Anybody else finding the last few weeks a little surreal?

I have no idea whether there are many Jews in Puerto Rico, but I think Florida Jewish Democrats should be genuinely angry at having their votes discounted. At this point, Hillary has performed quite well opposite Obama in the last several primaries and has shown particular strength in the big states that will be heavily contested in November. Obama is thrusting his chest in victory among the Democrats, but are his constituents representative of mainstream voters in America? I don’t think so, which is why Hillary keeps winning in these big “must win” states.

I hope not, but we may be about to watch a Democratic repeat of 2004. Expect to see lots of Jeremiah Wright commercials starting in the fall.

About the author

themiddle

137 Comments

  • I think we’re likely to watch a repeat of 2004 for a completely different reason–McCain has the edge of being overall a moderate, something neither Obama nor Clinton can claim.

    I didn’t vote in the primaries this year (I am a registered dem) because I’m kind of meh about both of the two candidates of interest.

    I think if Obama is the nominee McCain will at least try to get a lid on the Jeremiah Wright commercials people would want to run. He has after all previously said he finds them disturbing and tried to get the ones that have already aired pulled.

  • So, let’s see. Barack hasn’t clinched the requisite number of delegates, by most accounts. Hillary nearly even with him, or ahead, in the total popular vote. It’s mathematically possible she could win. Yet, you have the spectacle of Tim Russert treating Harold Ickes with contempt on his program yesterday, derisive of the notion she may stay in the race. Or, for another glimpse of the media’s id, there’s Todd Purdum’s hatchet job on Bill in the new Vanity Fair magazine.

    A Newsweek editor recently said that the media’s bias was not in favor of liberals but of changing the story. Here, though, the story never changes. Barack’s what they want to write about; he’s the candidate they want to cover. He even gets a pass for doing what he said in Philadelphia he couldn’t do, tossing Rev. Wright aside. There will be no Comeback Kid II, no Hillary as Rocky.

    And man, does they hate the Clintons. Check out the Purdum piece.

    Whatever else may be said about the general, Barack’s got a boatload of money, far more than McCain, and this media tailwind will stay behind his back until, oh, February 2009.

  • Morrissey, that is a rather skewed picture you are presenting. The mathematical possibility that H could win is awfully small short of a revolt against B from his committed superdelegates. Her winning the popular vote is subject to extremely generous counting considerations (the guy didn’t even have his name on the ballot in Michigan!) and we are counting places that don’t even get to vote in the actual election’s votes (Puerto Rico???) B hasn’t clinched the requisite number of delegates but is miles closer than her even after the pansy response by the DNC as to what to do with states they warned against moving their primaries gave her a boost she much needed.

    Furthermore, while she has every right to stay in the race, it’s not surprising that people hold her in contempt. Especially when it is generally agreed and born out by polls that her staying the race for a merely ‘mathematical’ possibility is causing havoc with her party’s chances of winning. Her style of campaigning, furthermore, reflected this desperation and so big surprise that attack dog tactics (practice by both side, of course) led people to resent her even more.

  • Morrissey disagrees with Muffti that Hillary’s long fight has hurt the Dems. It’s kept the public engaged, with young voters signing up Democrat in large numbers. Barack’s better off for it. The cliche that the campaign has vetted him is on target. For example, he’s lucky the Wright stuff is out there now, rather than on October 15.

    Tens of millions of folks have voted for Hillary, and many thousands have sent her money. Maybe I’d drop out now if I were her, but I respect her decision to stay in.

    Muffti’s now-infamous threeway proposal of last week had about it a strong whiff of sexism, and this callous attack on the first woman to contend for the presidency confirms it. (At least Muffti omits those awful cankle allegations.) Call me old-fashioned, but I think women should be treated with respect.

  • Muffti disagrees again. First, Muffti has no idea why you think the Wright stuff has anything to do with Hillary. There’s no reason to think that her presence had anything to do with it. Second, beyond the ‘Wright’ stuff, what exactly has Hillary ‘vetted’ him for? A bunch of half assed attacks on his lack of experience? A stray mention of an old business dealing with a slum landlord? The ability to wastefully spend money on an opponent from your own party who, by all reckoning has stayed long past all realistic (thogh admittedly, not mathematical) chance of winning?

    If we need evidence that this is hurting the dems, we just need to look to the falling poll numbers of which B voters would vote for H and vice versa. Unless Muffti is radically misremembering, voters for H were far more likely to vote for B if B won months and months ago than no, where the hostility is so palpable it make mccain look like an untainted ‘moderate’.

    Third, if you check back at the record, the infamous three-way proposal of last week was actually proposed by the patently non-sexist Middle. Look here at comment 20 to jog your memory. In any case, Muffti isn’t really sure that there is anything sexist about a threeway. Is there?

    Muffti ain’t no sexist. Just sexy.

  • I’ll revisit the lamentable exchanges of last week. I cannot believe Middle, that paragon, can even imagine threeways occur, much less propose one. But if I stand corrected, so be it.

    You’re right that Fox/Youtube, not Hillary, put Wright out there, but the lengthy campaign is her doing. I have a very, very hard time believing that Hillary voters will stay home or vote for McCain. Yeah, that’s the reporting now, but November’s a long way off. Hell, even right-wing Republicans will now hold their breath and vote for McCain.

    If Barack loses– and he’s the substantial favorite, n’est-ce pas?– no one will blame Clinton.

    Barack’s weaknesses have been exposed, and that’s a good thing. Muffti may not be much of a sports guy, but if the phenom pitcher gets drubbed because he won’t challenge big leaguers with his fastball, he learns and grows in the long run. Think of Barack as the Scott Kazmir of politics. If he’s got to work on his appeal to working class whites, kudos to Clinton for demonstrating this problem.

    Put it this way. The Republicans would be much happier if Barack had wrapped this up early– pre-Rezko, pre-Wright, pre-race card. They’d then be free to clobber Barack at a time of their choosing in the fall.

  • I don’t know anything about this guy or his website, except that I assume he is a Republican. However, if this is true, Obama will soon be the post-racial candidate for real: he’ll be burned to such a crisp that no one will be able to tell what color he may once have been.

    http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/06/02/michelle-obama-and-louis-farrakhan-take-on-whitey/

    Does anyone know if this tape is real or if it is a Republican “dirty trick”? If it’s real, this is going to be something along the lines of the Apocalypse, the Ten Plagues, Night of the Living Dead, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the Blob, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, Army of Darkness, and Armageddon all rolled into one.

    In other words, great fun.

  • Holy crap!

