How So?

In yet another one of these tedious discussions about whether or not Obama is selling out the Iranians (amazing how well the neocons and the Republicans are at getting their message out), Jacob Heilbrunn attempts to refute the latest bunch of nonsense from Wolfowitz, but then offers up the following:

Clearly Obama was caught flatfooted by the protests.

How, exactly? Maybe he was and I just wasn’t paying attention, but what exactly is the evidence that Obama was caught “flat-footed?” I’m sick of making concessions to the right-wing noise machine, and what I have seen from Obama and his team has been reasoned, measured, and pitch-perfect. So how exactly was he caught “flat-footed?”

*** Update ***

Jonathan Chait, who has just been great lately at the Plank, notes that the Krauthammer and Wolfowitz aren’t even trying to form an argument, and based on this piece, I’m pretty convinced that given the opportunity, Joe Klein would punch them both in the neck.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

125 replies
  1. 1
    Davis X. Machina says:

    He didn’t already have the bombers in the air. That’s their operative translation of ‘flat-footed’.

  2. 2
    anonevent says:

    He didn’t twitter about it.

  3. 3
    Tom says:

    Peggy Noonan really hits the nail on the head in her op-ed today:

    To refuse to see all this as progress, or potential progress, is perverse to the point of wicked. To insist the American president, in the first days of the rebellion, insert the American government into the drama was shortsighted and mischievous. The ayatollahs were only too eager to demonize the demonstrators as mindless lackeys of the Great Satan Cowboy Uncle Sam, or whatever they call us this week. John McCain and others went quite crazy insisting President Obama declare whose side America was on, as if the world doesn’t know whose side America is on. “In the cause of freedom, America cannot be neutral,” said Rep. Mike Pence. Who says it’s neutral?

    This was Aggressive Political Solipsism at work: Always exploit events to show you love freedom more than the other guy, always make someone else’s delicate drama your excuse for a thumping curtain speech.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....inion_main

  4. 4
    Zifnab says:

    (amazing how well the neocons and the Republicans are at getting their message out)

    It was all but impossible with Dan Froomkin’s political biases cluttering up all that WaPo column space. But neocons are finally allowed to speak freely on the pages of a major American newspaper without fear of Left-Wing persecution.

  5. 5
    valdivia says:

    but John don’t ya know that Obama should have been out on friday night already with a statement predicting what would happen because otherwise he is a really naive incapable president?

    Snark aside–note too that at the end of that piece he totally contradicts himself because he says Obama has been pitch perfect.

  6. 6
    Ash says:

    I just read that and have no idea what that guy meant.

    I wish the neo-cons would just bomb themselves to hell already. Obama has said maybe two paragraphs on this whole matter, and Khameini still spent basically half his speech blaming the Zionists and Westerners.

  7. 7
    Evinfuilt says:

    The false dichotomy of balance in the news strikes again. Thats all it is, just have to give air to bullshit so that they can say their news is balanced (facts be damned!)

  8. 8
    RememberNovember says:

    @Tom:

    Peggy Noonan is a clown. She’s too busy “walking by the mysterious”
    Anyone who quotes that misguided wretch as viable and credible source material is a turnip-twaddler. However I will give leniance to this quote as even PN may have her more lucid moments. Jury’s still out on her imho.

  9. 9
    bystander says:

    Stupid. If Khamenei was caught flat-footed, and I’d argue he was, why would Obama be expected to know more? One more neo-con throwaway line. What else to expect from Wolfie? What else to expect from the WaPo?

  10. 10
    Death By Mosquito Truck says:

    Dibs on the handle Great Satan Cowboy Uncle Sam when this one expires.

  11. 11
    Malron says:

    They’re still trying to reinforce the “Obama is dangerously naive and unprepared to handle foreign policy” meme. Hence, whenever something happens overseas he got caught flat flooted.

  12. 12
    Mark says:

    I remember the BBC saying that Obama was caught “wrong-footed” when McCain suspended his campaign last year.

    In hindsight, not so much.

  13. 13

    Totally flatfooted. Barack Obama needs to suspend his campaign.

    Seriously, how many times are we going to read this story?

  14. 14
    Death By Mosquito Truck says:

    No doubt Obama will be caught hot-footed when those pesky trick-or-treaters come around this fall. Doh!

  15. 15
    cleek says:

    how many times are we going to read this story?

    zero.

    fuck the Washington Post.

  16. 16
    Zifnab says:

    @Malron: Man, imagine what they’d say if he presided over the biggest terrorist attack in American history, then proceeded to invade the wrong country to avenge the assault. They’d be all over him.

  17. 17
    MattF says:

    Also, Obama has to apologize to Sarah Palin for being so much smarter than she is.

  18. 18
    Keith says:

    I would imagine “flat-footed” translates to “didn’t wear a green tie”.

  19. 19
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Why would any democrat want to be president? It’s a lose/lose proposition from day one.

  20. 20
    Scott H says:

    Clearly, Obama was not caught flat-footed by the protests.

    Fixed and fixed. The grammar was worse than the unsupported statement.

  21. 21
    4tehlulz says:

    fuck the Washington Post.

    This is the only correct response to anything in the WaPo.

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    Or, as the headline read in The Onion the day after the election:

    Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job

  23. 23
    LD50 says:

    No matter what happens in Iran, the mullahs will blame America and the Neocons will insist we start bombing. *And* we’re incapable of affecting the outcome in any positive way. It’s not surprising Obama saw the wisdom of pretty much staying the fuck out.

