The Goldberg gambit

David Broder — in an otherwise surprisingly reasonable column — thinks Obama should saber-rattle to get re-elected:

Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected. But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this threat and contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.

This strikes me as both cynical and naive.






128 replies
  1. 1
    Joseph Nobles says:

    The quest to totally undermine Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize continues.

  2. 2
    Moses2317 says:

    It is more than cynical and naive, it is fucking ridiculous. As a matter of policy, the last thing we need to do is to further heighten tensions in the Middle East. And as a matter of politics, the last thing we need is to create more scary scenarios about nuclear weapons and Middle Easterners, as when people vote based on fear, they vote Republican.

    I realize that many conservatives need a war in the Middle East in order to bring about their desired end times, but I seriously doubt that Obama will play along with that.


    Winning Progressive

  3. 3
    Cacti says:

    I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected.

    …cough…

    bullshit!

    …cough…

  4. 4

    I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected.

    Yes, he is.

    I have no idea if he could deliver on this implied promise.

  5. 5

    This strikes me as both cynical and naive.

    You forgot evil and stupid, or maybe that’s just a stronger way of saying cynical and naive.

  6. 6
    freelancer says:

    But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century.

    Most untrue thing I’ve ever read.

  7. 7
    JasonF says:

    I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected.

    Did they change the English language when I wasn’t looking? Because last I checked, he is absolutely suggesting that the president incite a war to get reelected.

  8. 8
    Uloborus says:

    This is amazing. Even the lies in this quote are lies.

  9. 9
    c u n d gulag says:

    Paging Dr. Kevorkian.
    Dr. Kevorkian, to David Broders room.
    Dr. Kevorkian.
    Paging Dr. Kevorkian.
    PLEASE, Dr. Kevorkian, PLEASE RESPOND ASAP!!!

  10. 10
    calipygian says:

    Isn’t David Broder old enough to remember the Soviet Union? Now THERE was a threat….

    And Broder is very, very dumb if he doesn’t see trying to accommodate a rising, non-status quo power China (which is in pretty much the same position geopolitically speaking, as Germany was exactly a hundred years ago) as being the number one problem we’ll have to deal with .

    And no, this not saying that China is a threat and should be our enemy.

  11. 11
    Mnemosyne says:

    Wow, they’re fucking desperate for a war on Iran, aren’t they?

    Too bad the Iranians keep being willing to talk it over.

  12. 12
    jwb says:

    I still can’t believe that anyone bothers to read Broder any longer. The man is dumber than a brick, never offers special insight, and for the past ten years hasn’t even been a reliable guide to conventional wisdom. He’s not even as effective as a stopped clock. I mean will we really notice a change in Washington opinion when Broder dies, other than there being just one column’s less stupidity?

  13. 13

    But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is we are the greatest threat to the world in the young century.

    Fixt. Anyone who would propose fomenting war as a political gambit and then accuse the country he plans on attacking as a threat to peace is either a hypocrite or an idiot. Where “or” is to be used in the logical sense of “at least one of the two”.

  14. 14
    beltane says:

    @Roger Moore: David Broder is hardly naive. He is an amoral apologist for the use of illegal warfare for fun and profit.

  15. 15
    fasteddie9318 says:

    I’ve been saying for a while now that he’s going to have to ramp up the Muzzie death count to get reelected. He’s just not killing enough of them right now. What does he think the U.S. President’s job is?

  16. 16
    Tancrudo says:

    The first thing to remember about the wingtards is that they have no fundamental beliefs. They are basically nihilists. They are of two varieties: grifters in it for the money; and suckers who are in it for the grifters’ money. Having no fundamental beliefs means that they can change 180 degrees when necessary, in a very short time. If Obama came out hard against Iran, the next day it would be all over the Fox propaganda machine that we have always been friends of Iran and Obama is a nazisocialifascistboondoggler for wanting to spend all that US tax money in an illegal war in Iran.

    If Obama is going to take a strong stand, it should be based on reason, not political calculation. Any position is going to be attacked with all the power of a massive propaganda system, and it needs the foundation of reason to withstand the attacks.

  17. 17
    Chyron HR says:

    Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century.

    Did you know that in addition to having the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, Iran the only country in human history that has proven their willingness to use nuclear weapons to achieve their geopolitical ends?

    What? That’s not Iran? Well, I’m sure it’s one of those Axis of Evil countries. Maybe Iraq?

  18. 18
    monkeyboy says:

    Why should anybody pay any attention to a Jewish pundit calling for an attack on Iran?

  19. 19
    morzer says:

    I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected.

    I am not suggesting, of course, that someone apply a baseball bat to any part of David Broder’s anatomy to radically improve the standard of punditry in Lower Assholistan. BUT….

