What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 22, 2010

Jack Kelly Sunday

I guess I am not surprised that Post-Gazette Columnist Jack Kelly would wander, this week, into the hall of smoke and mirrors constructed by his fellow conservative voices. The spin is obvious from the opening gesture:
We got an indication of how deeply President Barack Obama has stepped in it Wednesday when New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd compared him unfavorably to George W. Bush. Any day now Hell will freeze over (global warming alarmists be warned).

When Mr. Obama jumped unbidden into the controversy over the proposed mosque and community center two blocks from where the World Trade Center once stood, he committed, arguably, the greatest unforced error in the history of our politics.
Thousands of American troops (and countless Iraqi citizens) dead due one (republican) president's lies and this (democratic) president's defense of religious freedom is the greatest unforced error in American politcs.

Yea, I know. I don't understand that either.

But let's take a look at what Maureen Dowd actually said. Dowd takes Obama to task for "skittering back" from a stand on first principle and then "tak[ing] it back the next day."

Which, of course, isn't exactly true. As I wrote here, when you look at what the president actually said at the iftar and then compare that to what he said the next day, there's little, if any, conflict.

It's only when you project "endorsement" onto the first statement does the second look like a backtrack - something Dowd and a large chunk of the so-called liberal media does.

And something Jack actually seems to recognize:
But at a White House dinner to celebrate the Muslim feast of iftar, Mr. Obama gave remarks which both supporters and opponents of the ground zero mosque interpreted as a ringing endorsement of the project.

The president's speech nationalized the issue, and turned "a brushfire into a prairie fire," said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

The next day, after a torrent of criticism, Mr. Obama "clarified" his remarks. He was only defending the right of its backers to build the mosque, not expressing an opinion on the wisdom of doing so. [emphasis added.]
He doesn't say Obama endorsed. He says Obama's words were "interpreted" as an endorsement. When that turned out to be less than accurate (and promting the "clarification" the next day) suddenly we see the president "skittering" back. It's all a media construct.

Jack completely steps in it with this attempted rewrite of history:
But the right to build the mosque was not in controversy...
Really? So Jack must've missed that part of the Dowd column when she wrote :
Yet here is Gingrich attempting to out-Palin Palin on Fox News: “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington.” There is no more demagogic analogy than that.
I'll help Jack out with this one. When Gingrich compares the Park51 folks to Nazis, he's saying that they have is no right to build the community center. Did Jack miss that part? Here's Politico on Gingrich's remarks:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Monday compared the mosque planned to go up blocks away from ground zero in New York to Nazis protesting next to the Holocaust museum.

Gingrich highlighted the fact that New York Democratic Gov. David Paterson and numerous others have proposed alternative locations for the mosque in arguing that the leaders of the cultural center are “radical Islamists” who want to prove that “they can build a mosque next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed by Islamists.”

“That's why they won't accept any other offer,” he said during an interview on Fox News's "Fox & Friends."

Gingrich then declared that if the mosque is indeed being built as a symbol, which its leaders have repeatedly denied, New York authorities have every right to prevent it from being built.
Yea, I guess Jack missed this - how else could he assert that the right to build the mosque is not a controversy?

Like a lot of other wingnuts, he's pretending conservatives never ever attacked religious freedom.

It's all a diversion. And this is a big enough diversion that the fabric of most of the rest of the column is left in tatters.


Mike said...

There was an interesting interview this morning on This Week with Daisy Kahn (Imam Rauf's wife) and Rabbi Joy Levitt, Executive Director of the JCC in New York and a consultant to the Park 51 project.

The way it all started seemed innocent enough. Daisy Kahn thought it would be great for the Muslim community to have a Community Center just like the Jewish community does, so she talked to Rabbi Levitt who was more than happy to help.

You can see in the interview that they are good friends and could have been talking about the book sale at school just as easily as about the community center. They don't seem like radicals to me, but just a couple of people that want to make their community better.

Daisy Kahn also said they partnered with a 9/11 family group and got their support on the project. However, there are several of these organizations, and it seems that they have vastly different views.

I think they are all truly blindsided by all this. I can see her frustration that she thought she did everything right including talking to 9/11 families about it, and it still isn't good enough.

The project is also years away and may not even get built. I understand they already have funding problems. When asked about funding, Daisy Kahn said they plan to use the JCC as a model which was donations from the community. I wonder if the Muslim community has the resources to do it.

EdHeath said...

Good catch on on the "greatest unforced error" (in Kelly's defense, he did "arguably"). I meant to mention that in my own post on my blog, but caught up in all the rest of the column. My vote for the greatest unforced error in our history might be allowing slavery in at the beginning, eventually essentially causing the Civil War. Bush's invasion of Iraq is definitely on up there, though.

But I wanted to point out that Kelly went further than just ignoring Newt's evoking Nazi's in comparison to the Muslims who want to build the mosque/community center. Kelly also decided to call Nancy Pelosi a Nazi, using the term "Nanzi". It takes real nerve to talk about calling two thirds of Americans names and then turning around and call the Speaker of the House a Nazi.

rich10e said...

Maybe jack meant Nutzi