  24. 24
    matoko_chan says:

    Noonan is a dolt as always.
    Saying there was no diff between Nejad and Mousavi was the best gift Obama gould give Mousavi.
    It wasn’t a mistake.
    Obama was emphasising this is an Iranian internal conflict and we are staying the fuck out.
    It was counter propaganda. If Khameini can glue the US to the greens they are done.
    Notice Khameini cannot attack Obama by name. He is too popular in Iran.
    Obama doesn’t do wrongfooted.
    He is playing Go and the repubs are playing checkers.
    Sully on Larison.
    The republican insane clown posse featuring John McCain (mr. bomb,bomb,bomb iran) is even now sponsoring a bill to force an official statement of solidarity with the protestors.
    Are the american people really stupid enough to fall for this?

  25. 25
    Tom says:

    @Remember November

    Yeah, well, I don’t know too much about Noonan aside from the fact that she seems to be a moderate conservative. Haven’t read too much by her, but I thought her op-ed today was good.

  26. 26
    Jen R says:

    @Comrade Stuck: Did you mean to leave “democrat” uncapitalized? Really, I think it works either way.

  27. 27
    NutellaonToast says:

    @LD50: “It’s not surprising Obama saw the wisdom of pretty much staying the fuck out.”

    Fuck that. He should see the unadulterated rage of bombing the fuck out of Iran. He should make sure to target the centers of commerce in the major urban areas so as to ensure that we win over those who don’t already support us!

  28. 28
    Brachiator says:

    How, exactly? Maybe he was and I just wasn’t paying attention, but what exactly is the evidence that Obama was caught “flat-footed?”

    Better, what the Hell does this even mean? If anything, the Iranian rulers were caught flatfooted in that they were totally surprised by the unwillingness of thousands of that country’s citizens to passively accept the election result.

    However, Obama’s measured response has been exactly the right thing to do, especially since there is no clear evidence that the election was rigged and — even if there were evidence to this effect, there is nothing that the US, the UN or anyone else could do about it.

    Further, in a way that is both amazing and sad, the Iranian protesters themselves were “caught flatfooted.” They have discovered that they have a mighty voice, even if they do not yet have the power to force a change in their government. Who knew, who could have predicted, that the protests would continue past a few hours after the elections?

    amazing how well the neocons and the Republicans are at getting their message out…

    The thing is, though, that once again, even though the Republicans get a message out, the message is batshit crazy and unintelligible to anyone not already attuned to the wingnut frequency.

    The boot licking press (aka the librul mainstream media) pretend that the Republicans have something to say, and conservative pundits seriously ponder the weightiness of this intellectual gobbledygook, while anyone with half a loaf of common sense reads this stuff about being caught “flatfooted,” shrugs his or her shoulders, and gets on with the day.

  29. 29
    Awesom0 says:

    I repeat my comment from the open thread. It’s just mediocre enough to warrant repeating:

    If the current Iranian regime is still in place 6 months from now, I know what the Republican rationale will be for bombing them: “The failed Iranian revolution proves that the people want us to bring them Democracy. Obama is a dictator loving thug for denying them this gift. This time we really will be greeted as liberators Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy for all!!”

  30. 30
    Ash says:

    fuck the Washington Post.

    As much as they suck, the “flat-footed” line came from someone at TPM.

  31. 31

    So how exactly was he caught “flat-footed?”

    Every time a Republican or a journalist criticizes Obama with some of the usual language we later find out these guys got pwned! I just read Khamanei’s rambling drivel of a speech at the Friday prayers in Tehran and he didn’t mention the US but he did mention the UK and other international enemies including the press! The current regime can’t blame the US government because they have not interjected themselves into this uprising. If anything the quintessential Obama approach to most “crisis” is pitch perfect. He doesn’t panic, and he also is probably acutely aware of what any words he utters may have on the situation.

    The neocons are going crazy because absolutely nothing is going there way. Nothing. The bellicose nature of the neocon is merely a nuisance because the power lies in the hands of a pretty cool, calm and collected fellow. No swaggering necessary. Obama swatting that fly the other day is an excellent metaphor for our current politics, no?

  32. 32
    Napoleon says:

    I think everyone was caught flatfooted not only by the protest but that Ajmadinalphabet would have a real competition on his hands. Did Wolfowittless mention if he saw either coming (I refuse to read the WaPo)?

  33. 33
    kay says:

    If it begins with “clearly”, everything after is made-up.

    It’s a weasel word. If he wrote “Obama was caught flatfooted” he’d have to back that up.

    “Clearly” takes care of those pesky details. It’s the consensus, so inviolate, and beyond question.

  34. 34
    Napoleon says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Saying there was no diff between Nejad and Mousavi was the best gift Obama gould give Mousavi.

    Bingo

  35. 35
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Jen R:

    I meant capitalized. Grammar fail on my part.

  36. 36

    Saying there was no diff between Nejad and Mousavi was the best gift Obama gould give Mousavi.
    It wasn’t a mistake.
    Obama was emphasising this is an Iranian internal conflict and we are staying the fuck out.
    It was counter propaganda. If Khameini can glue the US to the greens they are done.
    Notice Khameini cannot attack Obama by name. He is too popular in Iran.

