SERIOUS….I don’t know Anne-Marie Slaughter. Here’s what I mean by this: not just that I’ve never met her, but that I don’t even know much of anything about her views, what she’s written, or, when you get right down to it, what kind of foreign policy she prefers. What little I’ve read of hers has always seemed so mushy and broad that it defeats any attempt to take away a sharp point.

What I do know is that she’s the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She’s famously moderate and, equally famously, practically the fairy godmother of foreign policy bipartisanship. She’s the kind of person who gets mentioned as a possible secretary of state in a Democratic administration. Serious™ players don’t come much more serious. With that in mind, here’s what she had to say today over at TPM Cafe:

Here is my nightmare. The Cheneyites succeed in creating a situation in which Bush does decide to bomb Iran. Iran retaliates, as they openly threaten to do, with terrorist attacks against us on U.S. soil. That tilts the election. I can imagine a Karl Rove political calculation that would buttress a Cheney-Addington national security calculation, probably with Eliot Abrams’ support.

Let me get this straight. Anne-Marie Slaughter, one of the most accomodating, serious, centrist, liberal foreign policy players on the planet, has just said she thinks it’s entirely possible that the Bush administration will launch a foreign war next year in order to help the Republican Party win an election.

Apparently, being serious™ isn’t what it used to be.

UPDATE: OK, I can see that I was way too clever here for my own good. Sorry about that. Obviously one interpretation of this post is that I think Anne-Marie Slaughter is nuts. I don’t. What I meant to point out is that the Bush administration is now so widely viewed as unhinged and malignant that even traditionally serious™ people like Anne-Marie Slaughter think nothing of suggesting that they might well start a war with Iran for purely partisan gain. I really can’t think of any past administration that would have provoked this kind of reaction from someone of AMS’s stature. Journalists should take note.