Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thank God he's soon to be former Governor David Patterson


Honestly, is there a way this guy doesn't screw something up? He does have a unique talent. (And yes, I realize I'm talking about a Black Democrat...supposedly two of my favorite things, since I'm both.)

What worse is, he thinks he's helping in the Cordoba "Mosque" matter by offering them New York state land to, in effect, go away. (I put Mosque in quotes, because it's really a community center more than a place of worship.)

Via Greg Sargent:

How daft is this idea? Let us count the ways.

First, it puts Mayor Bloomberg in a weird spot. The mayor, you may recall, eloquently defended the religious freedom of the developers and stood up for their right to build on a site of their choosing in the face of withering national criticism. Now the governor's position is that, yes, there's something to that religious freedom thing, but let's give away some state land to make the whole mess go away? What is Bloomberg supposed to say in response? I'm told City Hall won't be commenting on the governor's idea.

Second, let's say for the sake of argument that the center's developers would support this scheme. Who gets to decide how far away from Ground Zero is an appropriate distance, and why should they be accorded that power? Should the governor appoint Sarah Palin or Abraham Foxman to a newly-created post of Mosque Exclusion Zone Czar?

Third, this sets an awful precedent. Other religious groups in New York will be asking why they aren't being given state land to build their own cultural centers. Will the state cheerfully throw free land at the next group whose plans spark controversy?

Separately, opponents of Cordoba House will no doubt be psyched by a new poll finding a majority of New Yorkers opposes the project near Ground Zero. But you know what? This is about protecting the rights of a minority. Polls, by definition, should have no bearing whatsoever on this debate. Unless of course the real goal of opponents is to score political points.