    This raises an interesting question: whether intentional or not, does the Republican interventionist freak-out serve to help Obama’s propaganda efforts, by drawing attention to his message of non-interference?

  37. 37
    Woody says:

    Obama doesn’t really have time to ass-rape the Iranians, cuz he’s spending his energies fucking the “we, People.”

  38. 38
    El Cid says:

    A real President would have seized on the opportunity created by the Iranian protesters to bomb Syria.

  39. 39
    kay says:

    @Ash:

    I think that’s what “clearly” means. “me and some other people, so a consensus, so don’t bug me with why”.

    It’s a little slippery. I always feel as if it lets the writer off the hook for the statement. There’s an implied consensus. It works, too.

  40. 40
    Svensker says:

    @RememberNovember:

    Peggy Noonan is a clown. She’s too busy “walking by the mysterious”Anyone who quotes that misguided wretch as viable and credible source material is a turnip-twaddler.

    Verizon eated my comment and by that time, you’d corrected your harshing on Noonan’s today comment. However, I am still stealing the “turnip-twaddler” thing. Not sure what it means exactly (how does one twaddle a turnip? and does the turnip like it?), but it is top grade insult material.

  41. 41
    R-Jud says:

    Could swear I read “turnip-twaddler” elsewhere– in a Bloom County strip, maybe?

  42. 42
    JK says:

    This notion that Obama’s statements were too lukewarm is 100% unadulterated bullshit. McCain is a fucking hothead who would have already launched a military strike against Iran if he were President.

    Republicans with their foaming at the mouth attacks against Obama are out of their goddamn minds.

    Khameni and Ahmadinejad are scumbags and I’d love to see them spend life sentences behind bars in a US prison getting gang-raped 24 hours a day, but Mousavi isn’t Jefferson Fucking Smith from Mr Smith Goes to Washington as douchebags like Eric Cantor and Mike Pence would like to believe. Obama, Biden, and Clinton should keep quiet about Iran and not let us get bogged down in a rhetorical war of words with Khameni and Ahmadinejad.

  43. 43
    K says:

    What? Was there a PDB titled “Iranian Reformist Determined to March in Iran” that Obama ignored?

  44. 44
    Eric U. says:

    Noonan is an idiot, so it scares me that once every 10 year she makes sense to me.

  45. 45
    gnomedad says:

    @RememberNovember:

    Peggy Noonan is a clown. She’s too busy “walking by the mysterious”
    Anyone who quotes that misguided wretch as viable and credible source material is a turnip-twaddler. However I will give leniance to this quote as even PN may have her more lucid moments.

    I really hate to reward a glimmer of sanity with condescension, but it must be pointed out as significant that even Pious Peggy, who weeps at the very mention of Ronald Reagan, has found a level of wingnut absurdity she cannot digest.

  46. 46
    demimondian says:

    I’m going to challenge the chorus here — I think that the Obama administration was caught totally on-balance by developments in Iran. I say this because they *didn’t* have a statement ready saying “The United States welcomes the results of the Iranian election, and looks forward to continuing fruitful engagement with the newly elected government.” They, like the rest of the world, had no idea who was going to be elected beforehand, or how. So the Obama administration, being the Obama administration, chose to wait with its weight evenly distributed between both feet, holding its center over the balls of its feet, able to move if anything critical happened, but not committing itself to moving in any particular direction.

    To those who weren’t watching, of course, that really does look like being caught flat-footed.

  47. 47
    demimondian says:

    @Woody: 4.3 — 2.1 native score, but you get a 2.04 degree of difficulty for posting it here.

    Thanks for playing.

  48. 48
    jcricket says:

    What frustrates me to no end is that the public actually gets it. Sure, we can be thrown into overly “patriotic war fever” by events like 9/11, but we generally get the idea of diplomacy, measured responses, incrementalism, etc. This is true of non-foreign-policy issues as well. Poll after poll shows the public opposes the Iraq war, supports pullout, does not support invading other countries, believes in Obama’s responses, etc.

    Yet judging by the press reporting, it’s as if all of us are raging neocons bursting at the seams to invade another country and spread our democracy seed by way of cluster bombs, shock and awe.

  49. 49
    Zifnab says:

    @gnomedad: Give her some time. She’ll come around.

  50. 50
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Obama was caught flat-footed because the House Repubs are like the protesters on the street of Iran who are being repressed by the calls for America to bomb the shit out of them/wear a green tie.

    Does that clear it up for you? I hope so.

  51. 51
    Bullsmith says:

    demimondian,

    To me what you’re describing is simply that Obama is reacting to events beyond his control. I don’t see how that plausibly looks like being caught flat-footed. Being surprised by events, perhaps, but what move has Obama made that was awkward or fell flat or otherwise could be described as “flat-footed”? Calling him too cautious would make sense, but the flat-footed remark just rings false. It would be like calling his response inelegant. It’s the wrong criticism.

  52. 52
    gopher2b says:

    @RememberNovember:

    Peggy Noonan is a clown. She’s too busy “walking by the mysterious”Anyone who quotes that misguided wretch as viable and credible source material is a turnip-twaddler. However I will give leniance to this quote as even PN may have her more lucid moments. Jury’s still out on her imho.

    Doesn’t sound like all the juries are still out. Hate much?

