Upheaval in Iran was the big news last week. A disputed election, massive demonstrations in the capital, the prospect of revolution — heady stuff, certainly, and enough to shift the attention of even casual current events followers away from domestic politics.
Well, not entirely. President Obama naturally remains a rightblogger fixation, and they saw the events in Iran mainly as something the President had the power to change into rainbows and ponies were he not a traitor, coward, etc.
It was bad enough when he was just making statements on Iran, when he should have been leading the groovy counterrevolution in a nuclear chariot — but when Obama got some ice cream with his daughters, that’s when all hell broke loose.
Reacting at blog speed to the blood in the Tehran streets, some rightbloggers beat Obama to making a statement about it. Wolf Howling started strong, telling us that “the entire history of Iran’s theocracy tells us that, unless we are prepared to use or threaten force, we are not going to move the mad mullahs off their determined path…” But before we could alert NORAD, he dialed it down to “Obama should be speaking words of concern about the integrity of voting process.”
Conunderground was more forthright on the proper response to these atrocities. “Obama and his staff should be dragged to the Hague for crimes against humanity,” he said. “Failure to act in support of liberty and freedom, the basic condition of human existence, is a crime against humanity.”
Obama eventually did make a measured statement, saying it was “up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be,” and that he was “deeply troubled” by the reported violence. You knew that wasn’t going to fly among the brethren. Ace of Spades proposed an alternate text: “A democracy doesn’t depend merely on people casting votes; it depends upon those votes actually being counted and the will of the people being respected.” We’re not sure what difference that would have made on the ground, but Ace presumably has a superior grasp of diplomatic nuance.
Things got pretty random after that. One popular trope was that Obama loved the baby-killer Dr. George Tiller more than he loved the Iranian people.
“Compare and constrast this reaction (3 days later),” said Fire Andrea Mitchell, “to the ‘shocked and outraged’ response he gave to the Tiller the Baby Killer murder.” Allahpundit, Say Anything, Cassy Fiano, RightWingSparkle, et alia were similarly angered that Obama had used the words “shocked and outraged” about the murder of Dr. Tiller but not about Iran. Whether this was because they really believed those words would make a difference in Iran, or because they were just mad that Obama disapproved of Tiller’s assassination, we can’t say for sure.
“I’m left dreaming at how Bush would have handled this,” said Weasel Zippers. (Invasion?)
Igstar suggested that Obama was actually in favor of election fraud, having stolen the U.S. Election himself. “Hey Obama,” said the Obambi Blog, “send ACORN to Iran and steal another one.” “No wonder Bary Hussein doesn’t want to be seen as meddling in the Iranian election,” said Rhymes with Right. “It might cost him the dead and fraud vote in 2012.”
Word got around that Obama actually didn’t give a shit about the Iranian people. “One wonders if Barack Obama even cares the slightest bit about the plight of Iranians seeking freedom,” said JammieWearingFool, “Though when it comes to domestic politics and his own image, well, then Obama really gets serious.” Clearly a President ought to drop domestic politics when there’s a foreign revolution to foment.
Maverick Conservative went further, saying Obama was actually against democracy itself: “Consider that Obama, and the rest of the left, are trying to ELIMINATE conservative talk radio,” he said, “and you get the picture of a leftist push to turn us basically into Iran (in terms of state dominated media)… It is amazing jusst how fast President Obama is turning into a Big Brother type DICTATOR…” “Maybe Obama’s not be willing to help Iranians seeking liberty and justice,” said BlogWonks, “because they remind him way too much of the tea partiers he’s seen in America.”
As time passed, rightbloggers became convinced that Obama’s reticence/treason was all that was standing between Mousavi’s supporters and a successful new Iranian revolution “Obama has a great opportunity — to support a regime change in Iran without any military intervention whatsoever,” said Right View Wisconsin. “All he has to do is talk.” So much for limited government.
When the Iranians accused Obama of meddling anyway, Michael Ledeen of National Review thought it the perfect opportunity for the President to go for broke: “stop pretending to be a sweet innocent, and get in there and fight for people who are dying in the name of our values, and who want to be part of our world.”
