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Howard Dean’s Stupid Argument that Moving the Mosque Is Akin to Compromising on Marriage

This Howard Deal guy is really starting to irk me. On Keith Olbermann’s program last night, the former DNC chairman made the argument that moving the Ground Zero mosque was akin to enacting civil unions instead of full marriage: it’s a compromise, and it’s reasonable and good enough.

That’s a stupid argument. Because it shows why Dean is wrong.

Having already argued for a compromise in previous interviews, the former Vermont governor says the mosque is a “real affront” to people who lost their lives on 9/11. That is, it has nothing to do with the First Amendment. Saying “65-70 percent of people have a real problem” with the downtown mosque (and not all of them are “race baiters”!), Dean says we have to get everybody’s input on whether a group of religious believers should have a right to install a place of worship, and make a decision from there.

No, we don’t. We do the right thing no matter what anybody says, because it’s the right thing to do. We don’t compromise on marriage with civil unions because the populous wants it. We don’t compromise because we do not compromise on people’s rights, particularly those guaranteed in the Constitution.

By:           JD
On:           Aug 20, 2010
Tagged: , , ,
  • 46 Comments
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Dean is a typical Democratic party dickhead. His brother-cousin Santorum would no doubt agree with the sentiment while whining about any kind of GLBT partnering.

      Deans political life is over. So is Santorums. Time for both to leave the arena to younger poltitical prostitutes.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pete
      pete

      I for one, am amazed at the uproar. This is private property and in our Constitution we have freedom of religion. There is another mosque about 2 blocks north of this contested site, and it has apparently been there for quite a while with no problems. The Republican bloggers got hold of this new mosque brouhaha and ran with it. It’s absurd to me. Unless I’m missing something here….Would there be an issue if it was a temple or a church being proposed? There really is a lot of Islamaphobia out there! I get that some people are not happy with the landmark’s decision, but reaaly, get over it.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 3:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Black Pegasus
      Black Pegasus

      The common sense answer to all of this bullshit is Atheism.

      Organized religion if the common thread that will destroy this planet. Christian Bigots, and Islamic Radicals are the filth of the Earth! Fuck you all!

      Aug 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pip
      Pip

      How did Howard Dean go from the ideologically pure liberal, to the fence straddling tool bag he is today? The Mosque isn’t on ground zero, its in the vicinity, which is fine in my opinion. If they want to make a compromise, they should add a chapel, and a mini synagogue to make everyone happy.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 4:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      The whole brohaha over this mosque is absurd. The developer does not yet have the rights nor permission to build on half the property. They have nowhere near the 100 million dollar projected cost of the construction. They have been playing this up to create a firestorm on something that has a great chance to never even begin construction……..

      Aug 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Baxter
      Baxter

      @pete: I don’t think it’s fair to blame the Republicans for this one. Yes, many top Republicans have argued against the mosque, but so have many top Dems. Remember, the controversy started among NYC residents and that city isn’t exactly a bastion of conservatism.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 4:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      As a jew I’m in favor of the cultural center being built. I don’t understand why the families of the victims should have a say in this at all-on private property, maybe, but not on public land. Unfortunately, I also envision some crackpot walking into the center and blowing himself up or some other stupid act.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CJ
      CJ

      I agree, many liberals, whether Dean, Clinton or Obama, have really messed up with civil rights. So much for counting on Democrats to lead by example, pass laws that protect minorities, etc. Maybe someday people will wake up and stop assuming that Democrats LOVE the LGBT community and other minorities.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BobLoblaw
      BobLoblaw

      “We don’t compromise on marriage with civil unions because the populous wants it.”

      populACE

      Aug 20, 2010 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • whatever
      whatever

      Dean screwed the pooch on this. His argument is that there can be a middle ground. There can’t be. On one hand, there is the First Amemdment, and on there other there are rabid, sceaming bigots who hate the First Amendment, led by various pandering demagogues.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • whatever
      whatever

      @Baxter: Bullshit. The righty blogs were and are all over this. This is a cause celebre among conservatives just like Terry Schiavo was.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      Howard Dean? You mean that guy who attempted to run for president but failed miserably? I don’t know how his opinion on this issue is relevant in anyway. Next, they will ask Lindsay Lohan what she thinks about the ‘Ground Zero’ Mosque.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      I know who Howard DEAN is but who is the Howard DEAL referred to in the first line? Please advise, Queerty because Google’s just turning up farmers in Iowa and machinists in Oregon and I can’t figure out how they relate to the subject in question.

      And this mosque will not be built: as “Plays Well” indicated they have neither the front money, credit or financial backers.

      I question whether this whole deal was a political stunt designed to prove, given the timing, that Obama’s a secret Muslim,

      Aug 20, 2010 at 5:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      FYI:

      EXCLUSIVE
      Not so fast.

