MORE ON DEMS AND IRAN. I see that in last night's post on Iran I inadvertently wrote that Dems should be figuring out how to respond after strikes come. Since the post was meant to make the opposite point -- that Dems should be thinking through how politically to approach Iran now -- a quick clarification is in order. A lot will of course happen between now and any move on Iran.
HOW SHOULD DEMS HANDLE IRAN? As depressing as this is, it's never too early for liberals and Dem thinkers to start figuring out how to prevent Dems from dividing if Bush orders, say, limited strikes on Iran. Al Gore and Howard Dean might oppose them, as perhaps will the new and improved John Edwards. But what about other presidential contenders -- Mark Warner, Evan Bayh and Hillary Clinton? (Then there's always Joe Lieberman, who will probably volunteer to sit astride the first falling bomb, Dr. Strangelove style.)
DEMS ARE EITHER PHONIES OR THEY'RE RADICALS. One of the more devious verbal tricks commentators use on Democrats is to rhetorically box them in: Either Dems are too cautious and scripted, or they're too radical and hate America. Atrios is right when he says of Joe Klein's new book:
I've got nothing against insiders dishing on the Kerry campaign, but the idea that they would dish to Klein to support whatever pernicious and destructive narrative he'll be concocting about how we all hate America demonstrates a tremendous lack of judgment.
FRED HIATT REFUSES ACCOUNTABILITY; BILL KELLER ACCEPTS IT. The big news organizations need to come to terms with their role in spreading White House misinformation -- and their failure to dig out the truth -- in the run-up to the Iraq war. Because if they don't, they risk making the same catastrophic mistakes again in the run-up to the possible conflict with Iran -- and those mistakes could have even graver consequences. Bill Keller understands this. Fred Hiatt doesn't.
BILL KELLER AND THE BLOGS.Bill Keller is answering questions at The New York Times's site this week, and at one point he offered a somewhat testy view of the blogosphere in responding to a couple of readers who wrote in asking about the Judith Miller affair. Keller responded: