Finally, The Breakup?

For decades American Jews, like an abused spouse in a marriage, have kept going back to the Democrats, regardless of how much abuse they continue to get. But maybe Barack Obama has finally gone too far:

“I don’t think he’s pro-Israel,” Tisch says, voicing the suspicions of many. “I think the president comes to this from Jeremiah Wright’s church, and there’s no doubt in my mind that in Jeremiah Wright’s church, the Palestinians were portrayed as freedom fighters and not as terrorists.”

Tisch adds the flap is bound to influence the traditionally Democratic Jewish electorate, nearly 80 percent of which voted for Obama in 2008. “Now for the first time, there are a significant number of people in the organized Jewish community that feel that the president has gone too far,” Tisch says. It will be interesting to watch “what happens to the president’s approval rating among Jewish voters. I think this could really be an important point of demarcation for Jewish public opinion of the president.”

Other wealthy Jewish New Yorkers, who are active in the pro-Israel cause as well as Democratic Party politics, agree the issue could depress Jewish support for Democrats next November.

“Obama has done zero favors for the Democratic candidates in 2010,” says a prominent Democratic fundraiser who, like most of Jewish activists who spoke for this story, was unwilling to go on the record. “I know a lot of historical Democrats who are big check-writers and even bundlers, who have told me that until things settle down they have no interest in helping any Democrats.”

Another politically active Jewish billionaire confirms this assessment. “I think anyone writing a check now is doing it with shaking fingers,” this man says. “Not only is Obama is changing the nature of our relationship with Israel, he is pushing through health care legislation that will cost everybody more money, he is demonizing Wall Street and the ‘big fat cats,’ attacking people who gave a lot of money to the Democrats and their candidates for Congress and the presidential race. So this latest thing is the third strike.”

More and more rubes, like David Brooks, are figuring out who the rubes were.

Unfortunately, if history is any guide, once things “settle down,” they’ll go back for another beating.

A Middle East

…without American influence. That’s the logical outcome of the Obama policies. And a preferable one, for many on the left. They’d prefer a world without American influence. Because America is, you know, evil.

[Update a few minutes later]

Obama’s strikingly unilateral foreign policy:

Maureen Dowd doesn’t see any pattern to the President’s actions. She believes that the President’s pique at Israel was spontaneous because of the “supremely aggravating character of Bibi Netanyahu”, but Kagan suggests the President has a tendency to take alliances for granted while attempting to mollify enemies. This makes sense from a certain point of view. He’s a wooer, not a keeper. His whole life has been focused on getting to the next rung, the next office. Once that rung is attained, why it’s meant to be stepped on to get to the one above. And why not? Since your friends are already your friends you don’t need to be nice to them. On the other hand you have to convince your enemies to like you because they don’t like you yet. And a smart man should unsentimentally work on them.

…The problem is that over the long haul international relations are about the keeping, not the wooing. Building a really stable international framework, as opposed to getting a photo op, means creating a foundation based on shared values. Sometimes the bad guys like being bad guys. After all is said and done, Venezuela will import 30,000 Cuban advisers whether Obama has been nice to Chavez or not. Although it’s politically incorrect to say it, one reason why America has enemies is because there are some countries out there that are not worth making friends with.

Read all. Carly Simon is involved, too.

[Update a couple minutes later]

More thoughts from Geraghty:

The Economist: “Friends have spats, but this seems to be more than that. America has not simply accepted Mr Netanyahu’s prompt apology. Opinion in the administration is said to be divided. Mr Biden himself and many State Department officials, together with George Mitchell, who was to have supervised the now-stalled proximity talks, advised cooling things down. But, whether out of rage or calculation, Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton preferred to escalate.”

Boy, there’s a reassuring calculation about what drives our policy choices, huh? 50/50 shot this is deliberate or we’re just lashing out at blind rage at the one ally in the region we would trust in a back-alley knife fight. And how utterly screwed are we when Joe Biden has become the voice of reason on Middle East policy?

Well, that was the excuse they made for the lunatic decision of nominating him.

The subtext of the Kagan column from yesterday was pretty clear: all around the world, we’re spitting on our allies and groveling before our enemies and the most hostile states. For two years, we argued that the world didn’t work the way Obama said it did; now we’re getting to see the results.

And three more years of it to look forward to.

Real Journalism

I didn’t watch the whole thing, but reportedly, Bret Baier showed the rest of his colleagues how to interview a president tonight. Or at least this president. All it takes is a real journalist who doesn’t get a tingle up his leg to be in the presence of The One. Even A. B. Stoddard said that he was on the defensive. And it was nice to see someone call him out on his ongoing Medicare legerdemain. You can reduce Medicare costs, or you can reduce the new entitlement costs, but you can’t do both with the same dollars. And Baier was kind enough not to ask him about the “3000% decrease in employers’ costs for health insurance.”

[Thursday morning update]

Roger Simon: Obama must be desperate.

