Of course this controversy has political legs. As Ed Driscoll pointed out late Friday night, this was an “unforced error.” There was no good political reason for him to wade into the controversy that the White House had previously (and smartly) regarded as a “local issue.”
But wade in he did, and he didn’t make things any better by backtracking yesterday. On ABC’s This Week program (via The Hill), the panel lamented the political implications of the mess Obama has created:
President Obama’s handling of the controversy over building a mosque in lower Manhattan has thrust the issue onto the political stage and will linger long after the debate ends on where to erect the structure, ABC contributor Cokie Roberts said on Sunday.
“The political issue will continue because even though the president’s remarks Friday night started a firestorm, I think the backtracking is even worse,” she told "This Week," adding, “What tomorrow is he going to say?”
Roberts and other participants at the program’s roundtable agreed that the president helped to make the issue “white hot.”
The mosque at Ground Zero is opposed by 70% of Americans, including a solid majority of 54% of Democrats and a supermajority of 70% of independents. A left-of-center politician with any instincts would take a 100-mile detour around this subject, but on one of the slowest news nights of the week, Obama wades in and drops a bombshell. All he had to do was repeat the “local issue” meme, eat his Halal iftar meal, smile for the cameras, and STFU. But, no…
In a mid-term election cycle that was already promising much political bloodshed for the left, Congressional Democrats have to be wondering—incredulously--why is he providing so much political ammunition for our opponents?!?.
Gimme some feedback in the comments.