Ed Driscoll

Welcome Back Carter: Selling Israel Down the River, Then and Now

This weekend, a surprisingly exasperated Chris Matthews tore into the president he once championed and asked, “What are we* trying to do in this administration? Why does he want a second term? Would he tell us? What’s he going to do in the second term? More of this? Is this it? Is this as good as it gets? Where are we going? Are we going to do something the second term?”

This passage by Gary Rosenblatt of the Jewish Week, as found by Jeff Dunetz, who blogs as “Yid With Lid” gives one clue:

…What Harris and Foxman didn’t say, but what is surely on the mind of mainstream [liberal] pro-Israel groups, is that if Obama is re-elected next year, he will be free to carry out foreign policy initiatives in a second term, without political constraints. So it behooves the American Jewish community to be on good terms with him rather than burn its bridges in seeking his defeat.

As Jeff paraphrases, “Publisher of The Jewish Week Warns Jews ‘Don’t Piss off Obama:'”

Here also Rosenblatt is being political rather than honest. Before the 2008 election many Jews predicted that Obama would be awful to Israel, based on previous statements, actions and who his advisers were.  The progressive publisher is failing to acknowledge that Obama’s anti-Israel presidency proceeded as many of us warned.

Rather than Rosenblatt’s don’t piss off the POTUS scenario allow me to offer a more logical one. Barack Obama has a long history of anti-Israel positions and advisers, except for a brief time in 2008 when it looked as though he might have problems with the Jewish vote.Ignoring the warnings  Jewish voter support was extremely high (78%) and he receive the bulk of Jewish presidential campaign donations.

Despite all of this support, Obama has been the worst president for Israel in American history, worse than Carter and worse than George H.W. Bush. All this time he knew he would need Jewish support in 2012. So does it really matter whether he gets the support or not?  If he was so lousy when he needed the supporters of Israel, if re-elected he will be even worse as he needs no one. That why supporters of Israel should be campaigning hard to make sure that Barack Obama is not re-elected, because whether he likes the Jews or not, he is bound to be worse than he was during the first four years.

I would invite Rosenblatt to take a look at the economy, and what has undoubtedly happened to the Jewish Week’s ad pages. Part of the reason for the downturn may be that the Jewish Star hired a new political columnist eleven months ago, but  more likely reason is that Barack Obama has not been good to the economy.  This too may get even worse during a second term as the president will no longer have to make voters happy.

If all of the above sounds like deja vu all over again, in “Carterpaloooza,” his terrific 2002 retrospective on the horrid excesses of Jimmy Carter — particularly after leaving office — Jay Nordlinger wrote:

No one quite realizes just how passionately anti-Israel Carter is. William Safire has reported that Cyrus Vance acknowledged that, if he had had a second term, Carter would have sold Israel down the river.

On the other hand, just as Margaret Thatcher’s 1979 victory foreshadowed Carter’s defeat the following the year, perhaps Spain’s socialists losing big time also portends Obama not being able to go into what would effectively be Jimmy Carter’s third term. If not, who knows what further disasters await America — and our allies — starting in January of 2013.

* It’s not entirely germane to the main subject of this post, but as Peter Robinson notes at Ricochet, “Note, by the way, that Matthews drops even the usual pretense of impartiality, repeatedly using ‘we’ to refer to Democrats and at one point calling upon Barack Obama, the ‘commander,’ to ‘give us our orders.'”