…As its defenders point out, the Community Center at Park51 will occupy not a solitary inch of the 16-block site on which the Twin Towers stood. Once built, the center will indeed house a mosque, “open and accessible to all” – but also a swimming pool, basketball court, auditorium, library, day-care facility, restaurant and cooking school. The center is being built by a private organization on land it legally owns. – Ground Zero: Exaggerating the Jihadist Threat

Joe Sestak schools Obama on leadership.

“Do I respect those sensitivities? Oh yeah. When I walked out of that Pentagon, 30 people who I knew never walked out of that building. My 9/11 is that Pentagon. Am I sensitive to their desires? Sure I am. But I also upheld the Constitution for 31 years. I lived with men and women of all religons and you know what? They’re all equal, and I believe that is what’s most omportant in this.”Sestak joins Bloomy in supporting religious freedom on mosque

This is what leadership looks like. You say what you mean, mean what you say, no equivocation, no clarification required.

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Joe Sestak on a couple of occasions a few years ago. I went at his first opponent, Rep. Weldon, very hard to do whatever I could independently as a political writer to help Sestak. Also interviewed him when he was backing Hillary. Right now Sestak is really up against it, because all Democrats running in 2010 are facing a lackluster electorate on the Left, with Toomey ahead according to PPP. Doesn’t change that what Bloomberg said yesterday is dead on.

“A vote for Joe is a vote for leadership, a vote for Joe is a vote for independence, and a vote for Joe is a vote for the results our nation so desperately needs.” – Mayor Michael Bloomberg

The fun didn’t stop there. As TexasforHillary writes in his diary, Sestak and Bloomberg also took down a Jews for Palin supporter. A member of the group saber rattling on Iran. Also see Ramsgate’s diary that links to the developer’s determination. There is a lot of pressure being brought to bear, so who knows where this will lead. But if the Cordoba House is moved it will be an embarrassment for this country around the world, because the furor behind it has now put America’s tolerance on trial.

As for Mayor Bloomberg, he’s been an unflinching champion of reason and leadership during the Cordoba House hysteria, which says a lot about the man. Who knows if he’ll run in 2012, but if he does it won’t be a flaky Perot gambit.

Bloomberg and Sestak were both challenged publicly yesterday on their mosque views. They didn’t flinch. Here’s an excerpt:

Sestak chimed in, “As you know, I haven’t taken very good direction yet from party leadership. All that said, I strongly believe in the constitutional right of religious freedom and in the separation of church and state applying equally to everyone. Those are rights that I defended for 31 years in that fine U.S. Navy. This is an issue for New York to resolve as long as it respects those constitutional rights. … Let’s also step back and say, ‘Let’s stop playing politics with religion.’ “

When someone asked about the sensitivities of the Sept. 11 families, Sestak said, “Do I respect those sensitivities? Oh yeah. When I walked out of that Pentagon, 30 people who I knew never walked out of that building. My 9/11 is that Pentagon. Am I sensitive to their desires? Sure I am. But I also upheld the Constitution for 31 years. I lived with men and women of all religons and you know what? They’re all equal, and I believe that is what’s most omportant in this.”

Bloomberg then volunteered, “I happen to be a supporter of Harry Reid. I don’t agree with him on everything, and I’m never going to agree with anybody on everything.”

At the end, a Republican committeeman from Montgomery County, Pa., called out Sestak for the CAIR fundraiser and also tried to call out the mayor.

“Look,” Bloomberg said, “I would suggest you go from here directly to the library, get a copy of the Bill of Rights and you’ll realize that everybody has a right to say what they want to say. I happen to believe that that is the most important right that we have – the right to say what we want to say, which includes pray to whomever we want, in any place we want, in any manner we want and I think that another mosque in New York City would add to its diversity and be good for the city, but if you want the terrorists to win without firing a shot, then you take away the very freedoms that our young men and women are around the world fighting for. You take away the very freedoms that those who tried to save others at the World Trade Center site and in Pennsylvania and in Washington. Our firefighters and police officers ran into two twin towers. They didn’t ask what you believe.”

Pres. Obama should take a lesson from Joe Sestak and Michael Bloomberg. They showed him how it’s done.