  20. 20
    dj spellchecka says:

    Iran is the greatest percieved, not actual, threat to the world isreal, evah….”the bombing will begin in 15 minutes”

  21. 21
    dj spellchecka says:

    ps:

    if obama actually did ANYTHING of a military nature against iran in the run up to the election, every beepin’ winger in the country would be yelping “WAG THE DOG! WAG THE DOG!”

  22. 22
    Rick Taylor says:

    It strikes me as evil.

  23. 23
    joe from Lowell says:

    Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century.

    No, it’s not. That is freaking ridiculous. Iran is a threat to exactly nobody except its own citizens.

    Quick, somebody name the last time Iran started a war.

    Give up? That’s because it’s a trick question. Iran has NEVER started a war. Its predecessor state, Persia, last started a war in the 1700s.

    This Washington consensus about Iran as a global threat is a load of horse puckey.

  24. 24
    Chris G says:

    @jwb: I remember Broder announcing that the Mario Cuomo write-in draft campaign would win the New Hampshire primary in 1992. That was when I figured out that serious people who write for serious papers could have no fucking idea what they were talking about (I was 17, for the record…).

  25. 25
    JMG says:

    Yeah, the nation will rally around the President who gave it $8 a gallon gas. God, that’s about the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. Does Broder have an editor, or do they just figure nobody cares, but if they took him off the page old folks like me would get bothered, like if they removed Family Circus from the funnies.

  26. 26

    @Tancrudo:

    The first thing to remember about the wingtards is that they have no fundamental beliefs

    Ahh, but that’s where you’re wrong. They do have fundamental beliefs, even if just “I’m right, you’re wrong, England prevails!” And that makes them useless in terms of “bipartisanship.” You can’t vote against a fundamental belief.

  27. 27
    JasonF says:

    @monkeyboy:

    Why should anybody pay any attention to a Jewish pundit calling for an attack on Iran?

    It’s pretty foul to suggest that a person is not allowed to opine on a geopolitical topic because he is Jewish. David Broder’s problem isn’t that he’s a Jew — Jews have a wide diversity of opinions on what should be the nature of our relationship with Iran. Broder’s problem is that he is an insane warmonger, and that would be true regardless of whether and where he prays.

  28. 28
    Uloborus says:

    @beltane:
    Yeah, isn’t this just an attempt to encourage war with Iran by trying to find a way to sucker liberals into it, too?

  29. 29
    Donut says:

    I think little Tommy Friedman haz a sadz today because he didn’t think of Broder’s brilliant plan first. Total *facepalm* moment.

  30. 30
    Tom Levenson says:

    @JasonF: What you say.

    And Broder continues to demonstrate that the word “pundit” is really just Sanskrit for “menace to self and others,” often colloquially translated as “he who urinates on own thighs.”

  31. 31
    me says:

    The Goldberg gambit

    Which one, Jeff, Bernie, Jonah or Whoopi?

  32. 32
    Rick Taylor says:

    David Broder—in an otherwise surprisingly reasonable column—thinks Obama should saber-rattle to get re-elected:

    __
    He’s not calling for saber-rattling; he’s calling for Obama to go to war. It is frightening how similar the thinking is as that in the lead up to the Iraq war.

  33. 33
    Bill Arnold says:

    If the Republicans take control of the House (we’ll see), then they’ll spend their time on The Crazy, up to and probably including impeachment. And the president will not be able to do much except tinker with the regulatory apparatuses and other domestic agencies under his control, and focus on foreign policy. Since the Senate will be unable/unwilling to ratify any treaties negotiated by a Democratic president, that leaves starting one or more wars.
    This is the reasoning. I don’t agree with it, because it will be possible to achieve some legislation between usages of the veto pen on bad legislation that gets past the Senate.
    The Crazy will need to be actively fought (it being at its worst arguably treason), if not by the administration then by the press.

  34. 34
    mclaren says:

    Shorter David Broder:

    War war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war war death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death death kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill.

    Is this shithole of a country good for anything but killing innocent civilians?

    Is shithole America actually competent to do a single thing other than bomb and strafe and napalm the world’s poorest peasants?

  35. 35
    Suck It Up! says:

    Hmmmm…..Sarah Palin said the same thing not too long ago.

  36. 36
    morzer says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    Mr Levenson, could you perhaps leave the Sanskrit language out of this? It is rather a beautiful language, and hardly deserves to have such an erroneous etymology foisted upon it.

    Alam anena vacanena!

  37. 37
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ:

    This strikes me as both cynical and naive.

    Naive Cynicism — the simplistic belief, frequently advocated by Very Serious People, that evil always wins in the real world, and that we must therefore become evil ourselves

    .

  38. 38
    jwb says:

    @Bill Arnold: My best guess is nothing except continuing resolutions get past the Senate until 2013—extending the Bush tax cuts might get through, but once Obama vetoes it, positions harden and the Goopers throw a fit, it’s all going to be theater until either the Rapture comes, the Goopers ascend to heaven and leave us to run our paradise in hell; or we have a new election in 2012 and Fox works overtime convincing the American people that they really liked the show the Goopers put on. None of it sounds very pleasant actually.

