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April 20, 2007

McCain On "Bomb Iran" Criticism: "Lighten Up And Get A Life"

I think the joke was awful, because it wasn't funny -- it was dumb, just as a joke -- and honestly, grave matters of war shouldn't be joked about. And no, I didn't think Reagan's joke about launching a full-scale nuclear strike on Russia was funny either. At least in his defense he thought his microphone was off. Correction: I'm told he was testing his mic. Either way, I don't think he expected the joke to be reported.

I don't think it suits American leaders to be talking as carelessly and recklessly as Iran's mullahs or North Korea's communist lunatics.

But the biggest problem with the joke, I thought, was that making it would force McCain in the opposite direction -- he'd have to start essentially ruling out a military strike on Iran to defuse criticism. Which I think is a lot worse than some loose joking about bombing these assholes (which, joking or not, is what we're probably going to have to do).

So McCain made the first mistake -- the joke -- but he hasn't committed the second -- giving Iran blanket assurances that they won't be bombed.

His response here is excellent.

Our very smart reporter corps, by the way, seemed to think the biggest problem with McCain's joke was that it was "insensitive." McCain deals with that with all the seriousness it requires.

Note the metanarrative is implicit in that absurd question -- bombing an enemy nation is pounded to fit into the omniversal media template of "insensitivity" to "minorities."


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posted by Ace at 03:09 PM

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