Palin (7/18): "Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. ."
Gingrich (7/21): "There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia."
Pawlenty (8/6): "I think it's inappropriate... From a patriotic standpoint, it's hallowed ground, it's sacred ground, and we should respect that. We shouldn't have images or activities that degrade or disrespect that in any way."
Huckabee (8/4): Even if the Muslims have the right to build it, don’t they do more to serve the public interest by exercising the responsible judgement to not build it, given that it’s really offensive to most New Yorkers and Americans? Or is it just that we can offend Americans and Christians, but not foreigners and Muslims?"
Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom (today): "Governor Romney opposes the construction of the mosque at Ground Zero. The wishes of the families of the deceased and the potential for extremists to use the mosque for global recruiting and propaganda compel rejection of this site."
Now that I'm back from vomiting, I'd like to distill the essence of what is going on here.
All of these 2012 hopefuls are looking to secure the nomination of a party that is intellectually hopeless. This playing-to-the-base is religious bigotry and runs counter to all liberal values of the West. But here's the disgusting part: They are trying to have their cake and eat it, too. In other words, they are trying to have their irrational religious bigotry and they are trying their damnedest to reconcile this with some semblance of reasonableness and tolerance.
It cannot be done.
What we have, as a result, is contortions of logic in order to fit the square of unreason into the circle of reason. To anyone who can smell disingenuous bad faith from a mile off, this stuff stinks.
Basically, in order to secure the 2012 nomination, all the likely hopefuls are shitting away any pretense to intellectual integrity. What's more, this is a necessary consequence of what the GOP has become: an intellectual cesspool.
As Andrew Sullivan keeps saying, and the GOP leaders keep dishonestly evading: "It will only get worse before it gets better."