I could not agree more with Glenn Greenwald on this one. What the hell is wrong with Howard Dean and any of the other Democrats who have lost their spine on this issue? If we don't have the Democratic Party standing up for the First Amendment, who the hell is going to? We sure as hell can't count on the Republicans to do it. This just disgusts me to no end as it did Glenn.
Certain things are disappointing and surprising even for the most hardened cynics. Hearing Howard Dean -- the former liberal standard-bearer -- join Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin by saying the following is definitely one of them. [...]
Making this more repellent is that he doesn't even have the "I-want-to-get-re-elected" excuse. Today, former Reagan Solicitor General Ted Olson -- whose wife, Barbara Olson, was killed on 9/11 -- said he saw no reason for Park51 to move. And Peter Beinart, expediting his ongoing transformation from TNR Seriousness Guardian into shrill liberal blogger, today called on Democrats to -- as he put it -- "Grow a Pair" by standing up to this increasingly toxic campaign. Yet here comes Howard "I'm-from-the-Democratic-wing-of-the-Democratic Party" Dean, advocating that the vicinity of Ground Zero be turned into a Muslim-free zone because some people don't want Muslims near it. It's episodes like this which breed increasing levels of pervasive disgust and even indifference about electoral outcomes.
UPDATE: As aggravated as I was with Howard when I wrote this post before it went up for promotion to the front page and before he went on Countdown to explain himself, I respect that fact that he was willing to defend his stance and try to clarify it, but I agree with Keith, he's not doing the Democrats any favors by giving weight to the extremists in the right wing. He may not have meant to, but he did.
The victims of 9-11 are not the ones driving this or that need to be talked to. They already had a chance to have their positions heard when they had the local meetings in New York. The extremists he says should be left out of the debate are the ones pushing this.
I would not be as aggravated at Howard Dean as I am if I didn't think he was one of the good guys who's just dead wrong this time around and if I didn't think his comments were fueling those who want to spread hatred instead of tolerance. I'm sick to death of them using any Democrat to justify their bigotry.
You can watch the Countdown interview here.