Democrats were stunned and somewhat speechless last August when Republicans accused them of proposing “death panels” as part of  their healthcare reform initiative.

This August,  it’s the proposed construction of a Muslim cultural center and mosque near lower Manhattan’s “Ground Zero” that is dominating the end-of-summer doldrums.  Once again,  Democrats are struggling to gain the upper hand in the debate. AFGHANISTAN/

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi weighed in on Wednesday, saying, “Where a place of worship is located is a local decision.” The Democrat may have been tweaking Republicans from across the U.S. who are railing about the New York City mosque all the while complaining about the long, intrusive arm of the federal government.

Republicans have argued that allowing a mosque within blocks of the site of the Sept. 11 attacks would be an insult to the families of  the thousands killed that day. But Pelosi, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,  is also noting that if Republicans’ hearts were in the right place, they would stop opposing legislation to help emergency responders and others suffering health problems related to the attacks.

Pelosi says it’s fine to look into who would fund the construction of the Islamic center, but that “we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction” of the facility.