The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Jewish voters supported Barack Obama overwhelmingly in 2008. They did this because most believed fervently in progressive politics. They chose to disregard Obama's sketchy background, his complete lack of executive experience, and his questionable associations with a collection of unsavory characters. Instead, they romanticized the then-Democratic candidate, imputing superhuman powers of persuasion and intellect to a very mediocre man. In 2012, Jewish voters were somewhat less enthusiastic about Barack Obama, but still voted for his re-election by a significant majority.

Those of us who were somewhat less enthusiastic in 2008 and 2012 warned that there were signs that Barack Obama, like most on the hard-left, was less than enthusiastic about the State of Israel. Worse, we were concerned that he was using Jews for their financial support and votes, but had little real affinity for them.

Now, it seems, the 'chickens are coming home to roost' (to quote one of Obama's mentors from pre-2008).

In writing about the overheated position taken by the Obama administration against anyone who opposes the Iran "deal," the editors of left-leaning Tablet Magazine write the following commentary:
As heated as the arguments between us can get, we can all agree that all of these positions [pro and con on the Iran deal], and their many variants, are entirely within the bounds of legitimate political debate—and that none of them are evidence of anyone’s intent either to rush America to war or to obliterate the State of Israel.

What we increasingly can’t stomach—and feel obliged to speak out about right now—is the use of Jew-baiting and other blatant and retrograde forms of racial and ethnic prejudice as tools to sell a political deal, or to smear those who oppose it. Accusing Senator Schumer of loyalty to a foreign government is bigotry, pure and simple. Accusing Senators and Congressmen whose misgivings about the Iran deal are shared by a majority of the U.S. electorate of being agents of a foreign power, or of selling their votes to shadowy lobbyists, or of acting contrary to the best interests of the United States, is the kind of naked appeal to bigotry and prejudice that would be familiar in the politics of the pre-Civil Rights Era South.

This use of anti-Jewish incitement as a political tool is a sickening new development in American political discourse, and we have heard too much of it lately—some coming, ominously, from our own White House and its representatives. Let’s not mince words: Murmuring about “money” and “lobbying” and “foreign interests” who seek to drag America into war is a direct attempt to play the dual-loyalty card. It’s the kind of dark, nasty stuff we might expect to hear at a white power rally, not from the President of the United States—and it’s gotten so blatant that even many of us who are generally sympathetic to the administration, and even this deal, have been shaken by it.
With less than two years left in his presidency, Obama's mask has fallen away. Over his years in office, we have seen quick glimpses of his anti-Israel and even more subtle anti-Jewish bias, but now ... subtlety is gone. Now we see a vicious, hard-left politician, perfectly willing to demonize his foes in ways that are shocking, even to veteran political observers.

Obama and his Team of 2s are who they are. It's up to the Democratic party to control this president, to stop his less-than-subtle attempt to reintroduce ugly, anti-Jewish canards from a position of leadership and influence. If the Dems refuse to do so, and I suspect they will refuse to do anything, they will demonstrate a level of cowardice and blind conformity that is antithetical to everything they purport to stand for.

The truly despicable nature of Obama's attempt to mine a deep vein of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment among the left, and deftly attempt to broaden that sentiment across the general electorate is further discussed by James Taranto:
Last month the Washington Post reported that “Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to the United States between 1981 and 2005, has written a damning column in which he compares the Iran nuclear deal to the failed nuclear deal with North Korea—and concludes it will have even worse consequences”:

Writing for the London-based Arabic news Web site Elaph, Badar suggests that President Obama is knowingly making a bad deal, while President Bill Clinton had made a deal with North Korea with the best intentions and the best information he had. The new deal will “wreak havoc” in the Middle East, which is already destabilized due to Iranian actions, ...

Bandar says Obama is smart enough to understand this but that he is ideologically willing to accept collateral damage because he believes he is right.

Was Bandar motivated by a concern for Israel or a desire to get his hands on Aipac’s money? Again, the question answers itself. Riyadh and Jerusalem are anything but friends; they just happen to have a confluence of interests when it comes to the Iran deal.

That America and Israel are friends does not preclude the possibility that Obama is wrong—that his deal puts both countries’ interests in jeopardy.
In a way, it's almost amusing. Obama has been wrong about virtually everything he has done in the Middle East. His foreign policy in that region has led to chaos, violence, failed states, and the disintegration of those titular Arab/Muslim allies who support us. Yet he has the magnificent hubris  to believe that he is unequivocally right in this instance. Why should anyone believe he is, after a consistent history of bad decisions, bad outcomes and bad intent? Even worse, he uses subtle anti-Semitic tropes to cast aspersions on those who rightly question his judgement, his intent and his likelihood of success. Obama has now removed his mask, and the man behind it is edging ever closer to true sociopathic behavior.

