Thursday, August 19, 2010


Not So Fast

Contra l'affaire mosque (i.e. Islamic cultural center), Andrew Sullivan's blogger Patrick Appel asks:  "Is The GOP's Pandering Working?" 

He points to a Dave Weigel post on a Siena Poll that reveals 63 percent of New Yorkers statewide oppose construction of the "mosque."  But, GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio -- who also opposes the mosque -- trails mosque supporter Andrew Cuomo by 34 points!  Because of this Appel concludes that the concerted GOP anti-mosque stance isn't reaping political benefits.  

That seems to me a very myopic view (and being agnostic on whether the GOP comments constitute "pandering").  

The issue is clearly having a ripple effect when:  

Unfair as it may be, that last number is very dangerous for a president who is already getting thumbs down from the economy.  It's hardly a coincidence that as the mosque issue rose up the media food chain that Obama's overall disapproval numbers finally passed the 50 percent mark.

While one can charge the GOP with "pandering" on the issue (my former boss has not covered himself with glory on this), the fact is that it was only when the president engaged on it (instead of just staying with the line that it is a local issue), he made this a local national issue.  And, again, unfair as it may be, a president with a middle name of Hussein just doesn't have the reservoir of good will -- especially when the unemployment rate stays at 9.5 percent -- to be seen as objective honest broker on matters involving Muslims.

So, to the extent that issue has thrown the Democratic leadership into confusion and weakened the president politically, I would say that it continues to "work" as a tactic for the GOP.


Bookmark and Share

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Technorati search
Search Now:
Amazon Logo
  •  RSS
  • Add to My AOL
  • Powered by FeedBurner
  • Add to Google Reader or Homepage
  • Subscribe in Bloglines
  • Share on Facebook