“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.
Glenn Greenwald: What political courage looks like
The toxic right-wing campaign to impose a Muslim-free zone around Ground Zero intensified today, while Democrats — following in the cowardly footsteps of Senate Majority “Leader” Harry Reid, whose book is one of the most ironically titled in history — ran faster and faster away from the controversy. New York Governor David Paterson made it known that he wants to meet with Park 51’s developers to encourage them to move to a new site. One Democratic official, Rep. Michael Arcuri of New York, actually attacked his GOP challenger, Richard Hanna, for having bravely broken with his own party to support the project; Arcuri’s Gingrich-replicating attacks caused Hannah, one of the few Republicans in the nation to have defended Park 51, to reverse position by arguing today that it should move. And it is hard to imagine anyone surpassing Rep. Anthony Weiner in the cowardice department after the unbelievably vapid, incoherent letter he issued, ostensibly setting forth his views on this matter (stringing together words randomly chosen from the dictionary would likely create more meaningful sentences than the ones Weiner wrote).
Aside from Michael Bloomberg’s impassioned, principled speech in defense of Park 51 — and, if one wants to be generous about it, Barack Obama’s initial, voluntary defense of the religious freedom values at stake — there have been very few commendable acts in this dispute. Until now.
Joan Walsh: Dr. Laura’s pity party
The angry radio quitter is another right-winger who misunderstands the First Amendment and loves playing victim
So Dr. Laura Schlessinger told CNN’s Larry King Tuesday night that she’s giving up her radio show, after being criticized for an on-air flameout in which she abused a black caller and used the word “nigger” 11 times. “I want to regain my First Amendment rights,” she told King. “I want to be able to say what’s on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates, attack sponsors. I’m sort of done with that.”