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Ed Driscoll

The Making of the President

Well yes — I know a guy who wrote a book about that stuff in 2008. As Jonah Goldberg later wrote, it was Stalin who initially launched the smear:

Joseph Stalin championed the idea that all of his political opponents should be dubbed fascists, including many of his fellow Bolsheviks, such as Leon Trotsky (whom Stalin had assassinated), and much of the Red Army’s officer corps (whom he had executed), and countless Ukrainians (whom he had liquidated). Stalin insisted that even mentioning the man-made – i.e., Stalin-made — Ukranian famine was evidence you were an agent of the Nazis.

Under Stalin’s “theory of social fascism,” any socialist, social-democratic, or progressive group or party not loyal to him had to be called fascist. Hence, for a while Moscow insisted that FDR and even Norman Thomas (head of the Socialist Party of America) were fascists.

Ultimately, Communist propagandists and their allied intellectuals would reflexively blame fascism for everything, regardless of the facts. That’s what prompted George Orwell to remark that “the word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’”

And FDR and Truman were happy to play along. In 1942, at the height of the Second World War, Roosevelt “displayed a Nazi Iron Cross and said it should be presented to a columnist of the New York Daily News who was one of the president’s most bitter critics,” as Commentary noted in a 2010 review of an FDR biography. In his 1944 State of the Union speech, Roosevelt similarly thundered:

One of the great American industrialists of our day—a man who has rendered yeoman service to his country in this crisis-recently emphasized the grave dangers of “rightist reaction” in this Nation. All clear-thinking businessmen share his concern. Indeed, if such reaction should develop—if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called “normalcy” of the 1920′s—then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.

As Jonah quipped in 2012 in response to the above quote, “Ah yes, if we go back to the 1920s, an era of rampant prosperity and expanding liberty we will have surrendered to Fascism. That is grotesque.”

Equally grotesque were Truman’s tactics in a similar vein. As the New York Times’ headline screamed, “President Likens Dewey to Hitler as Fascists’ Tool,” on October 26 1948, near the conclusion of the presidential election year. CBS’s Walter Cronkite and Daniel Schorr would go on to use similar tactics to destroy the libertarian-themed presidential bid of Barry Goldwater in 1964, a particularly disgusting attack by two “objective” journalists acting as blocking backs for LBJ, considering that Goldwater was half-Jewish.

In short, it’s shameful, reactionary stuff, whose shelf-life is now three-quarters of a century old. Fortunately, there’s at least a little pushback these days on such tactics.

Incidentally, if you’re not a subscriber to PJTV, you’re missing the regular conversations between Andrew Klavan and Bill Whittle on conservative and libertarian philosophy, the left’s undermining tactics and other topics, some of the most engaging material our sister video network is producing.

Writing in the Atlantic, David Frum may be on to something here, a sentence that I don’t believe I’ve uttered in the last six or so years. As Frum writes, “Neither Reagan nor Clinton tried to hem in their party’s likely next nominees in the way that President Obama is hemming in Hillary Clinton. Why the difference?”

Obama strongly opposed George W. Bush, but when he was defining himself as a national figure, it was Bill Clinton against whom he defined himself. Clinton politics were petty and personal. “In the back and forth between Clinton and Gingrich,” he wrote, in The Audacity of Hope, “and in the elections of 2000 and 2004, I sometimes felt as if I were watching the psychodrama of the baby boom generation—a tale rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched on a handful of college campuses long ago—played out on the national stage.”

In 1995 Bill Clinton announced to both houses of Congress that the era of big government had ended. In 2009, Obama, speaking from the same rostrum, warned that “the danger of too much government is matched by the perils of too little.” At some deep level, Obama’s entire project has been a reply, not to Republican conservatism but to Democratic neoliberalism. Now, as his presidency nears its close, the wife, heir, and namesake of the leader of the neoliberals has emerged as the overwhelming favorite to lead the Democratic Party in 2016.

Almost as much as a Republican victory, a Clinton succession would punctuate the Obama presidency with a question mark. Obama’s highest priority over the next two years seems to be to convert that question mark into an exclamation point, to force Hillary Clinton to campaign and govern on his terms. Whatever happens after that, he can at least say that it was his kind of Democratic Party—not Bill Clinton’s—that won a third consecutive mandate, after having twice done what Clinton never did: win an outright majority of the presidential ballots cast.

Of course, Hillary Clinton can see all this, too. So can Bill Clinton, perhaps even more acutely. The next fascinating question is: what will they do about it?

Read the whole thing. And between all of the material produced by Obama and his operatives in the MSM to attack Hillary in 2007 and 2008, and Obama’s apparently still ice-cold relationship with the Clintons, whatever happens in November of 2016, it will be fun to watch Hillary traverse the many landmines in her path to the White House.