      The developers of the controversial mosque proposed near Ground Zero own only half the site where they want to construct the $100 million building, The Post has learned.

      One of the two buildings on Park Place is owned by Con Edison, even though Soho Properties told officials and the public that it owns the entire parcel. And any potential sale by Con Ed faces a review by the state Public Service Commission.

      “We never heard anything about Con Ed whatsoever,” said a stunned Julie Menin, the chairwoman of Community Board 1, which passed a May resolution supporting the mosque.

      Catherine Nance
      Daisy Khan, one of the mosque’s organizers, told The Post last week that both buildings on Park Place are needed to house the worship and cultural center. But she claimed ignorance about the Con Ed ownership of 49-51 Park Place and referred questions to Soho Properties, which bought the building at 45-47 Park Place in 2009.

      Rep. Peter King, who opposes the mosque, said the developers seemed to be “operating under false pretenses.”

      “I wonder what else they are hiding,” said King (R-LI). “If we can’t have the full truth on this, what can we believe?”

      Sharif El-Gamal, the head of Soho Properties, first came forward in 2006 seeking to buy the empty building at 45-47 Park Place, said Melvin Pomerantz, whose family owned the property.

      Pomerantz said El-Gamal eventually raised $4.8 million cash for 45-47 Park Place. El- Gamal paid an extra $700,000 to take over the lease with Con Ed for the building next door. The lease expires in 2071.

      The two buildings were connected years ago — common walls were taken down — and housed a Burlington Coat Factory store.

      Con Ed said El-Gamal told the utility in February that he wanted to exercise the purchase option in his $33,000- a-year lease for the former substation.

      The utility is now doing an appraisal to determine the property value, and it would be up to El-Gamal to decide whether to accept the price, the utility said. The price is estimated at $10 million to $20 million.

      “We are following our legal obligations under the lease. We will not allow other considerations to enter into this transaction,” Con Ed said.

      The sale proposal will go to the Public Service Commission, where it could possibly face a vote by a five-member board controlled by Gov. Paterson.

      El-Gamal told The Post his long-term lease was equivalent to ownership and that it even allowed him to demolish the building. Still, he said, he was determined to buy the property. “The cost is not an issue,” he said.

      The building at 45-45 Park Place had been on the market for years with a sale price that at one point was $18 million. It was owned by Stephen Pomerantz, who died in 2006. His widow, Kukiko Mitani, said she was in debt and desperate to unload the property even at a bargain price of $4.8 million to El- Gamal.

      She said she thought El-Gamal wanted to build condos, not a mosque — but he should build whatever he wants.

      The Web site for the mosque and community-center project, now called Park 51, says it will be financed “with a mix of equity, financing and contributions.”

      But just $200 in donations has come in so far, according to Ameena Meer, head of Muslims for Peace, the nonprofit accepting the contributions.

      49-51 Park Place, owned by Con Edison, is being appraised for a possible sale to Soho Properties, the developer behind the controversial mosque. Sharif El-Gamal, the principal of Soho Properties, paid $700,000 to take over the 99-year lease in 2009.

      Soho Properties spent $4.8 million to buy 45-47 Park Place in 2009. The building, which used to house a Burlington Coat Factory, had been on the market for years with a sale price that once reached $18 million.

      They don’t even own the complete parcel. This right now is much ado about nothing……….. Whether intentional or not they have created a firestorm about something that has a possiblity of never even having the ground broken……..

      Aug 20, 2010 at 5:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS:

      No offense, but why do you always feels the need to copy and paste novels from other websites? It is incredibly annoying and you’re crazy if you think people every actually read all that. It’s almost like you’re vomiting a bunch of information on the page. Just thought I’d point that out;-)

      Aug 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pete
      pete

      It’s an election year issue that the right wing has pounced on. This gets their stupid base going nuts. You know, the ones that get their every bit of news from Fox. Now we’re back to Obama being a Muslim, not being born in the U.S., Dems allowing extremist radicals (Muslin, again) to take over our country and push for sharia law……It’s ridiculous, ludicrous, and exhausting.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • david kaufman
      david kaufman

      Howard Dean’s misguided compare and contrast strategy can’t help but remind me of the endless winey White men on this site constantly movement-mooching from the Black Civil Rights era.

      As you can see, co-opting, borrowing and abusing one civil rights movement to advance another is an offensive, alienating and obnoxious MO.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      QUEERTY: “On Keith Olbermann’s program last night, the former DNC chairman made the argument that moving the Ground Zero mosque was akin to enacting civil unions instead of full marriage: it’s a compromise, and it’s reasonable and good enough.”

      If your main goal is to cool what is becoming a divisive (and in my opinion, irrational) argument, Dean may be right. But, if we do that because the area is “hallowed ground” as some claim, then maybe they should also move the strip club that is even closer to the World Trade Center site. Maybe one of the right-wingers can explain to be why the mosque is some sort of affront, but the strip club isn’t.

