President Obama correctly supported the plan to build an Islamic center in Downtown Manhattan despite the cries of the religious hypocrites who are ignoring the First Amendment. It is a rare and refreshing turn of events to see the president speak forcefully and convincingly on the correct side of an issue, especially one that will inevitably provide fodder for the right-wing hate mongers.
While I applaud the president’s action, I am still disappointed that he has not chosen a similar path of quick and decisive action to fulfill some of his other promises like repeal of “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell”, the closing of Guantánamo, and the rollback of his predecessor’s unconstitutional surveillance actions. In the past, the president’s tepid support for a progressive agenda has resulted in flawed legislation like the weak reforms of Wall Street and the insurance company-enriching health care program.
Over the sixteen months of his young administration, the president has unsuccessfully tried to bring in the intransigent Republicans and Tea Partiers by compromising on important issues. But compromise is a two-way street and the GOP's version of compromise is just a dead end.
Perhaps now, the president has finally realized that no matter what he does, right wing zealots will fight him not on policy, but on the principal that they want him to fail. Perhaps he has seen the collection of lunatics that the GOP is promoting in the upcoming elections and figures that it’s politically wise to move toward the left to recapture his base. Whatever the case, let’s hope that this recent announcement is the start of a new President Obama and change we really can believe in.