Gov. Palin’s forthright response, to President Obama’s later equivocating over the mosque, is the subject of a New York Sun editorial, ‘Palin’s Point’:
President Obama, with his back-to-back statements on the proposed mosque at Ground Zero, has managed to get himself in a position where Sarah Palin has both the high ground and the practical route to progress. At the Iftar dinner at the White House, the president endorsed the constitutional rights of all religions in America to build houses of worship where they want to on private property. He spoke with his trademark eloquence, but he was off the point. So, as he toured the Gulf Coast, he took a powder, explaining that he was not commenting on what he called “the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there.” That was off point, too, enough so that the former Alaska governor finally took to her Facebook page:
Mr. President, should they or should they not build a mosque steps away from where radical Islamists killed 3000 people? Please tell us your position. We all know that they have the right to do it, but should they? And, no, this is not above your pay grade. If those who wish to build this Ground Zero mosque are sincerely interested in encouraging positive ‘cross-cultural engagement’ and dialogue to show a moderate and tolerant face of Islam, then why haven’t they recognized that the decision to build a mosque at this particular location is doing just the opposite? Mr. President, why aren’t you encouraging the mosque developers to accept Governor Paterson’s generous offer of assistance in finding a new location for the mosque on state land if they move it away from Ground Zero? Why haven’t they jumped at this offer? Why are they apparently so set on building a mosque steps from what you have described, in agreement with me, as ‘hallowed ground’? I believe these are legitimate questions to ask.
Not only does Mrs. Palin manage, in a polite but firm way, to speak more forthrightly than the president and to draw finer distinctions than the president but she also manages to articulate a practical line more in keeping with a harmonious outcome. That outcome is by no means certain, but the Daily News did report on Friday that the sponsors of the mosque at Ground Zero, Park51, are “not slamming the door” on Governor Paterson’s idea of building the mosque and community center somewhere else.