  39. 39
    JGabriel says:

    morzer:

    [Sanskrit] is rather a beautiful language, and hardly deserves to have such an erroneous etymology foisted upon it.

    Oh, fine. It was really a borrowing from the Hattians. Everyone knows those guys were bastards.

    .

  40. 40
    Anya says:

    I don’t understand why anyone listens to this senile corporate hack?

    OT, but did anyone see a clip of President Obama losing his cool in reaction to AIDS activist hecklers at a Connecticut rally.

  41. 41
    beltane says:

    @Anya: Broder is known as the dean of the Washington press corps, which tells you all you need to know about the standards of the Washington press corps.

  42. 42
    Shalimar says:

    Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century.

    So, we can pull our troops out of our other two wars against the greatest threats in the history of our great nation and deal with this even bigger threat? Damn busy young century.

  43. 43
    El Cid says:

    What Obama needs to do to prove his stones is to whip up an aggressive action against Iran which likely won’t work and then threats of war will seem like the only sensible establishment response.

  44. 44
    Michael says:

    I vote that we shrinkwrap Broder, Friedman, Kristol and Goldberg to a pallet and drop them from a C-130 into a cold Iranian winter sky as our only bomb drop in a non-war.

  45. 45

    @Joseph Nobles:

    The quest to totally undermine Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize continues.

    You mean, the Peace Prize he received right before he escalated our pointless war in Afghanistan, which is now spilling across the border and costing the lives of Pakistanis who used to be our allies? Is that the Peace Prize to which you refer?

  46. 46
    The Dangerman says:

    No doubt, hitting Iran and having gas go to $10 a gallon will do wonders for Obama’s reelection.

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anya:

    AIDS activists? What, were they pissed off at him for lifting the ban on allowing people with AIDS to immigrate to the US?

    I know I’m an Obot, but why the fuck are they attacking the guy who did that?

  48. 48
  49. 49
    ronathan richardson says:

    He thinks war spending will boost the economy, but not infrastructure spending at home. That might actually make sense because Galtian crybabies love writing big checks for bombs but find a way to kill any new bridges, trains, etc.

    Also, there is a word for arguments that are both naive and cynical at the same time. STOOPID

  50. 50
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century.

    Yup – a saber-rattling nuclear armed power that invades other countries is indeed the greatest thre- wait, Iran not the US, right?

  51. 51
    Scott says:

    Hypothetical Future Obama: “Hey, anyone up for a war with Iran?”

    Broder and Cronies: “NO! COSTS TOO MUCH! GOT NO ARMY! IRAN’S NOT A THREAT!”

    Hypothetical Future Palin: “Hey, anyone up for a war with Iran?”

    Broder and Cronies: “YAY!”

  52. 52
    Anya says:

    @beltane: NO wonder then, there are so many flunkies who repeat every stupid right wing meme.

  53. 53

    Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century

    NIE Report: Iran Halted Nuclear Weapons Program Years Ago

    “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program,” reads a declassified version of the National Intelligence Estimate key findings.

    The Iran Nuclear NIE of 2007: Revise, Reject, or Reiterate?

    Comments by senior U.S. officials in 2010 have continued to endorse the principal conclusions of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), “Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities.”

    Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, Jr., Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in early 2010 that: “The bottom line assessments of the NIE still hold true. We have not seen indication that the (Iranian) government has made the decision to move ahead with the program.” The State Department’s July 2010 Compliance Report stated flatly that: “Iran had a comprehensive nuclear weapons development program that was ordered halted in fall 2003.”

    etc. etc. etc.

  54. 54
    azlib says:

    David Broder is an idiot. On the one hand he talks about the business cycle in laissez-faire terms – nothing we can do about that. On the other hand he correctly claims the Great Depression ended with WW II. He just cannot connect the dots. War spending ended the Great Depression by putting a lot of people back to work. How did we spend all that money? By borrowing massive sums. We basically ended the great Depression by spending money on things to kill and blow up other people. There is nothing intrinsic about war that causes depressions to end. If anything WW II demonstrated that Keynesian fiscal expansion works and works very well. But Broder being the good little bipartisan shill that he is just cannot bring himself to the obvious conclusion. Therefore he is an idiot.

