to be that exact teaching moment. Saying ‘you gotta move’ in the ‘spirit of compromise’ is exactly saying that ‘this isn’t a moment to be taught’. It’s allowing those who just plain don’t want to be informed or to learn to take the win and be satisfied in their believe that their ignorance is the truth.

    That’s the whole fucking problem I have in this. In ‘compromise’ it cedes away every single high ground and makes such a ‘teachable moment’ impossible.

  154. 154
    Frank says:

    @Flugelhorn:

    You are still holding on to the old arguement. They can build it there if they want. Those against it being built THERE (Not against the mosque being built at all) have a legitimate reason for it and the Imam should be sensitive to that if he really wants to go around building bridges of good will and rainbows.

    And where does it stop?

    Do you then also agree that NO catholic churches can be allowed in our country until the Pope is sensitive to the victims of child molesting by their priests?

    Do you then also agree that no more Christian churches can be allowed in our country until the Christian leaders are sensitive to the victims of the White Man’s invasion, ie the Native Americans?

    Or is this only about Muslims? If so, that’s really all I need to know about your thinking.

  155. 155
    Apnea says:

    Even here, in a controversy where everyone is pretty much on the same page but Democratic elites, some still manages to fan the flames of the nutroots war and question Greenwald’s tone. Again, his tone.

    And somehow find the means to drag Hamsher into it.

    WTF is wrong with you? Greenwald’s comparing Dean to Gingrich and Palin, he’s dismissing his justification, hectoring for an interview, treating him at the very least adversarially. What’s missing from this picture, exactly?

    “He’s not using the same language he used against Obama!!1!!1”

    Unbelievable.

  156. 156
    Nick says:

    @Brachiator:

    How did you get immunized?

    I got laid off so they can hire two interns at half the price

  157. 157
    Cacti says:

    @Kryptik:

    In ‘compromise’ it cedes away every single high ground and makes such a ‘teachable moment’ impossible

    This.

    “Compromise” indicates that both sides are making some sort of concession.

    In this case, the Muslim group would be compromising their right to worship how and where they please in accordance with the law.

    The opponents would be compromising…

    Absolutely nothing.

  158. 158
    Frank says:

    @Flugelhorn:

    Why in the hell would an organization that purports itself to be a “bridge builder” want to erect a structure designed for that purpose when the place they chose to build it starts them off with 70% of America hating them for it?

    Please show me ANY poll that claims that 70% of Americans are HATING them for it. Furthermore, who gives a rats ass?

    In my community, pretty liberal, probably 85% never watch FoxNews and they hate their propaganda. Since they hate Foxnews, do you think they should be able to ban FoxNews in their entire district? If so, we really need to rewrite the First Amendment accordingly. No more free speech. Instead, you can only say what you want if 50.1% of more agree with you.

  159. 159
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Flugelhorn: Actually, building a center where 70% of the American people are against it actually does make sense to me. But then I am odd. This isn’t about sending a message to global Islam, but about the American Muslims who are here. And of those Muslims, I would like them to be listening to Feisal Abdul Rauf and not some buffoon like the one who we’re targeting for assassination at the moment.

    I am not going to worry about Radical Islam trumpeting victory over this issue. I believe that the commitment to send drones wherever they are hiding is still in effect. It’s hard to declare victory amongst your supporters when you are hiding from drones.

  160. 160
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Flugelhorn:

    You are still holding on to the old arguement. They can build it there if they want. Those against it being built THERE (Not against the mosque being built at all) have a legitimate reason for it and the Imam should be sensitive to that if he really wants to go around building bridges of good will and rainbows.

    Hell, fucking no!

    The fact that I make you uncomfortable is YOUR problem, not mine. “I’m not comfortable” is not a legitimate reason for building the community center elsewhere. The local community approved it, the zoning board approved it. End of discussion.

  161. 161
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Flugelhorn:

    This is not about rights. This is about common sense.

    Common Sense = Mass Ignorance.

