How the Ground Zero Mosque Could Cost the GOP the 2010 Election


Like bugs to light, Republicans are attracted to 9/11 fear mongering, and with the flap over the proposed mosque and community center two blocks from Ground Zero, the man in charge of the GOP’s efforts to retake the Senate, Sen. John Cornyn suggested that the GOP is ready to make 9/11 an issue again this November, but by playing the politics of fear, the GOP could ensure failure in November.

According to The Hill, Cornyn all but came out and said that the GOP plans to make the “Ground Zero” mosque an issue in the 2010 midterm elections. He called Obama’s mosque comments out of touch, “It demonstrates that Washington, the White House, the administration, the president himself, seems to be disconnected from the mainstream of America. I think that’s one of the reasons why people are so frustrated. “This is not about freedom of religion. I do think it’s unwise to build a mosque in the site where 3,000 Americans lost their lives as the result of a terrorist attack.” He claimed that this proves that Democrats aren’t listening to the people and that, “The American people will render their verdict.”


On CNN’s State of the Union, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) continued to nationalize the issue, and repeated the GOP talking point that Obama is out of touch on the mosque, “What I am saying, though, is that they should listen to public opinion, they should listen to the deep wounds and anguish that this is causing to so many good people. And if the imam and the Muslim leadership in that community is so intent on building bridges, then they should voluntarily move the mosque away from ground zero and move it whether it’s uptown or somewhere else, but move it away from that area, the same as the pope directed the Carmelite nuns to move a convent away from Auschwitz. This is such a raw wound and they are just pouring salt into it. And that’s my point.”

Republicans just can’t resist. They nostalgically look back on the heady days of 2002 and 2004 when the politics of post-9/11 fear made the GOP unbeatable, and dreams of majority that would last for thirty years were being openly discussed. However the cracks in the 9/11 strategy were already starting to show in 2004, and when the GOP ran a national campaign based 9/11 fear in 2006 and 2008, they overwhelmingly lost. Now with an anti-incumbent landscape in 2010, Republicans are once again optimistic that this is their year, but if they insist on running on 9/11 and fear of Muslims again, it won’t be.

Republicans seem determined to run a national campaign against Obama, the Ground Zero Mosque, healthcare reform, and everything else they can think of, except the economy. The economy is the issue that is fueling voter anger, none of these other issues matter much to the nation at large. Instead of trying to duplicate 1994, or 2002, or 2004, Republicans need to realize that this is 2010, and the political climate and issues are different.

The biggest change in climate that the GOP is facing is a lack of funds. It is one of the most poorly kept secrets in politics that the RNC is broke. As The Daily Caller reported last month, “One GOP operative with deep connections into the world of Republican finance claimed the RNC was “basically broke.” Another operative called the RNC’s “cash on hand” figure — $12.6 million in its June 20 filing – “pure fiction” and said the discrepancy is a “badly kept secret” in Republican circles.”

reported on August 6 that the Republican cash crunch is so acute that it could prevent them from taking back the House. In 2006 the RNC gave $57 million to the House and Senate campaign committees. This year the RNC has had to tap into a line of credit and has only given $2 million to each of the committee. The RNC will only be able to assist in targeted House races, and will provide virtually nothing to non-congressional contests. Republicans have to hope that 527 groups can make up the cash difference, or else they can forget about having a big November.

Having the incumbent president in their party means that the DNC faces none of the financial woes of their GOP counterparts, which is why it is critical that Republicans must come to voters with the right message this fall. If the GOP decides to nationalize the Ground Zero Mosque issue, and it doesn’t resonate with voters, which it won’t outside of NYC, Republicans will have spent part of their valuable limited resources on a message that won’t help at the polls.

Democrats will be absolutely giddy if the Republican message is about 9/11, mosques, and healthcare, because they intend to campaign on fixing the economy. The Republican Party has become so myopic and homogeneous they have become the party that is out of step with America, not the Democrats. While the Ground Zero Mosque plays well with the base, most people would rather have a job than be reminded of 9/11.

24 Replies to “How the Ground Zero Mosque Could Cost the GOP the 2010 Election”

  1. Wow. This is an excellent post, Jason. I have nothing to add except to voice as loudly as possible that the GOP needs to stop saying they speak for all Americans. Americans spoke at the polls in 2008.

    The GOP, like a stubborn old fool, just won’t listen.

  2. Thank you as always, Sarah for your support. Take it from a stubborn old fool. It is not always easy to listen to what you need to hear. :)

  3. Republicans are the psychological terrorists of this country, not the Muslims or the anchor babies or the gay people. They make me sick.

    As God is my witness, I’ll never vote Republican again after this. It was hard enough before to hold my nose against the stench of their lies, but this is repugnant.

    9-11 happened on YOUR watch, Republicans!

  4. Are you calling yourself old? You lie!

    Some people seem to have a harder time even admitting they are wrong than others; like the modern day Republican Party. Can’t we come up with a new name for them? Calling them a party seems to denigrate the very notion of the two party system.

  5. As a liberal I am very tired of having Republicans say they speak for me – or for all Americans – or even a majority of Americans. They don’t, as should be clear to everyone. I suppose if it rallies the base that’s nice, but believing something is true won’t make it true. Reality is still out there waiting to bite you in the ass.

  6. So, the GOP thinks that the issue of the NYC Muslim Center should be based on “public opinion” — and that PO is “out of touch with public opinion?”

    If public opinion, instead of our Constitution, had been used as the critical standard for policy, then most of our country’s civil rights legislation would never have been made law. The legal justification for overturning CA’s Prop 8 is the most recent example.

    Haul out the pitchforks!! — because that’s exactly how policy is established when based on “public opinion.”

  7. I suppose this is elitism in their books; following the letter of the law instead of their guts. I’m so tired of it.

  8. One party system.

    Democrats and Republicans are merely two variations on the same theme- puppets for the special interests who are determined to keep the status quo while using smoke and mirrors to distract.

  9. I think it is also important to state, out loud, that most of those who feign concern for the victims of 9/11 do not live or work in, or near, the multi-ethnic, multi-racial cities of New York or Washington D.C.. They are trying to make hay, not only on a phony issue, but on an issue that has no reality for them. Those of us who lived through the trauma, close at hand, want none of this newly found concern. We still need to learn about each other and heal together. We don’t need these frauds throwing salt in the wounds.

  10. Never underestimate the politics of fear.
    Never underestimate the dollars that the corporations will funnel to their GOP cronies.

    Rumors of the death of the GOP are greatly exaggerated, so let’s not be complacent.

  11. Really excellent post, Jason. I have nothing to write now except to tell more people to read your post as possible and let them know that the GOP needs to stop saying they speak for all Americans.

  12. The development plans for Ground Zero include “five levels of retail” according to the WTC website – a shopping mall, commencing deep under the “hallowed ground”, right there among the cremated remains of the victims!!!

    Will the Republicans tout this as “good for the economy”?

  13. I have made this point before as it seems to me that sometimes the Democrats and Republicans are working towards the same goal but giving each other different looks to achieve that goal. I give you a legal immigration. There is no doubt that there will be another vast amnesty, and quite frankly I do not think it matters which party produces it. We will never see border security in my lifetime( my opinion) no matter which party is in power.

    The only thing that is possibly changing my opinion from this is the fact that the Republicans are now so dirty. The party is filled with lies and innuendo to achieve whatever goals it seems to have. At the present time it has absolutely no platform, just misdirection and lack of truth. So in a way I agree with you, but I am starting to turn away from that agreement to a small degree

  14. a well written article Jason. I did not realize that the Republican Party is broke and this in part may explain a total radical views which they have picked up. It is apparent they need to pull a Rush Limbaugh and shock people into giving them money. or should I say put the fear in people to give them money. it appears to me like the Republican Party has totally run amok by grabbing onto innuendo and twisting statements of the Democrats to be something that they are not. To partially quote a certain Democrat Senate leader, I don’t see how anyone in good conscience could vote for a Republican. I just honestly don’t.

    There is little doubt in my mind that if the Republicans were to take over the House and Senate today that they would follow through on the things they have been saying. there is little doubt in my mind that they are taking the president’s statements on the Mosque and making it look like he is wholeheartedly approving that situation. Unfortunately this is not the 1930s anymore. Anybody with a brain knows exactly what the president was saying.

    However 9/11 will be an issue as much of the country has bought into the fear that radical Muslims will see this as a victory. As far as I am concerned, the Mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero does not equate to the radical Islamists who perform 9/11. It is unfortunate that the Muslims in the United States have not been highly vocal in condemning 9/11 and presenting their side of the case.

    I believe as the president said that they have the right to build the mosque, but I also think they should have looked deeper into the psyche of actually putting it there

  15. good point. We cannot allow the Muslims to build a mosque two blocks away but we are sure in a hurry to turn it into a commercial shopping center. how easy it is to walk over the bones of dead people for money.

  16. The fearmongers seem to be suffering from selective amnesia, because a lot of Muslims also died in the 9-11 attacks. Many of those who died are alleged to have come from Bangledesh, for example. In addition, it seems to elude the naysayers that the wedge they are trying to widen plays right into the hands of Bin Laden and his followers. The fools playing on this are totally oblivious to, or don’t care about, the fact that they are alienating yet another segment of voters.

  17. Very true, how can our President deny the right of anyone to build a church anywhere. I believe that goes against the Constitution.

  18. Yes I was going to bring this up too!
    Hallowed ground is 2-3blocks away, but hey its ok to build a MALL right smack on top of GZ???
    Oh right…its the ‘murikan way…Big corporate $$$$$!

  19. For all the noise of GOP, do we really EVEN know that Radical extremists caused this?
    It might very well been caused by Darth Cheney & Co!
    But of course GOP wants people to live in fear of a terror attack….(or faux terror attack)
    has raised more unanswered questions about that day. Maybe someone will contact wikileaks?

  20. Cathy,

    You are correct that our Constitution would never allow our President to deny the right of any religion to build a church, but you are incorrect with “anywhere”. The Constitution has nothing to say about local zoning laws, building permits etc…all of these issues are left to the local and state governments….per the Constitution. All types of building/construction projects are denied daily throughout this country….including religious facilities.

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