On Tuesday, for example, Lileks provided his own translation of the letter sent to President Bush by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It starts like this:
Dear Infidel Crusader Zionist sock-puppet Saudi-lackey despoiler of Mesopotamia woman-touching pigdog fiendish (293 words excised) Shah-licking son of a toad’s offal: I trust this finds you well. I have much on my mind, and have taken the pen to unburden my breast. I have enclosed a self-addressed stamped envelope should you wish to reply.And continues:
(429 words concerning Jewish penetration of the Postal System excised)
Our people glow with pride over our nuclear efforts, sometimes literally. I repeat that the enrichment is for peaceful purposes only, and we seek only peace, and peace is our goal, and there is nothing more we love than peace. Except death. Sorry; forgot. Death is definitely number one. In third place of things we love, well, there were those nice ice-cream desserts they had at this little place in Tehran. When I was Mayor I had them brought in on Fridays. Good times, good times. But once I found a hair.All HERE.
(2356 words excised concerning Jewish penetration of the Iranian Dessert-Industrial complex)
The President of Iran is absurd, and his government is ridiculous. They should be laughed at. I do not mean that we ought to ignore the fact that he would very much like to incinerate Israel, and will soon have the means to do so. I do not mean that he should be "laughed off" or treated other than seriously. He is dangerous.
But the President of Iran is absurd, and his government is ridiculous. They should be laughed at.
Meanwhile, Peggy Noonan today observes:
Of all the bad poll numbers for the Republicans, I think the worst is the right track/wrong track numbers, which continue to trend downward. A majority of the American people think we're on the wrong track.More HERE.
It has long been the American way to believe political problems can be solved or eased through political action. Were tax rates in certain areas of the economy too high from 1940 to 1980, and were they injurious to our economy and to individuals? Yes. So Americans pushed back, pamphleteered and backed leaders who promised to lower them. In time the taxes came down.
Name the political problem, we could answer it, or work toward answering it, with political solutions.
But faith in political action has been damaged the past few years, not by outside forces but by the two major political parties themselves.
If you are a normal person with the normal amount of political awareness, you might see it this way:
The Republicans talk about cutting spending, but they increase it--a lot. They stand for making government smaller, but they keep making it bigger. They say they're concerned about our borders, but they're not securing them. And they seem to think we're slobs for worrying. Republicans used to be sober and tough about foreign policy, but now they're sort of romantic and full of emotionalism. They talk about cutting taxes, and they have, but the cuts are provisional, temporary. Beyond that, there's something creepy about increasing spending so much and not paying the price right away but instead rolling it over and on to our kids, and their kids.
So, the normal voter might think, maybe the Democrats. But Democrats are big spenders, Democrats are big government, Democrats will roll the cost onto our kids, and on foreign affairs they're--what? Cynical? Confused? In a constant daily cringe about how their own base will portray them? All of the above.
Where does such a voter go, and what does such a voter do? It is odd to live in the age of options, when everyone's exhausted by choice, and feel your options for securing political progress are so limited. One party has beliefs it doesn't act on. The other doesn't seem to have beliefs, only impulses.
What's a voter to do? Maybe stay home, have the neighbors over for some barbecue, and then answer the phone when a pollster calls asking for a few minutes to answer some questions. When they get to the part about whether America is on the right track or the wrong track, boy, the voter knows the answer.
One gets the impression party leaders, deep in their hearts, believe the base is . . . base. Unsophisticated. Primitive. Obsessed with its little issues. They're trying to educate the base. But if history is a guide, the base is about to teach them a lesson instead.
She's right, and I'm one of the people she's talking about.