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What’s most amazing about the elements of the right who are fighting rhetorical battles on behalf of the president isn’t so much the mendacity, although that can be pretty awe-inspiring. It’s the unbelievably low assessment of the intelligence of their audience. The Weekly standard is the source of both my examples. First, via Matt Yglesias, we have a justification for the deportation of Yusef Islam even if he’s not been involved in any terrorist activity. Why, then? Because he’s a Wahhabist, and Wahhabism is bad, bad, bad. It’s also the state-sponsored religion of Saudi Arabia. No further comment should be necessary here.

Second: Yesterday afternoon on Paula Zaun, TWS writer Katharine Mangu-Ward was on to explain why it’s not really a big problem if significant portions of Iraq are not safe and secure enough to hold an election,* because you don’t need 100% turnout to hold an election, and it might even be bad if you have it. After all, the US has a turnout of 50% or so, and only the likes of Castro and Hussein have 100% turnouts.

*Political scientists as a group haven’t agreed on a single standard to use to gauge whether or not a particular political authority can accurately claim sovereignty over a particular area. I’ll take this opportunity to propose one handy rule we might use to figure this out: If the alleged sovereign entity doesn’t have enough access, control, and authority to even attempt to hold an election, they’re probably don’t deserve that title.

Update: sometimes titles speak for themselves. The following are articles found at the TWS front page in which the name of the article tells you all you need to know:

Iraq is not Vietnam, it’s Guadalcanal

Kerry’s other “F-Word”: Why the Democratic candidate doesn’t want to talk about how to deal with Falluja

in the interests of fairness, here’s a Kristol article that’s more or less correct. The part designed to make Bush look OK is misleading, of course.

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