  55. 55
    patrick II says:

    The conservative trope that war is the only way to improve the economy is both evil and wrong. The idea stems from conservative assertion that government cannot play a positive role in the economy, especially by increased fiscal spending which would lead to a larger share of the economy being managed by government. This idea of the government’s inability was clearly contradicted by FDR and the New Deal — facts which has lead to denial about the recovery of the country during the late 30’s and total attribution to recovery to WW II.
    We live in a country where many, not just Broder, either believe or pretend that war is good for the economy. Conservative politicians who deny government’s ability to generate jobs fight for military bases and weapons contracts. President Eisenhower actually had to name the interstate system he was proposing the “National Defense Highway System” just to get republicans, who were unable to admit the enormous enrichment a government managed infrastructure project would bring to the country, to vote for it.
    John Maynard Keynes asserted it would do as much good to have people dig holes and others fill them up as it would to go to war. Like most reading this blog, I personally would like to see more schools, teachers, bridges, health care, etc. But as long as the right wing sees any government success as competition to their own power and are politically able to use military and war as a substitute for real, positive government economic contribution, this country will be on a downward spiral.

  56. 56
    Anya says:

    @Mnemosyne: They want more global AIDS funding. The President basically said, why don’t you heckle republicans and if they win, you will not get a penny for your cause. Of course I am paraphrasing.

  57. 57
    El Cid says:

    @patrick II: Of course, it was never “the war” which dragged the country the rest of the way out of the Depression.

    It was the investment and employment and infrastructure spending justified and needed by the war.

    They always leave that part out. As if the government just handed money to “the war”, as opposed to building defense plants around the South and hiring young non-African American men (as soldiers with pay) and women and African Americans to work in industry (directly and indirectly).

  58. 58
    RalfW says:

    And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

    Meanwhile, Britain, with just slightly more debt-to-GDP than us, is cutting defense by 8%. Because they know what David Broder and the asshats in the GOP don’t: you can’t finance endless total war with endless, total deficit.

    Oh, and planning a war as an economic recovery effort is beyond amoral, it is blatantly, free-ticket-to-hell immoral.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anya:

    Well, he was a fuckton more polite than I would have been. Because of course the meme that AIDS activists should be spreading is, “Bush did more for us than Obama did, so vote Republican!”

    Fucking fucktards.

  60. 60
    Lolis says:

    Yeah, I don’t think heckling is very effective as a political strategy.

  61. 61
    Paris says:

    I think Broder just Grayfolded. Gray Folded was a remix of years of performances of Dark Star by the Grateful Dead. Versions are sequenced forward and backward at the same time and mixed together. Broder makes an insane claim and then denies it at the same time. I need to check Revelations to see if this signifies something bad.

  62. 62
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I know I’m an Obot, but why the fuck are they attacking the guy who did that?

    When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Look at the history of the gay rights movement, and where it comes from. Look at the history of gay activism that modern activists can look back on.

    Making an asshole of yourself in public and showing your rage at how your political movement is completely disrespected and marginalized in our politics made a lot of sense…in 1985.

    Problem is, it’s not 1985.

  63. 63
    Tom Q says:

    @Mnemosyne: Especially three days before an important election. The perfect time to protest the guy who’s on your side for not being ENOUGH on your side.

    As for the Broder “advice”, it’s the Village standard: The best way for a Democratic to succeed is to implement what no Democrat but every Republican wants.

  64. 64
    lacp says:

    “Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century.”

    This is incorrect. Iran is, in fact, the greatest threat to the universe ever in the history of ever.

  65. 65
    kdaug says:

    This strikes me as precisely the logic that got GWB re-elected.

  66. 66
    Ailuridae says:

    @Oscar Leroy:

    That pointless war in Afghanistan was spilling over into Pakistan since it’s inception.

  67. 67

    And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

    Shorter Broder: We need a war because it’s the only stimulus Republicans will fund.

  68. 68
    Maxwel says:

    Broder is having trouble getting erections.

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    It would be kind of nice if activists could learn to distinguish between people who actively oppose the things you want and people who want the same thing you do but aren’t moving as quickly as you’d like.

    It reminds me of when I used to work customer service, and the number of people who seemed to think that screaming at me and threatening to get me fired would make me want to help them when, in fact, all it did was make me want to do the minimum, and slowly, at that.

  70. 70
    monkeyboy says:

    @JasonF:

    It’s pretty foul to suggest that a person is not allowed to opine on a geopolitical topic because he is Jewish. David Broder’s problem isn’t that he’s a Jew—Jews have a wide diversity of opinions on what should be the nature of our relationship with Iran. Broder’s problem is that he is an insane warmonger, and that would be true regardless of whether and where he prays.

    I didn’t advocate muzzling Broder, just that people ignore him when as a Jew he supports the aims of the Israeli right wing.

    As a warmonger he seems very selective, only cheering for wars that the Israeli right think are in their interests. For example he was very lukewarm about Kosovo and he doesn’t seem to get excited much about bombing China, Burma, N. Korea, or deserving places in Africa.

  71. 71
    Jonathan says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not going to bed at night worrying about Iran attacking us.

  72. 72
    RalfW says:

    @joe from Lowell: (sorry continuing OT) I agree that now is not the time to go after Obama on LGBT or AIDS issues.

