Yglesias tries to reason with Newt using Microsoft Paint:
According to Eric Kleefeld, Gingrich clarified his thinking somewhat last night on Greta Van Susteren’s show indicating that the northern boundary of the Exclusion Zone lies somewhere south of 59th Street:
“You know, there are over a hundred mosques in New York City. I favor religious freedom,” said Gingrich. “I’m quite happy if they’d come in and said, We want to build a community center near Central Park, we’d like to build a community center near Columbia University.’ But they didn’t. They said right at the edge of a place where, let’s be clear, thousands of Americans were killed in an attack by radical Islamists.”
So the zone is clearly meant to mark out some kind of specific element of lower Manhattan. My recollection of the actual events of 9/11 were that the National Guard set up barricades along 14th Street (inconvenient for my 12th Street-based family) that people weren’t allowed to cross except for a one-time opportunity for folks to get to their houses. So maybe in honor of the day, we should say no mosques south of 14th Street since, after all, the good people of Greenwich Village, SoHo, etc. are well-known fans of Gingrich, Palin, and their brand of xenophobic militarism.
As a Dish reader pointed out, "The group's leader, Imam Abdul Rauf, has held services in a small mosque in the neighborhood since 1983." Newt ups the ante by calling the mosque organizers "hostile to our civilization." Joe Klein gets the final word:
Newt Gingrich is clearly running for President. How do I know? He gets dumb and angry when running for office.