  162. 162
    Nick says:

    @Frank:

    In my community, pretty liberal, probably 85% never watch FoxNews and they hate their propaganda

    just for fun, ask people in your community about this, their answers might shock the hell out of you

  163. 163
    Rick Taylor says:

    . . .. and Howard Dean is a prominent citizen not actually in charge of anything.

    __
    That’s a very good point. That would put Harry Reid’s comment in a different category than Dean’s.

  164. 164
    BTD says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    Harry Reid is not in charge of anything related to the “GROUND ZERO MOSQUE.”

  165. 165
    BTD says:

    @Svensker:

    Yep. That’s why Josh is wrong.

  166. 166
    BTD says:

    @Lolis:

    Oookaaay.

    I can’t speak forGlenn, butI imagine it has something to do with the fact that Dean actually has not one whit of control over the issue, as opposed to, say, Obama’s control over the military commission process.

    FTR – I support Obama on indefinite detention and military tribunals, and have written so often..

  167. 167
    BTD says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    I agree. And it actually would not stop a mosque.

    I like my idea of opening the site as a mosque NOW and planning on building the community center later.

  168. 168
    Violet says:

    @Nick:

    I got laid off so they can hire two interns at half the price

    Why did you getting laid off “immunize” you to news being a
    “giant commercial”? Sorry, not following.

    Sorry to hear you were laid off. Sucks. Been there.

  169. 169
    Paula says:

    Idealized hero of the Progressive Left turns out to be a real politician to the confusion of the Progressive Left. Film @ 11.

  170. 170
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    Why did you getting laid off “immunize” you to news being a
    “giant commercial”? Sorry, not following.

    I got out of it before it corrupted me, but with just enough experience to see the farce for what it is.

  171. 171
    Mayur says:

    @Flugelhorn: Also, too, you asshole, this *is* about sensitivity and understanding, just not in the way your reptile brain seems to grok. Cordoba House is an example of Osama’s worst nightmare: Muslims reaching out in to promote a moderate vision of their religion in an atmosphere of cross-cultural, interfaith interaction. No one would have even batted an eye if Palin, Gingrich, and their cohorts at Fox “News” hadn’t started the hate machine rolling, and in that respect they’re nothing better than Osama’s opposite number.

  172. 172
    Mayur says:

    Please note that I live in NYC; my fucking mayor had pretty much the only right thing to say on the subject; and the folks getting their knickers in a twist don’t live in New York and, when they’re not using 9/11 as an excuse to get their Muslim-hate on, demonize us as a city full of homosexual communist child pornographers (cf. Allen, Woody).

  173. 173
    Rick Taylor says:

    @BTD:
    Exactly. That’s my point. It seems to me problematic when a senator, let alone the Majority Leader, is expected to give their opinion on a matter that’s unrelated to their actual responsibilities. I understand I may not be being clear, I’m just formulating this. I had a similar opinion when the congress voted to condemn MoveOn. Government officials should be hesitant to weigh in on matters involving private entities that aren’t a part of their responsibilities, and when they do so they should make very clear that they are doing so entirely as private citizens. This why I liked Feingold’s statement. Beyond an acknowledgment of the right of a private organization to build in accordance with local laws, he said, look this has nothing to do with my office.

  174. 174
    Violet says:

    @Nick:
    I could say that about a few industries I’ve worked in. There’s not a lot out there that is pure.

  175. 175
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I’m quoting the whole second paragraph because I can.

    This has nothing to do with the right to build and unlike same sex marriage or the civil rights movement it is not about equal protection under the law. The rights of the builders are not in dispute. This is about ending the poisonous atmosphere engendered by fear and hate, and in order to do that there has to be genuine listening, hearing and willingness to compromise on both sides I personally believe that there are other possible solutions that could result from such a process and that a genuine exploration of those possibilities is something we ought to try.

    I bolded the part I want to discuss.

