August 15, 2010
Once again, it is all about Obama
As I read Obama's comments, I got the impression that this controversy is now all about Obama. That the Ground Zero Mosque debate is now the Professor Gates/Cambridge Police Department controversy elevated to the world stage.
The President seems to have a compulsion to insert himself into controversies about race and religion. If he ever proposed to facilitate an intellectually honest debate between the parties this may be valuable, but he doesn't. Indeed, he has problems using honest words to define the fundamental problems the secular democratic West has with Islam, a value system that is less a religion as the West now understands the term than a form of civic organization that ultimately seeks to controls all aspects of daily life on a global basis. Instead Obama seems to believe there is something in his august persona that makes him uniquely qualified to act as the final arbiter in these matters, that he can cooly utter a few words out in a pleasant garden or across a hospitable meal table and make such differences just go away.
Last year this compulsion merely ended up making Obama look like a fool. This time the stakes are not only the fate of dozens of Democrats running for Congress who are going to have to cope with the Ground Zero Mosque now being made a national election issue, but the image of America all around an often hostile world.