    By the way, permit me to note the Catholic Church’s latest contribution to world history last week. The emergence of Fr. Pfleger means the Republicans can take the racial edge off their use of Rev. Wright. They’ll lump the two of them together as radical lefties.

    (I’m hoping the pope will give the good padre a new assignment– in eastern Congo, say, where his message will doubtless go over well.)

  • “something along the lines of the Apocalypse, the Ten Plagues, Night of the Living Dead, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the Blob, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, Army of Darkness, and Armageddon all rolled into one”

    Ephraim, where did you meet my sister?

  • Ephraim, do fries and a bunch of black-eyed virgins come with that shake? This is the NOI, after all.

  • Dunno about the side of fries and black-eyed virgins, but the bill for this particular Happy Meal is going to be so high that no one will be able to pay it. But if this thing is out there, I wonder why Hillary didn’t get her hands on it and blackmail Obama with it and get him to drop out.

    And if it is out there and Obama knew about it, he has to have balls the size of the Liberty Bell to be running at all, much less thinking that he could actually win. He could not possibly be egotistical enough to think he could finesse this, could he? Maybe he’ll try to burch it off as another one of those pesky “distractions”.

    I managed to force myself to watch a few seconds of a You Tube clip of Pfleger giving a sermon at Trinity. Absolutely one of the creepiest things I have ever seen in my life. I think that’s what I would look like if I were break-dancing, rapping, and eating chitlins and watermelon all at once. An absolute freak show of orgasmic self-abasement. How can anyone take this stuff seriously?

    Is your sister single, froylein? My son is looking.

  • Ephraim, to answer it with a question: how desperate is your son?

    Middle only just suggested that Tom, Muffti, and me should “get together already”. It’s still unknown what he denoted by that.

  • I mean, do you think, Dear Muffti, that after over a year of campaigning against Hillary, the Obama campaign isn’t much better for it? They are going to be far better prepared for Republican attacks than before.

    That’s not the reason she stayed and should stay in the race. The key reason is that the media has falsely called the game before the final quarter ended. There is no such thing as a “committed” superdelegate. Just ask Hillary Clinton about that. People change their minds and can be persuaded which is what Obama has been doing to the superdelegates. No matter how you count it, Hillary has gotten a ton of votes and if not ahead of Obama, she can make the claim that over the past 11-12 weeks, she has received more votes than him. That’s not a minor point when considering the Wright business which has bloomed in the past couple of months. She has won more states than Obama in thes past couple of months and can point to more victories in larger states than his as well as more “must win” states than him in the campaign overall.

    In addition, considering the pressure she’s been under to fold, her continued unwavering campaigning shows some serious inner fortitude. You can add that to her deep knowledge of policy, her profound intelligence, her ability to navigate the difficulties posed to her candidacy by the mere existence of her husband and who he is and the obviously successful job she’s done as a mother while keeping busy her entire career with other matters.

    In short, she’s a terrific candidate. She can also take on McCain on the very topic that will be the most important one this election: security. Obama loses on that issue. While some of the Democratic base may love that he voted against the Iraq war and Hillary gave Bush the authority to decide, that issue won’t play the same way nationally.

    But all of this is not relevant. What’s relevant is that everybody wants her out of the race. Why? She should be allowed to fight until the last minute. She’s running for President of the US, nothing less and if she believes she’s the better candidate and as long as there is the smallest chance of getting the missing 150 votes from superdelegates, why on earth shouldn’t she fight for it? Imagine if another Wright-like debacle happens. Do you think Obama can squirm around that one as well?

    Most of all, I’m disappointed in the general media coverage of the Democrats. The attacks on Hillary have been incessant from the beginning. Obama was crowned early on as the boy wonder and has been given passes for issues that were far more serious than matters for which she has been excoriated.

  • Well, froylein, he has a date with Medusa next week, but he’ll be free after that. 😉

  • “….Florida Jewish Democrats should be genuinely angry at having their votes discounted…..”

    Firstly you make it appear as though their votes were discounted because they were Jewish.

    Its this kind of attitude that leads people to say that Jews exploit being victims for political purposes.

    Dina Malchuta Dina. QED.

  • Middle, no-can-do in the US. Still haven’t found a place there that serves decent coffee. 🙂

    Ephraim, wonder how he’d fare with the reincarnation of Xanthippe.

    In the meantime, gentlemen, I’m figuring out what to wear tomorrow, and why female politicians never seem to get any more femininely clad than pencil skirts.

  • MIddle, no noe said that hillary didn’t have the right to go forth and fight all she likes. And Muffti agrees that superdelegates aren’t obligated to call anything until the day of the convention. Nonetheless, the tradition of superdelegatee shifting allegiances is scant at best. It can happen but Muffti thinks that most people are angry that she is playing a very slim odd to what seems like the detriment of the party.

    And this ‘tried and tested’ thing is bullshit. She spent most of her time distinguishing herself on fronts such as whose health care plan was more inclusive, who would pull out of iraq in how many months — essentially on matters that are internal to general democrat policy and not things that McCain is likely to use to differentiate herself. All this has done is divide a party (that may, or may not, come back together) and give McCain a long standing free ride and the ability to save his some what slim war chest for the war, should it ever start.

    For all that Muffti agrees that Hillary is an excellent candidate and should by some miracle she pull off the comeback she’s been alleging Muffti would be happy to see her run the country he lives in. And no one said she may not run – they are just annoyed that party considerations seem to be losing to ego.

    Wasn’t Xanthippe socrates’ wife? The one who got kicked out of the room (in the apology for being too upset that her husband had just ingested a bunch of hemlock?

  • Just to be clear, winning Puerto Rico late is not more important than winning South Carolina early.

    Here’s the point – she lost, and it was obvious 8 weeks ago that she couldn’t actually catch up. They both played, they both won a few, and he won narrowly.

    yes, we will see a lot of Jeremiah Wright. but that’s because he’s the nominee. Suha Arafat, anyone?

    this is politics with actual electoral rules. she lost. now its time to beat mccain, if you are a Democrat.

  • Adam, I didn’t make anything appear like their votes were discounted because they were Jewish. I focused on Jewish voters because they’re an important part of Florida’s voting constituency and because this is Jewlicious not Cubalicious. Maybe it’s a lack of reading comprehension that leads people to say that Jews exploit being victims for political purposes.

    Mr. or Ms. Apikores, Puerto Rico is representative of the Hispanic vote which McCain has a better chance of getting if Obama is the nominee than if Hillary is the nominee. That’s the point of a lopsided victory there.

    Second, she still hasn’t lost and it wasn’t obvious 8 weeks ago. It became clearer only when she couldn’t take Indiana by a substantial margin.

