Overstating the Rift on the Right

Methinks that the normally astute Ben Smith of Politico is trying a little too hard to parse supposed disagreement on the right concerning Iran. He writes:

The Iranian election has produced a deep division on the American right, clarifying a rift between those forcefully backing the opposition and those who view the election as a sham and its outcome as an irrelevance in a irremediable conflict between the U.S. and Iran.

Rather than a split, this is an example of different analysts offering slightly different shades of analysis. I very much doubt that anyone on this list — other than possibly Pat Buchanan, who isn’t a conservative at all in the American sense (more like a populist reactionary a la William Jennings Bryan or Father Coughlin) — is against “forcefully backing the opposition.” I certainly am not. I think we should do a lot more to help the opposition and that Obama should speak out forcefully on its behalf. But I am against holding up Mousavi as a “reformer” or a “moderate,” because I don’t think he is. (Eric Trager makes the point well.)

Despite my doubts about Mousavi, I very much admire the people of Iran and hope that they will succeed — not in changing the face of the theocratic dictatorship but in overthrowing the dictatorship altogether. Unfortunately I think that’s unlikely, so my second-best choice is that at least they will succeed in undermining and discrediting the system, especially among Western lefties who thought, for reasons escaping me, that Iran was a “democracy.” As I’ve noted before, watching the back-flips among Iran’s apologists, has been grimly satisfying.