10/31/2012 03:19 pm ET

Niall Ferguson Has Some Lu-Lu October Surprise Suggestions For Newsweek Readers

Over at Foreign Policy, Daniel Drezner has gotten a look-see at the latest Niall Ferguson column in Newsweek, and finds that the "Civilization" author happily assisting the magazine's print edition in going out in a blaze of trollgaze. "Everyone knows there could be a surprise before Nov. 6," Ferguson writes, "a news story that finally makes up the minds of those undecided voters in the swing states and settles the presidential election." What sort of surprise does Ferguson have in mind? Some cray-with-a-zee, surprises, as it turns out:

If the White House could announce a historic deal with Iran—lifting increasingly painful economic sanctions in return for an Iranian pledge to stop enriching uranium—Mitt Romney would vanish as if by magic from the front pages and TV news shows. The oxygen of publicity—those coveted minutes of airtime that campaigns don’t have to pay for—would be sucked out of his lungs...

Does Ferguson really think that Mitt Romney and his foreign policy team wouldn't immediately take to the airwaves to describe this arrangement as "appeasement," rightly or not? He really must have a low opinion of the neo-conservative foreign policy publicity-seeking machine. But never fear, because Ferguson has an "alternative" -- by which I mean even dumber -- musing to offer:

[There is] an alternative surprise—the one I have long expected the president to pull if he finds himself slipping behind in the polls. With a single phone call to Jerusalem, he can end all talk of his being Jimmy Carter to Mitt Romney’s Reagan: by supporting an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

So, let me get this straight. Right now, most of the swing state polls suggest that President Barack Obama has got at least half-a-buttock up on the catbird seat at the moment, so now is definitely a good time for him to pursue a course of actions that will destabilize the world and terrify his base, who will rightly imagine that Obama has taken complete leave of his senses? It almost makes too much sense.

Drezner offers, "Here's a pro tip: if your foreign affairs observations represent a reprise of wacky Donald Trump musings, maybe it's best to take your ball and go home." And he only gets more magnificent from there, so go read the whole thing.


Does the international affairs community need some Razzies? [Drezner @ Foreign Policy]

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