As for tonight, Steve Green, our friendly neighborhood Vodkapundit, is scheduled to drunkblog Obama State of the Union speech in less than an hour on the PJM homepage. I hope he and his liver are up to the daunting task ahead:

Update: Allahpundit wonders if Mr. Obama, our “Semi-retired troll ready to bring his troll A-game” will also be trolling Elizabeth Warren as well tonight.

Hillary Clinton’s Charlie Hebdo Problem

January 17th, 2015 - 4:32 pm

“In the days since the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the response from American politicians has ranged from pathetic to parodic,” John McCormack writes at the Weekly Standard:

Through his press secretary, President Obama expressed regret on Monday that neither he nor any other high-ranking American official joined 44 world leaders who marched alongside millions in Paris last weekend. Then on Friday, in an effort to make amends, Secretary of State John Kerry brought James Taylor to Paris to sing “You’ve Got a Friend.”

The response from Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, hasn’t been any better. Clinton has remained silent about the Charle Hebdo massacre since it occurred on January 7.

Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill confirmed in an email to THE WEEKLY STANDARD that the former secretary of state has not publicly commented on the attack, but Merrill declined to give any particular reason for Clinton’s silence. (She did manage to find the time Friday afternoon, however, to condemn Republicans in Congress for “[a]ttacking financial reform.”)

What seems most likely is that Clinton has remained silent in response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in order to avoid scrutiny of her own failure to defend free speech in the face of Islamist violence.

As McCormack notes, Hillary was one of numerous Obama operatives who blamed Benghazi on a hapless YouTube video maker, whom the administration promptly had jailed. Concurrently, Hillary pushed the “video did it” theme at Dover Air Force Base, as the remains of the Americans killed by al-Qeada were returned to US soil on September 14th of 2012:

But in addition to her role in the Benghazi cover-up, Hillary Clinton’s highlight reel is filled with anti-free speech moments, not the least of which was her show-stopping “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy” soundbite in 1998. About which, Ann Coulter wrote in May of 2001:

The conservatives — primarily writers at The American Spectator — had a devilish plan to investigate Bill Clinton’s venality, corruption and crimes as governor of Arkansas. At the conclusion of their little scheme, the Spectator intended to publish the fruits of their conspiracy as widely as possible.

This is a highly unusual strategy for a criminal conspiracy. Typically, conspiracies are marked by hiding evidence, losing billing records and developing amnesia — pretty much everything the Clintons did. Rarely do criminal conspiracies plot to write magazine articles about their dirty business.

Though you wouldn’t know it from the behavior of the mainstream media, it is not, strictly speaking, against the law to publish articles critical of Democratic presidents. And it is not against the law to associate with individuals reputed to be conservatives engaged in journalism. (In fact, it’s not even against the law to consort with known felons, like Bill Clinton, or convicted felons, like Webb Hubbell.)

And of course, in the years since, Hillary has built quite an anti-free speech empire to advance her career:

In what was described as “a major power play,” Clinton minion and loyal Free Beacon reader David Brock is taking over as head of the allegedly nonpartisan (but actually left-wing) watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Brock was elected chairman of the group last week “after laying out a multifaceted expansion intended to turn the group into a more muscular—and likely partisan—attack dog,” Vogel writes.

CREW, which plans to add a more explicitly political arm in order to target Republican politicians, donors, and other enemies of David Brock, is the latest addition to Brock’s stable of aggressive political attack outfits, such as Media Matters, American Bridge, and the recently announced American Independent Institute and American Democracy Legal Fund. “CREW gives us some potentially powerful tools in the tool box,” Brock told Politico. “We have been in the accountability for 10 years very successfully. It is kind of a one-stop-shop now.”

By “us,” Brock is presumably referring to himself and Hillary Clinton, whom he has defended as vigorously as Zoolander fashion mogul/villain Mugatu defended child labor in Malaysia.

In other words, if an American equivalent of Charlie Hebdo attempted to mock Hillary in the same savage fashion that they mocked Mohammed,  Hillary’s vast left wing conspiracy would quickly swing into action. No overt terrorism would be involved, but as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Dinesh D’Souza and now David Petraeus have each discovered the hard way, jail and/or lengthy and expensive court trials could result.

All of which are reasons why, just as Obama tried to downplay the massacre at Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris lest low-information voters become reminded that Islamic terrorism didn’t end in January of 2009, Hillary is similarly hoping that the fallout from the attack quickly diminishes. Any of her pronouncements on the topic would risk a certain amount of collateral damage to her presidential bid.

Oh and by the way, just as John Kerry delivered up James Taylor to a gaggle of bewildered French politicians, it’s worth noting that Hillary has her own collection of stars that occasionally follow her to exotic, war-torn locales.

