Confessions of a Hoosier Democrat

Blogging Indiana Politics and the 2008 Presidential Race.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Rolling Stone approves of Sen Bayh's Iran stance

Ok... so it isn't the Washington Post, Time Magazine or the Economist... but hey, they're no dummys at Rolling Stone. Tim Dickinson penned this short essay about the Democrats and Iran.

As a side note... Kudos to Steve at BayhPartisan.com for getting the shoutout from Rolling Stone.
Democrats and Iran

If the Democrats had the sense God gave geese -- and I have my doubts -- they would lock the entire congressional caucus, as well as every prospective 2008 presidential candidate, in a room and not come out until they'd developed an aggressive, coherent, unified approach to dealing with Iran -- preferably along the lines outlined here by Indiana Senator Evan Bayh.

As in the past two national elections, Karl Rove has declared he's going to make 2006 all about national security, painting the Democrats -- once again -- as appeasing pussies with a "pre-9/11" mindset.

If you're Bush & Co., the way you assure that national security is the front-burner issue come November -- bigger than the Medicare fiasco, Jack Abramoff, and all the GOP corruption scandals combined -- is to provoke a crisis with Iran.

You don't actually have to march on Tehran, mind you. You just have to go through the saber-rattling motions: Paint the maniac mullahs' nuclear ambitions as an intolerable threat. It isn't hard, because, this time, it's true.

You carefully stoke fears of an Iranian A-Bomb in the New York subway, and then stage another Congressional force-resolution vote -- in GOP crafted language that will be intolerable to the Democrat's dovish base. Democratic congressmen -- and particularly the 2008 hopefuls -- will hem and haw, before some sizeable faction of the party leadership vote with Bush. The MoveOn/Deaniac base will be demoralized. The Republicans will present a unified front. Swing voters will break to the right. It's 2002 all over again.

This isn't rocket science. In fact, it looks from this story like the stagecraft has already begun.

The only defense the Democrats have on this issue is a good early offense, which in this case is a unified and credibly muscular stance on how to stare down the mullahs. The issue is still just sitting there. The GOP hasn't defined its position. Democrats need to beat them to the punch.

This is the essence of international statecraft: How do you disarm Iran without making it a "killing field"? Like the Cuban Missile Crisis, there's no easy answer. But the Democrats would do well to ask themselves this question, WWJD? -- What Would JFK Do?

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