A reader writes:

The "mother of October surprises?" But isn't it then the case that we'd be facing the mother of all October backlashes as well?  If such a thing were to happen, it would make me more resolved to vote Obama, not less; it would be all too transparent, and would do more to convince me that we need a clean break from the executive politics of the past eight years, not less. It's not entirely clear that one senator is better equipped to deal with "a sense of international crisis" than the other. Have we really established that McCain would be a better White House crisis manager than Obama?  What does McCain have under his belt since he went to Washington that would convince us that he'd manage an Iranian crisis?

At some point, the American people would just look at Washington and say "enough."  If we were to launch a war against Iran - especially as Ahmadinejad is weakening domestically and there is still a core of Iranian popular support for America - surely that would be too much for the nation as a whole to take, wouldn't it?

In the end, I'm not sure that Bush would care. He's playing for the judgment of 2237, not 2009, remember? Or maybe, as one reader suggested, he's channeling Lincoln:

Republicans across the country feared that Lincoln would be defeated. Acknowledging this fear, Lincoln wrote and signed a pledge that, if he should lose the election, he would nonetheless defeat the Confederacy by an all-out military effort before turning over the White House:

This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so co-operate with the President elect, as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterwards.

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