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Question on the Dubai Ports World Deal

02/20/2006 07:29 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

OK, I just want to be sure I have my progressive talking points in order on this one. Obviously I want to use this to bash Bush on national security issues and resurrect the story of his family's history of complicity with gigantically wealthy Arab interests in the Middle East. That's a no-brainer. The contrast between his professed concern for our national security and his willingness to turn over management of our East Coast ports to this Dubai outfit is irresistible.

But here's what I'm a little squeamish about. Am I also supposed to imply, ever so subtly, that Arab and Muslim nations and organizations are suspect by definition, thus playing on widespread US prejudices on that score? I myself, as a progressive, obviously do not share that view -- but I know it makes for effective spin. Am I supposed to do that?

Hey, wait a minute, I just realized how to handle this one. I won't fulminate so much against Dubai running our major East Coast ports. I'll fulminate instead against any "foreign power" running our ports. That way I maximize the upside and minimize the downside.

Ah, politics. Ain't it grand?