New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, officially an independent, has rousingly defended a Muslim group's right to build a mosque two blocks north of the World Trade Center site, and several prominent Republicans have come out swinging against the "Ground Zero mosque," but Democrats have been "startlingly silent" on the issue, says Salon's Justin Elliott. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs declined to comment on that "local issue," and Democratic leaders in Congress have stayed mum. Should they be taking a stand? (Watch a Fox report about the Democrats' silence)

The Dems' silence is "craven": With a few exceptions, Democrats are ducking the issue, says Greg Sargent in The Washington Post, and that makes them "complicit" in the Right's bigoted push to make Muslims "politically toxic." That's doubly true of major New York Democrats.
"Democrats' craven silence on Ground Zero mosque continues"

Dems don't want to get on the wrong side of public opinion: Democrats probably "looked at the polls" and decided that "weighing in would achieve nothing," says Allahpundit in Hot Air. That's a "smart move," but a surprising one, especially from the Obama White House, since "this has now become a bona fide Teachable Moment on tolerance."
"Gibbs on Ground Zero mosque: I'm not going to meddle in local decisions"

The time for speaking up was months ago: It would be nice if Democrats had "the courage to stand up for tolerance and pluralism," says Steve M. in No More Mister Nice Blog. But it's too late now to stop this "right-wing juggernaut," even if Obama "takes a strong stand" for the mosque. Democrats keep on getting blindsided by this kind of "ginned-up right-wing fatwa" — maybe someday they'll learn that ignoring "the wing-nut noise machine" never works.
"I'm all for courage, but how about a little preparedness?"