MEDIA

President Obama Has 'Few Options' In Commemorating 9/11... Really?

09/03/2010 03:54 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The White House has apparently not yet made public where President Barack Obama will spend his day on September 11. But this absence of information is apparently no impediment to Politico writing a 16-paragraph story explaining why this is important because, as it turns out, the president has "few options."

One possible reason, of course, that the White House may not be rushing to announce how the president will mark the solemn occasion of 9/11, is because they know that no matter what gets planned, it won't be good enough for some people -- who will take to their blogs and pundit panel shows to have another round of "Obama Hates America" dialogue. Back on Memorial Day, for example, Obama chose to commemorate the occasion at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois, where American soldiers -- just as awesome as any American soldiers anywhere -- have been laid to rest.

But because Obama did not spend the occasion at Arlington National Cemetery, a select group of American cow-havers had cows, and claimed that honoring American troops in Illinois was "offensive". (By the way, a list of American presidents who skipped the Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington includes George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan.)

So. no matter what Obama chooses to do on September 11, people will be prepared to lose their minds completely over it, and the media will treat their ravings as "another interesting point of view on the issue." Compounding all of that now is the terrible news that he actually has "few options!"

But the president's options are otherwise limited: Last year, he marked the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks at the Pentagon, and a return appearance there seems unlikely. This year, first lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush will travel together to Shanksville, Pa., to honor the 40 passengers and crew members who died in the crash of United Airlines Flight 93.

That leaves the former World Trade Center site in New York, where Obama hasn't been since the 2008 presidential campaign.

Seems to me that it leaves the entire rest of the country, but in this imagining, there are only a few places where one can properly commemorate the 9/11 attacks (sorry, all you other states and territories!) and a return trip to the Pentagon is "unlikely," for reasons that are never explained. But why is it that Obama can't travel to New York City, again?

This year is especially awkward, given the controversy around President Barack Obama's remarks in support of an Islamic cultural center and mosque planned for a neighborhood near ground zero in lower Manhattan.

Oh, of course! And what exactly did Obama say, to make everything so "awkward?"

Last month, the Park51 project -- which would convert an empty building two blocks north of ground zero into a cultural center for Muslims, including a mosque -- sharply divided those who had no objection and those who were offended by it, including families who lost loved ones on Sept. 11. But the discussion reached a new level of intensity when Obama said in a speech that the project's backers have the constitutional right to build it.

So there you have it! President Obama cannot go to Ground Zero because he correctly pointed out that Americans have specific rights delineated by the Constitution, a document he swore an oath to uphold. (He should have learned from his predecessor that on 9/11, adhering to the Constitution takes a holiday!)

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