It was something he certainly didn't have to do. But he did it anyway. President Obama stepped into the fray of the single most divisive issue pertaining to terrorism, healing of hurt, religious disagreement, civil liberties, political fracturing, racism, and national security all in one step.
How's that for bringing us all together?
Why a sitting President feels compelled to sit down to a formal Muslim dinner in the first place begs the issue of necessity. After all, why not send them a nice little video-taped greeting like you did the Boy Scouts of America? I mean it's not like it was the 100th Anniversary of Iftar.
No, instead President Obama felt compelled, not just attend, but to host the little soiree and then make formal comments addressing the gathering.
Something along the lines of:
"But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure."
Question, Mr. President, "Do you feel that all Muslims have a right to exercise their religion?"
How about the nearly 2 million of them world-wide that buy into the exact same brand of Islam that the killers of 9/11 practiced? Do you feel that they have the right to practice that brand of Islam in the United States? How about on the sacred ground of Ground Zero?
Even the "moderate" practitioners of that faith seem to be having some real trouble coming to clarity on not encouraging their fellow Islamists to be so very insensitive.
To date all of two prominent moderate Muslims have had the courage, and endured the death threats, to suggest the Mosque be built somewhere else.
But you Mr. President, we expected better of you, and Mr. Bloomberg, and Mr. Paterson for that matter. We expected those of you who work for "We The People" to have some sort of understanding of propriety, decency, and honor. At the very least we did, and still do expect you to at least demonstrate some modicum of competence: like pushing the pause button until we know who is funding the Mosque, and where the money originates from.
Also checking into the known links between the front man for the effort and terrorist groups wouldn't hurt either.