It does seem to me that despite the brave front being put out by her Highness and Hoyer (and Reid) and the White House, that they still can’t wrangle the votes, even for the Slaughterhouse Rules. There’s an excellent chance that this atrocity can be defeated, and it’s no time to give up. But the waverers in the House have to hang together, and not let themselves get picked off separately.

“I Will Not Comply”

The Facebook page. I think that if this thing becomes law, it will set off civil disobedience and litigation unseen in decades. And there will be two fronts on which to battle it — the constitutionality of the legislation itself, and of the means by which it was passed.

[Early afternoon update]

How unpopular is ObamCare? Really, really, really unpopular. And they don’t like the way it’s being done, either.

What Is Worth Conserving?

Some thoughts on conservatism, and American conservatism in particular.

To be sure, temperamental or philosophical conservatives often want to conserve other things, too, be it in the realm of culture or sports or religion. But politically speaking, conservatism is only a partial philosophy of life. Indeed, the American Revolution — unlike the French Revolution — introduced the idea that the state has no business providing or enforcing a full philosophy of life for its citizens (as opposed to subjects). It was an anti-totalitarian revolution because it held that men should be free to chart their own course in life, individually or via local communities, so long as our actions do not violate the rights of others or run afoul of a few reasonable laws truly necessary for the common good.

That was a radical idea. It remains a radical idea. It is by no means wholly owned by the American Right. But the American Right is its greatest defender, at least insofar as the American Right continues to defend the idea of limited government represented by the founding. As I’ve said before, conservatism is about more than classical liberalism, but an American conservatism that doesn’t seek to conserve classical liberalism isn’t worth conserving.

The notion that “conservatives” just like to conserve stuff in general is one of the reasons that much of American political debate is so…idiotic. And why the one-dimensional “left/right” notions are so mindlessly simplistic. In fact, it could be (and has been) argued that, in many ways, it is the “liberals” and “progressives” who are conservative. Their notions of the state ruling the individual are as old as agriculture.

[Update a few minutes later]

Jonah also says that the modern-day tea partiers aren’t revolutionaries — they’re restorationists.

“Settled Science”

Discover has an interview with Judith Curry, who has been one of the few people in the climate “science” community behaving with any integrity:

Are you saying that the scientific community, through the IPCC, is asking the world to restructure its entire mode of producing and consuming energy and yet hasn’t done a scientific uncertainty analysis?

Yes. The IPCC itself doesn’t recommend policies or whatever; they just do an assessment of the science. But it’s sort of framed in the context of the UNFCCC [the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change]. That’s who they work for, basically. The UNFCCC has a particular policy agenda—Kyoto, Copenhagen, cap-and-trade, and all that—so the questions that they pose at the IPCC have been framed in terms of the UNFCCC agenda. That’s caused a narrowing of the kind of things the IPCC focuses on. It’s not a policy-free assessment of the science. That actually torques the science in certain directions, because a lot of people are doing research specifically targeted at issues of relevance to the IPCC. Scientists want to see their papers quoted in the IPCC report.

But don’t say there’s confirmation bias.

Time To End The Bowing

Reflections on the disastrous foreign policy of this administration:

Khadafy can be forgiven, but there are transgressions that can’t. One such sin was perpetrated by Israel after the nation’s decision to allow a new housing project to be built in Jerusalem.

The White House became so agitated with the new housing project — and the ill-advised timing of the announcement, which came during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit — that the casual onlooker might have been led to believe the Jerusalem neighborhood in question was part of some unfinished negotiation with Palestinians, or even that it was one of those “settlements.” It was neither.

Still, according to The Jerusalem Post, Hillary Clinton telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who, along with many other Israeli officials, apologized for the poor timing of the project’s announcement — to “berate,” “rebuke,” “warn” and “condemn” Israel. White House senior adviser David Axelrod used NBC’s “Meet the Press” to call the incident an “affront,” an “insult” and “very, very destructive.”

As the administration was manufacturing this anger, the Palestinian Authority was preparing the newly minted Dalal Mughrabi square. You know, just a place for folks to gather and commemorate the 32nd anniversary of 1978’s Coastal Road Massacre, in which 37 Israelis — 13 of them children — were murdered in a bus hijacking.

An American named Gail Rubin, who happened to be snapping some nature pictures in the area, was also gunned down.

No worries. No affront taken. That’s not “very, very destructive” to the process. We are above the fray. Above frivolous notions of “allies” or “friends.” History only matters when our enemies deem it important. We don’t want to tweak the fragile mood of the Arab street.

They had better start to worry about the American street. Especially if they continue to push health-care deform on us.

[Update a while later]

Some related thoughts from Michael Ledeen:

As he pushes Israel away from the American embrace, Obama has undertaken to make peace with Iran, whose genocidal hatred of America and Israel and bloody war against both requires a very different policy. Sensible Middle East experts understand that there cannot be peace between Israel and the Arabs as long as Iran exercises a decisive influence over the key terrorist organizations. But Obama has willfully ignored this connection in designing his Mideast plans.

You can’t even begin to address the Arab-Israeli thing until and unless you’ve defeated Iran.

Unfortunately, they don’t believe in winning wars, only in “ending” them.

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