[StBernard] Mosque supporters beg George W. Bush to come to Obama's rescue
westley at da-parish.com
Wed Aug 18 18:24:25 EDT 2010
Mosque supporters beg George W. Bush to come to Obama's rescue
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
08/18/10 10:02 AM EDT
There's a new argument emerging among supporters of the Ground Zero mosque.
Distressed by President Obama's waffling on the issue, they're calling on
former President George W. Bush to announce his support for the project,
because in this case Bush understands better than Obama the connection
between the war on terror and the larger question of America's relationship
with Islam. It's an extraordinary change of position for commentators who
long argued that Bush had done grievous harm to America's image in the
Muslim world and that Obama represented a fresh start for the United States.
Nevertheless, they are now seeing a different side of the former president.
"It's time for W. to weigh in," writes the New York Times' Maureen Dowd.
Bush, Dowd explains, understands that "you can't have an effective war
against the terrorists if it is a war on Islam." Dowd finds it "odd" that
Obama seems less sure on that matter. But to set things back on the right
course, she says, "W. needs to get his bullhorn back out" -- a reference to
Bush's famous "the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of
us soon!" speech at Ground Zero on September 14, 2001.
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson is also looking for an assist from
Bush. "I.would love to hear from former President Bush on this issue,"
Robinson wrote Tuesday in a Post chat session. "He held Ramadan iftar
dinners in the White House as part of a much broader effort to show that our
fight against the al-Qaeda murderers who attacked us on 9/11 was not a
crusade against Islam. He was absolutely right on this point, and it would
be helpful to hear his views."
And Peter Beinart, a former editor of the New Republic, is also feeling some
nostalgia for the former president. "Words I never thought I'd write: I pine
for George W. Bush," Beinart wrote Tuesday in The Daily Beast. "Whatever his
flaws, the man respected religion, all religion." Beinart longs for the days
when Bush "used to say that the 'war on terror' was a struggle on behalf of
Muslims, decent folks who wanted nothing more than to live free like you and
For the moment, with Obama failing to live up to expectations, Bush-bashing
is over. It's all a little amusing -- and perhaps a little maddening -- for
some members of the Bush circle. When I asked Karl Rove to comment, he
responded that it means "redemption is always available for liberals and
time causes even the most stubborn of ideologues to revisit mistaken
judgments." But won't these Bush critics shortly return to criticizing Bush?
"This Bush swoon by selected members of the left commentariat is temporary,"
Rove answered. "Their swamp fevers will return momentarily."
Bush himself has declined to comment on the mosque affair.
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