    To suggest that Hillary kissing Suha Arafat has anywhere near the political weight as showing Wright belittle and attack white Americans and espouse some pretty radical political views is naive, at best.

    And yes, she may have lost by the Democrats’ rules, but actually by the Democrats’ rules she hasn’t lost yet. The superdelegates have to commit officially and so far there seems to be both time and room for her to keep maneuvering. And let me assure you that if you are a Democrat and you want to beat McCain, you should try to get Hillary nominated.

  • Froylein,

    Middle, no-can-do in the US. Still haven’t found a place there that serves decent coffee

    Oh well, back to sex then…

  • …They’re both good for blood flow. (Careful with froylein, Middle.)

    If there’s one thing we’ve learned as this campaign has droned on, it’s that Barack is a race man, through and through.

    I look forward to watching him throw Michelle under the bus. The media will likely let him get away with that, too.

  • “And let me assure you that if you are a Democrat and you want to lose to McCain, you should try to override the will of the people and get Republican-lite Hillary nominated.”

    There, corrected it for you, TM.

  • Middle, how does Hillary “beat” John McCain, seeing how you seem to accept that as a foregone conclusion? She out-national securities him, as in like, “you pussy, your torture in a VC prison doesn’t mean shit! Now watch me eat the heart of a gorilla!”? Does she out-obliterate evil-doers? “Fuck, John McCain calls Iran a rogue regime, but will he obliterate them? Hahahaha!” I mean, there is this underlying trope among Democrats that they should compete on the terms that the RNC defines for them. (cf. Obama as “too liberal”). If Democrats don’t define their own values then, trust me, the independents won’t do it for them either. Neither will they respect the Dems for acquiescing to some Republican conception of them. Didn’t work when you nominated the stylized war-hero in the form of John Kerry and it won’t work should a miracle happen and you nominate the stylized cultural conservative of Hillary Rodham Clinton, either. I mean, at some point it would be nice to get beyond drawing mental caricatures in one’s conception of the world and everyone in it, but if the Dems aren’t ready for that this year, it’s ok. We’ll wait. Again.

  • That’s nothing Adam. He’s been consistently ahead of her via Gallup for some time – I think since her melt-downs in January/February in fact. But you’re wasting your breath on these die-hards. Might as well ask them why Kerry didn’t win. It’ll be more illuminating as that would put into historical context what Democrats seem to have had a consistent problem understanding and defining for themselves during these last few election cycles. Rovism really hurt them. So much so that they seem to think that emulating Rove is the way to go. But there’s only one Rove!

    Democrats will lose by going the Rove route. That works for Hillary because she loves being the righteous victim of things. I thought the Democrats were interested in winning, but Americans don’t reward elections to candidates who shy away from distinguishing themselves and only try to “be better than” the competition.

  • Thanks, Joshua.

    I guess I should add that it’s people like you who view Hillary this way that are the biggest problem the Democrats have right now. She’s in the center, not on the right. You’re just so far to the left that you miss this distinction. That she can articulate a message that contains McCain and still appeals to the Left and Center is a no-brainer.

    Obama, on the other hand, is going to have to move to the center while battling the serious gap in experience between him and McCain (a problem Hillary won’t have), his dovish assertions about how he’ll meet any nuclear-bomb-seeking, Jewish-state-destroying-leader anywhere without any quid pro quo (a problem Hillary won’t have, and that McCain will harp on for months), and how for 20 years he belonged to a church where the leader – his personal and close friend and spiritual adviser – is a radical whose speeches evoke a racism that does not befit anybody close to a future President (a problem Hillary doesn’t have). Oh, and she’s a much better debater.

  • Oh, I get it, Adam. You were being sarcastic. I see. So you’re not being serious. Sorry I didn’t get that.

  • By the way, MUL, apropos your #27, I would say that it’s Obama who is the “righteous victim.” Or did I miss something when Clinton mentioned Kennedy and suddenly his camp started whining? Or do we have to rehash the bullshit racism accusations his camp provided to attack the Clintons in SC after their lifelong commitment to African-Americans? It sure helped him on the way to the nomination though, neutralizing her black votes that way.

  • On what basis Middle? You’ll have to clarify. If you’re referring to the right-center-left obsession you hammer on at with Joshua, then you’ll have to accept my apologies for not understanding why you assume that everyone will frame debates as narrowly as you are doing here (in post 28). I mean, I realize that after 2001 everyone considers themselves an experienced, if armchair, foreign policy analyst. It doesn’t mean that every armchair foreign policy analyst’s views and arguments will be convincing to the electorate. Sorry about that. But then again, it’s not like you usually allow yourself to get down about things that involve, er, evidence. So feel good about it instead.

  • I know you are congenitally incapable of distinguishing Obama’s “camp” from anyone not connected to his campaign Middle, so we won’t revisit that here. And I know President Clinton does no wrong in your eyes (even though Mrs. Clinton implicitly apologized for his actions, by rationalizing them as “passionate”).

    So the question is, were you capable of having a new discussion, or can your mind not help reverting to rehashing the same talking points once you get stressed about being short on evidence?

  • Your “evidence” doesn’t speak to the quid pro quo issue, does it?

    So according to you, the leader of Iran says “Israel will soon disappear” as he builds a nuclear arsenal and Obama says, “Hey, let’s talk all friendly like.” Hillary didn’t say she wouldn’t talk to enemy leaders just that it won’t happen without some sort of concession on their part. If their stated intentions are evil, they don’t get a pass. And let’s not forget the quote provided to us by Tom the other day from the Goldberg Atlantic interview where Obama likens Israel to a festering wound for the Arabs. Is that what he’ll be discussing with the Iranians?

    I’m as much of an experienced armchair foreign policy analyst as you. If you think that Americans are over their security fears, then you missed the ’04 election.

    Why are you talking about Bill Clinton again? Oh yeah, I remember now…Hillary doesn’t get your vote because she’s not likeable, she voted to authorize Bush to threaten war and she was married to Bill Clinton. How deep.

  • For what it’s worth, Bill on the Purdum piece and press coverage of Hillary (courtesy the New Republic website):

    “It’s part of the national media’s attempt to nail Hillary for Obama. It’s the most biased press coverage in history. It’s another way of helping Obama…. It’s all about the bias of the media for Obama. Don’t think anything about it. But I’m telling ya, all it’s doing is driving her supporters further and further away– because they know exactly what it is– this has been the most rigged coverage in modern history.”

