Having just made the case that the debate about the mosque and Ground Zero needs to be conducted in a responsible, careful way by all sides, I regret to note that Speaker Nancy Pelosi now indicates that she supports an investigation into groups opposing the building of a mosque near Ground Zero. According to Politico, Pelosi told San Francisco’s KCBS radio that “there is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some.”
“I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded,” she said. “How is this being ginned up?”
HotAir.com’s Ed Morrissey puts it brilliantly: “What better way to defend the First Amendment freedom of religion than to have the Speaker of the House ask the federal government investigate those exercising their First Amendment right to free speech?” And, he asked, does that mean that Pelosi wants Harry Reid investigated, too?
But of course this has a serious element to it as well. The effort to criminalize policy differences is very bad stuff for our republic and our political lives, and Pelosi’s comments are deeply irresponsible and even reckless. They are also politically stupid (70 percent of the public and 58 percent of Democrats oppose building the mosque near Ground Zero). The prospect of losing the speakership is apparently bringing out Ms. Pelosi’s dark and thuggish side, which in turn will only increase the likelihood of her losing her speakership.
The Democratic Party is angry, on the ropes, and lashing out.
It’s not a pretty sight.