It’s How They Do


Scott Eric Kauffman, over at EotAW, points out the folly of conservatives’ calls for Obama to declare America firmly on the side of the Iranian protesters:

[T]he Iranian government recognizes how politically efficacious the accusation of American intervention in Iranian electoral politics is, which means Victor David Hanson and likeminded conservatives are urging Obama to take a principled stand by playing directly into the hands of the Iranian regime. Ahmadinejad and his supporters would love nothing more than for Obama to read the lines they scripted for him.

But why are conservatives encouraging Obama to do exactly that?

Because that’s how they do.  Neoconservatives, especially.

It’s exactly the same thing they spent the last 8 years doing.  Osama bin Laden wanted America to panic and overreact to 9/11, and that’s what our conservative leaders did.  He wanted us to invade and occupy an oil-rich Islamic country, and that’s what our conservative leaders did.  He wanted us to give him fresh recruiting material, and that’s what our conservative leaders did.  He wanted us to make America more like his vision of society, and that’s what our conservative leaders did.

Giving nutty extremists exactly what they want is what conservatives do.  (It’s what the current generation of conservative leaders do, anyway.)

Why?  I can think of several possible reasons.

One, they — neoconservatives, especially — are just demonstrably — demonstratedly — not very bright.  (But see #4.)

Two, to a certain degree, these conservatives want the same things the nutty extremists want.  They want a more theocratic, paternalistic, authoritarian, militaristic, and generally less free society.  They prize war and torture and most anything else that makes them look tough.  They see the world the same way: black and white, good vs. evil.

Which leads us to number three: they’re less interested in results than in taking sides.  They don’t much care what’s effective; they care very much about hollerin’ for whichever side they think is good.  (John McCain is the poster child for this one.)

Four, they lie a lot.  In the case of neocons, misleading the public in order to get the outcome you want is a virtue, not a vice.  (Insert Leo Strauss reference here.)   They may claim to think declaring America for the protesters would actually help them, but know otherwise.  The outcome they want is a continued strongly adversarial relationship between the US and Iran, leading to a military conflict.  Having the president declare for the protesters, thereby giving the current Iranian regime an excuse to crack down on them, would be, from their perspective, the gift that keeps on giving.  (Sure, it would suck for all those dead protesters, but hey, you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.)  So, they engage in bad faith arguments about how much it would help the protesters if America jumped in on their side.


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2 Responses to “It’s How They Do”

  1. jazzbumpa Says:

    There’s yet another level of irony (or dishonesty, or stupidity – it’s so damned hard to tell) here. The neocons REALLY wanted Ahmadinejad to win.

    I guess having a familiar symbol to nucleate their hatred is better than having an even marginally preferable unknown. Obama might get away with – you know – TALKING to somebody new and slightly different.

  2. urbino Says:

    Yeah, a guy could get whiplash from watching them swing from one side to the other so fast.

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