    Dear Governor Dean: It’s poisonous because of one side and one side only. That would be the Republican side and their manufactured poutrage of the day. No one knew about this or gave a good goddamn until the pundits on the right started letting their hatred for Muslims freak flag fly in order to get ratings and page hits. There is no squishy middle on this issue. There is a right side (supporting the project) and a wrong side (not supporting it).

    There can be no room for discussion on this matter period. Again, to paraphrase the incomparable TNC, some things are not up for debate. The humanity of Muslims is one of them. If this cultural center is moved because of this whole brouhaha, I am going to start a campaign that no Christian churches should be built around the Oklahoma bombing memorial because it’s roughly the same argument. What you are saying is that bullying works and that the weaker or the minority should have to concede to the majority in order to stop the stupidity. That is beneath you.

    This whole episode has been disgraceful to our country, and the fact that you are willingly stepping into the fray is pure bullshit. I am furious with you for getting this so completely wrong.

    Sincerely, asiangrrlMN

    @Sentient Puddle: I love my senator. Even in times like this, he is a soothing balm.

  176. 176
    asiangrrlMN says:

    P.S. I just read GG’s article on Dean, and I think GG is hitting Dean pretty hard on this. GG is trying to interview him and find out WTF, but GG doesn’t pull any punches. He found out his hero has clay feet, and he’s writing about his disappointment, but he’s not holding back.

  177. 177
    Brachiator says:

    @Zifnab:
    RE: But those are not your only options. Never have been.

    If you don’t have a newspaper, yeah they are.

    But I do have newspapers, and tons of other sources as well. So does anyone else who is mildly curious about the world.

    Even the blogosphere doesn’t immunize you from the MSM because the blogosphere itself is heavily influenced by the MSM.

    The blogosphere is largely a source of opinion, not news and information (when it is not regurgitating information you can get in a newspaper), and is often as much a form of lowest common denominator media as anything else. It couldn’t possibly immunize you.

    I see your point, but ultimately it is pointless to depend upon either the blogosphere or the MSM to do your work for you. This has always been the case. And yeah, I think the media is getting worse and newspapers decline and media giants seek to consolidate their holdings.

    @Nick:
    Sorry you got laid off.

  178. 178
    toujoursdan says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    One more time:

    It’s not “unfunded”. They have already spent $4.85 million to buy 51 Park Place, and another $700,000 for a lease at 49 Park Place from Con Edison which allows them to develop that property as they wish, with an option to buy when they choose.

    They have also had to submit plans to the New York City Planning Commission and Lower Manhattan Community board and have had them approved. You can’t walk into these meetings with a pencil drawing of a building on the back of a napkin and walk out with an approval.

    There seems to be a secondary ongoing theme of “It’s never going to get built so all you liberals are arguing over nothing.” Politico and Dkos have it wrong. They are serious about this. After the brouhaha, they are likely to get a lot more funding, and it’s likely going to get built.

  179. 179
    gypsy howell says:

    @toujoursdan:

    At this point, I hope they put giant fucking gold minarets that can be seen from New Jersey on top of it.

  180. 180
    Nick says:

    @Brachiator:

    Sorry you got laid off.

    Happened over a year ago. I’m happily reemployed and guess what? Thanks to the ban on recession, I can finally get health insurance next month despite the knee injury I had when I was 17.

  181. 181
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kryptik: I agree that saying “you gotta move” in “the spirit of compromise” would be a bogus non-compromise. So I would bang on Dean for his notion of compromise, if that’s what he really means by “compromise.”

    But the rest of what he’s saying sounds not all that bad to me. I hear him saying that the caterwauling of the opponents to the project could be allayed by bringing them into a room with the people running it and telling them to shut up and listen for a change, because everyone concerned might find that they have common ground, or could at least build trust, in a way that can’t happen when the complainers decide to demonize and bully. And, you’re right, the whole ethos of the project was already supposed to be inclusive and harmonious, so it might seem gratuitous or condescending to prescribe more discussion about feelings.

