But then his aide, Rick Tyler, went historically illiterate on everyone. He said
"building a mosque at Ground Zero "would be like putting a statue of Mussolini or Marx at Arlington National Cemetery."These opponents to the mosque know that the location isn't in Ground Zero - but want to conflate the location. Their opposition doesn't pass muster on legal grounds, so they're left pounding the table in anger.
Asked what the 19th century German philosopher had ever done to America, Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler said: "Well let's go with Lenin then." Tyler explained that he was talking about Lenin, who died in 1924, as representative of the Cold War and ideologies opposed to America.
And Gingrich and other opponents ignore that there were other mosques operating near Ground Zero - and certainly in the shadow of Ground Zero for years. The Warren Street mosque is one block further away, and that group recently lost its lease but are seeking to find another Lower Manhattan location. They're operating under the radar and without the kind of high profile operation as the Cordoba House plan - the wisdom of which appears to have been justified with the overheated outrage over the Cordoba plan.
This local issue - the siting of a community center and mosque near Ground Zero is taking on national importance - as Republicans are inserting the issue into political races around the country. For many people who haven't been following the story, let alone those who don't know the geographical boundaries of Ground Zero and where the proposed center would be located, it's a prime opportunity for demagoguery.