Sen. Al Franken apparently hasn't gotten the memo that Democrats are supposed to avoid standing up on core values. During an appearance at the Illinois State Fair yesterday morning, the new Dem took on the old Republican fear-mongeuring. The State Journal-Register reports (h/t Talking Points Memo):
Franken said conservative opposition to the mosque is "one of the most disgraceful things that I've heard."
"I don't know how many of you have been to New York, but if a building is two blocks away from anything, you can't see it. It's a community center. They're going to have a gym. They're going to have point guards. Muslim point guards," Franken said, to laughter and applause.
"They (Republicans) do this every two years. They try to find a wedge issue, and they try to work it."
It's a lot more than other party leaders have said. The closest thing to a defense of Muslim Americans we've seen is President Obama's legalistic parsing of rights versus wisdom. Harry Reid came out against the Cordoba House development, in what seems a plainly cynical effort to steal the issue from his November challenger, Sharon Angle. As did Howard Dean, whose explanation of how he's supporting the development by opposing it is downright dizzying. Nice to see at least one prominent Democrat stand up plainly defend progressive values.