Monday, September 12, 2011

What's the Downside?

The line on the upcoming NY-09 special election (triggered by the resignation of ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D)) is that Republican Bob Turner appears likely to score the sizable upset in this Democratic-leaning district. Turner has leveraged the anger some ancestrally Democratic but hawkish Jews (e.g., the Russian Jewish community) have towards President Obama's policies on Israel to pull into a small but noticeable lead as polls come to a close.

It certainly will be a feather in the GOP's cap if they win this race. But that's not what the post is about. Rather, it is about some last-minute mailers going out by Turner's allies attacking, once again, the proposed construction of an Islamic Center near Ground Zero.

Doug Mataconis, who says he probably wouldn't support the Democrat in this race, sees this and asks: "Do New York Republicans Really Want To Win An Election By Appealing To Religious Intolerance?"

Really? Do we even need to ask at this point?

Why wouldn't they? The tragic fact is that a significant portion of the American population doesn't think that Muslims should have the same rights as other religious groups to build Mosques. There is very little downside to latching on to it. If even the ADL is willing to join in the hit parade, why should Republicans feel skittish about it?

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