Such as comedian Sinbad and pop star Sheryl Crow, who flew into Tuzla Air Force Base with Hillary in 1996 under a distinct lack of Bosnian sniper fire:

Update: There is one way that Hillary and her spouse have inadvertently helped to advance free speech. But I doubt either of them looks very favorably upon this landmark moment in journalism:

Roles of a Lifetime

January 13th, 2015 - 9:38 pm

Neo-Neocon quotes from Obama’s speech at the 2004 Democrat convention, his first appearance on the national stage, and one in which he would return triumphantly four years later, backed by styrofoam columns almost as phony as the man in front of them. In 2004 though, his rhetoric sure sounded good, but as Neo writes:

I didn’t listen to Obama’s 2004 speech, or much of either convention that year; I’m not a big fan of speeches in general. But reading it now I could almost weep, because it is so deceptive, so unlike the Barack Obama we’ve come to know so well. If the guy portrayed in that speech had won an election, the result probably wouldn’t have been half bad. But that guy never existed; he was an actor reading his lines. 2004 was his first performance on the national stage, and he ought to have won an Oscar for it.

Reading Neo’s post, I was reminded of the other actor armed with stirring rhetoric at the other national political convention that summer, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger claimed that in 1968 he was listening to Hubert Humphrey’s Great Society-style proposals shortly after arriving in the US:

Everything about America seemed so big to me, so open, so possible.I finally arrived here in 1968. What a special day it was. I remember I arrived here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of determination, full of desire.

The presidential campaign was in full swing. I remember watching the Nixon-Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend of mine who spoke German and English translated for me. I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism, which I had just left.

SCHWARZENEGGER: But then I heard Nixon speak. Then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military.

(APPLAUSE)

Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air.

I said to my friend, I said, “What party is he?”

My friend said, “He’s a Republican.”

I said, “Then I am a Republican.”

Well, it sounded good at the time. But in the coming months, faced with the opportunity of being Scott Walker before Scott Walker and reforming Sacramento’s union-dominated out of control spending and regulation, Arnold quickly revealed himself to be a political girlie man, and a pampered actor who’d rather have the perks of office than fighting for lasting accomplishments:

And then there was the man who was the focus of both conventions, the stiff and effete John Kerry, now Obama’s Orwellian sidekick posing as Secretary of State.

Just as a reminder though, as Mark Steyn wrote in early 2008, there was another politician who actually was a straight shooter in 2004:

Two months into the new regime, no less an authority than Anthony Lewis of the New York Times assured us that “George W. Bush and his people are driven by right-wing ideology to an extent not remotely touched by even the Reagan Administration.” In those heady days of spring 2001, it was easy to take Señor Compasión at the Left’s estimation of him. Do you remember some of the “controversies” around back then? Arsenic in the water supply? I didn’t even know I was in favor of that until Bush started doing it.

But it turned out the compassionate conservative did mean it — on immigration, education, and much else. And, whatever we feel about those policies, we cannot say that we were betrayed — for few candidates have ever been so admirably upfront. Indeed, it is a peculiar injustice that the 43rd presidency’s most obvious contender for a Bartlett’s entry should be “Bush lied, people died.” The activists who most assiduously promoted the line are now having to adjust to the news that their own beloved “anti-war” candidate’s commitment to bring home every last soldier within 16 months has been “revised” into a plan for some 30,000–70,000 troops to remain in Iraq after 2011. On Fox News the other night, I found myself talking to a nice lady from Code Pink who was trying to grapple with the fact that Henry Kissinger and Karl Rove are more enthusiastic about Obama’s national-security team than she is. Many other Obama policies now turn out to be inoperative, and we haven’t even had the coronation. I don’t know about my Code Pink friend, but I already miss Bush’s straightforwardness. He spoke a language all but extinct in the upper echelons of electoral politics. “Bush lied”? Here he is in Crawford, early in 2002, being interviewed by Trevor McDonald of Britain’s ITN:

“I made up my mind that Saddam needs to go,” said Bush.

“And, of course, if the logic of the War on Terror means anything,” Sir Trevor responded, relentlessly forensic in his determination not to let Bush get away with these shifty evasions, “then Saddam must go?”

“That’s what I just said,” said the president. “The policy of my government is that he goes.”

“So you’re going to go after him?” pressed Sir Trevor, reluctant to take yes for an answer.

“As I told you,” said the president, “the policy of my government is that Saddam Hussein not be in power.”

Etc. George W. Bush is who he is, and he never pretended to be anything but. Do you know how rare that is? If you don’t, you surely will after six months of Barack Obama’s enigmatic cool.

