Cutting Edge / New ideas, Sharp opinions
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The local Spork in a Drawer noticed Ed Kilgore's blog item in Washington Monthly on the plans of True the Vote and other conservative groups to send vote-fraud squads to polling places on Election Day:
"It's hard to imagine a more dangerous scenario than that of hundreds of thousands of self-righteous suburban wingnuts showing up in poor and minority neighborhoods to hassle would-be voters, with Fox News cameras on hand to record any random examples of Solid Citizens experiencing resistance from annoyed locals.
"And if we head towards Election Day with [President Barack] Obama still enjoying a clear lead in the polls, you have to figure True the Vote's shock troops will be loaded for bear, viewing themselves as the last desperate defenders of 'their' country against the barbaric hordes of looters and baby-killers who are already plotting to herd them into concentration camps during Obama's second term, after they close the churches and shut down radio talk shows."
George Neumayr in The Washington Times: "The only religion for which liberals make excuses is the most illiberal one -- Islam. While they interpret Christianity in the worst possible light -- the Obama administration places Catholic and Evangelical opponents of gay marriage in the same moral category as racists -- they cast Islam in the rosiest one. It is a 'great religion,' pronounced Hillary Clinton ... even as its adherents set fire to embassies and cheered the killing of U.S. diplomats and Navy Seals.
"The more violence Islam produces, the more liberals insist it is 'peaceful.' The cravenness would be comic were its implications not so serious. [Earlier this month] self-styled Voltairean liberals, who normally gush about the glories of free speech, popped up on mindless morning shows to endorse the imprisonment of Islam's critics. MSNBC pundit Mike Barnicle encouraged the Justice Department to round up Florida pastor Terry Jones as an 'accessory' to crimes. Barnicle's colleagues appeared untroubled by his fascistic suggestion. One even chimed in that 'I was thinking the same thing.' "
John B. Judis in The New Republic: "In Mitt Romney's 2010 campaign book, 'No Apology: The Case for National Greatness,' the former Massachusetts governor cites 12 countries that the United States has invaded for the 'cause of freedom.'
"Readers expecting to learn about World War II or the downfall of Slobodan Milosevic might be surprised by Romney's list. The dozen include not only the Philippines, where the United States sought to supplant the Spanish as imperial rulers in 1898 and then fought a brutal 14-year war against Filipino independence forces, but also, astonishingly, the Dominican Republic, where Lyndon Johnson sent the Marines in 1965 to prevent the return of an elected government toppled by a military junta.
"One person who would be especially perplexed by this list is Mitt Romney, or at least the Mitt Romney of 18 years ago. When he challenged then-Sen. Ted Kennedy in 1994, Romney criticized the intervention in Haiti and laid down strict rules for military action. The Boston Globe wrote, 'Romney leans slightly toward an isolationist stance.' But as a presidential candidate, Romney has, yet again, changed positions."
Rosa Brooks in Foreign Policy: "Many common objections to U.S. drone strikes don't hold up well under scrutiny. For the most part, complaints that 'drones kill civilians' or 'drones kill from a distance' are red herrings -- every weapon system can cause civilian casualties, and planes, Tomahawk missiles and snipers all enable killing from a distance. We should worry about armed drone technologies for a different set of reasons: By lowering or disguising the costs of lethal force, their availability can blind us to the potentially dangerous longer-term consequences of our strategic choices."
Ms. Brooks goes on to explain three ways that drones reduce the costs of employing lethal force: in dollars, in domestic political fallout and in accidental civilian deaths. As a result, she says, politicians are more likely to take military action before fully exploring other options.
First Published September 30, 2012 12:00 am