Another day, another round of election-year sniping about a significant issue affecting the lives of millions a complete oxygen-wasting distraction that makes us want to secede from the rest of meathead America more than ever. President Obama has said his piece about the Islamic community center proposed for Lower Manhattan, and refused to comment further about Park51 during Democratic fundraising appearances in Milwaukee and LA. But you know the Republicans are just getting warmed up! And they've got Senate majority leader Harry Reid on their side, too.

Yesterday an adviser to Reid, who faces a tough election challenge in Nevada, issued a terse statement explaining that, "The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Senator Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else." This puts Reid in the same camp as Sarah Palin, who told Fox News yesterday, "It sounds cliched to say that the president is disconnected from the American people on this issue, but how else do you describe it... It feels like a stab in the heart to, collectively, Americans who still have that lingering pain from 9/11." Some other choice opinions:

  • "It would not be fair for the Klu Klux Klan to erect a statue or a monument near the bombs in the South that were burned during the civil rights movement," opines Rev. Michel Faulkner, the GOP candidate running for Charlie Rangel’s seat in Harlem.
  • "Ground zero is hallowed ground to Americans. Do you think the Muslims would allow a Jewish temple or Christian church to be built in Mecca?" asks Elliott Maynard, a Republican challenging Representative Nick J. Rahall II, a Democrat, in West Virginia.
  • "It is very troubling to see President Obama again turning a deaf ear to the thoughts and concerns of a majority of Americans," frets James Renacci, a Republican candidate in Ohio.
  • "Will they ever STFU about this so we can go back to focusing entirely on bike lanes?" we desperately wonder.

Meanwhile, some Democrats are grinding their teeth over Obama's handling of the issue, and say they had no advance warning that the White House was jumping into the shout-athon on Friday. Several Democratic campaign operatives complain that they didn't have time to "war-game how to handle questions from the news media or GOP attacks." One source tells the Daily News, "They did the right thing—they just didn't do it the right way."