Will the American voters prefer a return to more honest president in 2016 after their eight year tour of Obama’s postmodern Fantasyland is concluded? We’ll find out soon enough.

Except When We Don’t

January 6th, 2015 - 12:25 am

Shot:

For the chaser, recall Halperin’s mea culpa in November of 2013 for he and the rest of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO being on the wrong side as cheerleaders for what ended up arguably being the biggest lie ever told by an American president:

In 2009 and 2010, when it mattered, during the run-up to Obamacare’s passing, HBO and CNN, both owned by the same conglomerate as Mark Halperin’s Time magazine were doing the DNC’s bidding by insulting any of its detractors as racists, and CNN was inviting high school kids into the studio to sing pro-Obamacare propaganda:

Because in reality they’re actually Democrat operatives with bylines, so many pundits got the biggest stories of 2008, 2010 and 2012 completely wrong, and trashed those such as Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney whose forecasts (Sarah Palin and death panels, as Halprin was forced to admit, Mitt Romney on Obama’s blinkered foreign policy) turned out to be spot-on. They’re going to “forget” their past utterances and their roles as cheerleaders and groupies for the World’s Biggest Celebrity, but we won’t.

2014′s Man of the Year Announced

December 31st, 2014 - 2:29 pm

It’s Hillary’s Service Dog, as chosen by the Washington Free Beacon:

When a dog serves his master in such selfless fashion, he is providing much more than stability (and plausible deniability regarding one’s inability to walk unassisted). A dog offers something an inanimate walker or all-terrain scooter cannot: companionship. They are often a serviceable alternative to a “busy” husband, or, alternatively, a decent conversation starter when picking up girls at the park, or on a college campus—almost as good as a baby grandchild.

There’s no telling what kind of adversity Clinton Service Dog has been forced to endure. But we do know that he’ll never complain, or try to blame others for his failures. He forgives others for their own failures, such as Benghazi. He is more of a man than most men in this treacherous world of ours. He stands for all who can’t—literally. God bless this hero.

Do I even need to add, read the whole thing? Imagining the mashing of teeth and steam bellowing from ears at the New York Times, Media Matters and Hillary HQ (but I repeat myself) while they’re reading it will only add to your enjoyment.

‘Dear GOP: Show, Don’t Tell’

December 26th, 2014 - 10:29 pm

One night on the campaign trail in 1992, running against Bill Clinton, his Oprah-esque ”I feel your pain” statements, and goofy proto-emo sycophants like the infamous ponytail guy, George H.W. Bush “literally read his stage direction off a cue card, like Ron Burgundy in ‘Anchorman,’ proclaiming ‘Message: I care,’” Jonah Goldberg writes in his latest column. “I always wondered if, afterwards, some aide had to tell him, ‘Sir, you were supposed to convey that message, not literally read it out loud.’” Similarly, regarding Bob Dole’s promise to be the next Gipper four years later, all the way up to the GOP’s current crop of presidential candidates, Jonah adds:

If you want to be the next Ronald Reagan, be the next Ronald Reagan. Don’t tell people, “Starring in the role of Ronald Reagan tonight will be…” Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich or whoever’s turn it is at the podium.

I’ve heard nearly every 2016 wannabe tell conservative audiences about the importance of optimism. Jeb Bush is particularly high on it these days. He says the nominee must be “joyful.” I agree. But stop telling me about the need for joyfulness and start showing me some frickin’ joy!

One of the main reasons Republicans read their stage direction, I think, is that they see politics as a game. And, as a game, they don’t take it as seriously as those who see politics as an obsession or even a religion.

This speaks well of them as human beings because it suggests that, unlike a lot of liberal Democrats, they don’t think politics — and by extension government — is everything and all-important. That’s a trait I want in a president. But it’s a real problem in a presidential candidate.

So please, more show, less tell.

And just about every potential Democrat candidate for the White House the GOP will be running against in 2016 absolutely believes in politics as their religion. Which dovetails well with Paul Mirengoff’s new post at Power Line: “Will 2016 resemble 1968 for Democrats?”

While it would take the Carter administration another decade to infamously put a name to it, 1968 was when he anti-progress malaise mindset became a permanent fixture of the American left’s presidential bids. In other words, with the arguable exception of the aforementioned 1992, doesn’t every presidential election year resemble 1968 for Democrats?

“Just think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t be far wrong.”

