The Left On Obama And Iran
In the past few days I’ve noticed an odd, if perhaps politically understandable, shift in the attitude of the left on the subject of human rights and Iran. For decades the left was dedicated to supporting human rights around the world and they would push the President (regardless of party) to be more proactive in condemning abuses and governments who violated basic principles of freedom.
Yet when it comes to Obama and Iran many of the usual voices have been oddly silent, or at least supportive of the soft position taken by the President until yesterday. This is not to say that all of the voices have been quiet, some people have been quite vocal about the need for stronger language. But in many cases the people who would normally push an administration to condemn the events in Iran have said very little.
Even more bizzarely, some have actually taken to attacking Republicans who have called for Obama to take a stronger stand against Iran. To be clear nobody has called for anything close to military action nor have they suggested that we become openly involved in the protests. They have simply said that we need to make it clear that we support the right of free people everywhere to express themselves.
When the President did take a stronger stance the reaction from most on the right, and congressional Republicans in particular, was strongly supportive. They made it clear that they thought the President had taken the right stance and they praised him for taking it.
Yet over on MSNBC we had Ed Shultz not only failing to credit the GOP for this, but actually seemed to suggest that the Republicans had attacked Obama after his press conference when in fact the segments he aired were from before the statement.
For the record I think that Obama has taken a very correct stance on Iran. I thought he was a little too soft on things before today but his statement at the press conference took a fair balance between strong language and proper restraint.