      Read http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2010/08/19/for-strip-clubs-near-ground-zero-its-business-as-usual-amid-mosque-uproar/ for some of the details – one of the strippers was uneasy about the mosque because “calls to prayer” might wake the neighbors, but when told they weren’t going to install any loudspeakers, the stripper asked what the problem was and could care less.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • s_b
      s_b

      I was really disappointed with Dean on this one.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • menlo
      menlo

      Personaly, I take issue with Christian churches being built all over town. Just the sight of them makes me want to vomit. Shouldn’t I have some say on the building of these monuments to intolerance and bigotry so close to my home? I consider them a direct threat to my safety.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 7:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • axos
      axos

      The brouhaha seems to have been started by three Republican columnists. Everyone was fine with the plans last year (I’m citing WAPO), but then someone came up with the brilliant idea of calling the center a “Ground Zero Mosque” (the impact of semantics dealt with in another WAPO article), and all hell broke loose. The imam in question has cooperated with republican and democratic administrations for years, so he didn’t come from nowhere.

      There is no question about their rights to build the center according to the American Constitution. Islam is a totalitarian religion with a rigid view on women, freedom of speech and gays, among other things, so I don’t like it, but they have the right to build it nevertheless, as long as no crime is committed. President Obama did right pointing that out, but he did it clumsily and in a way that fueled paranoid people’s belief he’s a secret Muslim.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 8:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Mike: Because lots of folks here post stuff they conjure up that is based on zero facts and attempt to portray their opinions as actual facts. I don’t claim to be an expert on anything however on matters where there is a good deal of controversy to show that I actually know just a tiny little bit of what I am talking about and I am basing my argument on at least a bit of actual factual evidence……….

      Aug 20, 2010 at 10:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Mike: Because many posters here make statements which they state as facts that are simply their opinions. (the internets are like that)……..On an item where there is a bit of controversy, I like to post my point and show others that they might want to reconsider their position on an item. I don’t claim to be an expert, I simply want others to know that on an issue like this I do a little research before I begin to take a position……….

      You may be interested to know that most computers these days come with a scroll down function at no extra cost to the purchaser, you can utilize it to simply scroll past my “novels” :p

      Aug 20, 2010 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS [Different person #1 using similar name]

      Wanted to add the note, thought the first one was canceled :p

      Aug 20, 2010 at 10:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS:

      Even when you have little to say you have to double it, don’t cha? LOL:P

      Aug 20, 2010 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • damon459
      damon459

      Seems to me if they can’t have this community center then every other judeo-christian group should also be banned from building any kind of place of worship. We have freedoms in this country for a reason and if we limit the freedoms of one group we end up limiting them for all groups and the terrorists have gotten exactly what they wanted.

      Aug 20, 2010 at 11:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phil
      Phil

      It’s not at ground zero and it’s not even a mosque. Invisible Pink Unicorns above, people need to get over buzz words and phrases.

      Aug 21, 2010 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomEM
      TomEM

      Whatever the case, it’s great that President Obama has publicly voiced his support for the Mosque (and, on multiple occasions at that); Just like he did in supporting equal-marri… Oh Wait…?

      Aug 21, 2010 at 12:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomEM
      TomEM

      @pete: It reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

      Nowhere is zoning mentioned;)

      Seriously though, it reads “Congress…” – NOT the Legislative, nor the Judicial. Further, I seriously doubt that the Fathers had anything so bizarre in mind as the situation before Congress now. Whatever the case, although “Congress shall…”, the Judicial and/or the Legislature ‘branches’ could (to reiterate with explication) override them. Checks and Balances people. What’s good enough for California is good enough for…

      Aug 21, 2010 at 12:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      @TomEM:

      Seriously though, it reads “Congress…” – NOT the Legislative, nor the Judicial.

      Ummm you are aware the Congress IS the legislative branch, right?

      Aug 21, 2010 at 2:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      @TomEM:

      I think I need to educate you on the basics of American government.

      The Judicial Branch- Supreme Court

      The Legislative Branch- Congress (Senate/House)

      The Executive Branch- President

      I have no idea what you’re talking about. This issue isn’t going “before Congress”. If you’re going to make an argument, at least know your basics!

      Aug 21, 2010 at 2:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • axos
      axos

      Well, since both prohibition of gay marriage and forcefully moving the center-with-a-mosque are basically unconstitutional, Dean is right, you could compare them. His conclusion is what’s wrong – there should be no compromises.

      Aug 21, 2010 at 3:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • axos
      axos

      @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS:
      Thanks for the ownership info. That had passed me by.