With Landrieu losing a Senate seat that had been in Democrat control for 132 years last night, Kevin D. Williamson puts her shellacking into nearly a century’s worth of context:

Bearing in mind that four presidential elections is not a very large data set, the fact is that voting is racially polarized across the country, not just in the South. In 2012, Barack Obama won 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney’s 206; if only whites’ votes had been counted — if Mitt Romney had been running for the office of President of White Folks — then Romney would have handed Obama a crushing loss, roughly 438 to 100 in the Electoral College. Romney would have won such Democratic strongholds as California, Illinois, and New Jersey; in fact, he would have won every state except for Iowa, Washington, Oregon, New York, and a few small states. Race is not the only cleavage, of course: If the vote had been white men only, chunks of New England would have slipped away, leaving Barack Obama with something like half a dozen states and 40 electoral votes.

On the other hand, have a gander at the 2014 midterm-election map: Does this look like the showing of a rump Southern white people’s party to you? It may be that presidential elections, unlike congressional and gubernatorial elections, really are mainly about culture, about signaling identity and values, about how we see ourselves and our country. If that is the case, it should not surprise us all that much that blacks and whites vote differently. Not only do policy preferences reflect racial divisions, but there are racial differences in all manner of beliefs, tastes, and opinions. We can all laugh at jokes about the O. J. Simpson verdict’s role as a black-authenticity heuristic today, but roughly contemporaneous racial disagreements are not amusing even in retrospect.

That the Democratic party has attempted to hijack for itself credit for the hard and often bloody work performed for a century almost exclusively by Republicans, from Lincoln to Eisenhower, is a reminder that the party of Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton is not a place for men with a very developed sense of decency.

That being the case, Democrats should spare us their batty tales about Louisiana sending off the South’s last Democratic senator — a sanctimonious white lady if ever there was one — because white bigots are being inspired by a governor one generation away from Punjab, Haitian refugees representing Utah in the House, and this National Review cruise aficionado. From George Wallace’s infamous stand in the schoolhouse door to Barack Obama’s, embarrassing racial politics are the Democrats’ bread and butter. And what happened in the 1960s wasn’t the parties’ “changing places” on racism and civil rights; it was the Democrats’ — some of them, at least — joining the ranks of civilized human beings for the first time.

It only took them a century.

But I’m not holding my breath waiting for the cohorts of Al Sharpton, not to mention the man himself, dubbed “smart… entertaining… experienced… thoughtful… provocative, all the things I think that MSNBC is” by that channel’s president to enter the 21st century anytime soon.

Update: QED.

Candy Crowley Out At CNN

December 5th, 2014 - 4:06 pm

And so, as she flies the blue lady of the skies into the sunset, and after pocketing one of our coveted Duranty Awards this year along the way for her fine, fine work, we say, aloha 5 0′clock Candy!

Let me remind you that the Weblog is open 24 hours a day for your dancing and dining pleasure.

The leftwing New Republic on sexist Massachusetts leftists:

Finally, there’s the nasty matter of sexism. Historically, Massachusetts doesn’t like female candidates. And, for all the plaudits showered on the Commonwealth’s voters for overcoming their seeming misogyny by sending Elizabeth Warren to the Senate two years ago, the fact is that Warren is a political superstar. We’ll know Massachusetts has reached true gender equality when its female hacks stand as good a chance as its male ones.

Not to be confused with Democrats in Pennsylvania, who in 2008 were declared racist by their fellow leftists at the Huffington Post:

But now there are two and we’re facing Pennsylvania and whom are we kidding? This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don’t mean people, I mean white men. How ironic is this? After all this time, after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are and how they can’t even get into college because of overachieving women and affirmative action and mean lady teachers who expected them to sit still in the third grade even though they were all suffering from terminal attention deficit disorder — after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power. (As they always did, by the way; I hope you didn’t believe any of those articles.)

And don’t get would-be Texas Governor Wendy Davis started on those rubes in her home state:

Jon Stewart tossed the softest of softballs at her. He played up anti-voter ID propaganda as if it’s fact, but hey, he had his clown nose on when he was telling that lie.

The trained audience booed at the mere mention of Greg Abbott’s name. Unluckily for Davis, none of them actually get to vote in Texas.*

Davis mocks the state that she wants to make her its governor at the end of this clip. Stewart notes that a college ID is not a valid form of ID for voting, but a gun permit is.

Davis laughs. “Welcome to Texas!” she fires back in scorn.

And that should be that for the Texas election. Wendy Davis really has just been on an MSNBC audition tour all this time.

As Ricochet’s Troy Senik has noted, “Populism’s Hard When You Don’t Like the People.”

Think of the New Republic quote at the start of this post as a coming attractions teaser, and get ready for two years — possibly followed by four to eight years! — of leftists who spent the last six years telling you’re racist for not supporting Barack Obama telling you you’re sexist for not supporting Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren.

Very likely the same leftists. Forward!

Related: Michelle Malkin on “Up in Flames: The spectacular self-immolation of the Wendy R. Davis gubernatorial campaign.”

