Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Friday, February 24, 2006
Kool Aid Kool Aid, Tastes Great ....
Tom Friedman, the poster boy for a Republican lite liberal journalist, writes a bunch of nonsense in today's editorial. The short version of his column is the dutifully reported GOP talking points about the Dubai port deal, namely that liberals are being racists in opposing the deal (he must be listening to Rush). Matt Yglesias has something to say about that:
THE RACE CARD. Tom Friedman says skeptics of the UAE port deal are "borderline racist." David Ignatius disagrees, saying we're straight-up "racist." I say bullshit. The argument being mounted is plainly contradictory. On the one hand, it's supposed to be illegitimate to worry about this because we can't discriminate between countries. On the other hand, it's supposed to be illegitimate because the UAE is a loyal ally in the war on terror. But if the second is the reason we shouldn’t worry, then we can discriminate between countries after all. And of course we can discriminate between countries when it comes to matters of national security. That's how national security is done.
So if any Iranian state owned business wanted to buy port terminals in New York, the U.S. government wouldn't have anything to do with that because to do so would be racists?

The U.A.E. is like Saudi Arabia. It's a borderline friendly state that could change in a moments notice. It's really a judgement call whether to use them or not. But Bush himself created the environment where borderline isn't good enough for the scared Americans.

My favorite description is that Bush has been trumpeting that 911 changed everything and that Democrats were living in a pre-911 world. Now some Democrats are saying that the Dubai deal is a pre-911 mentality deal. They should hammer this to death and hang it around the Republican party.