Immediately after the Landmark Preservation Commission removed the last hurdle standing in the way of the "Ground Zero mosque," The American Center for Law and Justice announced plans to file a lawsuit to block it on behalf of the family of a firefighter who died on 9/11. ACLJ lawyers allege that there has been "an abuse of discretion" in the Commission’s decision not to grant landmark status to the building currently on the site. The suit probably has zero chance of succeeding, but a 100% chance of keeping mosque opponents on the nightly news. These opponents include Andrea "Unhinged" Peyser, who doesn't disappoint with her column today:
Mosque advocates claim that this exercise in religious will and real-estate acquisition was an example of a people flexing their freedom of religion. It was not... For months, mosque opponents have watched mutely as cheerleaders do everything but stick ball gags in their mouths. Where I come from, that's called trampling upon one's right to protest. The right to free speech? If you object to the mega-mosque, you have none... I thought people had a right to question authority. That right has been hijacked by the Ground Zero mosque.
You've got to admire the courage it takes to speak out in the face of such a repressive regime; at this very moment Bloomberg's goons are probably kicking down Peyser's door and dragging her off to some re-education camp on the Upper West Side. Why, just listen to what Bloomberg had to say yesterday about those who dare object to the mosque: "This country is not built around a state religion. It's not built around only those religions or clergy people that we agree with. It's built around freedom. That's the wonderful thing about the First Amendment—you can say anything you want." Oh well, we'll just have to settle for our fantasy about shoving a ball gag in Andrea Peyser's mouth.
Below, the Wall Street Journal's reaction, plus video of Bloomberg's speech. Though yesterday the Daily News reported that Bloomberg choked up during the speech, today the Paper of Record describes him as becoming only "slightly" choked up. The moment comes at about the 5:25 mark, and it speaks volumes about Bloomberg's usual temperament—which seems to oscillate between peevish and indignant—that anybody even noticed this almost imperceptible flicker of human emotion. But it's there... we think?
Like Peyser, Dorothy Rabinowitz at The Wall Street Journal files from Upside Down Land, those who support religious tolerance are demagogues, and the flag-waving Islamaphobes are the oppressed: "The center may be built where planned. But it will not go easy or without consequence to the politicians intent on jamming the project down the public throat, in the name of principle. Liberal piety may have met its match in the raw memory of 9/11, and in citizens who have come to know pure demagoguery when they hear it. They have had, of late, plenty of practice." An excellent point, until you wrap your head around the fact that she is NOT referring to Sarah Palin, New Gingrich, or Rick Lazio. We're actually not sure which demagogues Rabinowitz is alluding to, but that's okay because she probably doesn't either.