    But IMHO Dean is envisioning a kind of Quaker-school consensus-building exercise, or a New England town meeting, where everyone has a chance to air their grievances at length while hashing out their differences. In many ways that’s a persuasive vision to me. Obama typically favors that kind of dynamic himself. I’m not sure it works with truly committed bigots and gadflies like Pamela Geller or Jim DeMint. So I think my biggest criticism would be that Dean is being naive, as many people on the thread have said, rather than that he’s being a coward or classifying himself as unsupportive of the project in the “you _can_ build it but I wish you wouldn’t” vein.

  182. 182
    Felonious Wench says:

    @toujoursdan:

    After the brouhaha, they are likely to get a lot more funding, and it’s likely going to get built.

    If they’re accepting donations, I’d pony up now, without hesitation.

  183. 183
    chopper says:

    @cleek:

    if only they’d get an imam like the one who led services at the national cathedral after 9/11 aside george bush, who thanked him for a personal copy of the koran and said ‘islam is love’.

    if that guy were trying to open a community center in lower manhattan, then it would be okay.

    wait, what? that’s the guy? well, shit.

  184. 184
    Elie says:

    Howdy, Howdy, Howdy, man — you just missed this completely and need desperately to STFU. Please, don’t say anything more..

    And @Violet:

    You nailed this cold, Lady. Man, what gives with Democrats???? Totally blew a perfect opportunity…

  185. 185
    Alan in SF says:

    There’s a Catholic Church near my kids’ school that I’d like Howard Dean’s help getting rid of.

  186. 186
    Mike Kay says:

    hehehehehehehehehe

    I told you last december he was nuts.

    case closed.

  187. 187
    Mike Kay says:

    @Lolis:

    He does destroy Dean’s rationale (as he should), but it lacks the same level of rage that most of his posts criticizing Obama do.

    glen hates anyone who is president. I’m sure if Dean or Edwards or Hillary were president, the same policies would be followed and glen would get his hate on with them, as well.

    you have to understand glen is no different than a christian fundamentalist — he lives to shake his finger at others so he can feel infallible (ie superior).

    I would advise not reading him at all. After all, he has no credentials. He’s just another he-man beatin his chest from a basement. I mean, how quickly would glen abandon moral absolutism if he ever entered the real world.

  188. 188
    Mike Kay says:

    @Allison W.: Marry me!

  189. 189
    Mike Kay says:

    @Cacti:

    The mild or non-existant rebukes of Dean by the professional left have shown that their anti-Obama invective is personal and not based on any sort of principle.

    to be sure, if their candidate had won the nomination and been elected, they would have given Edwards/Hillary/Dodd the benefit of the doubt on every issue they cry about.

    I mean, we already saw that during the primaries. Edwards was an invasion cheerleader, voted for the evil bankruptcy bill, voted for wall street’s agenda: gutting Glass-Steagall and Permanent trade with China, and later worked for a hedge fund that made money on foreclosures in post katrina new orleans, yet they forgave him for all his political sins because he served them a steady diet of populist speeches.

  190. 190
    Mike Kay says:

    @Karen: This.

  191. 191
    AxelFoley says:

    @Cacti:

    …Coward Dean…

    ROTFL!!!

  192. 192
    AxelFoley says:

    @Cacti:

    Is anyone else a little nauseated by Greenwald’s kid gloves treatment of St. Howard?
    If the same comments had come from President Obama, Greenwald would be calling for him to be ridden out of town on a rail.

    Bingo. Hell, Dkos would have had a meltdown. Well, a bigger one than it usually does.

  193. 193
    AxelFoley says:

    @Cacti:

    This whole episode has been useful for at least one reason.
    The mild or non-existant rebukes of Dean by the professional left have shown that their anti-Obama invective is personal and not based on any sort of principle.

    Exactly. I don’t ever want to hear shit from them.

  194. 194
    Admiral_Komack says:

    -This is what I posted at weeseeyou.com-

    “But there’s no point in trying to do something good if it’s met with enormous resistance from a lot of folks”

    -With thinking like that, this country would still be a British colony.

    YEAAARRRGGGHHH!

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