  • Here’s another, perhaps even more entertaining version:

    “It’s another way of helping Obama. They had all these people standing up in this church cheering, calling Hillary a white racist, and he didn’t do anything about it. The first day he said ‘Ah, ah, ah well.’ Because that’s what they do– he gets other people to slime her. So then they saw the movie they thought this is a great ad for John McCain– maybe I better quit the church. It’s all politics. It’s all about the bias of the media for Obama. Don’t think anything about it.”

  • The fact that you even refer to Ahmadinejad as “the leader of Iran” shows that you’re not even qualified for the title of armchair foreign policy analyst.

    The rest of what you wrote shows that you didn’t read the evidence that was supplied. Kind of like you-know-who. And his protege(s). Perhaps next Hillary will tell us what she gets out of reading “My Pet Goat” as a national security estimate?

    More later.

  • Now I know you’re being intentionally misleading.

    Goldberg (and Obama) went out of their way to emphasize that the conflict was what they were referring to, not any one country. You can keep trying to shoehorn the country into that quote, rather than the conflict, but repeating that lie doesn’t make it so.

    Do you really think it’s ethical to lie like this? Or do you not have any sense of ethics? Do you not think people will see through it? And do you think your blog is capable of manipulating public opinion so effectively that they won’t?

    At some point, people stop listening.

  • Middle, I cannot have sex with Tom or Muffti as to them I’m not attractive.

    I think we’ve been witnessing a severe case of gynophobia here.

  • Once Tzipi Livni has someone reasonable in the oval office to work with on Israel policy, then we can address Hillary Clinton’s gynophobia. But by then it will be a historical footnote.

    Any more diversions?

  • I’ll be happy once Tzipi Livni finally becomes PM. At which point, we’ll have to wonder what caused gynophobes like Froylein to assume that a woman couldn’t be elected to the office of the presidency in America absent a whole lot of lying. It’s not flattering to show your lack of faith in what a woman can accomplish, Froylein.

    Tzipi Livni is to honesty what HRC is to dishonesty.

  • Or what Richard Nixon was to dishonesty, for that matter.

    How close are you to Bosnia? I heard Sinbad loves women!

    He can rescue hostages, too.

  • What a waste of a debate. Both of your slimy democrat candidates have a problem with consistently lying and are terrible for Jews and Israel. It’s like Detroit Lions fans arguing about who’d be a better quarterback, Jon Kitna or Drew Stanton. Either way, they’re both sub-par and you’d be better off selling the team and rebuilding from scratch.

  • And, oh yeah, Froylein. Eventually people stop listening to that tactic, as well.

  • Oh for the good ol’ days of Joey Harrington, Alex.

    froylein, for what it’s worth, you post like a highly attractive person. As for Muffti, he thinks you refuse to leave Europe to join him because you’re afraid of commitment. “Smart woman, foolish choices,” as he once casually remarked to me.

    I will continue to do everything in my power to bring the two of you together.

  • I THREW UP A LITTLE IN MY MOUTH last week when, at a conference on the legacy of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, in which his daughter, Professor Heschel, and Princeton’s Professor Cornel West spoke, Heschel likened Senator Obama to a nwe prophet and everyoen wildly applauded

    Is everyone blind?
    🙂

  • ….Besides, bedroom aesthetics really don’t matter much to Muffti– how can they, with that black leather hood over his head?

  • Larry, that sounds like an inconvenience; you could have had orange juice run through your nostrils for added effect.

    MUL, it is not me who considers women inferior just because of their gender.

    Tom, why can’t I rid myself of the feeling that Muffti will be somewhat surprised to read those lines?

  • I think what they’re becoming blind to, Larry, is the idea that we should ignore facts in favor of feelings, substance in favor of sensationalism.

    I read something on Slate today about Michale Crichton’s 1993 prediction concerning the demise of major media in the forms to which we had been accustomed. Looking at consolidation of print and the incredibly declining viewership of network outlets, you can see how prescient the guy was.

    The point is, the market doesn’t need so much “interpretation” any more, especially when that “interpretation” took place through such skewed lenses – something we took for granted. Now people can focus more on actual facts, rather than presentation.

    Not that many people like that, though.

    It even affects places that some people would like to work for, like the New York Times. 😉

    It’s a great article. Anyone with an opinion that would like to think they might be relevent in the future (and increasingly, the present) would be doing well by themselves to read it.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2192382/

  • froylein, it’s with much reluctance that I breach Muffti’s confidence. However, I cannot live with the thought of your crying yourself to sleep at night, again and again, tormented by his rejection.

  • Larry:

    “Is everyone blind?”

    No, just incredibly stupid. Unfortunately, even our group has its idiots.

    Tom:

    I guess you could say that Harrington was a bust like Billy Jeff or W in that case. We need another Favre/Reagan type to come in for the long haul.

    I guess that would make McCain Vinnie Testaverde

  • Nah, Tom, Muffti’s like a little brother to me.

    I might need a restraining order for somebody else though. How much would that be?

  • MUL, are you done with the rants? Are you finished with the moronic jibes? Have you finished calling those who disagree with your hero “liars?”

    JG: Do you think that Israel is a drag on America’s reputation overseas?

    BO: No, no, no. But what I think is that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy. The lack of a resolution to this problem provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists to engage in inexcusable actions, and so we have a national-security interest in solving this, and I also believe that Israel has a security interest in solving this because I believe that the status quo is unsustainable. I am absolutely convinced of that, and some of the tensions that might arise between me and some of the more hawkish elements in the Jewish community in the United States might stem from the fact that I’m not going to blindly adhere to whatever the most hawkish position is just because that’s the safest ground politically.

    Obama supports Israel the way Walt & Mearsheimer support Israel. Israel’s status is a constant sore, a constant wound. I’m not misreading what he says or thinks. He believes the “status quo” is detrimental to America and he’s specific that it’s Israel that’s the unhealed wound. He then pulls off the old Walt & Mearsheimer trick of attacking those myriad supporters of Israel who are supposedly so “hawkish” even when many of them aren’t at all. The code here is: “I’ll respect Israel, I’ll even like Israel, I’ll ensure I don’t make too many Jewish political enemies by saying I support it. But, be sure that I consider the goings on over there to be a festering wound for America and I’ll handle that in ways that will put me at odds with Israel supporters who don’t support the, say, Saudi plan of 2002.”

  • Ok froylein, then who does? No need to speak in coded messages. That’s something strong (as in not inferior) women don’t do.

  • Ok, TM. I’ll get all the background on what was actuallygoing on in the interview for you later – during my spare time. Is that ok for you? I know it won’t change your mind. Not many facts do. But seeing as how you are just as interested in getting me to agree with you as I am interested in getting you to admit to the significance of a fact every now and then, I’ll do you that favor and get around to addressing this when I have a minute. Ok?