    And yet. As a member of the LGBT community that has been working mostly inside the system (as a faith-based organizer in a liberal church), the Democrats need to understand that while the timing is wretched and counter-productive, the anger and dismay is real and will impact future LGBT-Dem relations.

    We’ve had 20 years of history of being solicited for cash, cash, cash, and then punted or badly mishandled after elections. Not a recipe for success when that same community sees the Admin appealing DADT and Marriage. Makes people who’ve been ATMed and then sold out multiple times pretty cross.

    Yes, the Admin has a responsibility to defend laws enacted by Congress. But they’ve been stoopid in handling the LGBT community … the same sorts of ways they haven’t communicated well on HCR, the tax cuts to 95% of working people, etc. The LGBT community is like the nation, mostly low-information voters. They don’t get that the DOJ has to follow precedent (and some that do rightly suspect that the most recent and any future GOP admin won’t play by that rule anyway).

    I do see an insularity and a failure to communicate to the base coming from Obama. I also very acutely see that with the Human Rights Campaign. Too cozy with the Admin and a lot of “relax, we’re in control, give us another 100 will ya?”

    So, if I were in any position to strategize, I’d be (and am) telling LGBT activists to cool it till Nov 3, but play hardball in the next 2 year money cycle. Results or the cash tap is closed. And how much better to be in that position to bargain if the people protesting today had instead done GOTV in an out, proud, LGBT fabulous way? Earn more at-the-table points and cash them in.

  73. 73
    Ailuridae says:

    @patrick II:

    That’s a garble of facts there. You are doing something thata lot of people do when talking about Republicans/conservatives from a pre-Southern Strategy when you suggest that were one in the same then. Eisenhower might have needed to couch the Interstate in terms of defense availability to get conservative support but that certainly doesn’t imply that he needed to couch it in those terms to get Republican support.

  74. 74
    Ailuridae says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Shorter Broder: We need a war because it’s the only stimulus Republicans will fund.

    The best part is that Broder doesn’t have any idea what he is implying.

  75. 75
    Anya says:

    @Mnemosyne: @Tom Q: He could have just ignored them. Usually the President is very smooth when he encounters hecklers but I think he’s getting tired of all the assholes from both sides, who are constantly yelling at him.

  76. 76
    joe from Lowell says:

    @RalfW:

    We’ve had 20 years of history of being solicited for cash, cash, cash, and then punted or badly mishandled after elections.

    But that’s just the thing – that didn’t happen this time. From the Ryan White Act to the ban on discrimination in federally-funded housing to the Matthew Sheppard Act to the expansion of benefits to the spouses/partners of gay employees, the Democrats really have come through for the gay community this year.

    I think there is one part of your comment that is right on, though – what we’re seeing from a certain segment of gay activists in the Fall of 2010 is really about resentments that go back years.

  77. 77
    patrick II says:

    @Ailuridae: You’re right, the conservative ideology is what I am referring to.

  78. 78
    Bnut says:

    I think the term HIGH-Broderism is taking a new turn. Not a chance this guy isn’t hitting the grav….

  79. 79
    jonas says:

    @Moses2317: Pretty much. Virtually the only people who give a shit about Iran are neocons and their useful idiot evangelical end-timers. And because the Villagers are for some reason obsessed with what this fairly minor slice of the American electorate thinks about things, well, you get examples of Broderistic stupidity like this.

    The other 90% of the country has other concerns on its mind. I think the more Obama plays it cool on Iran, the better off he’ll be with the voters.

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:

    @RalfW:

    And how much better to be in that position to bargain if the people protesting today had instead done GOTV in an out, proud, LGBT fabulous way? Earn more at-the-table points and cash them in.

    That’s a point I keep trying to make to people. Unions don’t have a lot of power in the Democratic Party because they donate a lot of money. They have power because their members participate in a huge number of GOTV efforts and campaigning for candidates, and they can threaten to withhold that support if they don’t get what they want.

    Money is relatively easy to find, especially from people who oppose progressive stances (which is one of the reasons Democrats keep slipping to the right). Those boots on the ground are not. Money is, quite frankly, the very least anyone can do, and that’s how it gets treated by the candidates. If you actually work for them and then threaten to withhold that work, that gets their attention.

  81. 81
    Tom Q says:

    OK, something that’s mostly off-topic but sort of on something that’s arisen here. I wonder if anyone with some poli sci background could answer.

    As I understand it, in the case of Senate seats that were filled by appointment, either because of death or moving to new jobs, whoever is elected on Tuesday will immediately replace the current occupant — Coons would replace Kaufman, the IL winner bumps Burris, etc.

    So, just suppose (and I recognize the long odds), Coons, Gillibrand, Manchin, Giannoulis and Bennet all win their races. And then, really stretch and suppose Charlie Crist makes the miracle comeback in FL, and lines up with the Dems.

