As Kevin Drum reminded us with regard to John Edwards, any politician worth his salt should be able to tailor his message to his audience. Certainly that’s the case with Jonathan Singer’s interview with DSCC Chair Chuck Schumer, at least judging by his ability to absolutely lavish praise on bloggers and the netroots. That said, you’ve got to go by what you have to go by, and saying good things to liberal audiences is better than saying bad things to liberal audiences. And I found Schumer’s words on Iran encouraging.:
Iran was never discussed, and I could not imagine – maybe there are one or two Democrats in the Senate who believe the AUMF authorizes the President to go into Iran. Should he try to go into Iran without an AUMF will do everything we can to try to stop that. . .
I have always believed in foreign policy, particularly when your nation was attacked – not only my nation but my city was attacked – you tend to give the chief executive the benefit of the doubt to defend us. That doesn’t mean a carte blanche. But you never give someone who has been so bad the second benefit of the doubt. I think anything the President asks for with Iran is going to be received with extreme dubiousness, certainly by me, by the Democratic Senate and by the American people. I mean he says there are weapons of mass destruction in Iran, people are going to think twice before believing it. If he says this is an immediate danger to the US, people are going to think twice before believing it. If he says military force is the only way to deal with this problem, people are going to thing 20 times before believing it.
I could imagine better words to offer on this subject, but that’s pretty good, and it’s significant because Schumer’s really something of a bellweather hawk, the kind of guy who backed the Iraq War but doesn’t have any deep, Lieberman-esque intellectual commitment to warmongering or a political strategy in which hawkishness plays a key role.