  • As to your assertion that I can’t understand the evidence you provided, I invite you to show where I’m wrong in stating that your evidence doesn’t speak at all to the issue of using leverage to get those talks:

    Large majorities of Democrats and independents, and even about half of Republicans, believe the president of the United States should meet with the leaders of countries that are considered enemies of the United States. Overall, 67% of Americans say this kind of diplomacy is a good idea.

    This is according to a Gallup Panel survey of a representative national sample of 1,013 Americans, conducted May 19-21.

    Although separate Gallup polling shows that few Americans view Iran favorably, and that Iran leads Americans’ list of top U.S. enemies in the world, the new Gallup survey also finds high public support for presidential-level meetings between the United States and Iran, specifically.

    About 6 in 10 Americans (59%) think it would be a good idea for the president of the United States to meet with the president of Iran. This includes about half of Republicans, a majority of independents, and most Democrats.

    Since you’re either obtuse or intentionally diverting, I’ll remind you what I wrote: “his dovish assertions about how he’ll meet any nuclear-bomb-seeking, Jewish-state-destroying-leader anywhere without any quid pro quo.” The issue of how one negotiates and what one does to get to the negotiating table is part and parcel of sophisticated diplomacy. Obama knows this now but put himself in a corner by not knowing it earlier when he made his assertions about going to meet anybody anywhere. So stop defending a mistake.

  • froylein, the restraining order will cost you. Big time. But it’ll be worth its weight in gold, I promise you. (Did sis read what you wrote about her yesterday?)

    Alex, McCain may be slightly older than Vinnie, but that’s where the similarities end. McCain may be Farve-like: unconventional, with his share of picks.

    Re the “wound” that is Israel: Barack tells David Brooks and others that he wants to attack ‘root causes’ of conflicts. The mistake Barack risks is turning this into an exercise in cultural anthropology, free of value judgments, in which Iran’s Israel problem and our nuke problem are grievances equally deserving of negotiation.

    It’s also a stone’s throw from ‘blame America first’: if it weren’t for the Israelis and their settlements and the fact that no one else in the Middle East likes them, their neighbors wouldn’t overreact with things like nuclear programs. So– crack down on Israel and we eliminate Iran’s grievance and its nuclear program. Or so goes the reasoning.

    When all you do is look at causation, viewing grievances in a neutral manner, right and wrong get tossed out the window. This is an excellent approach to divorce mediation. It’s way off target as an approach to Iran, terror and the rest.

  • MUL, you mean that quoting the interview directly wasn’t factual enough for you and now you have to get me the real facts? Which one of us has the fact deficit? I provided you with the transcript of the interview itself. I also provided you with a clear response

    Now let us quote you factually:

    Now I know you’re being intentionally misleading.

    Goldberg (and Obama) went out of their way to emphasize that the conflict was what they were referring to, not any one country. You can keep trying to shoehorn the country into that quote, rather than the conflict, but repeating that lie doesn’t make it so.

    Do you really think it’s ethical to lie like this? Or do you not have any sense of ethics? Do you not think people will see through it? And do you think your blog is capable of manipulating public opinion so effectively that they won’t?

    So it turns out that I wasn’t being misleading, intentionally or not. It turns out that you misrepresented the content of the interview and they were speaking about Israel specifically. It turns out that my statement about what Obama said was factual and correct. And I would extrapolate that it turns out that my statements were therefore ethical and not lies.

    On the other hand, since you prevaricated about what Obama said and meant (“Goldberg (and Obama) went out of their way to emphasize that the conflict was what they were referring to, not any one country”), we can say about you “Do you really think it’s ethical to lie like this? Or do you not have any sense of ethics? Do you not think people will see through it?”

    Munch on that one, Mr. Ethics.

  • Give Barack credit for being straightfoward. And he’s no dummy, that’s for sure.

    Barack’s replies to Goldberg are interesting in light of his attack on Bush for his Knesset speech. Read it carefully:

    “Now, that’s exactly the kind of appalling attack that’s divided our country and alienates us from the rest of the world.”

    Translation:

    ‘Bush’s ‘hot’ approach, with its morally-charged language, simply pisses off Iran and others without solving problems. I’ll reject such alienating and divisive rhetoric.’

    If you’re cool with this, by all means vote Barack/Richardson. If not, well, there’s McCain/Jindal.

  • Middle, are you sure you’re ok with me parsing the sentences for which you keep finding different versions for your re-interpretation, in my spare time? Cutting and pasting definitions for basic words is not something I really have much time for until happy hour.

    Tom, you do realize that there’s no advantage to disappointing the Iranian people by cutting off diplomatic options with their leaders, do you? I mean, you at least recognize that 1. Former taxi-cab driver Ahmeghinejad has no power (he’s basically the Iranian equivalent of the white house press secretary), 2. Iranians are pro-American, but not anti-Iranian nationalists, 3. Ahmedinejad is likely to be replaced soon, 4. That if talking to Iran doesn’t yield results, that doesn’t mean that talking to Iran is what would have led to further abuses on their end, 5. That isolating Iran from the Western powers leaves them more easily engaged by Arab interests.

    There. That might interrupt the echo chamber with a ripple of some antidote to groupthink long enough. Happy hour’s around the corner. I’ll be back to engage Middle false either/or dichotomies before tomorrow’s news cycle is up and providing further distractions for him.

  • Makes me wonder why Muslim Iranian students of mine, that actually know what the situation there is like and understand the news, official and unofficial, delivered from there mean, consider Ahmadinedjad not only a “domestic” loon but one of the greatest threats to world peace.

    Maybe they should hang out more with aspiring politicians and self-acclaimed, alleged political analysts that go out out of their way to receive attention.

  • He’s a great threat to world peace insofar as anyone takes him seriously.

    I make no claim to being a political analyst. So “alleged” doesn’t even apply. I allege nothing in the way of this supposed status. I merely ask if someone can distinguish between basic concepts such as “The State of Israel” and “The Conflict between the State of Israel and the Palestinians”, especially when they want to quote someone else’s words about a festering wound and apparently become confused about which of the two that’s referring to – even when neither of the individuals actually conducting the conversation were not. (Citation on that later, TM). And my merely pointing that out is not something for which I demand a lot of attention, either. Asking questions based on basic facts usually only offends people who cannot defend their interpretation of basic facts, despite the fact that it is at odds with commonly available definitions.

