Democrats Ratchet Up Rhetoric on Iran, From Gillibrand to Wyden to McCaskill

By |February 29th, 2012|

While a missile retaliation against Israel would be virtually certain, according to these assessments, Iran would also be likely to try to calibrate its response against American targets so as not to give the United States a rationale for taking military action that could permanently cripple Tehran’s nuclear program. “The Iranians have been pretty good masters of escalation control,” said Gen. James E. Cartwright, now retired, who as the top officer at Strategic Command and as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff participated in war games involving both deterrence and retaliation on potential adversaries like Iran. – The New York Times It must be a presidential election year. But let’s not pretend this isn’t due to an adversity to enlightenment and our international interests. Cards meet table, if Israel feels threatened she should strike.  Everyone else will have to deal.  The world has suffered worse and so have the Jews. So let’s have it, minus the part that nobody wants to jump. George W. Bush and the neoconservatives proved to the world not having WMDs was as bad as having them, so what’s to keep Iran from flexing? Some remember public school drills and the underside of desks. Who went soft? …and what are we going to really do about Iran, past pontificating? Pres. Obama is to meet with P.M. Netanyahu next week in Washington, just in case you’re wondering why the Senate just got busy on a non-binding sense of the Senate Iran resolution. I’ve been purposefully ignoring the web pages devoted lately to Israel striking Iran, because I’ve been to enough foreign policy think tank forums to know that little of what’s being written or discussed is grounded in sane analysis. Tune in to one minute of Sean Hannity and you’ll get the worst of it. Much of the Iran talk where Israel is concerned revolves around a “zone of immunity,” which I’ve written about before. Blake Hounshell has an excellent rundown of what’s been happening leading up to Netanyahu’s visit next week. The key issue under discussion is what the appropriate “red lines” are — Iranian actions that would trigger a military response by Israel or the United States. For Israel, the bar is lower, but nebulous: Defense Minister Ehud Barak talks about Iran soon entering a “zone of immunity” that will make an attack impossible. … […] But threats have consequences, too. U.S. officials haven’t clearly articulated why they believe all this war talk is unhelpful, but I suspect two reasons. One is the rising cost of gasoline, perhaps the issue that terrifies the political side of the White House most heading into November. Tensions over Iran are already adding about $10 per barrel to the price of oil, some analysts say, threatening to choke off America’s nascent economic recovery and make Obama a one-term president. Sen. Gillibrand joining in on the sense of the Senate resolution on Iran is representative of why I called her out on Afghanistan in my new book, because she’s yet to prove boldness on foreign policy, let alone any leadership. One of the many issues I address in my book, as I have around here, is the rhetoric females use in foreign policy, which has yet to shift beyond militaristic terms. The Iran Resolution proves why being a sitting senator from New York is complicated, as Hillary’s Iraq war vote the fall after 9/11 proved conclusively. With a heavy Jewish voter base, Gillibrand reveals yet again that Democratic females in the position to show leadership inevitably fall in line with conventional foreign policy thinkers, which keeps U.S. foreign policy from progressing and shifting. It’s also why I wrote in my book about having great hopes for Elizabeth Warren, but whose progressive leadership remains to be proven. Once in the Senate, Democratic females trend toward mimicking their hawk brothers, which remains a problem for anyone wanting a wider lens on U.S. foreign policy. Since Sen. Scott Brown has joined the sense of the Senate resolution, maybe some enterprising journalist can put the question to Warren. Her answer matters. If Democratic women politicians don’t stand apart from 20th century foreign policy thinking, which is traditionally militaristic, they threaten to carve a policy portfolio that is domestically driven, leaving the wider world to men, which would be a tragedy for progressivism itself. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES To express the sense of the Senate regarding the importance of preventing the Government of Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. Mr. GRAHAM (for himself, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mr. CASEY, Ms. AYOTTE, Mr. BLUMENTHAL, Mr. BOOZMAN, Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts, Mr. BROWN of Ohio, Mr. CARDIN, Mr. CHAMBLISS, Mr. COATS, Ms. COLLINS, Mr. COONS, Mr. CORNYN, Mrs. GILLIBRAND, Mr. HATCH, Mr. HELLER, Mr. HOEVEN, Mrs. HUTCHISON, Mr. INHOFE, Mr. MCCAIN, Mrs. MCCASKILL, Mr. MENENDEZ, Ms. MIKULSKI, Mr. NELSON of Florida, Mr. PORTMAN, Mr. PRYOR, Mr. RISCH, Mr. RUBIO, Mr. SCHUMER, Mr. UDALL of Colorado, and Mr. WYDEN) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on…. RESOLUTION […]