  53. 53
    Jason says:

    And then of course there was Thrasher’s op-ed about Obama being caught goofy-footed when McCain pulled a 1080 at the last debate.

  54. 54
    Zach says:

    I’m really tired of people decrying ignorance when they themselves hadn’t uttered the word Mousavi before June 2009. I’m mainly thinking of Andrew Sullivan here; he’s been brutal against the Washington Post for running a single opinion piece considering the possibility that the elections were fairer than we think (in a sea of opinion pieces and editorials assuming the election was a fraud). He’s now knocking Bill Keller (well, vacillating between that and quoting his firsthand reporting in Tehran) for not toeing his line.

    Andrew Sullivan’s first post on the Iranian elections was June 3rd, yet he posts this condescending nonsense:

    One theory for much of the MSM’s massive fail on this, I think, is that they didn’t really cover the campaign. If you weren’t aware of what had happened in the weeks before the election, the sudden explosion of outrage wouldn’t make much sense. But the expectations were everything. And as Tocqueville understood, nothing is more combustible than the dashing of raised expectations. That’s how revolutions happen. But because the MSM hadn’t covered the expectations, they had no resources to understand or cover the aftermath of the vote-stealing.

    He was made aware of what was happening Iran by reporting in The New York Times, Time (the story really blew up with Joe Klein and Nahid Siamdoust’s early reporting), and Forbes.

  55. 55
    camchuck says:

    By now, a competent and prepared POTUS would have an agreement for a new oil pipeline under the management of Exxon.

  56. 56
    Rey says:

    So how exactly was he caught “flat-footed?”

    Because you know, he is half black.

  57. 57
    slag says:

    At the risk of seeming like an Obamaphile, I’m going to say that I’ve never ever seen him caught flat-footed at any time. Clearly, the man has his faults, but seeming unprepared or unable to adapt to a situation isn’t really one of them.

  58. 58
    gopher2b says:

    I propose a new rule. In th future, anytime anyone demands the U.S. government express support for a movement or particular group of people, they need to explicitly say what the U.S. government will do if those people are beat up, killed, imprisoned, etc. It can even be in the form of multiple choice (a) Nothing, (b) Issue Strong Words, (c) Bomb something, (d) Invade, (e) Stop buying stuff from you (and you need to say what stuff exactly). That way, at least, everyone is on the same page.

    My greatest annoyance with these types of comments is that these people think it will matter. It won’t (at least not positively anyway). We’re fighting two wars and trying to save a global financial system. I don’t think tyranncial governments, like Iran, are all the at worried.

  59. 59
    john b says:

    @Zach:

    he of course followed up that post to say that certain msm outlets were doing a great job. including the nytimes. and that bloggers have a symbiotic relationship with the reporters on the ground in foreign countries. but by and large the msm DIDN’T cover this story until it had really blown up. and largely by that point outlets like sully’s blog and others were miles ahead and the msm basically had to play catch-up for a few days.

    @slag:

    he seemed to be caught pretty flat-footed in his response to the LGBT community outrage in the past week or so.

  60. 60

    slag,

    I’ve never seen him caught flat-footed, but I’ve seen him accused of being caught flat-footed any number of times.

    On every single occasion, within a week or two, his opponents ended up in a flaming wreck, while he got exactly what he wanted and looked good doing it.

    I don’t think Republicans know what “play it cool” means.

  61. 61
    Punchy says:

    Obama’s hamstrung in his responses b/c he’s married to a gorilla, or so a gentleman from the SC told me.

  62. 62
    demimondian says:

    @Rey: And he needs arch supports.

  63. 63
    demimondian says:

    @Punchy: Look, that’s not fair. I’m not racist against whites — some of my best friends are white — but…well, they evolved in a part of the world for which humans are really ill-suited, and, as a result, they’ve acquired some traits which limit their ability to compete in less inhospitable climates.

  64. 64
    Brachiator says:

    @john b:

    he seemed to be caught pretty flat-footed in his response to the LGBT community outrage in the past week or so.

    There was outrage from the LGBT community about something? Did anyone notice? And more importantly, did the GOP take him to task for it?

  65. 65
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    @R-Jud: Bingo! Opus gets hooked on late-night infomercials and can’t resist ordering a box of them. Something like that…

  66. 66
    djork says:

    Obama doesn’t really have time to ass-rape the Iranians, cuz he’s spending his energies fucking the “we, People.”

    I just read that blog post and, from what I can tell, it’s Congressional Blue Dog Dems proposing this. Pray tell, how is this Obama’s fault? Maybe I ‘m missing something?

  67. 67
    Ash says:

    @djork: You haven’t caught on yet? EVERYTHING IS OBAMA’S FAULT.

    Just remember that and life will be easier.

  68. 68
    rachel says:

    @Jason:

    And then of course there was Thrasher’s op-ed about Obama being caught goofy-footed when McCain pulled a 1080 at the last debate.

    Truly, McCain has a dizzying intellect; anybody would be disconcerted by one party in a debate rotating through three complete circles.

  69. 69
    john b says:

    @Brachiator:

    this is more about losing support from your base than losing support from the mainstream. but for all i know maybe he’s just taking a slow approach again. but he certainly seems to have bungled the immediate response.

  70. 70
    Mojotron says:

    I believe that Opus ordered a case of Ronco Turnip-Twaddlers off of late night TV (along with Slim “Bullfrog” Whitman records) in a moment of weakness.

