Sen. John McCain has been attacking President Obama for not getting more involved in the post-election unrest in Iran. It's consistent with his belligerent position of the past two years. Other Republicans have joined in. Both McCain and South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) used the Sunday talks shows to argue that Obama hasn't done enough. On Monday, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough (a one-time Republican congressman himself) took the two senators to task.
"I just don't get them. You read the president's statement from yesterday. and, again, I just don't get it. Again, if this is an exercise about doing things that make us feel good about ourselves, about talking about how evil Iran is and, my god, I've been saying it for a very long time, we could go back and talk about all the deaths of U.S. servicemen the Iranians were responsible for, we could talk about how they export revolution, how they export terrorism and they have since 1979. I can give you a bill of particulars on why they are the most evil country on the planet. What good would that do?
All we would do is undermine those people in the streets the second they are attached to the United States of America. The country, after all, has been known in Iran as the Great Satan since 1979. We will undermine their cause and make no mistake of it, their cause is our cause. They are fighting this fight, though, and do not need John Sydney Mccain or Barack Obama to get out and make statements that will only play into the hands of the mullahs or Ahmadinejad. It's so shortsighted i find it stunning."
Scarborough said he had taken flack from his viewers for the position, he said. "And all of those people that are e-mailing me and telling me that I'm being liberal, oh, really? I'm being liberal? No. I think it's called restraint. showing a little bit of restraint ... I think it's outrageous."
President Obama addressed the same issue in an interview on CBS' "The Early Show." Asked about criticism of his hands-off approach, he responded:
The last thing that I want to do is to have the United States be a foil for those forces inside Iran, who would love nothing better than to make this an argument about the United States. That's what they do. That's what we're already seeing.
We shouldn't be playing into that. There should be no distractions from the fact that the Iranian people are seeking to let their voices be heard. What we can do is bear witness and say to the world that the incredible demonstrations that we've seen is a testimony to, I think, what Dr. King called "the arc of the moral universe." It's long, but it bends towards justice.