“The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,” Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic writes that a “senior Obama administration official” told him about Israeli Prime Minister and former IDF member Benjamin Netanyahu. As Goldberg writes, just in time for the midterms — and possibly the rest of Obama’s lame duck administration — “The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here:”

Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery.” (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.)  But I had not previously heard Netanyahu described as a “chickenshit.” I thought I appreciated the implication of this description, but it turns out I didn’t have a full understanding. From time to time, current and former Administration officials have described Netanyahu as a national leader who acts as though he is mayor of Jerusalem, which is to say, a no-vision small-timer who worries mainly about pleasing the hardest core of his political constituency. (President Obama, in interviews with me, has alluded to Netanyahu’s lack of political courage.)

Gee, if you’re a world leader being insulted by an administration staffed by the radical chic likes of John Kerry and Obama himself, where Joe Biden almost seems like the grown-up of the bunch, you’ve got to be doing something right. More from Goldberg:

This comment is representative of the gloves-off manner in which American and Israeli officials now talk about each other behind closed doors, and is yet another sign that relations between the Obama and Netanyahu governments have moved toward a full-blown crisis. The relationship between these two administrations— dual guarantors of the putatively “unbreakable” bond between the U.S. and Israel—is now the worst it’s ever been, and it stands to get significantly worse after the November midterm elections. By next year, the Obama administration may actually withdraw diplomatic cover for Israel at the United Nations, but even before that, both sides are expecting a showdown over Iran, should an agreement be reached about the future of its nuclear program.

* * * * * * *

“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official said, expanding the definition of what a chickenshit Israeli prime minister looks like. “The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not Rabin, he’s not Sharon, he’s certainly no (Menachem) Begin. He’s got no guts.”

Ahem:

After graduating from high school in 1967, Netanyahu returned to Israel to enlist in the IDF. He trained as a combat soldier and became a team leader in an elite special forces unit of the IDF, Sayeret Matkal. He took part in numerous cross-border assault raids during the 1969–70 War of Attrition. He was involved in many other missions, including Operation Inferno (1968), and the rescue of the hijacked Sabena Flight 571 in May 1972 in which he was shot in the shoulder.

After his army service, Netanyahu returned to the United States in late 1972 to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He returned to Israel in October 1973 to serve in the Yom Kippur War for a 40-day period. While there, he fought in special forces raids along the Suez Canal, as well as leading a commando team deep into Syrian territory.

Or to put the above into visual terms alongside America’s commander-in-chief:

Incidentally, this could add quite an interesting dynamic to the presidential race to come. Or as John Podhoretz asks, “So who’s going to ask Hillary whether she agrees Bibi is chickenshit?”

Update: “So, if this administration WERE Jew-hating, what exactly would they be doing differently?

Flashback: Here’s Jeffrey Goldberg helping Obama over the finish line in October of 2008 via accusations of conspiracy theories and (what else?) racism in 2008:

Quote of the Day

October 27th, 2014 - 11:13 pm

Born into a Democratic family, he took time off from Catholic University to work on the 1984 presidential campaign of Gary Hart, who overcame 1 percent polling numbers to nearly defeat Walter Mondale for the Democratic nomination.

“He should run, not only for his own sake but I think for the party’s sake,” Mr. Hart said of Mr. O’Malley, a friend, in a telephone interview. “I don’t believe in coronations. I guess Walter Mondale was the Hillary Clinton of that time.”

“Martin O’Malley, a Hillary Clinton Loyalist, Is Now a Potential 2016 Alternative,” as DNC house organ the New York Times continues the far left’s rumbles against the party’s aging and gaffe-prone dowager.

Hillary: You Didn’t Build That

October 25th, 2014 - 8:55 am

“If you have a job right now, don’t thank the company that hired you or the investors that created the company. According to Hillary Clinton, they didn’t build that. At first arguing that hiking the minimum wage would not cost jobs, the presumed Democratic presidential frontrunner then extended those thoughts in a very peculiar way,” Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air:

At a Democratic rally in Massachusetts, Hillary Clinton’s attempt to attack “trickle-down economics,” resulted in a spectacularly odd statement. …

She went on to state that businesses and corporations are not the job creators of America. “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” the former Secretary of State said.

Read the whole thing. “It’s not easy to get economics this wrong in such a short space of time,” Ed writes. “At some point, Democrats are going to have to come to grips with the fact that their front-runner is not just a lousy campaigner, but perhaps just as incompetent as the President from which they’re all attempting to run away at the moment.”

But note which direction they’re running, as Moe Lane writes in response to Hillary’s revealing gaffe:

The 2016 Democratic primaries are going to be fascinating.  The idea is to run away from an unpopular President, guys.  Towards the center.