    That being said, Krauthammer and Wolfowitz aren’t fit to twaddle turnips.

  71. 71
    djork says:

    You haven’t caught on yet? EVERYTHING IS OBAMA’S FAULT.

    Just remember that and life will be easier.

    It’s all so clear to me now!!!!

  72. 72
    Zach says:

    @john b:
    Yes, he’s devoted more attention to this than major papers (and especially cable news). But he wasn’t paying attention to it “in the weeks before the election” or at least kept it close to the vest if that was the case. In fact, mainstream, Western reporting keyed him into what was going on.

    He’s also railed against Keller based on his report from within Tehran:

    That was his crack MSM reporting from Iran. And we wonder why the MSM dropped the ball (even as, mercifully, they’re now catching up). They just don’t have a clue.

    This a day after he cited Keller’s first-hand reporting. And three days after he linked a Keller article critical of the vote.

    It’s frankly bullshit that the MSM wasn’t ahead of this story. The editor of the New York Times and the star political reporter for Time were in Tehran covering the election. Said star reporter was interviewing the main opposition candidate. Sullivan didn’t post about the election until their reports (and accompanying photographs) were published. Just because the Times doesn’t consider Twitter a verified source doesn’t mean it’s inept. As far as verified facts go, they’ve presented as much as Sullivan has in a way that’s, you know, actually coherent for most Americans.

  73. 73
    dobrojutro says:

    Remember when Obama got caught flat-footed when Somali pirates captured a US ship captain? That traumatic episode in US history is burned so indelibly in my psyche that I cannot remember the name of the captain, the ship or the month it happened in.

  74. 74
    Brachiator says:

    @john b:

    this is more about losing support from your base than losing support from the mainstream. but for all i know maybe he’s just taking a slow approach again. but he certainly seems to have bungled the immediate response.

    I have a fundamental problem with people continuing to describe particular groups as “the base.” I have even more problems with the sense of self-importance that people ascribe to being part of the supposed “base.”

    And to be blunt, any group that voted for Obama has two choices. They can continue to press him on issues of importance to them, or they can sit back and not vote or contribute, and wait for Republicans to screw them over if they can regain power.

    By the way, I consider the LGBT community to be part of the mainstream, even if some folks have not got the message.

  75. 75
    Comrade Dread says:

    News of an impending Congressional resolution on the situation in Iran.

    One protester who refused to be named was quoted as saying, “This morning after seven days of marching and being willing to give my life for a just system of government, I was just going to say **** it and go back to class, but now, seeing such a strongly worded statement from the United States Congress, I have strength to go again.”

    Another, who didn’t quite understand English or the nature of the resolution, said, “This is long overdue, and we would like the people of America to know that we and our brothers stand with them demanding a full and fair recount for Al Gore.”

    A third said, “Thanks. Can you hand me a copy of that resolution so I can mop up some of my blood, please?”

    And another, “I’m not sure I understand… is Congress your American word for ‘Self-Important Assclowns?”

  76. 76
    demimondian says:

    @dobrojutro: Just like he got caught completely on-balance when John McCain suspended his campaign while his current ad buys expired, back in September, during the Obama-Bush administration.

  77. 77
    Ash says:

    @Zach: As usual, Sullivan just likes to think he’s always ahead of the game and revolutionizing something or other.

    I’ve stopped reading him in the last couple of days, his self-importance is tiring.

  78. 78
    R-Jud says:

    @Rey:

    “So how exactly was he caught “flat-footed?”” Because, you know, he is half black.

    Of COURSE! How could we forget?

  79. 79
  80. 80
    Gus says:

    Read the comments to Wolfowitz’ bullshit. He is just getting reamed by the commenters. I read through about 100 comments and counted three that were supportive of him.

  81. 81
    LD50 says:

    In this context, ‘flat-footed’ means nothing. It’s just a floating concept, a meme launched to evoke an emotional association.

    You know, like everything conservatives say.

  82. 82
    Ash Can says:

    @matoko_chan:

    He is playing Go and the repubs are playing checkers with themselves.

    That’s more like it.

  83. 83
    Lola says:

    Foreign policy is really Obama’s strong suit. Dealing with LGBT groups is not. That being said, I think Obama will sign any gay frendly legislation that comes his way. It is unrealistic for any liberal group to think that Obama will speak for them. Obama isn’t even speaking up for blacks. Like history shows, the strongest civil rights action will have to come from the courts.

  84. 84
    matoko_chan says:

    but Mousavi isn’t Jefferson Fucking Smith from Mr Smith Goes to Washington as douchebags like Eric Cantor and Mike Pence would like to believe. Obama, Biden, and Clinton should keep quiet about Iran and not let us get bogged down in a rhetorical war of words with Khameni and Ahmadinejad.

    that is how Mousavi got by….he is a stealth candidate. The guardian council vetts all the candidate for Islamic bona fides. Two weeks before the election there was a poll showing Nejad 27%, Mousavi 11% and freakin 57% undecided…..the reform movement decided that Mousavi was their candidate with blinding speed. I think he got the 57%.
    The greens coopted him.
    But that means they will retain influence over him.

  85. 85
    matoko_chan says:

    Here is Ignatius proudly flying the retard flag.
    Like AllahP and the rest of the twodigits that comprise the remaining dregs of the republican intelligentsia, he completely doesn’t get that both sides are muslim.

