Rick Lazio has lost the New York GOP primary for governor to Tea Party candidate Carl Paladino. Lazio, a former moderate Republican based his whole campaign on the so called “Ground Zero” mosque controversy. In a cynical move Lazio jumped on the anti-Muslim/anti-Mosque sentiment and essentially based his whole election on opposing the mosque, hoping it would endear him to the nutty Tea Partiers who have taken over the GOP. He had nothing to say about the economy, jobs, health care, our wars, he stuck to his one trick pony and in the end it did him no good. He sold out his principles and any integrity he had for a cheap chance at winning an election, nothing new in the annals of politics but well worth a good hearty laugh at.
Rick Lazio, the once-popular moderate GOP congressman from Long Island, has lost his bid to become the Republicans’ nominee for governor of New York. Lazio will still appear on the ballot on the Conservative Party line, but crazy, racist upstate millionaire businessman Carl Paladino will be the New York GOP’s choice to take on state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. This is both appropriate and scary.
It’s appropriate because Lazio wasn’t much better than Paladino on what became (sigh) the key issue of the primary race. During the campaign, Lazio, like Paladino, focused much of his attention on the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” a community and worship center that a group of moderate Muslims want to build two blocks away from the site of the September 11 attacks. (Adam Weinstein has more on all that here.) The two GOPers were basically competing to see who could better stomp on the Constitution.
Lazio referred to the project as a “trophy mosque” (implying all Muslims were responsible for 9/11) and of course claimed his opposition was “not about religion.” After all, he said, “There are many places for Muslims to pray throughout the city.” (Why should Muslims be able to pray on private property that they own? It’s not like this is America or something.) “But this site here is so close to Ground Zero,” he said, adding that “it is sacred ground.” Cuomo, to his credit, has rejected Lazio’s calls that he “investigate” the planners and funders of the so-called mosque. The “mosque” stuff is a disgusting, hateful business, and a more courageous Republican candidate wouldn’t have participated in it. I suspect Lazio wasn’t lying when he said his position on the issue was “not about religion.” Of course it wasn’t—it was about politics, and trying to convince a radicalized, rump New York GOP to nominate him. How’d that work out for you, Rick? Read More