I have yet to hear what possible good it would do for the President of the United States to encourage the protesters, except to give the Iranian regime a better excuse for killing more of them. McCain’s bleatings are either for domestic political consumption or self-satisfaction, a form of hip-shooting onanism that demonstrates why he would have been a foreign policy disaster had he been elected.
To put it as simply as possible, McCain—and his cohorts—are trying to score political points against the President in the midst of an international crisis. It is the sort of behavior that Republicans routinely call “unpatriotic” when Democrats are doing it. I would never question John McCain’s patriotism, no matter how misguided his sense of the country’s best interests sometimes seems. His behavior has nothing to do with love of country; it has everything to do with love of self.
“This multitude see the comic side of a thousand low-grade and trivial things—broad incongruities, mainly; grotesqueries, absurdities, evokers of the horse-laugh. The ten thousand high-grade comicalities which exist in the world are sealed from their dull vision. Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them—and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon — laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution — these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century; but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. You are always fussing and fighting with your other weapons. Do you ever use that one? No; you leave it lying rusting. As a race, do you ever use it at all? No; you lack sense and the courage.”—Satan, from “The Mysterious Stranger" by Mark Twain, via Andrew Sullivan
“The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights. As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion. Martin Luther King once said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.”—The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Statement from the President on Iran, via tsparks, via whitehouse.gov
“The point is this is not about us. The point here is we will continue to monitor the situation to see how it, in a sense, resolves itself over the coming days. The pressure is on them to demonstrate to the world that this was a legitimate election and that the outcome reflects the will of the Iranian people.”—“Obama Aide on Iran: It’s not about us." Swampland. 15 Jun 2009.
“We seem to have internalized this very American view that whatever outcome we want in the world is within our power to effect, if only the United States government would do something. The events that have begun in Iran are entirely Iranian. They will unfold as the Iranian public, tenaciously outraged or beaten back by the thugs on bikes, decide they will. It’ll be tragic if the people lose this opportunity, but I can’t think of anything at all that the US government can do that won’t damage the delicate roll of history as it washes across Iran.”—Stacie, commenting on “Also, I’ll Have Kale, Spinach and Peas For Dinner” Balloon Juice. 15 Jun 2009, via numbersixspeaks
“We gave him so much space. We played him like we were trying to prevent the layup. That play will haunt me forever.”—Stan Van Gundy, head coach of the Orlando Magic, commenting on their defense against Derek Fisher’s clutch 3-pointer that sent Game 4 of the NBA finals into overtime. Heisler, M. “Giving Derek Fisher his space: Bad idea." Los Angeles Times, Sports section. 12 June 2009.
“I am a product of affirmative action. I am the perfect affirmative action baby: I am a Puerto Rican, born and raised in the South Bronx; my test scores were not comparable to that of my colleagues at Princeton and Yale - not so far off the mark that I wasn’t able to succeed at those institutions.”—Judge Sonia Sotomayor, from a videotape of a panel discussion held in the early 1990’s, via The New YorkTimes. (via inothernews)
“He missed it. I don’t know what else to say. Hedo made a—we executed well, Hedo made a great pass, and we missed it. I don’t really know. I’m not trying to be a pain in the butt. I just don’t know what else to say about it. It was a great pass, it was right there, and he missed it.”—Stan Van Gundy, head coach of the Orlando Magic, commenting on the last play of regulation in Game 2 of the NBA finals.