Stopped Clocks and All That

When you’ve lost Ron Paul, you know you’re on the wrong side of history:

Is the controversy over building a mosque near ground zero a grand distraction or a grand opportunity? Or is it, once again, grandiose demagoguery?

It has been said, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” Are we not overly preoccupied with this controversy, now being used in various ways by grandstanding politicians? It looks to me like the politicians are “fiddling while the economy burns.”

The debate should have provided the conservative defenders of property rights with a perfect example of how the right to own property also protects the 1st Amendment rights of assembly and religion by supporting the building of the mosque.

Instead, we hear lip service given to the property rights position while demanding that the need to be “sensitive” requires an all-out assault on the building of a mosque, several blocks from “ground zero.”

The property rights angle is standard Libertarian “property is more important than people” nonsense but it at least points him in the general direction of freedom, iberty and all that stuff. So, Progress! Sort of.

Anything that helps end this long slog through the racist hate mongering underbelly of America is a good thing, so credit where credit is due. Still, two points of quibble:

The Cordoba House is a Mosque in the same way that your local YMCA is a Cathedral. As in, not at all. Unless you think every Mosque comes with a pool and a squash court. In which case, sign me up!

Quibble point 2: the scare quotes around “Ground Zero.” As someone somewhere pointed out, Ground Zero is where you set off a nuke. Comparing the WTC tragedy to, say, Nagasaki is disengenuous to say the least. So there’s something else Paul managed to hit upon, in his klunky and self-interrested way. Looks like assholes are a lot like stopped clocks: right twice a day. If he keeps this up, he may eventually become a decent person. Though he’s still a Republican, so that’s unlikely.