Shorter Frank Rich - support the Ground Zero mosque or the terrorists win.
Shorter Nick Kristof - support the Ground Zero mosque or the terrorists win.
Nick Kristof is seemingly unaware that many Democrats oppose the mosque:
President George W. Bush was statesmanlike after 9/11 in reaching out to Muslims and speaking of Islam as a religion of peace. Now many Republicans have abandoned that posture and are cynically turning the Islamic center into a nationwide issue in hopes of votes. It is mind-boggling that so many Republicans are prepared to bolster the Al Qaeda narrative, and undermine the brave forces within Islam pushing for moderation.
Some Republicans say that it is not a matter of religious tolerance but of sensitivity to the feelings of relatives to those killed at ground zero.
Frank Rich is aware that Harry Reid opposes the mosque, but appears to be in the dark about Howard Dean's opposition (maybe he limits himself to the Times coverage, although Dean gets a mention today).
So virulent is the Islamophobic hysteria of the neocon and Fox News right — abetted by the useful idiocy of the Anti-Defamation League, Harry Reid and other cowed Democrats — that it has also rendered Gen. David Petraeus’s last-ditch counterinsurgency strategy for fighting the war inoperative. How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?
Hmm, one might ask - how do we persuade Afghans that we will stand up to the Taliban in their village if we won't stand up to a Victory Mosque in our village? Evidently I lack the deep understanding of the Afghan psyche possessed by Mr. Rich.
Neither man bashes Obama's non-leadership, although Maureen Dowd does:
Now, after flipping about on some hot-button issues, most recently the plan for an Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero, he’s more likely to be painted by disillusioned supporters as Atticus Flinch.