My brain and bowels pin Edwards on the Donkle for 2008. Hillary quite clearly can't shake her mythos as some sort of cross between Erzsébet Báthory, Karl Marx, and Alice B. Toklas, and let's be frank, Americans may say they're sick of war, but that doesn't mean they're going to give a Vaginal-American the keys to cluster bombs, such as it were. Barack Obama, admittedly, has an edifying effect on the bloggity entrails of the Donkle, the self-described netroots. It's something to do with his bromidic, ecumenical say-nothingism--lift every boat and change every heart and cross every river; Martin Luther King, Jr. done by Cliffs Notes and stripped of all offending radicalism the way the Oxford dons used to cut the pederasty out of Plato. But despite the metro media chatter about his transnational, transcendent, transubstantial charisma, one fact remains: 2008 is not the year that America is going to elect a black dude named Barack Hussein Obama to the presidency, which will at least benefit the psychological health of those of us who hear "There are no African-Americans and Italian-Americans and this-Americans and that-Americans; there are only Americans!" and run for the toilet bowl faster than a runway model at the sound of Anna Wintour's claws on the linoleum. The rest of them are craven hacks even by the usual standards of a Democratic primary.
So Edwards it is, the Lawerly Lord Orthodontia of the Carolinas, and to firm up his rather wimpy portfolio, he's started hitting up all the right people and telling them that he's totally down with bombing the fuck out of Iran. (As the memorable line went in Bullworth: "My people aren't stupid. They put all the big Jews on my schedule. You are Jewish, right?") His actual phrase is "It would be foolish for any American president to ever take any option off the table." Any option. Ever! Read it and weep. Or, if you're a fan of the Donk, you can read it as backing away mildly from even bloodier nonsense spouted first at a conference in Herzliya, Israel, and then up in New York at some AIPAC conference with La Clinton also rattling her saber in the general direction of the Persian Plateau. The whole sad interview with budding Donkle wordsmith Better-than-Ezra Klein is a fantastical trip through Edwardsian double-and-triple-talk, and it's plain to see who's the wannabe journo and who's the accomplished trial lawyer. Edwards basically stakes out the position that we shouldn't invade Iran unless we invade Iran, but he gives the familiar Donkle huff about "negotiations," which in Demotalk as well as Republitalk means only the presentation of a series of preconditions to a nominally weaker nation with a very bright, very clear "or else" floating over the special envoy's head like the corona of light above a Medieval madonna. Here is the most illuminating bit:
KLEIN: OK, let me talk for a minute then--we spoke last time, about the lessons of Iraq, and the one you told me was that we need to be much more skeptical of intelligence, even when there appears to be unity about what it--Arthur Silber has written many excellent pieces on the fallacy of intelligence in policy, one of the best of which is this essay from last November, called "How the Foreign Policy Consensus Protects Itself." Let's be entirely frank about it: after World War II, the art of figuring out what your enemy is doing in war metastasized with the militarizing security state into the CIA and the zillion other dead-letter acronym agencies now bumping about, unmonitored, all over the country. Their purpose was to hike up the Soviet threat, to provide a psuedo-informational rationale for policies already in place. Their purpose remains the same: to provide material justifications for policies already crafted in service to a consensus ideology of American exceptionalism, Manifest Destiny Continued, American Imperialism, et al.
KLEIN: Let’s go a bit farther. What does Iraq say about the feasibility and the bar for invading countries in the Middle East?
EDWARDS: It means that we have to be much more careful. And even, you know, there seems to be some consensus about what Iran is doing, but we ought to be very critical when analyzing the information we’re getting on Iran, too.
So the unsophisticated Klein, already owning to the false premise that we have any right to invade other countries, asks Edwards what he'd do differently the next time we've got to knock over a gas station, and Edwards looks him straight in the eye and says, Going forward, it's pretty clear that we're gonna have to fool you better so you don't get sick of it so quick. Well, I feel better.