  86. 86
    Mike G says:

    He is playing Go and the repubs are playing checkers

    After eight years of Cheney-Bush-neocon King Stupid and their pliant puppy press, the Repigs don’t even play checkers. It’s more like they are playing with a light switch, whose two nodes are ‘Tax Cuts’ and ‘Bombing’.

  87. 87
    bcinaz says:

    I smell equivalancy; like being caught flat-footed after the second plane flew into the WTC

  88. 88
    Jason says:

    @rachel: And always twirling, twirling, twirling, towards freedom.

  89. 89
    omen says:

    listening to khameini warn against holding more rallies, i’m pretty sure the shah said something similar. there is rich irony in khameini making illegal the very process that brought the current state into power. the coalition that formed made up of clerics and students that demonstrated against the shah were criminal law breakers too.

  90. 90
    matoko_chan says:

    As usual, Sullivan just likes to think he’s always ahead of the game and revolutionizing something or other.
    I’ve stopped reading him in the last couple of days, his self-importance is tiring.

    Ash, u wrong.
    If you know anything about social network theory and trusted networks the Dish has become a supernode, blazing with influence and connnections.
    The greens send him stuff first, and their trust of him will continue beyond the election whatever happens. Stateside readers will trust him too, and hit the Dish first.
    Sully totally grabbed the reins on this.

  91. 91

    @ Jason:

    You mean, like a Turnip Twaddler?

  92. 92
    Xanthippas says:

    Jonathan Chait, who has just been great lately at the Plank, notes that the Krauthammer and Wolfowitz aren’t even trying to form an argument, and based on this piece, I’m pretty convinced that given the opportunity, Joe Klein would punch them both in the neck.

    Yeah I like Chait too, but the fact that he seems surprised that conservatives would make incoherent arguments about foreign policy kind of surprises me. Krauthammer’s been writing like that for years now.

  93. 93
    omen says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Saying there was no diff between Nejad and Mousavi was the best gift Obama gould give Mousavi.
    It wasn’t a mistake.

    this gave me pause when i first heard it. it struck me as too close to home to neocon talking points in their intent on continuing their demonizing iran, no matter a change in leadership. to compare the two as equivalent insults the demonstrators and their cause. is this administration that captive to israeli pressures? but then i thought no, this is an ass covering move. mousavi, though now a reformer, has a bloody past.* one of his former officials claims credit for the murder of marines in beirut. to suggest favoritism for mousavi would not only empower amadelegitimite but would later be used by conservatives as ammunition as proof obama’s lack of patriotism.

    they’re slamming him now for failing to support the uprising, but they would slam him anyways later on for supporting a “terrorist.” as always, the republican unprincipled position is to damn him if he does and damn if he doesn’t.

    *as noted by bob baer in a recent column.

  94. 94
    Mojotron says:

    sweet comrade kevin, thanks for that. And apologies to the estate of Slim Whitman, I believe it was actually Slim “Bullfrog” Whitstein records with which Opus was tempted.

  95. 95

    CNN has this on the House/Iran vote:

    “(1) expresses its support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law;
    “(2) condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the government of Iran and pro-government militias, as well as the ongoing government suppression of independent electronic communication through interference with the Internet and cell phones; and
    “(3) affirms the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections.”

    Keeping their traps shut would have been smarter but given the media response to Iran they certainly couldn’t help themselves.

  96. 96
    matoko_chan says:

    Look….the rightside totally doesn’t get that this is an internal conflict between two visions of Islam IN A THEOCRACY. Bullshytt democracy comparisons are only damaging to the greens. They are reforming al-Islam, not revolting against it.
    In an Islamic state, Islam, the true Islam, is the guarantee of the peoples rights. That is a great strength of this movement, and why I think they will succeed.

    Unfortunately, the rightside has totally swallowed on years of the axis of idiots (Steyn, Malkin, VDH, etc) pimping the cartoon construct of fundie-jihaadi Islam.

  97. 97
    omen says:

    @matoko_chan:

    i’ve run across accounts of former revolutionary era clerics who are now reformers arguing for separation of mosque and state. i’m not saying it will happen tomorrow and i’m sure they’re a minority, but it’s encouraging to hear the argument is being made.

  98. 98
    matoko_chan says:

    “(1) expresses its support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law;

    I cannot even express how profoudly and abysmally stupid this statement is….the rule of law in Iran is Islamic law, the judiciary is Islamic jurisprudence.
    I despair.

  99. 99
    matoko_chan says:

    Omen….why?
    al-Islam overthrew the tyrant Shah.
    I believe al-Islam can overthrow the tyrant Khameini.
    The people on the rooftops are not chanting “democracy now”…..they are chanting Allahu Akbar!

  100. 100

    @matoko_chan:

    In an Islamic state, Islam, the true Islam, is the guarantee of the peoples rights. That is a great strength of this movement, and why I think they will succeed.

    Oh sure it is, depending of course on which passages you’d care to emphasize or ignore. Claptrap nonsense.

    You could have used the word “perceived” and gotten something right, as this stands it is asshattery. You propose that a theocracy is somehow immune from the governmental drive to accrue power on the basis of exactly what successful form? You behave as though something as explicit as the US Constitution & BOR has stood against it and refer to something filled with allegories and self-contrdictory statements … as though the Koran is a less politicized document than the Bible.

