Sunday, January 29, 2012

Journalists, ask whether a President Romney will resign if Iran gets a nuclear weapon on his watch

In case the video goes away, Romney warns “If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will get a nuclear weapon,” he said. “If we elect Mitt Romney, Iran will not.” We need some way to rein in the blatantly untrue claims like this one, and demanding promises for consequences may be one way to do that.

After having run for office myself, I still can't get over how much worse the quality of rhetoric and campaigning is at the state and national level.  On my campaign website I described what I supported but said "I will be just one of seven Board members, so making [my issues] happen will need some help, but public support and public involvement can help push through changes...."  I believe it would've cost me politically if I made promises I couldn't guarantee, like Romney's doing.  Journalists ought to hold him accountable, or at least get a flustered response out of him.
Just to imitate the journalistic practice of false balance, here's a nice thing to say about a former Republican candidate, Rick Perry:  he was right about instituting Supreme Court term limits (via New Yorker with some helpful elaboration).  I've supported this before, I think a lot of my fellow lawyers would do the same, and I see no reason for Democrats not to do the same.


owlbrudder said...

As an Australian, the Republican abandonment of science and penchant for sabre rattling makes me nervous. How does Romney plan to stop Iran from getting a nuke? Invade them? Yeah, that'll work well - it always has, right?

Really, doesn't the Right have some grown-ups they can put forward as candidates?

Thomas said...

Romney is likely enough to go to war against Iran if he wins as it is. Don't encourage him by adding a price tag for him personally if he doesn't! A lying politician is better than one who makes stupid decisions just to keep promises better left empty.

Martin Vermeer said...

But Thomas, the idea is not that he should really resign. The idea is to make him lie about that too -- the kind of lie that looks good on television :-)

Jeffrey Davis said...

I've long suspected that the Dance of the Seven Dopes that we've been entertained by during the primary season was simply a prelude to a Draft Jeb movement at the convention.

Anonymous said...

"We need some way to rein in the blatantly untrue claims like this one, and demanding promises for consequences may be one way to do that."

Would that not put each and every politician everywhere out on the streets.

very1silent said...

If elected, Romney could actually prevent the Iranians from acquiring nuclear weapons by ordering a preemptive nuclear attack on Iran prior to their acquisition of nuclear weapons. With neither population nor electrical infrastructure, Iran won't acquire nuclear weapons.

Utterly nuts? Yes. Impossible? No.

If I was running the Iranian nuclear weapons program, this kind of statement would encourage me to acquire a minimal deterrent prior to the inauguration day.

P.S. What did the water district staff tell you about greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacture of concrete for district projects?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

You should all be supporting Romney because if he is the nominee, Obama is going to win again.

The Republican party establishment is so bad, only they would push for a nomination of the guy who couldn't beat John McShame.

Newt is 2-3 times smarter than Romney.

David B. Benson said...

Piled higher & deeper has it wrong again.

a_ray_in_dilbert_spac said...

Dr. Jay said, "Newt is 2-3 times smarter than Romney."

And thereby proves Krugman right--Gingrich really is a dumb person's idea of what a smart person sounds like.

Don Gisselbeck said...

A hypothetically smart journalist could also ask Mitt if he thinks Iran today is more dangerous and under crazier leadership than the USSR under Stalin.

Anonymous said...

For the umpteenth time:
(1) Iran does not have any nuclear weapons.
(2) Iran does not have a program to obtain nuclear weapons.
(3) Iran has a civilian nuclear power program, which they have the right to have under international treaty.
(4) The constant drumbeat about in the US media about Iran's "nuclear pogram" is disinformation. A similar propaganda campaign against "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction" was a run-up to war in 2003.
(5) There is a country in the Middle East that really does have nuclear weapons, hundreds of them. The name of this country starts with the letter "I". And it's not Iraq, and it's not Iran.
(6) Iran has not attacked another country in hundreds of years. Neither the US or Israel can say the same.

See the essay by Gary Leupp, historian at Tufts U., at

Anonymous said...

Who gets to reset the doomsday clock when the Mormons get the Bomb?

Adding nuclear armed Nephelites to the extant assortment of zealots and dervishes whirling about in Asia should be good for five minutes at least.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@ a-ray

what is Romney doing that is so intellectual that I am missing? So far all I've heard him say is that he'll repeal Obamacare. Big whoop, they are all saying that.

As far as debates and policy go, Newt is far and away more knowledgeable than Romney. I think A-ray just personally likes Romney better than Newt.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Well, we could start with an area I know something about--spaceflight. The lunar lunacy...bad idea. Hugely expensive and no economic or scientific benefit.

Gingrich's middle-East policy is a recipe for war. His social policies are thinly veiled racism masquerading as populism. Look at what the experts say--none of them agree with Gingrich an any topic whatsoever. Hell, I'd rather have Ron Paul or even the frothy mix than Gingrich. He is an absolute megalomaniac.

Romney by comparison is merely a brainwashed cultist, although, I could never bring myself to vote for someone stupid enough to strap a dog to the roof of a car.

Me, I think I'll vote for someone who at least acknowledges physical reality. That leaves Obama.

Anonymous said...

Alas, to find the relevant video, I used the news from "Russia Today" aka "Propaganda Today"!

link : (time stamp 3.08)

Or, as one could say, the suicidal "Curtis LeMay Gambit" and something we actually call "Mutual Assured Destruction"!

As Joshua from "War Games(1983)" would say, "it is a strange game, the only winning move, is not to play!"


And this was also reinforced by Ripley, in "War Games The Dead Code (2009)" :

I wonder, what word in "Mutual Assured Destruction", does Mitt, or the "Tea Party of Fools and Fiscally Incompetent Idiots" pretend not to understand, that every action, has an equal and opposite reaction?

Oh well, "Duck and Cover!" :-