Where’s Obama on the “Ground Zero mosque”?

Politico’s Ben Smith raised the question yesterday that’s now on many minds in Washington: Why hasn’t Barack Hussein Obama weigh in on the Ground Zero Burlington Coat Factory Mosque Community Center controversy? True, he’s been busy shooting hoops with NBA all-stars, raising money for embattled congressional Democrats, and most likely spending his days staring into ...

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images
Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images
Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images

Politico's Ben Smith raised the question yesterday that's now on many minds in Washington: Why hasn't Barack Hussein Obama weigh in on the Ground Zero Burlington Coat Factory Mosque Community Center controversy?

True, he's been busy shooting hoops with NBA all-stars, raising money for embattled congressional Democrats, and most likely spending his days staring into the economic abyss. But, as Smith writes, "This is, clearly, classic Obama turf" -- it allows him to rise about the petty politics of the moment and make a moving statement on religious freedom.

Of course,  Republicans are probably salivating at the prospect. Sadly, polls show that a large majority of Americans think the facility shouldn't be built, and it's the perfect wedge issue for the midterm elections. So it would be rational, albeit cowardly, for Obama to remain silent on what is, technically speaking, a local issue (and by the way, there are no legal grounds to prevent the Cordoba Initiative folks from building).

Politico’s Ben Smith raised the question yesterday that’s now on many minds in Washington: Why hasn’t Barack Hussein Obama weigh in on the Ground Zero Burlington Coat Factory Mosque Community Center controversy?

True, he’s been busy shooting hoops with NBA all-stars, raising money for embattled congressional Democrats, and most likely spending his days staring into the economic abyss. But, as Smith writes, "This is, clearly, classic Obama turf" — it allows him to rise about the petty politics of the moment and make a moving statement on religious freedom.

Of course,  Republicans are probably salivating at the prospect. Sadly, polls show that a large majority of Americans think the facility shouldn’t be built, and it’s the perfect wedge issue for the midterm elections. So it would be rational, albeit cowardly, for Obama to remain silent on what is, technically speaking, a local issue (and by the way, there are no legal grounds to prevent the Cordoba Initiative folks from building).

Time‘s Adam Sorensen speculates that Obama might just be "biding his time for the right moment." He’d better speak out soon. Terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann has been noting on his Twitter feed that al Qaeda sympathizers on the Internet are loving this debate, because,  according to one supporter, "More pressure on the Ummah simply means more explosions… Adding pressure undoubtedly benefits us… This is what we want." Another reads, "Actually, this benefits us… let them complicate the situation so that we see the arrival.. of a new Faisal Shahzad."

Developing… and not in a good way.

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