It seems no one is happy with President Obama’s dual statements on the controversial community center/mosque planned for Ground Zero. On the one hand he is criticized for supporting the “right” for it to be built, on the other he is criticized for saying this doesn’t mean he endorses it or think it “should” be built. Many say this is a contradiction, which in my mind it most certainly is not.
I say this because I agree with the President, especially if his hedging on the “endorsement” really means that he thinks it is bad judgement to build Cordoba House on such hallowed ground. My view is they have a right to build it, but they shouldn’t. This seems to be the President’s view as well. If so it is a perfectly consistent argument.
That said, why is the President weighing in on this? What were his motivations on his original statement of supporting the right to build Cordoba? Was it leadership and a commitment to speak his mind on a controversial issue? Or just a weak moment by he and his speechwriters that allowed the comment at a Ramadan celebration dinner at the White House? And then, what was his motivation for his statement about not endorsing Cordoba? Most certainly it was politics as House and Senate Democrats running for re-election screamed at the politically unpopular mosque.
I don’t fault President Obama for being inconsistent. I fault him for weighing in at all, and that once he did he didn’t weigh in completely. By “weighing in completely”, he should be clear: Muslims have a right to build this center, there are some benefits to building the center there, but there are far more downsides to it, and therefore they should strongly consider putting it somewhere else. This would be crystal clear to everyone. Instead he wallows in the middle, not clarifying his statement, leaving many to wonder once again if this President of ours has the strength, experience, and ability to be our leader.