Only last Friday, President Obama had this to say about the election in Iran:
We are excited to see what appears to be a robust debate taking place in Iran. Whoever ends up winning the election in Iran, the fact there has been a robust debate hopefully will advance our ability to engage them in new ways.
Following the election and related protests, Obama had this to say:
Well, I think first of all, it’s important to understand that although there is amazing ferment taking place in Iran, that the difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised. Either way, we were going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States, that has caused some problems in the neighborhood and is pursuing nuclear weapons.
On the surface, the statements are contradictory. They are connected not by logic, but by Obama’s underlying passion. James Taranto comments:
[W]e think it is very telling that the very first point [Obama] made is that there isn’t a rial’s worth of difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. Let’s stipulate that he’s right: The election was a contest between Evildee and Evildum. We said as much Friday in arguing that an Ahmadinejad victory might be preferable because the reasonable-seeming Mousavi would be more likely to lull the West into complacency. Obama doesn’t need to be lulled; he’s already so heavily sedated that on Friday he was praising the “robust debate” between the candidates he now finds indistinguishable.
Our Friday analysis was predicated on the supposition that one of two outcomes would obtain: Either Mousavi would prevail in an orderly-conducted travesty of a sham election, or Ahmadinejad would. Once the regime decided to make a mockery of its travesty of a sham, it foreclosed both these possibilities. Thus Obama’s analysis made no sense on Tuesday, even though it was substantially identical to ours on Friday.
Speaking very broadly, there are two possible outcomes in Iran now. The regime may succeed in crushing the opposition, enhancing its own power at the expense of whatever pretense of legitimacy it might have had a week ago. Or it may fail to do so and be weakened or overthrown. The free world has every interest in encouraging the latter outcome, and someone ought to bring the leader of the free world up to speed on the events of the past few days.
Obama is of course up to speed on the events of the past few days. He has nothing useful to say about them because he is on the wrong side. He seeks to befriend the powers-that-be in Iran. It is nevertheless astounding to observe how willing Obama is to be seen the fool in pursuit of his passion.