Naked Emperor Makes Brendan Nyhan's "Best Dressed" List

Brendan Nyhan's blog is one of the "liberal" ones I read, because he occasionally notes the lunacy of lefty rhetoric. Good for him.

Last month, President Obama decided to scrap Dubya's proposed deployment of anti-ballistic-missile weaponry in Poland and the Czech Republic. I quoted Jennifer Rubin's judgment at the time:

Obama is in the business of kowtowing to the world's bullies. Russia didn't like the missile shield, so no more missile shield. Do we think we "got something" for this? I'd be shocked if we did, given the obvious willingness of the U.S. to prostrate itself before rivals.
Jennifer didn't use the word "appeasement", and neither did I, but other folks did.

Brendan Nyhan was appalled at the "appeasement" rhetoric at the time, but didn't really have much of an argument to refute it. Basically, he was just averse to historical references that involve Nazis.

A week later, however, Brendan finally announced: "Obama didn't 'appease' Russia":

Today, however, the picture has started to come into focus. The New York Times reports that Obama's decision was part of a quid pro quo in which Russia agreed to support tougher sanctions against Iran …

Ah, a quid pro quo. Brilliant! Who could be against that?

Well it turned out to be illusory, for one thing. Today's NYT says, basically, never mind:

Threatening Iran with more sanctions would be counterproductive, Russia's foreign minister declared Tuesday, resisting efforts by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to win agreement for tougher measures if Iran fails to prove its nuclear program is peaceful.
I'll be watching to see if Brendan changes his mind, or even updates his argument, on the whole appeasement thing. But his point about the inappropriateness of comparisons to 1938/Neville Chamberlin/"Peace in Our Time" is probably apt: after all, Chamberlin managed a quid pro quo with Hitler that lasted almost a year. Obama let folks like Brendan and the New York Times imagine that there might have been a quid pro quo for almost a whole month. That's a big difference. That's the sort of thing they award prizes for these days.