Scarborough on Iran

He’s prepared to say the obvious: that scaring the bad guys in Iran into blatantly stealing the election counts as a win for Obama’s strategy.

From Meet the Press on Sunday:

You know, the law of unintended consequences came in again. I suspect that Cairo speech really scared the grand ayatollahs in Iran. If they were going to fix an election, this was a time to fix it, because the last thing they wanted to do was Barack Obama to take credit for reformers winning in Iran, like they already have in Lebanon. And, and by the way, in the short-term that’s bad news for us. I think in the long-term, though, if ayatollahs are seen stealing an election as a result from what Barack Obama did in Cairo, I actually think that’s a positive for the United States and Iran in the long run.

Right. Joe Scarborough. Steve Benen is right: it’s sort of scary for Scarborough to count as a sane Republican. Maybe he’s decided that if he’s going to play a journalist on TV, he ought to try to make the impersonation convincing.

Barack Obama has consistently displayed one of the politician’s supreme gifts: the capacity to induce his opponents to self-destruct. I’m glad Scarborough has noticed, though his co-partisans haven’t. Perhaps if they did, they’d cease to fall into Obama’s carefully-laid traps. Sonia Sotomayor, anyone?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com