In order to triangulate against a GOP Congress elected in part because of his disastrously leftwing first two years in office, Bill Clinton tacked to the center and the economy flourished. Rather than promise four more years of the same, Al Gore lost in 2000 because he admitted that he was planning to govern much further left than his boss, as Slate noted in November of 2000:

In the wake of a successful centrist presidency and the best economy in memory, Gore adopted an angry populism as the tone of his campaign. Michael Kinsley aptly characterized this stance as “You’ve never had it so good, and I’m mad as hell about it.” Egged on by populist advisers like Bob Shrum and Stanley Greenberg, Gore failed to assimilate the political implications of the social changes that have swept the country in the past decade. The new reality is not just that middle-class Americans think of themselves more as taxpayers than as the recipients of government programs. It’s that middle-class Americans actually own big chunks of the oil, insurance, and pharmaceutical companies that Gore was vilifying. Instead of running the first campaign of the new economy, he ran the last campaign of the New Deal.

Oh, would that that were true; Time magazine couldn’t wait to compare Obama to FDR in 2008, even before his administration tacked much further to the left than GWB. And now Hillary and Elizabeth Warren want to move even further left to distance themselves from Obama’s failed policies?

Why not just go full East Germany and call it a day?

(Oh right, that’s already in the works.)

Two CNNs in One!

October 22nd, 2014 - 6:25 pm

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

● A panel on Tuesday’s “CNN Newsroom” wondered “why are people so darn mean?” to Monica Lewinsky.

“CNN: ‘Why Are People so Darn Mean’ to Lewinsky?”, headline, Breitbart TV, yesterday.

● “Shame on Monica Lewinsky.”

Headline, CNN.com, yesterday.

Related: Stacy McCain on “The Externalization of Responsibility: Monica Lewinsky’s Personal Shame,” in which he reminds readers that in his estimation, “Here’s the thing: Monica Lewinsky committed perjury,” and manages to work in the phrase “mendacious fellatio performers” to boot.

Meanwhile, as Stacy’s title implies, Lewinsky seems to blame the Internet as a medium, and Matt Drudge as a publisher, for her pariah status, as Allahpundit notes:

Per Matt Bai’s new book, it was the Gary Hart affair 10 years before Monicagate that marked a sea change in the media’s willingness to report on politicians’ sexual indiscretions. Michael Isikoff, who was famously scooped by Drudge on the Lewinsky story, said later that his Newsweek editors had merely demanded that more work be done on it before it ran, not that they had spiked it altogether. It would have come out, Internet or not.

To invert Marshall McLuhan’s legendary aphorism, sometimes it really is the message, and not the medium in which it’s initially disseminated.

The ‘Bam Who Fell To Earth

October 15th, 2014 - 10:42 pm
obama_ny_daily_news_2008_and_10-15-14-1-sml-2

Click to enlarge.

If only the New York Daily News had taken its own advice in 2008.

Embedding a large photo of the screaming “For God’s Sake, Get a Grip” headline on the front page of the Daily News tomorrow on President Ebola (sorry), Glenn Reynolds writes “It’s Come to This.” But it helps to flash back to the covers the Daily News ran during election week of 2008, to place Thursday’s cover into context. And to get a better sense of how absolutely all-in the center-left tabloid (as opposed to the increasingly zany and cult-like New York Times of the Pinch Sulzberger-era at least) went for Obama, to the point where its wealthy publisher claimed he wrote at least one speech for Barry.

The 2008 covers above, just a small example of the daily hagiography pumped out by the MSM back then, reflect a very different, but similarly self-destructive contagion that rapidly enveloped the MSM starting in early 2007. The virus began to subside around mid-2009, when it slowly became obvious that the MSM had sacrificed their credibility to elect a false messiah. But as a dangerous aftereffect to Obama fever, the MSM quickly turned viciously on its readers, in the form of their unceasing racialist attacks on the Tea Party and anyone who dared oppose The One. (There was a taste of this in 2008, when Bill and Hillary Clinton, once and future Democrat stalwarts, were similarly tarred as racists by the Democrat operatives with bylines.)

However the current story plays out, it’s far too late for Obama himself to get a grip on Ebola; he was never an executive, merely a socialist true believer, failed community organizer, and good teleprompter reader decked out with expensive taxpayer-funded bespoke suits. But he spoke the same language as the MSM, and like them, he had a (D) after his name, and that’s all that mattered.

After November, it will be fascinating to watch the MSM similarly go all-in to aid Hillary, and act as if 2008 never happened, and pretend that they had no role to play whatsoever in electing a president about to go as deep into the memory hole as Woodrow Wilson, and for similar reasons. It isn’t just that the MSM got things so wrong, it’s that they permanently shattered their credibility to make it happen. Don’t let them forget what they’d like the world to forget.

