Tied to the mast
…but orange now and black

The ticket to success as a conservative pundit…

…is apparently to lower the level of one’s contributions to the discourse.

A friend of mine—recently described as “a rising star of the conservative movement” by the American Spectator and with whom I have a tendency to rather vehemently disagree—recently had a piece picked up by Real Clear Politics, and that has hence been getting considerable play in conservative circles beyond the somewhat particular readership of David Frum’s New Majority.

(As a sidepoint, I often went to RCP in the run up to the election, but never really paid attention to anything but their poll aggregation. More and more these days I’m seeing things routed into the general discussion through their general aggregation—which apparently tends to be conservative if not Drudge-hysterical—and so have thrown them back onto my tool bar).

Anyway—sorry Tim—I thought the piece kindof sucked. There was one valid and important point that he ultimately gets to:

Today, the events in Honduras have still not been classified by the State Department as a coup, despite repeated official references to it as such over the last few weeks.

But that was it for me. And ironically, it comes on a cue from the Huff Po. He then snidely wraps up the graf with this exclamation:

It seems that Obama and Clinton are great at checkers, not so great at chess – skilled at hopping over one another, but not so adept at strategy.

Very witty on its own terms, but for the blow to fall it should reflect reality, and frankly, it seems like a bit of a jump in its own right. Not yet legally classifying the recent events in Honduras a coup leaves the administration with many more diplomatic options than had they gone down that path already. Meanwhile, decrying the events as undemocratic is obviously true and puts pressure on the generals to get shit together and return power to the citizens of Honduras. So in practical terms it seems strategically sound to me, even if the messaging hasn’t been clean.

He sets up this point with a series of pull quotes designed to underline that Obama and Clinton are working at cross purposes, like…

Obama continues: “America supports now the restoration of the democratically elected president of Honduras.”

Clinton bewilders: But… it has to be “a peaceful, negotiated resolution.”

…which just sounds, again, both consistent and commonsensical to me. Do you really think that Obama meant that he wanted to force Hondurans to take back Zelaya at the barrel of a gun?

The rest of the article is constituted by a straight up lie about the constitution of pro-Zelaya facebook groups (he cherry-picked the 8 emblematically communist profile photos he could find and claimed they represented a cross section of the group’s hundreds of members). To get an actual cross section see these groups for yourself, or do your own group search on facebook for “Zelaya.”

Apparently, based on his response to my initial comment, it was supposed to be a joke. Since it’s neither ironic nor particularly witty (as I told him, it reminds me of when my 13 year old cousin and his friends took up calling everything they didn’t like gay… it’s more about defining in and out groups than it is about any kind of humour), I hope he forgives my failing to notice.

He concludes with some anti-Chavez boilerplate…

A solid standard to base your foreign policy on is to take a look at what Chavez is doing – and do the exact opposite.

Chavez is a douche, but that’s idiotic. In fact, I hope Chavez takes the opportunity to seize on that sort of comment and tell the good folks over at AEI something like:

You know, I’m a firm supporter of breathing. Carry on…

~

UPDATE: Commenting on this post on Facebook, Tim points us to a new piece he has up on the issue. I’m skeptical about the scoop. It smells too convenient for the regime (in the same way the reports of Iraqi soldiers murdering Kuwaiti babies in their incubators should have struck the press as too convenient back in ’91). And I don’t know anything about Europa Press (beyond what Tim says: that people that he’s talked to say it’s “quite legit.” I’ll be watching for it to be verified.

I’ll try to write something more generally on Honduras later, but I really  need to get to thesis work. Zelaya claims he’ll be trying to cross the border on land today. We’ll see how that plays out. Check out Al Giordano for the latest.

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