Sullivan Says Go Big, Win Big

“Embracing Bowles-Simpson for a second term would be news. It would highlight the utter fiscal unseriousness of Paul Ryan, and the 1981-style policies of Romney. It would win back the center. And it would, in my view, win the election. If he plays safe this week, which will be his instinct, or if the convention is a tired attack on Romney’s wealth or aloofness, or if it reeks of class war or racial resentment, he will lose. If he takes a risk and embraces his own commission – and dares the GOP to support him on it, he could win big. Yes, I still think that’s possible. The sheer weakness of the Republican non-arguments last week – their gaping intellectual contradictions and cultural obsessions – gives the president an opportunity to inspire us now as he did four years ago. He told us then it wasn’t going to be easy to change Washington. But by embracing Bowles-Simpson now, he will show he remains serious about that kind of radical change.”  Emphasis added.

Andrew Sullivan, from “Yes He Can,” The Daily Beast

There’s kind of a game of chicken going on in both campaigns, with Mitt thinking he can win without detailed, coherent (i.e., numbers that add up) policy simply because the economy is still bad, and he’s not Obama.  Obama thinks he too can win without detailed, coherent policy because Mitt is so unlikable and the Dinosaur Riders surrounding him are so scary.  Each is hoping to find glory without having to display any guts.

Secret Anti-Israeli American Contacts with Iran?

The White House denies disturbing reports out of Israel that the U. S. has told Iran it won’t support an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities if Iran doesn’t attack our military installations in the Persian Gulf.

From “U. S. denies Israeli newspaper report of secret Iran contacts,” Mark Felsenthal, Reuters:

“The White House on Monday denied an Israeli newspaper report that accused Washington of secretly negotiating with Tehran to keep the United States out of a future Israel-Iran war.

“The Jewish state also played down the front-page report n its biggest-selling daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, which followed unusually publican disagreement between the allies about how to tackle Iran’s controversial nuclear program.

“Without naming its sources, Yedioth said Washington had approached Tehran through two unidentified European countries [if true, one would be Switzerland] to convey the message that the United States would not be dragged into fighting if Israel carried out threats to attack Iran.

“Yedioth said the United States told Iran it should in return refrain from retaliating against U. S. interests, including its military in the Gulf.

“In Jerusalem, an Israeli official, who asked not to be identified, described the report as illogical.

“‘It doesn’t make sense, ‘ the official said.  ‘There would be no need to make such a promise to the Iranians because they realize the last thing they need is to attack U. S. targets and draw massive U. S. bombing raids.”

Where’s this coming from?  I don’t know.  Sheldon Adelson and the Romney campaign?

I hate the way this is framed as Israel’s problem.  The Saudis are as freaked out about Iran’s getting the bomb as the Israelis.  Even if Israel didn’t exist, you’d still have the Sunni-Shiite fight destabilizing the region.  Even if the Jewish religion didn’t exist, you’d still have plenty of other religions for radical Islamists to go after — they hate Christians and Buddhists and Hindus and atheists as much as they hate Jews.  They want everybody to be a devout Muslim.  An Iranian bomb will set off a scramble in the Middle East among Sunnis to get nuclear weapons.  And does anybody think India likes the prospect of two Muslim counties with the bomb? 

Our home-grown Christian Dinosaur Riders may be crazy, but the Muslim extremists are barbarians, all too ready to stone or behead or mutilate people, especially women.