    These are not concepts that require framing. There is not much dispute about what is “The State of Israel”, the “Arab-Israeli Conflict” and whether Ahmedinejad has any power within the Iranian government. If anyone disagrees the burden is usually on them to state why. Unless they have trouble making logical arguments generally and can only re-hash others’ talking points.

  • MUL, I don’t think we should categorically refuse to talk to enemies. In the case of Iran, however, the US and the Europeans (aided after a fashion by the IAEA) have in place a mix of multilateral negotiations and a sanctions regime. I don’t see the rationale for departing from that by rewarding Ahmadinejad with direct talks.

    To me, Barack’s approach here is just knee-jerk anti-Bushism. After all, here Bush (and Rice) have done what the Democratic left has implored him to do– negotiate while engaging our allies. Same deal with the multi-party talks on No. Korea. That’s not good enough for Barack, leading one to wonder if he has more up his sleeve– such as conceding nukes to Iran while opting for a containment strategy. Indeed, I think that’s where he’s headed. He’ll take office and blame the nukes on Bush, saying it’s too late to take them out; acknowledge Iran’s enhanced regional power; and seek its help on Iraq, Israel-Palestine, and other issues.

    All of which will bolster Ahmadinejad and the far-right clerics who prop him in power.

  • MUL, you cannot prove that the Iranian head-of-state has got no political power, yet you initially made that claim as it conveniently fit your reasoning, yet you ignored that if he had no real political power and your presidential candidate of choice were as smart as you try to make him out to be, there would be no point in meeting up.

    Ask Muffti about the specifics of conditionals.

    Implicit comparisons also state opinions even if they aren’t put into words. That’s where the “alleged political analyst” fits in. I can call some other woman flat-chested, taking myself as a gauge, without even explicitly stating I’m busty. I can call someone an armchair political analyst, and thereby imply to consider myself a more professional political analyst.

  • Partly because no one wants to see Kim use ’em, Joshua, esp. no one in the region.

    If Iran gets them, the region will stand and applaud (while cowering in fear), and fantasize one gets dropped on Tel Aviv.

  • Funny how Persian Monkey Boy and his amen corner don’t seem to particularly care about all of the millions of Arabs and Muslims who would be incinerated along with all of the Jews were he to actually drop a nuke on Israel, G-d forbid. Gotta love those Muslim humanists.

    Anybody have any more info on the supposed Michelle Obama “whitey” tape? I’m beginning to think it might not actually exist.

    Obama has surrounded himself with racists (Wright and Pfleger) unrepentant anti-American terrorists (Dorn and Ayers) and anti-Israel ideologues (Powers and Zbig). He’s throwing them under the bus as fast as he can, but anyone with even an ounce of sense has to see it for the crass (and desperate) political opportunism that it is. Any Jew who votes for him should have his/her head examined.

  • The point is, Tom, it might very well be a knee-jerk anti-Bushism that gets him a heck of a lot more votes than Hillary’s many knee-jerk pro-Bushisms ever did or ever would get her. And since he’s not in office yet, and just appealing to the 80% of the electorate that’s either persuadable over re-considering the Bush administration’s approach to things and/or disenchanted with America’s popularity, it’s smart to do. There are no downsides to running on it other than the fact that it messes with the heads of people who never put much thought into their politics. That’s a good thing.

    In what Bizarro world is Ahmadinejad’s role (and lack of political power) not self-evident? He’s a figurehead. I was not under the impression that any serious person (or any authoritative source) had put this up for dispute. If you are disputing what I take to be a common knowledge assertion regarding Ahmadinejad’s political limitations, please don’t speak in the vagaries of things such as “implicit comparisons” and actually let me know.

    As for no point in meeting up, see above (first paragraph reply to Tom). Also see 1) The degree of confusion exhibited in this thread over the structure of the organs of government in Iran, and 2) the fact that more serious “authorities” understand the distinction in stances between Obama and the others to be meaningless regarding the distinction you point out. Actual meetings or negotiations would be taking place, as I understand it, with the Supreme Leader. That does not detract from the shortcomings I point out in the minds of people who confuse Ahmedinejad’s utterings with official Iranian policy and decide not to meet with whoever’s in charge and pulling the strings in that country based on what a politically impotent puppet happens to say on an otherwise boring day. And for shits and giggles, see the undisputed reports on negotiations which the Bush administration already conducts with Iran at lower levels of diplomacy. That’s usually in reference to Iraq, though, so apparently no one gets all crazy about it.

  • MUL,

    Middle, are you sure you’re ok with me parsing the sentences for which you keep finding different versions for your re-interpretation, in my spare time?

    Do whatever you like. You called me a liar and unethical and I’ve just made sure the record is set straight. I realize you are upset at the cutting and pasting of your words, my words and the interview in question but I thought you’d enjoy seeing the evidence first-hand.

    Also, I think that as an Obama supporter you should expend as much effort as possible attacking Hillary supporters and other people who would vote Democrat by calling them liars, unethical and “echo chamber” participants who suffer from “groupthink.”

  • I’m not upset at all. And that’s, in part (not all, but in large measure) because what you say makes no sense at all. This is what you said:

    And let’s not forget the quote provided to us by Tom the other day from the Goldberg Atlantic interview where Obama likens Israel to a festering wound for the Arabs.

    Which I found to be unlikely anything other than intellectually dishonest at best. Goldberg went through a lot of detail explaining the difference between the state of Israel and the conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinians. He even did it again in his subsequent interview with McCain. If you are confused to the distinction between the two, then that’s too bad. But it’s not my problem. If you were really interested in knowing the context of the quote, rather than the context that your worldview ascribes to such quotes, you’d have looked into the discussion surrounding it. The constant back-and-forth between Goldberg’s blog and his detractors. And regardless of whether you’d done that, if you merely find that distinguishing between the two makes your worldview less given to bloviating, then that’s flat out intellectually dishonest at best, unethical lying at worst. And if it’s the case, I find it frankly pathetic that you have to resort to this Orwellian “words don’t have the meaning they are ascribed in dictionaries” attitude just to make your point. And even worse, it ultimately hurts your “cause” worse than any motive you think I must have in merely pointing this out. The awful fact that words and concepts actually have meaning. Darn.

  • In what paranoid, conspiracy-theory world has Iran not been run by Ahmadinedjad but by some anonymous “Supreme Leader”? How many Iranian Arabs and Persians do you actually know?

    MUL, as long as you keep this nasty “I’m so smart, but you’re too dumb to notice” dialectics up while grossly misunderstanding – on purpose? – written text that I could definitely expect an average native speaker of English to understand, accusing me of racism (in a previous thread) or gynophobia (this thread) at that, in addition to a few rather rude remarks regarding my mental capabilities, I will not consider you a person worth wasting my time on.