As usual, some said it was all about Obama’s unwillingness to use force, though they failed to indicate how force might be used in this instance. “This is a president who prefers whenever possible to avoid military action,” said Commentary‘s Jennifer Rubin, “who isn’t willing to pay for a defense build-up and who is squeamish about using other ‘sticks.'” She also called Obama a “cold-hearted technocrat obsessed with engaging a loathsome regime” and accused him of “embarrassing timidity and submissiveness toward one of the most reactionary regimes on the planet,” simultaneously.
On Friday, Obama made a more explicit statement: “What you’re seeing in Iran is hundreds of thousands of people who believe their voices were not heard and who are peacefully protesting and seeking justice… And we stand behind those who are seeking justice in a peaceful way,” etc. We’ll give you one guess how the rightbloggers responded.
“Obama’s stress on ‘peaceful,'” said China Confidential, “is tantamount to a dagger aimed at the hearts of those who might dare to take up arms to overthrow Iran’s clerical fascist regime.” “The people of Iran need us to arm them with words of encouragement,” said A View from a Broad, “because the light of freedom in Iran will surely be snuffed out if we don’t.” “What we are seeing is his peculiar personality in action,” said Roger L. Simon, “oddly without affect in the face of tyranny.”
On Saturday Obama called on Iran, “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.” And the rightbloggers — oh, but we see you’re way ahead of us.
Andrew Malcolm was angry that Obama quoted Martin Luther King — “not exactly a religious icon in the Muslim world,” but “which will get him all over the U.S. news on an otherwise slow summer Saturday.” “Get a freakin’ clue, bub,” said Pirate’s Cove. “Again, he seems to think it’s all about him,” mysteriously commented Lonely Conservative. “Wussy statement,” said Marathon Pundit. “President Obama issued a statement. So what? I want a speech,” said Don Surber. No pleasing some people.
At Commentary, Jennifer Rubin affected to be more impressed — but was even more concerned with “those apologists who cheered Obama’s paralysis,” who “will of course now celebrate the more robust language. This is what they wanted all along, right? Well, hardly, but the criticism of those conservatives and some brave Democrats who pleaded with the president to get off the fence will go down the memory hole…” You’d almost think she was more concerned with political spin than with the brave people of Iran.
Around the same time, Obama found time to get some ice cream with his daughters, which became further proof of his contempt for the Iranian people.
Patterico put tweets about Iran and Obama’s ice cream side by side to show… we’re not sure what, but something very bad, no doubt — maybe that every time Obama licks a cone, it’s a signal for Iranian troops to get out the rubber hoses. Michelle Malkin put a picture of a dead protester next to a picture of Obama eating ice cream, to similar effect.
“To show his disengagement he took his daughters to a custard shop for (a bit like NERO) eating ice cream,” said Political Mavens. The Founding Bloggers announced “The Obama Ice Cream Scandal.” Moonbattery, looking for a fresh spin, tried “Iran Erupts, Obama Feeds His Dog Ice Cream.”
“Bloodshed in Iran vs. Obama’s Ice Cream Parlor Trip,” cried Frugal Cafe Blog Zone, “Maybe tomorrow, I can write a commentary. Now, right now… I simply can’t. I’m too dismayed and sickened.” Lactose intolerant, perhaps?
“Obama Snacked, Iranians Got Whacked,” said Jim Treacher, adding in boldface, “It isn’t about the ice cream,” though he declined to say what it was about. “Barack Obama… Let The Iranians Eat Ice Cream,” said Scared Monkeys, adding, “CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW THE PRESS WOULD HAVE REACTED IN GWB DID SOMETHING LIKE THIS?” — as if they, or anyone else, could have reacted any more stupidly.
James Joyner was at least embarrassed enough to play it off on the media — “the TV networks could certainly show better news judgment than giddy celebrity coverage of the president’s trip to the ice cream parlor when there’s real news to report” — and we’re sure the rest of them will get around to that, too, once they realize that people out there on the other side of their screens are laughing at them. Anyway, by then there’ll be some other outrage — that Obama took a nap while a child put a fork in a light socket, or something. That’s the great thing about the internet — it’ll give you as much of this kind of stuff as you can stand.