Pataki Bails Out

Governor Pataki, the last defender of the ground zero Freedom Center, pulled the plug today, citing “controversy.”

On the political front, this frees Jeanine Pirro and Ed Cox from their uncomfortable position to the left of Hillary Clinton. She had freely denounced it while they, bound to Pataki, held back.

More broadly, though, as Matt Schuerman got at in his piece on the subject in today’s Observer, this is about the collapse of the center. There used to be uncontroversial ideas — freedom, say — and people — call them moderate Republicans — who embraced them. Tom Bernstein seems to be the last of that species. And Pataki is left sounding a bit plaintive:

“I strongly believe in this nation’s core principle of freedom…”