Remember the fun and games enjoyed by all during last year's August Congressional recess?
Tea Party mobs fumed about "death panels" dedicated to putting Granny down. They railed against President Obama, branding him a fascist/socialist/communist hell-bent on destroying healthcare by turning the system over to federal bureaucrats.
What's in store this month? Is it repealing "Obamacare?"
The Wall Street Journal tried to set the stage today via an editorial calling the healthcare legislation unconstitutional due to "the individual mandate, the requirement that everyone buy health insurance or else pay a penalty." That's a little on the dry side, hardly enough to whip a crowd into frenzy.
The WTC mosque though is the perfect sideshow to deflect national attention from the GOPís effort to tie financial reform into knots and filibuster all things Obama, while proposing the same old tax cut bromide as the solution to the nationís woes.
Leading lights such as ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich oppose the mosque largely because Saudi Arabia doesn't allow churches and synagogues in its desert. Go figure.
North Carolina Republican Congressman-hopeful Ilaro Pantano (pictured)has made the no-mosque-near-the-WTC a tenet of his campaign, though his district is more than 600 miles away from Ground Zero. He calls the proposed building a "misguided symbol of Islamic victory."
The mosque is a "martyr-marker honoring the terrorists who less than a decade ago killed thousands of us just two blocks away, and it must be stopped." In his twisted view, the mosque is about ďmarking religious, ideological and territorial conquest.Ē Note to Pantano: that line may go over well with hog farmers in North Carolina, but there was no conquest of NYC. We are still alive and kicking.
During today's speech on Governors Island, NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg had it right when he said the cityís doors are open to everyone with a dream, a willingness to work and to play by the rules.
"We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. Thatís life and itís part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11.
ďOn that day, 3,000 people were killed because some murderous fanatics didnít want us to enjoy the freedom to profess our own faiths, to speak our own minds, to follow our own dreams and to live our own lives.Ē
The silence of other top New York politicos on the mosque, such as Sens. Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman and future mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, is deafening.