    Initially, I used to think you were a sad, lonely person when you once plastered discourse experience gained in thousands of online (!) discussions on the walls framing that respective “conversation”.

    Beati pauperes spiritu…

  • Also, I think that as an Obama supporter you should expend as much effort as possible attacking Hillary supporters and other people who would vote Democrat by calling them liars, unethical and “echo chamber” participants who suffer from “groupthink.”

    Middle, this really says a lot. Do you really think it’s more important to vote for people who will say nice things to you than to vote for someone who you think is more honest about their agenda?

  • That’s fine, Froylein. Have an emotional reaction to my pointing out that something is common knowledge. Few people consider it arrogant to point out what encyclopedias make widely known. And The Supreme Leader is not anonymous. His name is Ali Khamenei.

    Here is his picture.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Grand_Ayatollah_Ali_Khamenei%2C.jpg
    Here is a diagram of the Iranian government.

    And common knowledge does not equate into “what every man on the street knows”.

    I considered the “gynophobia” comment directed at me, as Hillary supporters often do that. I gave you ample opportunity to clarify your remark. You did not do it in any way that made sense as anything other than an attack against me. And you’re reading into “crude remarks regarding… mental capacities” something that I not only didn’t state, but told you I felt bad if that’s the way you took them. Instead, you became more strident rather than accomodating of an apologetic tone.

    This is written communication. It is open to more interpretation that verbal communication because it lacks the same amount of context. And that can be both a good and a bad thing. But only good if people don’t assume too much, which I am always open to re-considering as something that I may be doing, even if others are not. Are you? Can you honestly say that you’ve been generous with your responses?

    In short, I get the feeling that you are more upset about what information transpired and who conveyed it more clearly and convincingly, rather than upset about any actual behavior – intended or not. In which case you are being disingenuous and not speaking in good faith, whatever you project onto my quite happy, quite fulfilling (thank you very much) life.

  • No MUL, I think Obama supporters should consider carefully whether the people with whom they’re debating really are ethically challenged ignorant idiots or just people with whom they have some disagreements. This is how one alienates a core group of constituents.

    Would you like to discuss what the figurehead PM controls in Iran and whether his pronouncements have the blessing of the clerics in power? Your suggestion that Obama would meet with an Iranian PM because people are confused is laughable. So is dismissing the importance of the PM in Iran, particularly one that was popularly elected. But best of all is that from a logical standpoint, if he’s solely the figurehead then he’s clearly voicing the clerics’ intentions. Either way, PM with clout or figurehead without, his public position carries great weight and importance in Iran and outside of it. At least Obama knows this, even if you, his ardent supporter, don’t.

  • MUL, I’m no expert on Iran. My understanding, however, is that despite his mishandling of the economy and widespread domestic unpopularity, Ahmadinejad has the support of the Supreme Leader in his pursuit of nukes. In many ways, the president has been a striking success abroad. He’s vastly expanded Iranian influence and leverage in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and with the Palestinians. There’s every reason to think him a formidable adversary, despite the inflation rate in Tehran. Compare him with his despised and feckless predecessor.

    You;re right, there are more votes in excoriating Bush. All the more reason, then, to parse things like the Goldberg interview carefully. At the barest minimum, we can say Barack has a very different approach to the projection of American power than Bush and McCain. It’s no coincidence he’d sooner meet with Ahmadinejad than with David Petraeus.

    Ephraim, if the tape exists and McCain controls access to it, we ain’t seeing it until well after we all get back from summer vacation.

  • News Flash!

    Hillary’s decided she wants a spot on the ticket.

    Sounds like a marriage made in hell to me.

  • It seems your site has been giving me problems posting replies. I’ll set this up as a test response, and if it works, I’ll let you know what I have to say about Ahmedinejad’s limitations, support or no support, as well as some other things – including a reply to Froylein, if that’s ok.

  • Whoa, I missed number 74.

    MUL, you’re a piece of work.

    Here is the quote again:

    JG: Do you think that Israel is a drag on America’s reputation overseas?

    BO: No, no, no. But what I think is that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy. The lack of a resolution to this problem provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists to engage in inexcusable actions, and so we have a national-security interest in solving this, and I also believe that Israel has a security interest in solving this because I believe that the status quo is unsustainable. I am absolutely convinced of that, and some of the tensions that might arise between me and some of the more hawkish elements in the Jewish community in the United States might stem from the fact that I’m not going to blindly adhere to whatever the most hawkish position is just because that’s the safest ground politically.

    I wrote:

    Obama likens Israel to a festering wound for the Arabs.

    You referred to this as:

    intellectually dishonest

    Why?

    Because:

    . Goldberg went through a lot of detail explaining the difference between the state of Israel and the conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinians. He even did it again in his subsequent interview with McCain. If you are confused to the distinction between the two, then that’s too bad. But it’s not my problem. If you were really interested in knowing the context of the quote, rather than the context that your worldview ascribes to such quotes, you’d have looked into the discussion surrounding it.

    Huh? The issue that “infects all of our foreign policy” is Israel’s victory over the Palestinians in 1948 and everything that follows. This is basic stuff. He’s clearly speaking about Israel’s victory and its lingering effects. The question is: “Do you think that Israel is a drag on America’s reputation overseas?” It isn’t “Do you think the Israel-Arab conflict or the Israel-Palestinian conflict or any prevarication that MUL can come up with is a drag on America’s reputation overseas.” He says ISRAEL.

    Obama responds:

    No, no, no. But what I think is that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy. The lack of a resolution to this problem provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists to engage in inexcusable actions, and so we have a national-security interest in solving this…

    So it’s not a drag on America’s reputation internationally, no, no, no, it’s just, you know, a constant sore that infects all of America’s foreign policy.

    So do me a favor and cut out the bullshit about Goldberg’s blog, the supposed back and forth or anything of the sort. This was a straightforward question and a very unstraightforward answer where Obama first says that it’s not a drag and then tells us it’s just a constant infected wound over all of our foreign policy.

    Stop dancing around the truth that’s staring you right in the face. You unethical liar.

  • Ok. It worked.

    Here goes:

    “Would you like to discuss what the figurehead PM controls in Iran and whether his pronouncements have the blessing of the clerics in power?”

    Sure. I’d also be willing to go into disussing why his support by the clerics in power doesn’t mean he has anywhere near the kind of power they do.

    “Your suggestion that Obama would meet with an Iranian PM because people are confused is laughable.”

