This Week with Elena

This Week was one of the better Sunday political shows, just behind Fox News Sunday, with Jake Tapper hosting it. Now that the show belongs to Christiane Amanpour, it's as if they turned the helm over to Elena Kagan.

Yesterday, the panel was discussing Obama's blundered wade into the Mosque by the World Trade Center. Chrystia Freeland of Reuters fawned over the president:

Another way of talking about that is leadership, conviction, having your beliefs and not governing according to polls. And I think if you ask most Americans what kind of leader you want, if you ask people in the world what kind of leader do you want, you want someone who governs according to conviction....for American leaders to say in the face of, you know, some political pressure from their voters, to say actually we believe sufficiently strongly in diversity, in private property rights for our Muslim citizens, I think that's a great global message.

If holdover panelist Matthew Dowd had not been there to balance out the dopey leftists, it would have been hopeless.

DOWD: ...I think this is a big problem for the president, because it feeds a broader narrative about him, which is, it's my way or the highway. In many ways, to me, it reminds me of Bush, which is, is, "I don't care where the American public is on this. I'm going to say what I think is the right thing to do."

He did on -- he's done it on immigration in Arizona. He's done it on this. He's done it on health care. I think that's the political problem...


IGNATIUS: ...I thought that the speech Friday night was a model of political courage, in the sense that he said what he believed knowing that it was going to cost him. The White House has stayed out of this issue knowing that it's political poison, and I think the president spoke to it fairly directly. This is America. People have a right to build on property that they own, even if it's going to be a mosque near Ground Zero.

He said -- I was sort of sorry that he was trying to walk it back in these more nuanced comments yesterday.

Obama may deserve credit for leadership, just not on behalf of the interests of the United States.

This was a gift to them, and not some inadvertent slip of the tongue. The Ramadan comments were prepared, refined and massaged by the President, his advisers and speechwriters and then read off the usual teleprompter. But as he traipsed about lauding the oil free sands, the uproar threw some sand in his well-oiled image machine.

Not that this is anything new about Barack Obama.

Harry Reid, meanwhile, in a tough reelection fight, is breaking rank. He's come out against it. Or, maybe, he just doesn't believe in freedom of religion.

“The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Senator Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built some place else,” a spokesman for the Nevada Democrat said in a statement.

This was a defining moment for the president - a shark jumping moment, in partnership with his stumble into the Skip Gates situation last summer... one of those rare moments when he does something very stupid because he believes it so deeply.