My old business partner and mentor in supply-side economics, the late Jude Wanniski, used to say that the electorate is like a diamond: it looks cloudy, but if you cut it just right, all becomes clear. Think of “wedge” issues as a diamond-cutter’s chisel. Americans are tolerant people and slow to get roused (or even interested) in most foreign policy issues, but the passions ignited by the Ground Zero Mosque issue tell us that a great gap has opened between the machinations of the elites and the sentiments of the public.
The latest CNN poll shows a 70%/29% margin of opposition to the proposed monument to Muslim triumphalism. “Mosque” is the wrong term; it is not a house of worship to accommodate local Muslims and tourists but a statement of Muslim presence.
Nonetheless, President Obama continues to fawn over Muslims in a creepilyk obsequious fashion:
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 11, 2010
Statement by the President on the Occasion of Ramadan
On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I want to extend our best wishes to Muslims in America and around the world. Ramadan Kareem.
Ramadan is a time when Muslims around the world reflect upon the wisdom and guidance that comes with faith, and the responsibility that human beings have to one another, and to God. This is a time when families gather, friends host iftars, and meals are shared. But Ramadan is also a time of intense devotion and reflection – a time when Muslims fast during the day and pray during the night; when Muslims provide support to others to advance opportunity and prosperity for people everywhere. For all of us must remember that the world we want to build – and the changes that we want to make – must begin in our own hearts, and our own communities.
These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings . Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality. And here in the United States, Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country. And today, I want to extend my best wishes to the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world – and your families and friends – as you welcome the beginning of Ramadan.
I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.
May God’s peace be upon you.
It has not been the practice of American presidents to go about making judgments on religion; if George W. Bush had made precisely the same remarks about Christianity it would have caused scandal.
Americans don’t know why they don’t like Islam, but they can detect a radical difference in outlook between a religion that emphasizes collective identity and obedience, and their own civic religion founded on the Jewish and Christian belief in the sanctity of the individual. For all the relativizing tilt of the news media, they have seen enough of Muslim anger at America to realize that most Muslims don’t really like us. The Stan Greenberg polling organizations show 57% of Americans pro-Israel and only 7% pro-Palestinian.
Nor should we discount the information gleaned by well over a million Americans who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Where are the war brides? Fraternization with the locals after World War II helped cement the bond between America and Europe; most Americans perceive the locals at somewhere between homicidal and hostile. How many American soldiers have come home with an impression that squares with the President’s Ramadan greeting?
The mainstream of the Democratic Party is restive. Andrew Cuomo’s gubernatorial running-mate, John Duffy, echoed New York Governor David Patterson’s call for the Ground Zero Islamic Center to find another location farther from the site.
All this is excellent and shows that the American people have not lost their healthy common sense. What Angelo Codevilla calls “the country party” has drawn a line in the sand next to Ground Zero. Let the liberal elites tremble in their ivory towers.