    Ok. So laugh at it. It’s also not what I’m saying.

    “So is dismissing the importance of the PM in Iran, particularly one that was popularly elected. But best of all is that from a logical standpoint, if he’s solely the figurehead then he’s clearly voicing the clerics’ intentions.”

    First of all, he’s not a PM.

    Second, if he’s voicing the clerics’ intentions, it doesn’t mean he is the cleric or that meeting with him equates to meeting with the clerics. It’s the clerics who negotiate, so this is a moot point.

    “Either way, PM with clout or figurehead without, his public position carries great weight and importance in Iran and outside of it.”

    To some degree. But people who don’t understand the Iranian political system make a mockery out of the idea that they’re engaging in a coherent discussion when they pronounce on the idea of meeting with Iranian officials in light of his remarks. And they also use this unquantifiable standard of “great weight”. Certain people are empowered to make certain kinds of decisions and others aren’t. Just because the discussion is muddled by not denoting the distinction, doesn’t mean that such a distinction doesn’t exist. It also doesn’t mean that disregarding that distinction is a substitute for saying that Ahmedinejad’s words are a priori a proxy for the decisions of the clergy absent a meeting with them, or a proxy for the decisions that would come out of a meeting with the clergy when one hasn’t even occurred.

    “At least Obama knows this, even if you, his ardent supporter, don’t.”

    This just sounds like a rhetorical flourish that I’ll disregard because I can’t tell what the substance of it entails.

  • I just released one of your posts from the junk filter because it was near the top. There were 2000 spam posts in there, though, so if I erased others, I’m sorry. Just save your posts before submitting them just in case the filter picks you up again.

  • If I’m an unethical liar, assuming that you have ethics, you shouldn’t put any substance behind what I say. But you’re defaming Goldberg. Go tell him that Obama was referring to Israel’s existence rather than the lack of resolution to its conflict. You unethical liar.

    Here is what you said:

    “The issue that “infects all of our foreign policy” is Israel’s victory over the Palestinians in 1948 and everything that follows.”

    Where does he say that?

    “This is basic stuff.”

    To people who make things up

    “He’s clearly speaking about Israel’s victory and its lingering effects.”

    No. He’s talking about the conflict generally.

    “The question is: “Do you think that Israel is a drag on America’s reputation overseas?” It isn’t “Do you think the Israel-Arab conflict or the Israel-Palestinian conflict or any prevarication that MUL can come up with is a drag on America’s reputation overseas.”

    “He says ISRAEL.”

    Where?

  • Why did it go to the “junk filter”?

    Thanks for releasing it anyway.

    I did save it, and there was one more thing I wished to say:

    “I have not said one thing for the mere purpose of hurting your feelings, regret if that’s how you felt and have no problem abstaining from commenting on anything you write (that isn’t directed at me) if that would make you feel better. I just thought this was a public blog, not Facebook/Myspace, etc. I don’t have a problem not commenting if anyone here is afraid that it will hurt their feelings. It’s not my blog and I claim no right to do so, if that’s the case. Just be honest if those are the rules so I can know.”

    Anyways, I’m sure someone will impute some malign motive to my saying that, but all I can do is say what I mean. As I’ve said a dozen times, words actually do mean things. Not always the things people want to find in them, but they mean things. And interpreting context isn’t perfect, but can be achieved, and always requires good faith efforts.

  • Tom, Ahmedinejad will continue to be an astonishing success in the Arab world for as long as we give Iran the message that the Western political world has nothing to gain by them. And it could continue for longer, but at least it’s assured for as long as they are isolated.

    Again, I’m not arguing for any one action as an end-all, be-all policy. I’m arguing for people to be a little more respectful of the facts. As well as the facts of what they don’t know. Thankfully Tom, you always seem to understand the importance of these vital caveats.

  • Here is your starting point. You might not care about me, you might not care about you. We’re just pseudonyms in cyberspace. But what you’re screaming bears directly on Goldberg’s credibility. Here is what he has to say about that in his interview w/McCain. Of course, I don’t expect you to have a rational interpretation of it:

    JG: Senator Obama told me that the Arab-Israeli dispute is a “constant sore” that infects our foreign policy. Do you think this is true, and do you think that the Arab-Israeli dispute is central to our challenges in the Middle East?
    JM: Well, I certainly would not describe it the way Senator Obama did –

    JG: He wasn’t referring to Israel as an “open sore,” he was referring to the conflict.

    JM: I don’t think the conflict is a sore. I think it’s a national security challenge. I think it’s important to achieve peace in the Middle East on a broad variety of fronts and I think that if the Israeli-Palestinian issue were decided tomorrow, we would still face the enormous threat of radical Islamic extremism.

    I think it’s very vital, don’t get me wrong. That’s why I’ve spent so much time there. The first time I visited Israel was thirty years ago, with Scoop Jackson and other senators, when I was in the Navy. I visited Yad Vashem (Israel’s Holocaust memorial) with Joe Lieberman the last time I was in Israel. So my absolute commitment is to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. But the dangers that we face in the Middle East are incredibly severe, in the form of radical Islamic extremists.

    Goldberg corrects McCain on his misinterpretation of the state in place of the conflict. He then goes on to not contest that point but rather the corrected point. The discussion is about the conflict at this point. McCain accepts that. It’s bizarre that you can’t unless, you feel let down by not being able to swallow McCain’s quote as a new position statement or talking point.

  • Also, a press release on Goldberg’s need to defend his reputation from a member of the House of Representatives.

    http://jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/05/the_honorable_mr_boehner_1.php

    In the text it links to Andrew Sullivan, who references Mark Ambinder’s clarification of Obama’s remarks, and calls out the House Republicans for their spin – which you seem to buy:

    http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/05/once_again_senator_obama_demon.php

    Ultimately, Ambinder has to refer to Rahm Emanuel’s defense against Boehner’s attack. This is what he says:

    “On the eve of Israel’s 60th anniversary, Congressman Boehner should remember that Israel enjoys bipartisan support and commitment to its security. Nothing could be worse for Israel at this time than for it to become a proxy for Congressman Boehner’s political games. Senator Obama’s record is clear when it comes to Israel’s security and friendship with the United States.”

    If you honestly belief Obama refers to Israel and not the conflict, then make your case. But you’re not only contributing to the defamation of a journalist’s credentials, but basically playing the part of a Republican attack which has hijacked issues related to Israel for their own gain. They don’t have a lot of allies in this. Especially among those who are actually referring to the primary source. Do you want to make the case against Rahm Emanuel too? How many people do you have to shoot down in this raging quest to interpret something in a completely nonsensical way?