War as stimulus
Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.
I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected. But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this threat and contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.
David Broder is an idiot.
First of all, how can he possibly not be suggesting “that the president incite a war to get reelected”? I can’t square his sentiments here. Maybe that’s the point of David Broder.
Second, if war can spur on the economy, any other public spending could just as easily. Why go to all the effort of slaughtering thousands of Iranian civilians, sending our own young men and women to their deaths, and upsetting the global oil supply when we could just as easily mail out $2,000 dollar checks to every American adult? I’m not sure what a war with Iran would cost – but let’s say it cost $3 trillion dollars. Well, we could mail that $2,000 dollar check out once a year for five years without killing anybody in the process for that much money.
Of course, for reasons I cannot explain, war is always more popular than any other sort of public spending. And that may be the only logic to Broder’s exceedingly horrible proposal. Beyond that, it is simply the arrogance of a man with no risk, no chance of himself paying the price for this hideous, immoral, incoherent hawkish nonsense, no chance he’ll take a bullet for his stupidity. Other men would, but not Broder.
Furthermore, as Larison rightly points out, far from making Obama one of the “most successful presidents in history” a war with Iran would neither help Obama with Republicans (who would support his foreign policy while decrying his domestic secular-socialist agenda) or with his own base. Nor would it deter the Iranian nuclear program