Friday, August 28, 2015

Iran: Yes or No? My Conversation with Mike Hashimoto

The Dallas Morning News published an editorial, "Make the Iran nuclear deal better, but don't scrap it" that I found to be, well, muddled.

Editorial board member Mike Hashimoto expanded on the editorial in a blog item, "Where does the ed board come down on Obama’s Iran deal? Read on." Sadly, I was no better off understanding the News's position after reading this. And even a Twitter conversation with Mike Hashimoto failed to enlighten me.

The way I see it, the question facing Congress is whether to vote yes or no to the deal the President negotiated with Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Congress might wish the deal were more favorable to US interests; Congress might want the US to return to negotiations with Iran (and the P5); but first it has to do something with the deal the President presented to them. When it comes time to vote, what does the The Dallas Morning News recommend: yes or no?

I can't tell the answer to that from The Dallas Morning News editorial. The board seems to think there's some other vote than yes or no. Some middle ground. Or something. Like I said, I found the editorial muddled. And Mike Hashimoto failed to clear things up, at least for me.

Here's my Twitter conversation, for what it's worth to others who might be as puzzled as I am about where The Dallas Morning News stands.

  • @MarkSteger: "I have my doubts as to the mechanics of reopening talks." -- @MikeHashimoto. Yet he tells Congress to vote no.
  • @MikeHashimoto: Still not good with reading comprehension, I see.
  • @MarkSteger: yes or no. That's Congress's choice. DMN wants more negotiations. That means "no" to this deal.
  • @MikeHashimoto: Sorry, sir. Read before you comment next time.
  • @MarkSteger: I read it...twice now. I doubt that reading it a third time will help. Care to tell me where my comprehension is lacking?
  • @MikeHashimoto: "He" didn't tell Congress to do anything. But the editorial, which isn't "He," didn't say to vote no, either. Words mean things.
  • @MarkSteger: I used "he" as shorthand for DMN editorial board. Twitter does require such contractions. Sorry if you didn't understand.
  • @MarkSteger: by the way, using the part ("he") to represent the whole ("DMN editorial board") is called synecdoche. But you knew that.
    [OK, that one was me be snarky. My bad.]
  • @MarkSteger: the editorial didn't say vote "no." It didn't say "yes." It's in some la-la land where there's a third choice. There isn't.
  • @MarkSteger: Congress telling POTUS that we don't like this deal, try to negotiate a better one, is equivalent to a "no" vote.
  • @MikeHashimoto: Yeah, OK. Better luck next time.
  • @MarkSteger: better luck with your next editorial. This one was as muddled as they come. When it comes time to vote, is it yes or no?

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