Conditional Shuffle

One tragic consequence of the Peretz/MLK post yesterday was that it put me in the awkward position of defending Tom Friedman. Fortunately, in today's offering America's most influential foreign affairs journalist is still playing what Greg Sargent has dubbed the "conditional shuffle" responding to Bush's proposals by listing scenarios under which he could support them rather than facing the reality that Bush isn't going to do any of these things. The trouble, obviously, is that were Friedman to acknowledge that Bush won't, say, hold a regional peace conference, he'd have to admit that the right thing to do in Iraq is withdraw.

And, of course, once you don the Moustache of Understanding you'll realize that in order to be a Serious Person it's important that you never agree with liberals.