THE PLANK JUNE 22, 2009
Over the weekend at The Corner, Victor Davis Hanson decided to read Obama's mind on Iran and discovered that our president is "almost more at ease with virulent anti-Westerners." Today on The Corner, Andy McCarthy tries to do Hanson one better with this analysis:
The key to understanding Obama, on Iran as on other matters, is that he is a power-politician of the hard
Left : He is steeped in Leftist ideology, fueled in anger and
resentment over what he chooses to see in America's history, but a
"pragmatist" in the sense that where ideology and power collide (as
they are apt to do when your ideology becomes less popular the more
people understand it), Obama will always give ground on ideology (as
little as circumstances allow) in order to maintain his grip on power.
It would have been
political suicide to issue a statement supportive of the mullahs, so
Obama's instinct was to do the next best thing: to say nothing
supportive of the freedom fighters. As this position became
increasingly untenable politically, and as Democrats became nervous
that his silence would become a winning political round for
Republicans, he was moved grudgingly to burble a mild censure of the
mullah's "unjust" repression — on the order of describing a maiming as
a regrettable "assault," though enough for the Obamedia to give him
cover. But expect him to remain restrained and to continue grossly
understating the Iranian regime's deadly response. That will change
only if, unexpectedly, it appears that the freedom-fighters may win, at
which point he'll scoot over to the right side of history and take all
It's frightening to think that, as recently as six months ago, these guys were actually close to the people who ran our government.
P.S.: I suppose McCarthy at least deserves some credit for creating a heads-I-win, tails-you-lose scenario for Obama on Iran: If the protestors in Iran succeed in toppling the regime, then their success will have come in spite of Obama's reticence (and Obama's subsequent embrace of them will be cravenly cynical, since we know at heart, like the always insightful Hanson, that Obama really prefers the mullahs); and if the resistance fails, it will of course be because Obama didn't make a big enough speech on their behalf. Either way, guys like McCarthy and Hanson needn't adjust their myopic world view in the slightest.
P.P.S.: Rich Lowry injects a note of sanity into The Corner's ongoing discussion of Obama and Iran:
Andy, whatever policy differences we have with him, Obama surely would rather have a free Iran than a dictatorial, anti-American one.
P.P.P.S. McCarthy responds at length to Lowry's charitably gentle rebuke and, in the process, shows off his finely tuned social radar:
Finally, I detect in your post a sense that I'm this close to the fringe.