UPDATE (8/11/15):

Barack Obama is quick to demonize and denunciate critics of the Iran "deal." He continues to do that today. The problem he doesn't seem to recognize is that there are an awful lot of critics. Even those who support the "deal" do so with many reservations, lots of caveats, and a shrug that implies that this "deal" is "better than nothing." In reality, Obama's "deal" is much worse than nothing.

Bret Stevens (no friend of this president) notes:
Much has now been written on the merits and demerits of the Iran deal. Not enough has been said about the bald certitude of its principal sponsor, or the naked condescending disdain with which he treats his opponents. Mr. Obama has the swagger of a man who never seems to have encountered a contrary point of view he respected, or come to grips with the limits of his own intelligence, or figured out that facile arguments tend to be weak ones, if for no other reason than that the world is a complicated place, information is never complete and truth is rarely more than partial.

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” says Mike Tyson, who knows whereof he speaks. Mr. Obama talks about his Iran deal the way Howard Cosell talked about a fight.

One might have thought that, by now, the president and his advisers would be chastened by experience. Al Qaeda is “on a path to defeat” (2012). Bashar Assad’s “days are numbered” (2011). “If you like your current insurance, you can keep that insurance. Period, end of story” (2009). Russia and the U.S. “are not simply resetting our relationship but also broadening it” (2010). Yemen is an example of a counterterrorist strategy “we have successfully pursued . . . for years” (2014).

And so on—a record of prediction as striking for the boldness of its initial claims as it is for the consistency of its failures. Doesn’t Mr. Obama get this? Haven’t his advisers figured out that they have a credibility issue?

Apparently not.
But why not? That's the pivotal question. What kind of man (and administration) doesn't learn from his (their) many, many mistakes and "the consistency of its failures"? What kind of man resorts to ad hominem attacks, not to mention dog whistle slurs that border on blatant anti-Semitism, to protect a weak position? I know the answer to that question, and I suspect some democrats do as well. The difference is that those Dems are too afraid to admit what the evidence clearly indicates.

UPDATE (8/15/15):

As polls continue to show that a strong majority of the country is against his Iran "deal," Obama and his Team of 2s have doubled down on the vilification of those (including Dems) who oppose the deal. Doug Ross comments:
Obama and his cronies have pursued an extraordinary campaign of vilification against Republicans and Democrats who dared to question the deal that will allow Iran to upgrade its nuclear program and obtain ICBM missiles, that will fund its terrorist activities around the world and even lift sanctions on terrorists like Anis Naccache, who engaged in nuclear proliferation, over European protests.

The apocalyptic rhetoric out of the White House is meant to shut down the debate. Threats of war and accusations of treason are not the language of an administration that is confident in its own arguments.

Democrats and Republicans have been accused of treason, of warmongering and of making common cause with Iranian leaders who chant “Death to America” by this administration and its allies. These accusations are hysterical, unhinged and contradict themselves. If you take them literally, Obama and his allies are accusing critics of both wanting war with America’s enemies and collaborating with them.

Elected officials who don’t want money going to terrorists are traitors. Anyone who doesn’t want to escalate the conflict in the region by enabling Iran’s arms buildup is a warmonger. And those who think that Obama’s deal with a regime that chants “Death to America” is flawed are aligned with the enemy.

There’s so much abuse coming out of the White House that its officials can’t even coordinate a coherent smear campaign that makes any kind of sense. Senator Schumer is being tarred as a chickenhawk traitor who voted for the Iraq War and secretly works for Israel, but Senator Webb is a Vietnam veteran who was wounded in the war and whose son served in Iraq, but who opposed the Iraq War.

Is he also a chickenhawk traitor or is Obama Inc. going to assemble a different smear for every dissenting Democrat? If so it had better get started because the majority of the country opposes it.

Only 52 percent of Democrats support the deal. Are all the rest traitors too? Is the Democratic Party going to have purge most of its own treasonous base and only retain those fully loyal to Obama?

It is not treason to disagree with Obama. It is not treason for the Senate to assert its rightful powers under the Constitution. It is certainly not treason for the Senate to stand with the majority of Americans who oppose an agreement that will allow a terrorist state to control a deadly nuclear program.

America is not a monarchy. Dissent is not treason. It can be the highest form of patriotism. And if being pro-Israel is treason, then how are we to describe Biden and Kerry’s ties to the Iran Lobby?
Many, many Americans will be watching Congressional Dems on this issue. It's time for the Democratic party to push back against a very bad deal crafted by a president who, demonstrably, has made so many bad decisions in the Middle East, and who is now making the granddaddy of them all.