    Does that give the Dems 60 votes again? Which, god knows, could mean nothing if Nelson and Lieberman decide they have to bow to the will of the voters and stop their nominal party. But mightn’t it be enough to get, say, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal through? (See, I told you it sort of related to something being discussed here)

  82. 82

    @Mnemosyne:
    This is also why the Religious Right has so much power within the Republican party. They’re the boots on the ground for the Republicans, and they’re very good at using the power that gives them.

  83. 83
    JWL says:

    “I hate warlike old men”.

  84. 84
    joe from Lowell says:

    Tom Q,

    DADT repeal is already in the Defense bill, and the Defense bill is already going to pass. The failed cloture vote last month was just a delay; they still have to fund the military, and they still don’t have the votes to remove DADT repeal.

    3 Republicans jumped ship and refused to vote for cloture to punish the Democrats because Harry Reid wouldn’t let the Republicans offer a bunch of nonsense amendments intended to lay traps for the Democrats that could be used in campaign ads. They still have to fund the Pentagon, so we’ve actually got the might of the military-industrial complex behind us on this one. Which is a little weird, enough that people don’t actually believe it.

  85. 85
    Delia says:

    It is more than cynical and naive, it is fucking ridiculous.

    Indeed. And aside from any questions of morality (which the Villagers have long abandoned), has the potential to propel us straight down into utter and irrevocable disaster.

    There’s an interesting little war that’s pretty much been consigned to the dustbin of history, The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5. Tsar Nicholas II, trying to handle problems at home, decided that a nice little war against an Asian power (they always lost) was just the thing to unite all Russians in a blaze of patriotism and make him beloved forever. The Japanese quickly won, and it was all downhill for Nicholas and Imperial Russia from there.

    These idiots who think we can make wars go our way clearly haven’t been paying attention.

  86. 86
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Ailuridae: That pointless war in Afghanistan was spilling over into Pakistan since it’s inception in the 12th century.

  87. 87
    jwb says:

    @jonas: I bet demographics would show that evangelicals and neo-cons are heavy consumers of traditional media.

  88. 88
    mr. whipple says:

    And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

    He’s a madman.

  89. 89
    gil mann says:

    @monkeyboy:

    Why should anybody pay any attention to a Jewish pundit calling for an attack on Iran?

    I didn’t know it was possible to write something in response to a Broder column that’s even dumber than a Broder column. You, sir, are an innovator.

  90. 90
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Well, he was a fuckton more polite than I would have been. Because of course the meme that AIDS activists should be spreading is, “Bush did more for us than Obama did, so vote Republican!”

    Fucking fucktards.

    Ridiculing dying people with a horrible terminal wasting disease shows us who you really are, Mnemosyne.

    Up next: Mnemosyne kicks a cripple, bludgeons a baby harp seal to death, icepicks a puppy, then bites the head off a baby and spits out it out with the sneer “Fucking fucktard wouldn’t stop crying, stupid little shit.”

    Mnemosyne: emblem of the degeneration of America. A perfect fit for the dying hellhole misnamed “California,” and the spokesmodel for the sinkhole of dementia, incompetence and sadism formerly known as America.

  91. 91
    Julia Grey says:

    I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected.

    Of course you are, you evil old prick.

  92. 92
    RoyalEw says:

    How can you say otherwise reasonable about the Broder column – – the whole piece leads to the possible solution of rattling sabers (how quaint a term). DougJ, you ought to clean your specs or have your vision checked.

  93. 93
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mclaren:

    Yes, yes, I’m Mark David Chapman’s psychological twin. Don’t you have anything new?

  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Please provide a list of the diseases and disabilities that exempt a person from any and all criticism. Otherwise, STFU. A person can have AIDS, a horrible and incurable wasting disease, and make incorrect judgments or advocating silly policies. Having a disease and having knowledge or judgment are independent variables. Criticizing a person’s knowledge or judgment does not equal attacking them for having a disease. You should be capable of understanding this.

  95. 95
    Ailuridae says:

    @mclaren:

    Isn’t it a little early to be hitting the Thunderbird?

    @J. Michael Neal:

    There’s that too.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ailuridae:

    Isn’t it a little early to be hitting the Thunderbird?

    You’ll know she’s reached the bottom of the bottle when she starts accusing people of jerking off to Holocaust footage again.

  97. 97
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    This strikes me as both cynical and naive.

    Yu forgot idiotic…

    Cynical, naive, AND… idiotic…

  98. 98
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    While the Obama administration may have its own PR reasons for its retrenchment on Africa policy, to the point where I think they’re afraid to even say the word Africa at this point given what the media bigots could gin up, I’m not sure how sympathetic you should really expect global AIDS activists to be?

    Protecting the shield isn’t their problem or their responsibility, people’s lives in Malawi and Burkina Faso are.

