Earlier this evening, I updated my Facebook status to ask a question, but more, to establish the ground rules if the debate about the proposed mosque in downtown Manhattan (which isn’t actually going to be a mosque) is going to go on — which, in this election year, it undoubtedly will.
Indeed, now that a merit-challenged lawsuit has been filed against the Landmarks Preservation Commission (watch this one get tossed out of court faster than Levi Johnston from Bristol Palin’s boudoir), the level of sheer hokum and prevarication from the radical right is set to flow forth like so much oil in the gulf.
The question part of the status update read as follows:
Should the radical right-wingers against the downtown mosque lie about its distance from Ground Zero?
Now let’s talk about ground rules.
Geography, the last time I checked, doesn’t have separate definitions for Republicans and Democrats or anybody else. Much like the system of weights and measures we Americans use — ounces, pounds, inches, feet, yards and the like — geography exists without partisanship. We even have something called the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a nonregulatory agency of the federal government that is the nation’s official time keeper, to help us with such things. Yes, I know! The government actually keeps time! Boy, is that federal government oversaturated with fat or what? Calling all Tea Partiers — let’s have no more time! While we’re at it, let’s have no more weights and measures!
Or at least, it seems, let’s have the radical right redefine what constitutes being “at” somewhere. Like Ground Zero, for example. The proposed mosque (which, for a second time, is not actually going to be a mosque) is approximately 250 yards from where the Twin Towers stood. So why does the radical right, implacable in their opposition to the proposed mosque in lower Manhattan (which, for a third time, is not actually going to be a mosque) keep trotting out the line, a blatantly false line, that the structure will be “at” Ground Zero?
If 250 yards, or about a seventh of a mile, is “at” Ground Zero, are we now redefining weights and measures, too?
Listen up, radical righties: If you want a debate about the structure on Park Place, fine, let’s have it. But stop saying that the structure will rise “at” Ground Zero. Geographically, that’s a lie.
You don’t want the structure on Park Place because you feel it’s 250 yards too close to Ground Zero? Fine. You say it’s insensitive? Fine, I see your point, even if I don’t agree with it. But “at” Ground Zero? Come on. That’s the weakest of all arguments.
Or maybe it’s only 250 yards from Sarah Palin’s house to Russia?