Shadows of Palestinian women are seen at Qalandiya checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Ramalla August 28, 2009, on their way to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on the first Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. (Reuters, Fadi Arouri)
"Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground, but let me make clear," said the president at "a White House dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan" today, spinning effortlessly 180 degrees from his previous position that the Ground Zero Mosque controversy was a "local issue" which he would not weigh in on:
As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.
Is that inspiring, or what? We are now being asked to believe that Mr. Obama had embraced the idea all along but was waiting for someone else to cast the first stone the locals to weigh in. Who woulda thunk it, a statist deferring to subsidiarity?
Aides to Mr. Obama say privately that he has always felt strongly about the proposed community center and mosque. But the White House did not want to weigh in until local authorities made a decision on the proposal, planned for two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.
We can only guess at what polling entrails revealed to the Leader of the Free World that it was okay to spit in the face of the overwhelming majority of his fellow Americans who oppose the building of an Islamic tower in the psychological shadow of what once was the Twin Towers. Perhaps it was an attempt to appease an angry base recently dissed by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs as "crazy" and in need of drug testing.
It’s the return of the "damning but.”
Update II: Michelle Malkin Buzzworthy link!
Update III: This story is not going to go away. Obama's speech and the old and new media's reportage/reaction top Memeorandum Saturday morning.