    @Joseph Nobles:

    The quest to totally undermine Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize continues.

    That’s just silly. I think our esteemed Robot Warrior President has done plenty of that on his own behalf…

  99. 99
    robertdsc-PowerBook & 27 titles says:

    Gross.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    While the Obama administration may have its own PR reasons for its retrenchment on Africa policy, to the point where I think they’re afraid to even say the word Africa at this point given what the media bigots could gin up, I’m not sure how sympathetic you should really expect global AIDS activists to be?

    I don’t know that it’s so much PR retrenchment as budget retrenchment. Bush just loved to throw money at his pet causes — like Iraq — without giving any consideration to how we were actually going to pay for them. So I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find out that we don’t actually have the money that Bush pledged to give them, but now, of course, Obama looks like the asshole for not giving the non-existent money, not Bush.

    Call me naive, but I find it hard to believe that the son of an African immigrant with relatives in Kenya is indifferent to the suffering of AIDS patients in Africa and needs hecklers to force him to move on the issue.

    ETA: Also, I assumed at first that these were activists about AIDS in the US, not Africa. That does make a bit of a difference in what I first said.

  101. 101
    PIGL says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans: It’s clear that President Obama did not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, based on attainments at the time, nor his accomplishments since.

    Then why did they give it to him? I suppose it must have been seen as the strongest possible repudiation of American foreign policy, in its slightly more virulent Republican form.

    This should give thoughtful Americans pause to think about the national security implications of a Republican return to power, whether totally or partially.

    At some point, if the American nation can not restrain its lunatic near-majority, the other great powers will have to take steps to protect their own interests. Some, like China and Russia and Brazil probably already are. And who could blame them? This goes beyond any normal geopolitical power games. It’s more like when the other eight guests at the Captain’s Table finally notice than one of their number has slipped into a psychotic fugue and is brandishing the carving knife.

  102. 102
    Anya says:

    @mclaren:

    Ridiculing dying people with a horrible terminal wasting disease shows us who you really are, Mnemosyne.

    hyperbolic much? You are assuming that all AIDS activists hae AIDS.

  103. 103
    morzer says:

    @mclaren:

    So he’s a close friend of yours then?

  104. 104
    JMC in the ATL says:

    Mclaren, Oscar, *and* Bob Loblaw in one thread? We’ve hit the trifecta!

  105. 105
    morzer says:

    @JMC in the ATL:

    All this, and Bender, change, and Matoko-chan in reserve!

  106. 106
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @Anya:

    Not to mention the trite stereotyping of Californians…

  107. 107
    Julia Grey says:

    accusing people of jerking off to Holocaust footage

    WHAAAAAAAT????

  108. 108
    morzer says:

    @Julia Grey:

    Just one of maclaren’s lovable little quirks when in a particularly pouty ass-hole mood.

  109. 109
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Julia Grey:

    Comment #166 on this thread. And she says she’s proud of saying it, too.

  110. 110
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I’m pretty sure I actually, affirmatively, _want_ Iran to have nuclear weapons. They have a ridiculous government now, but they won’t always, and I think that the flamboyant machismo of the Israeli government would have to be reined in a tad if Iran had some of the firepower they do. Something has to check Israel and stop them from acting like dicks, which they are _so often_ inclined to do.

  111. 111
    J Edgar says:

    David Broder—in an otherwise surprisingly reasonable column

    “Now who’s being naive, Kay?”

    – Michael Corleone in The Godfather

  112. 112
    fasteddie9318 says:

    What if Obama had the CIA nab some Iranian dude at random off the streets of Tehran, and then Obama went on prime time television on all the networks and beat the Iranian guy nearly to death before ripping the dude’s throat out with his teeth? Would that satisfy everybody’s bloodlust?

  113. 113
    Mike in NC says:

    Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century.

    Complete and utter bullshit, courtesy of the failed Washington Post, trying to co-opt the Wall Street Journal once again. So ashamed we used to subscribe…

  114. 114
    Kyle says:

    I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected.

    Sure he is. What is it about old men that turns them into war-craving vultures? Does facing death make them so miserable that they want to bring the whole world down with them?

  115. 115
    morzer says:

    @Kyle:

    Sexual impotence and subsequent rage explain most of the Beltway media, the FOX cockjocks and the GOP.

  116. 116
    Suffern ACE says:

    I feel a bit smug for some reason. I think I wrote somewhere yesterday that the conservatives if they won again would be calling for a war to “finish the job” in the middle east and that David Broder would seek a compromise by calling for a “half invasion.” He almost did. He just wants the part where we claim that we’re going to invade and hopes that the part where we actually invade is somehow ignored.

    Jeebus, jeebus people. If the specter of people like Bolton and Wolfowitz and Perle somehow coming back into influence again (and those guys never go away) isn’t enough to rally people back into the fold, I really don’t have much hope for the Democrats at all.

