Here's the deal: the odds are very, very good that the current controversy about the "Ground Zero Mosque"...
1. Won't affect any elections this year.
2. Certainly won't affect the presidential election in 2012.
3. Will be rapidly forgotten.
4. Won't have any actual substantive effects.
5. Nor will it have any important lasting symbolic effects.
I hate to say things are simply just plain not important, but it's a stretch to find anything whatsoever of any importance on this one. Sure, some people are saying bigoted things...that's too bad, and yeah, they shoul be called on it I suppose, but that doesn't make this specific controversy news.
Passage and implementation of health care reform is important. Unemployment is important. Climate & energy is important. Iraq and Afghanistan are important. Torture, detention, secrecy, and the rule of law are important. Supreme Court Justices are important. The Fed is important. Keep going, and you get things like the small business bill, and higher ed loans, and Somolia, and the nuclear arms treaty, and the military reforms Gates is working on, and lower court appointments, and whether Obama is administering federal agencies very well, and eventually you get down to really minor stuff such as (in my opinion at least) the campaign finance bill that the Dems are pushing, then then tunnel deeper and deeper and you're still not going to get to this one.
It's not going to affect elections, it's not substantively important, and to the extent it's symbolically important...well, let's just say it's not symbolically important as a stand-alone issue in any significant way (at best, it's what Kevin Drum says, one straw -- so shouldn't we pay more attention to all that other straw?). I'm sorry to be a stick in the mud about it, but it just isn't actually a big story no matter how much it gets hyped. Okay?