    None of that has shit to do with the right asshats’ views anymore than you junk has anything to do with anything.

  101. 101
    matoko_chan says:

    The argument that Sayeed Ayatollah Montzaderi is making is not for the separation of church and state…it is that election fraud is not only illegal under islamic law, but also a sin against Islam.

  102. 102

    @matoko_chan:

    sin against Islam.

    Done by HOLY MEN – ie lying cheating political hacks as per always in a theocracy or …

    So you expouse the superiority of what exactly?

  103. 103
    matoko_chan says:

    Yes Chuck….the Greens are devout muslims, and their form of goverment is a theocracy. They are seeking reformation of an Islamic state, not installing a western democracy.
    Your argument is that we should impose a judeoxian democracy on them by force if neccessary?
    But we tried that in Iraq.
    4228 military lives and 1 trillion dollars later the Iraqis wrote sharia law into their constitution.
    Iraq is also an Islamic state, dooontcha know.

  104. 104
    omen says:

    @matoko_chan:

    i’m not talking about montzaderi. my understanding is that it’s mohsen kadviar who is making this argument.

  105. 105
    matoko_chan says:

    Chuck, there are only two modern religions that do not proselytize.
    Sufism and Judaism.
    Both religions advocate the same core meme, yours is better for you, mine is better for me.
    Or as the Sufi shayyks put it….man cannot acquire what he cannot use.
    Islam is their religion.
    What is the point of your comparisons?

  106. 106
    omen says:

    @matoko_chan:

    al-Islam overthrew the tyrant Shah.

    it was a coalition formed that did that. clerics were not alone. they joined with with the help of leftists students, including communists, to overthrow the shah.

  107. 107
    omen says:

    @matoko_chan:

    they are chanting Allahu Akbar!

    isn’t this also meant to say man (dictator) cannot deny them rights given to them by god?

  108. 108
    matoko_chan says:

    Here is a good article on the makeup of the Assembly of Experts.
    Iran is an Islamic state. Sayeed Kadviar is very much in the minority, perhaps the only one of the 86.
    Iraq is an Islamic state also.
    My point is, that is their bidness.
    Not ours. Whatever government the people choose.

  109. 109
    omen says:

    @matoko_chan:

    My point is, that is their bidness.
    Not ours. Whatever government the people choose.

    yes, of course. it’s their choice to make.

  110. 110

    @matoko_chan:

    What is the point of your comparisons?

    I give a rat’s ass who wins the election, I do care about who runs the show. The Iranians may find it important and inside Iran it probably makes some difference. What I do find of import is that most Iranians have now been shown that the HOLY MEN are just lying cheating political hacks.

    I don’t give a healthy shit what Holy Book you use to run a theocracy it will fall on the basis of that alone – theocracy. Just as soon as you depend on “The Word Of God” to do the messy business of governing you are fucked. You are fucked by the political crap now taken as Gospel and by its narrow constraints of absolute black and white on policy.

    The shit in Iran is not an aberration of Islam, it is a feature of theocracy. IOW you are so full of shit it’s running out your fingers. You propose that the version of Holy Book makes the theocrats SAINTS once into the political/ruling business and that makes you an idiot – per all historical data.

    I don’t argue the superiority of any religion as a guiding force in morals or ethics. You must be very new around here to put words into my post indicating I prefer force for much of anything.

  111. 111
    matoko_chan says:

    Omen, this time the clerics are divided, some on each side.
    al-Islam is hugely about justice and fairness.
    salihat, or just duty, is part of the 5 pillars (sunni) or 8 practices (shi’ia) of al-Islam.
    And yes, Allah is greater.
    The other islamic argument that Sayeed Rafsanjani is presumeably making behind the scenes is that Khameini is not practicing salihat, and therefore possibly not a muslim, or at least sinning against Allah.

  112. 112
    matoko_chan says:

    You behave as though something as explicit as the US Constitution & BOR has stood against it and refer to something filled with allegories and self-contrdictory statements … as though the Koran is a less politicized document than the Bible.

    Pardon, I must have mistaken what you said.

  113. 113

    @matoko_chan:

    Whatever government the people choose.

    That has bearing on exactly what in this discussion? I don’t exactly remember anything about this election that had to do with the people choosing from something other than an ordained slate. You assert that it did?

    They can have whatever they choose to tolerate, but calling it something else is horseshit. I don’t propose that the US government do a damn thing past what Obama has had to say. I, on the other hand, am not an arm of the government and calling out theocracy is my business at this point. That and calling you an asshat – evidently.

  114. 114
    lou says:

    eggy Noonan is a clown.

    I personally prefer Wonkette’s description: “Queen Peggy of Noonanstein”.

    PS canceled my subscription to the Post when I found out Hiatt had a hand in Froomkin’s pending departure. That coupled with Wolfowitz’s appalling column.

