Thanks for nothing, Mr. President. Now we know how Arizona feels.
First Obama stood with the president of Mexico as he bashed Americans as bigots for exercising their right of democracy on illegal immigration.
Now he stands with the developers of a mega-mosque near Ground Zero that, outside of Mayor Bloomberg, few New Yorkers want.
As always, this self-described "citizen of the world" mounts his high horse to emphasize that we must prove to foreigners how decent we are. "This is America and our commitment to religious freedom must remain unshakeable," he declared.
But it is unshakeable, as proven by the hundreds if not thousands of mosques in America, including many in the New York region. And it's worth noting that Obama made his announcement to Muslims marking Ramadan at the White House -- hardly a sign of religious oppression.
Bloomberg trotted out the same illogic -- that opposition to the mosque on that particular site near Ground Zero is a denial of religious liberty and a form of bigotry.
It's a crackpot theory, full of political grandstanding but not a shred of law or fact. The preposterous claims make no more sense coming from the president, he of the Harvard Law pedigree. Apparently common sense is not on the curriculum.
It's a land-use issue that turns on appropriateness, a routine point lost on developers and defenders. Would they also rise in high dudgeon to support an amusement park on the site, declaring we must not discriminate against Ferris wheels?
Remember, this same dynamic duo also insisted that putting the mastermind of 9/11 on trial near Ground Zero would convince the world what fine folk we are. There, too, opponents initially were blasted as bigots before Bloomberg came to his senses and flip-flopped.
I spy a trend: if you're opposed to something the president and the mayor want, you are a bigot.
So say yes, or shut up. Welcome to the new democracy, where being in the majority automatically means you are wrong.
I also smell a rat. The State Department first posted Bloomberg's screed on its website, while denying it was a sign of agreement. It then admitted the cleric behind the mosque travels the globe as a U.S. representative discussing religion. Finally, the White House insisted Obama would not get involved in "a local matter."
All that changed on a Friday night, without public warning, showing bad faith and bad manners. Then again, both are a habit with this president, which is why the nation has soured on him so quickly.
One thing is certain: the mosque will now be a hot issue in the midterm elections and a litmus test for candidates across the country. It would serve Obama right if he loses his House and Senate majorities over his support.
There was a better way. It came from Gov. David Paterson (D-N.Y.), whose offer to help the mosque developers find another location held the potential for a harmonious settlement.
But without even a serious conversation, they rejected the offer, reinforcing suspicion that provocation to the memory of 9/11 is part of the developers' plan.
It is self-evident that their professed aim, to build bridges across religions, can better be carried out in a spot not in the shadow of the murderous attacks by Islamic fanatics. Moving the mosque would help prove their motives are trustworthy and win a level of public support they won't get otherwise.
Paterson's offer called their bluff. While much about the project remains a mystery, we now know the developers are not the healers they say they are.
Having Obama in their corner doesn't change that. It only raises the stakes for him and America.
Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column, click here.
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