      Aug 21, 2010 at 4:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • whatever
      whatever

      @pete: Ginned-up election issue is right. It will all be forgotten on November 3, 2010.

      Aug 21, 2010 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • whatever
      whatever

      @Mike: For purposes of the first amendment, “Congress” refers to any legislative body, whether federal, state or local/municipal, including local zoning boards. The Supreme Court jurisprudence is crystal clear on this.

      Now that we are giving lessons in civics, it’s the role of the Court (judicial branch) to interpret the constitution/laws of the US, and they have interpreted “Congress” very broadly. Not even the most rabid teabagger is making the argument you are because it is a loser and it fails.

      It’s so odd that people who claim to support the constitution know very little about it.

      Aug 21, 2010 at 11:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • whatever
      whatever

      Oops! my post above should have been directed at TomEM, not Mike. Mea culpa.

      Aug 21, 2010 at 11:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomEM
      TomEM

      @Mike: Oops. I meant “Executive” where I typed “Legislative”. My bad. Thanks for pointing that out Mike.

      Aug 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomEM
      TomEM

      @whatever: @TomEM

      Appreciate your subtle clarifications. Obviously I need to do more reading.

      Further, you penned: “It’s so odd that people who claim to support the constitution know very little about it.”

      Good point. I sound as bad as certain religious people who go on about what’s in the Bible without actually having studied it properly.

      Aug 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomEM
      TomEM

      And, I do believe that that “@TomEM” I included above might have confused other readers? I added that because “Whatever” addressed a comment to “Mike” that was meant for me.

      Aug 21, 2010 at 12:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @axos: Glad you now know,however you just ruined Mikes day…………. :p

      Aug 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @whatever: You’re wrong.

      It won’t go away because racist Islamophobia is woven into the bipartisan wars to steal oil and other resources from muslims and Abrab.

      Islamophobia is a cover to steal oil and Palestinians’ land but once unleashed it developed a life of its own much like the anti-Semitism of the Nazis did. The result is mass murder and genocide.

      Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are dead, murdered by IDF thugs and land grabbing lynch mobs.

      Islamophobic genocidal fury was expressed during the first oil way by American generals chortling and smirking because they killed tens of thousands of retreating conscripts in the ‘Kill Box.”

      It’s expressed in the refusal of NATO to stop genocide Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and in the threats to burn alive the brave demonstrators in Teheran with US and zionist nukes.

      It was expressed in all its coldly calculated hideousness in the murder of half a million children by Clintons embargo of food, medical and sanitary supplies.

      It won’t go away until the Islamophobes are beaten.

      Ironically, the very islamophobia promoted by pro-war Obots is now being used by racist teabaggers to ‘accuse’ Obama of being a muslim. Talk about the chickens coming home to roost…

      Aug 21, 2010 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Howard Dean is the height of slime. A thoroughly repulsive, icky human being. He’s never done anything for gay rights. He’s manipulated gays for votes, I’ll grant him that.

      Aug 21, 2010 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 19 · s_b wrote, “I was really disappointed with Dean on this one.”

      In fairness to Dean, he’s probably merely trying to diffuse it as a political issue (even if you think he’s being a bit clumsy). It’s hard to explain why something that is normally a neighborhood issue explodes into a national issue unless someone is spending a considerable effort to politicize it.

      Rather than being disappointed at Dean, we should be mad as hell at the people trying to exploit fear and bigotry for political gain. That same sort of behavior on the part of Republicans just a few years ago, BTW, resulted in their attempts to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. This is simply the same sort of tactic repackaged using a new victim so that people won’t tune it out as the same thing they’ve heard umpteen times before.

      Aug 21, 2010 at 9:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • whatever
      whatever

      @Bill Perdue: did you read that in your LaRouchie newspaper?

      Aug 22, 2010 at 12:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @whatever:I don’t like rightwing bigots like Obama – you do. I don’t support his wars from Pakistan to Palestine like you and the other Obots.

      Just admit it, your support for Obama was, and remains, a huge blunder. He’s the enemy of world peace, GLBT rights and working people. And at this point, so are his supporters like you, Rick Warren and McClurkin.

      Does that dull little ‘LaRouchie’ lie mean that as usual you’re just not bright enough to come up with a political answer, particularly to the charge that it’s islamophobic pro-war Obots who are fueling and legitimizing teabagger racist and islamophobic ‘accusations’ that Obama is a muslim and that a cultural center is mosque?

      Aug 22, 2010 at 1:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      Typical Howard Dean. Never understood why gays liked him.

      While governor, he did everything he could do to deny gay Vermonters actual marriage, hence the separate-but-unequal “civil unions.”

      While chair of the DNC, he did nothing to advance gay rights for Americans.

      Now he’s a private citizen, he’s suddenly “Mr. Equality.”

      He’s a douche.

      Aug 22, 2010 at 1:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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