- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What Iran threat?

Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, attracted support during the presidential campaign from conservatives who opposed the Iraq war, but his words on the latest tensions with Iran have caused Hot Air to say: jumped the shark.

At a town hall speech in Minneapolis last week alongside Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, Mr. Paul pre-emptively blamed the U.S. for the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program and accused President Obama of making things up in his announcement of secret Iranian nuclear facilities, saying there had been enough “fear-mongering” for the sake of the “military-industrial complex.”

“We should never go to war if theyre telling us a lie about whats happening. … What theyre getting ready to do is put very, very strong sanctions on Iran. … But sanctions, and blockades, and prevention like this is an act of war,” Mr. Paul told his audience.

“Allahpundit” at Hot Air said that “thankfully, this old cranks isolationist denialism is so fringe on the right that not even mainstreamers who are sympathetic to his broader agenda, like Glenn Beck, will go near it. … Anyway, the point to take away about his Iran shtick is that its not an argument about strategy, i.e. ‘Theyre a threat but non-intervention is the best way to stop them.’ Its an argument about facts, i.e. ‘There is no threat,’ which it has to be because once he admits that Iran is dangerous his isolationist ‘solution’ becomes impossible to sell.”

He went on to note that “conservatives complain frequently about Pauls penchant for blaming America — and here, too, in the blockquote above, hes already laying the groundwork to say ‘we started it’ if and when Iran tries something.”

Liberal blogs, meanwhile, had fun with the gap the speech showed between two strands of conservatism.

“Indeed, for Bachmann, the presence of Paul created numerous awkward moments, particularly as the Texas congressman sermonized at length about his isolationist views. … For Bachmann — a typical neoconservative on foreign policy issues — Pauls rhetoric stunned her into stone-cold silence,” wrote Faiz Shakir at Think Progress.

What ACORN scandal?

The conservative campaign against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — it’s like the Holocaust. That’s according to Peter Dreier, the E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of politics at Occidental College.

In a blog at the Huffington Post, Mr. Dreier mimics the form of a famous poem about Nazi Germany, attributed to the Rev. Martin Niemoller, a German Lutheran minister.

“First Big Business, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Lou Dobbs, the Religious Right, the Wall Street Journal, Mitch McConnell, and Karl Rove came for ACORN, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not ACORN. Then they came for SEIU, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not SEIU. Then they came for the Apollo Alliance, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the Apollo Alliance,” Mr. Dreier wrote, continuing in this vein for another 20 paragraphs before getting to the obvious punch line that there was nobody left to speak out for Democrats.

That was simply the most … interesting … among the numerous grounds Huffington Post columnists have given for downplaying the ACORN scandal, which centered on videotapes of ACORN workers advising conservative activists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, posing as a pimp and a prostitute, on how to get government grants for their line of work, including claiming underage foreign girls as dependents.

Robert Creamer said that “if the same standard used to prevent ACORN from receiving federal contracts were applied to many large corporations — Boeing, financial institutions like AIG and CitiCorp, not to speak of private military contractors like Blackwater — they would all have been barred as federal contractors long ago. But instead of being blacklisted, many of them actually received billions of taxpayer dollars to bail them out.”

And … several Republican lawmakers have cheated on their wives, Mr. Creamer concluded.

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