  115. 115
    omen says:

    @matoko_chan:

    The other islamic argument that Sayeed Rafsanjani is presumeably making behind the scenes is that Khameini is not practicing salihat, and therefore possibly not a muslim, or at least sinning against Allah.

    so i’ve heard. reza aslan has been pointing this out, as well as bob baer:

    What makes this such a tenuous situation is that Khamenei’s legitimacy has been in question from the day he succeeded Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989. It was widely understood among intelligence analysts that Khamenei did not have the religious credentials to succeed Khomeini as supreme leader, Iran’s head of state who is supposed to be the most learned religious cleric. In fact, Khamenei is not even really an ayatollah–his license was in effect bought–and he has no popular religious following as other legitimate ayatollahs do. It doesn’t help that Iranian leaders of Khomeini’s generation have never particularly liked Khamenei and see him as a man who muscled his way into power, perhaps even by killing Khomeini’s son, the person most likely to challenge his rule.

    http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs.....ropes.aspx

    possibly killed his son?! wow….

  116. 116
    matoko_chan says:

    In a theocracy, under the system of Islamic jurisprudence, the lawyers and judges ARE the clergy. Not separable.
    So I think it is extremely dubious that the “HOLY MEN” have been revealed to most Iranians as “are just lying cheating political hacks.”

  117. 117
    omen says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    butcher, aren’t being a little harsh? iran can’t bullet from theocracy to secular state in 6 seconds. calling people names for being muslim doesn’t add to the discussion.

  118. 118

    @matoko_chan:

    Pardon, I must have mistaken what you said.

    Nope, you’re busy thumping a holybook and I just tossed up the most common US one. You didn’t misunderstand, you’re stuck on a theocratic point and will stay stuck there.

    Take for instance that the direct quotes from J Christ would make Christianity a direct opponent of the US form of government and economy – that’s just ignored, isn’t it? That point of view would make me a lousy supporter of the American Taliban, now wouldn’t it.

    I really don’t care anything about religions, I don’t like theocracies, or other forms of dictatorship. You seem to. That’s your perogative, just as it is mine to dislike any such assertion. Your entire lack of anything other than wishful thinking does create some problems for your stance.

  119. 119

    @omen:

    being a little harsh?

    Bullshit is bullshit. I don’t expect a damn thing from Iran. I find it encouraging that the Holy Men have proved themselves to the Iranians to be exactly what they are. I don’t give a damn about being Muslim or any other religion. I challenge you to find such anywhere in what I’ve said.

    If you can point to it I will apologize profusely and immediately and very sincerely.

  120. 120

    @matoko_chan:

    extremely dubious that the “HOLY MEN” have been revealed

    So they’re protesting the taste of broccoli? And here I thought it was about a rigged election…

    My mistake, no Muslim theocrat would do such a thing, it’s not in the nature of the religion and thus they couldn’t do it. Ummm….

    Or is it that the riggers are secret secular humanists who’ve infiltrated Islam? You’d call them … apostates? I’d call them a feature of theocracy, in this case.

  121. 121
    omen says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    butch, that’s like arguing if one catholic priest is a pedophile, all christians are pedophiles.

    you’re blaming religion for frailties that are human characteristics. greed, corruption and the ruthless quest for power – these things are not inherently muslim, christian, or whatever. if religion were abolished, these instincts would not disappear.

  122. 122

    @omen:

    butch, that’s like arguing if one catholic priest is a pedophile, all christians are pedophiles.

    Nope, Holy Men aren’t the people running the place? You’d be happier with a single pronoun? That isn’t the case, men is the proper pronoun. Do you seriously, in a blog posting, expect me to put in the names of each and every lying cheating political hack holy man in order to justify a plural pronoun? Pedophilic priests is qualified and doesn’t because of the plural mean “all.”

    You object to my not qualifying more narrowly? I can’t. I don’t know which of them isn’t – it is a theocracy and not particularly above board with its politics. The “Political” is a qualifier of sorts, beyond that I’m at a loss. The theocrat booster I was aguing with asserts the religion excludes such behavior, so? Evidently it doesn’t stop it in that theocracy. In fact it backs it up with armies, police, and militias. Fuck ’em.

    Those priests don’t run governments, neither do they run pedophilia institutions. They do run churches, that’s a Catholic problem. If Islamists wish to corrupt themselves by running governments, that’s what they want and it’s not my business to approve of it. matoko_chan asserts it just ain’t so, his asshattery is offensive and stupid and backed by not a single fact or historical reference, he just wants it to be so in the face of current evidence. To back it up he references that they run everything which means what? Evidently there must be exceptions because there are so many? OK, I’ll acknowledge that there must be Iranian exceptions on that basis.

  123. 123

    @omen:

    you’re blaming religion for frailties

    I’ll be go to hell if I did any such thing. That those exist make theocracies extremely dangerous. I never postulated that any religion is responsible for the humanity of its adherents.

  124. 124
    matoko_chan says:

    Chuck Butcher, that is the attitude of proselytization….it matters little if you are proselytizing a religion or a form of government.
    “Mine is better.”
    That is the cause of a great deal of the world’s ills…if not most.

  125. 125

    @matoko_chan:

    Mine is better

    I didn’t say the US was better than all, I said theocracy sucks. You’ll be glad to show me when and where it hasn’t, I’m sure. Maybe Iran is your example? Better than the Shah? Probably, but that’s a real limited pool.

    Your wish has nothing to do with how things work out.

    I painted my stupid website green to stand with people who are taking great risks to oppose their government, not because I’m thinking that winning this election will be earth shattering. They were brought to believe that they had enough power to elect on of the Mullah’s choices and found it to be a lie and cheat and are objecting at great personal risk – I approve heartily. They’ll learn something from this exercise – what exactly I don’t know. I could hope but that won’t make anything so.

Comments are closed.