Related: With the headline, “Could It Possibly Get Any Worse?”, Roger L. Simon proves that he sure loves to tempt fate.

Veepz in the Hood

October 4th, 2014 - 12:22 am

 

Give CBS’s DC affiliate some credit; that’s the headline they ran with on this story, earning a Drudge link, even if it what it refers to is buried eight paragraphs into the actual AP copy:

Meg Kissinger, a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, posted on Facebook that she was told by a White House aide that she was not allowed to talk to people in the crowd.

“[A]ssigned to cover Michelle Obama’s speech today and was told by a Mary Burke aide and one for the White House that I could not speak to the people in the crowd. To say that I was creeped out is an understatement. This is what reporters do in America: we speak to people,” Kissinger posted. “At least that’s how I’ve been doing things — at all kinds of political events — since 1979.”

Kissinger wrote that reporters and photographers were cordoned off during the event.

“Reporters and photographers were cordoned off in a central area with chairs and tables. Several people in the crowd asked if they could have extra chairs reserved for the media — but reporters were initially forbidden from handing them over. Eventually, some of the Burke staff gave the extra chairs to attendees,” Kissinger reported.

So just to review, Michelle Obama’s husband’s staffers have reporters and videomakers arrested. Michelle own handlers warn journalists not to talk to the crowd; Joe Biden’s handlers lock reporters into closets, and Hillary’s follows the media into bathrooms, and waits for them just outside the stall.

And other than a little bitching about it afterwards, not a whole lot of pushback emerges from the media over these moments, thus helping to reinforce the growing perception that the supine MSM are in reality, merely Democrat operatives with bylines.

(And ten days ago, when we last heard from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, another of its journalists was accused of harassing — at his home — the disabled former police officer who blew the whistle on GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s Democrat attackers, doubling down on the Democrats with bylines narrative the MSM has created for itself by ditching any semblance of objectivity.)

Mitt Romney: Tanned, Rested and Ready?

September 25th, 2014 - 3:23 pm

Jonathan Last takes a look at the GOP line-up for POTUS 2016 and does not like what he sees. “Now the field looks much more like Perry, Cruz, Rand Paul, and, possibly, Jeb. With Ben Carson making noises about getting in. And suddenly the clown show looks like it might be coming back to town:”

I posit that it’s possible the Republican field in 2016 could be much weaker than people anticipate.

If that happens–if Walker loses and Christie can’t recover his mojo and Jindal never takes off and Rubio either decides not to go, or can’t escape his immigration problems and Ryan stands pat and Huckabee chooses to keep making money–then there will be a moment of chaos and panic in Republican circles as the party realizes that the line-up they were expecting isn’t going to appear. And in that moment, there will be the opportunity for both a fresh face we haven’t looked at before, and for Romney 5.0.

Exit question: This is a serious question–not me being snarky. If I told you that you had to have either Jeb or Romney 5.0 as the nominee, who would you pick? And I’ll ask the question two ways: (1) For governing ability and (2) For electability purposes.

I’ll hang up and listen to you off the air.

So, second look at SMOD 2016?

“Joe Biden 2012: Can you believe Mitt Romney wants to hit Syria?”, as spotted by Allahpundit today at Hot Air: 

Via the Corner, an amazing clip — even more amazing than when it first made the rounds a year ago, when Obama announced that he wanted to bomb the opposite side of the conflict in Syria from the one we began bombing last night. In the year since, literally every Romney 2012 position mocked by Biden in the clip below has turned out to be prescient. Romney said it was a mistake to bring everyone home from Iraq. Verdict: Yep, pretty much. Romney said we should be more confrontational and less cooperative with Russia. Verdict: You tell me. Romney implied he’d intervene in Syria to keep chemical weapons out of the hands of jihadis. Verdict: President “Red Lines” adopted the same position less than a year later. Romney claimed it was a mistake to set a date for total withdrawal from Afghanistan. Verdict: The jury’s out but I know which way I’m betting.

Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, Ed Morrissey spots the Mother of All Corrections at the New York Times: “On second thought, Bush did pull together a coalition on Iraq,” Ed writes, adding that “it only took them two weeks to realize their error! It seems that the Paper of Record had no record of the broad coalition built by George W. Bush for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, including ground troops from more than a dozen nations, when it attempted to explain the difference between the approaches of Bush and Barack Obama on war in Iraq and now Syria.”

Who knew?  Other than the New York Times in 2003, that is:

Forget Nexis access. Forget Google search capabilities. Are we to imagine that reporters at the New York Times — and their editors — can’t figure out how to access their own archives?

But the Times charges its readers for access to some of those archives — those Shylocks! (As Joe Biden might slur, much to the confusion of the average Timesman.)