IRAN REALITY. One thing that makes the Iran issue difficult is that one side is led by a religious fanatic suffering delusions of grandeur with a taste for demagogic posturing and the other country has, well, about the same. Thus, it seems that American and Iranian officials alike are exaggerating the successes of the Iranian nuclear program, each for their own reasons, needlessly boiling the pot. The good news, as Andrew Sabl points out is that the American people are now -- rightfully -- disinclined to trust Bush on the question of war with Iran. That means effective political leadership from the opposition party ought to be able to put real constraints on the White House's freedom to mess things up.

But as TAP founder Bob Kuttner pointed out in his speech on "American Foreign Policy as Political Failure" earlier this weak, effective leadership from the opposition has been sadly lacking in recent years. With the surprising (but heartening) exception of Jane Harman, I haven't seen any congressional Democrats engaging with what's going on at the moment.

--Matthew Yglesias

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