Friday, August 20, 2010

David Harsanyi on the NYC Mosque

Hasanyi is definitely on of my favorite columnist. I agree with him sometimes. His articles are highly sarcastic (I enjoy my sarcasm on a very deep level). Even when I disagree with Hasanyi his articles make for interesting topics of discussion.

His latest about NYC Mosque is interesting in the sense that I agree with him in shades of grey.

There is definitely a line between healthy debate/critical thought and then outright bigotry.

I don't think its bigoted to say I disagree with aspects of religious belief. The line I would draw is when the religion as a whole is discriminated against and adherents are prevented from exercising there religion.

There is nothing wrong with being a Muslim. Period.

Therefore, I have no problem with people debating whether or not building a Mosque at that particular location is a wise idea. Where I draw the line is when politicians go on television to say we should not build any mosques anywhere.

I've personally have visited mosques many times. I have always been treated well and I have returned the favor though I am not a Muslim. Islam contrary to popular belief has a longer history of tolerance than Christianity.

Does this make Christianity evil? No of course not. We should not characterize religions or any group of people based on their worst members. If you are in fact a true conservative/libertarian than you will judge people as an individual not by the group they belong to. That is higher than tolerance. It is acceptance.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mosque issue and why I'm not convince the GOP will win big

A lot of opinions have been thrown around the mosque issue in NYC. I will simply say this if you are one of the 30% or so people who think the government should discriminate against Muslims then you have no business telling me or anyone that the government is too big and powerful. You also have no right to lecture anyone about the Constitution.

You also have no business reading this blog. This is about complex issues and promoting independent thought.

Now, I will leave some room for disagreement about whether the mosque should be built at that particular location. Honestly, they have the right to build a mosque wherever they like on private property. Just remember we are talking about fiat and political strategy not legal issues.

With that said, I would like to take this NYC Mosque issue and use it as an example of why I don't think the GOP has an effective strategy for the midterms.

Now to be fair, Fivethirtyeight already wrote about this so let's give credit where credit is do.

The idea is the polls are more complicated on the mosque issue than they might appear. The country is broke up into thirds on third thinks there is no problem building a mosque there, a third doesn't like the mosque there but thinks they have a legal right to build it, and the last third thinks the government has the right to prevent the mosque from being built.

So looking at the polling two-thirds of the country find Obama's position agreeable (Obama is somewhere in the middle). Whereas the last third really won't agree with Obama on anything anyway.

As an example, this is a pretty good explanation for the entire GOP strategy which is work hard to the right and get the base to the polls. The problem is you can't win elections with a third of the population.

This third of the population is more likely to vote; however, in this hyper-partisan environment it motivates independents to get more involved in politics. If the hard right and the hard left cancel each other out (well the hard right has a slight advantage but not enough to fight off the middle). Obama has been placing himself in the center-left which is strategically makes sense. Get the middle and the left has no choice to follow. Contrary to the right's belief the left are really not to happy with Obama as Robert Gibbs comments showed.

Now will the Republicans win seats this fall? Almost certainly. Will they take back the House? Maybe. Will they take the Senate? I really doubt it.

Lastly, I would like to point out the in-fighting with Republicans isn't over. The Tea Party challengers are forcing primaries that are preventing Republican resources away from the general election. In the short term, the Democrats have trouble but the its not as bad as it might appear. As for the long term the Democrats are likely to dominate but we'll save that for later.