Rick Santorum, from J.F.K. to Political Extremism, Catholics Go For Mitt

By |February 29th, 2012|

What a bone-headed campaign Rick Santorum is running. When I looked at the CNN exit poll numbers it confirmed it. Romney won Catholics in Michigan 44% to Santorum's 37%. Extremists highlight Santorum's chances, with 60% of his supporters in Michigan believing abortion should "always be illegal." All I have to do is look at my [...]

Democracy Alliance Ousts Progressive Shakers

By |February 29th, 2012|

It doesn't get any more inside political baseball than this, but it's a hard hit for movement progressives and activists, some of whom have been serious movers and shakers. Ryan Grimm reporting: The groups dropped by the Democracy Alliance tend to be those that work outside the party's structure. Groups with closer ties to the [...]

Olympia Snowe Retirement Starts Rumor Mill Rolling

By |February 29th, 2012|

"Mitt Romney winning closely in his home state is like Charlie Sheen barely winning a primary in a Hooters." - Paul Begala (via CBS "Morning Show") The day of Mitt Romney's Michigan squeaker, Olympia Snowe gives Republicans another huge headache. Here's part of her statement that set off Jonathan Chait to wondering whether Ms. Snowe [...]

Santorum: ‘That’s What Bullies Do, When You Hit Them Back They Whine’

By |February 28th, 2012|

**updated below** CNN Projects Romney Wins Michigan The Dow hit 13,000 today. That's not good for the Republicans, but listening to Ari Fleischer talk tonight on CNN about a "down economy" you'd never know it even happened. It's not as bad as Alex Castellanos talking about sex being something people kind of like, so that's [...]

Obama: ‘Looking Out For One Another, That’s A Value’

By |February 28th, 2012|

Video compliments of TPM.

Rick Santorum Regrets

By |February 28th, 2012|

"I wish I had that particular line back," Santorum said Tuesday on Laura Ingraham's radio show. - The Hill People who are ready and equipped for the national spotlight, but also understand America, not just their besotted base, know intuitively what things crossing their mind should not be uttered. Rick Santorum saying reading John F. [...]

Mitt Romney ‘Not willing to light my hair on fire’ for Support

By |February 28th, 2012|

Worst of all, there is no clear end in sight for what has become, in the eyes of many Republicans, a joyless and prolonged nomination fight. Even Romney victories in Michigan and Arizona, the two states voting Tuesday, have little chance of forcing his aggrieved opponents out of the race. With a vast personal fortune [...]

Michigan is All the Marbles for Mitt

By |February 28th, 2012|

Michigan Democratic strategist Joe DiSano has taken it upon himself to become a leading mischief maker. DiSano says he targeted nearly 50,000 Democratic voters in Michigan through email and a robo call to their homes, asking them to go to the polls Tuesday to vote for Rick Santorum in attempt to hurt Romney. - Democratic [...]

Pakistan’s ‘Saving Face’ Wins, Oscar Loses

By |February 27th, 2012|

"Tonight, enjoy yourselves, because nothing can take the sting out of the world's economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues." - Billy Crystal The problems with Oscar have nothing to do with the producers having to bring back Billy Crystal to do the impossible, try to rescue them from irrelevancy. It [...]