  117. 117
    Bex says:

    @me

    Lucianne.

  118. 118
    Nick says:

    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read. I can’t believe Wash Post would print this.

    Oh wait, yes I can.

  119. 119
    Calouste says:

    @Delia:

    Falklands war pretty much went along the same lines.

    And the result of course was that Galtieri was removed from power within days of the war’s end and Thatcher got reelected.

    Well, at least Ahmadinejad is term-limited, so we don’t have to worry about that.

  120. 120
    GregB says:

    David Broder is channeling Col. Kurtz.

    EXTERMINATE THEM, KILL THEM ALL!

    What a douche.

  121. 121
    Jbird says:

    With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically . . .

    That’s a goddamn terrible thing to write.

  122. 122
    Gene in Nice says:

    @JasonF: If an arsonist suggests that we burn down the neighborhood across town because someday it might start a fire, we are entitled to ignore him. I think that that was the point.

  123. 123
    bob h says:

    Right. And the ensuing bloodbath will send the Middle East up in flames and plunge the world back into Great Recession.

  124. 124
    grumpy realist says:

    I hope those tiny minds that have been yelling for an attack on Iran since, say, Day 1 have figured out how the US economy is supposed to handle a $200/bbl oil price spike.

    (See this? This is a map. Good map. See this? These are the Straits of Hormuz. See this? This is a mine. Bad mine. Oh, look, look. Bad bad mines in Straits of Hormuz. See oil tanker. See oil tanker in Straits of Hormuz get blown up…..)

    Sheesh.

  125. 125
    Chris says:

    Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century.

    No, it’s not. It’s really not.

    It would be too long to really get into this – suffice it to say that Iran in the last twenty years has behaved like a rational actor in international politics, neither more nor less dangerous than any other country, even if its interests are in opposition to ours. Even if they were to acquire a nuke, that would still hold true. The Iranian leaders are not end-times fanatics (though some like to play that role on TV); they’re not going to nuke Jerusalem, and frankly, if their getting a nuke leads to nuclear war, it’s a lot more likely to be due to the way we or the Israelis react to it.

    If you want the greatest threat to the West in terms of “killing large numbers of our civilians,” al-Qaeda’s still # 1. If you want the greatest threat in geopolitical terms, as in “likely to replace us as a superpower,” that’s China. Iran qualifies on neither count.

    And if you want the greatest threat to “the world,” then I’m sorry, but as many have pointed out, America under Bush was that threat, with Israel not too far behind. Which means a Tea-Party dominated America could conceivably be even worse.

  126. 126

    Holy shit. That is just deranged! who among us would make the argument that our $2 trillion wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with a ruinous set of tax cuts, made our economy stronger? Unlike what David’s failing geriatric memories tell him war-waging was like back in the Good Ol’ Days, Modern American Warfare™ doesn’t involve millions of Rosie The Riveters fanning out all across the country to flood desperately needed cash into hundreds of communities. Nowadays, the weapon systems have already been paid for and the only place where trillions of dollars get funneled is into the hands of corrupt overseas officials and the coffers of a select few War Contractors (e.g., Xe nee Blackwater and Halliburton).

    Not to mention the fact that the only way to spark your magic economy-fixing solution is to, you know, go to war with Iran. And leave no doubt, when we talk about going to war with Iran, we are talking about the killing of hundreds of thousands of people (mostly Iranian but also American)!

    I especially loved this bit at the end: “I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected.” Noooooo, of course not! You’re only suggesting that Obama incite a war in order to make Americans fat and happy again. That’s so much less offensive than the idea of murdering hundreds of thousands of people for political reasons! How gauche!

    What kind of a sociopath just whimsically tosses out cynical people-killing bullshit like this?

  127. 127
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    (See this? This is a map. Good map. See this? These are the Straits of Hormuz. See this? This is a mine. Bad mine. Oh, look, look. Bad bad mines in Straits of Hormuz. See oil tanker. See oil tanker in Straits of Hormuz get blown up…..)

    See this? This is a map. Good map. See this? These are the Straits of Hormuz. See this? This is how far the Straits are across. See this? This is a compass set to the range of a Chinese-made anti-ship missile. Look at me draw circles on the map! Whee!

    See this? This is the US Navy. See this? This is a Tomahawk. The US Navy has thousands of these. With its thousands of Tomahawks, the US Navy can sink any other navy in existence. See this? This is the Asian landmass. Guess how many Tomahawks it would take to sink that.

  128. 128
    Chris says:

    @Library Grape:

    What kind of a sociopath just whimsically tosses out cynical people-killing bullshit like this?

    As I recall, Sarah Palin did exactly that last spring, saying that the President needed to show more balls in foreign policy and suggesting attacking Iran as one way to show that.

    Yes, she’s a sociopath. Why am I not surprised that Broder would be getting his wisdom from her?

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