I’ve had my negative opinions about Ted Olson, the conservative attorney. But, wow. First he joined with David Boies as a brilliantly effective advocate on the lawsuit to strike down California’s ban on gay marriage. Now there’s a new development that, in its way, is even more remarkable.
Olson’s wife, Barbara Olson, was one of the passengers killed in the 9/11 attacks. He’s spoken up in support of what President Obama has said about the Islamic community center near the site of the World Trade Center. Quoting Olson from a TV interview:
“Well it may not make me hap— popular with some people, but I think probably the president was right about this,” Olson responded. “I do believe that people of all religions have a right to build edifices, or structures, or places of religious worship or study, where the community allows them to do it under zoning laws and that sort of thing, and that we don’t want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an act of intolerance for people of religious faith. And I don’t think it should be a political issue. It shouldn’t be a Republican or Democratic issue, either. I believe Gov. Christie from New Jersey said it well — that this should not be in that political, partisan marketplace.”
This should make oily Republican opportunists like Rick Crawford and John Boozman and Newt Gingrich and thousands more bow their heads in shame. But that would require that they possess shame.