US Politics Obama Years Public date: 25.02.2019 20:17:58

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8 Apr 2010

The inconvenience of Israel

Israel is an American ally and therefore subject to the same shabby treatment accorded other prominent American allies by the Obama administration. But there is something distinctive about the shabby treatment accorded Israel by Obama. I offer six related hypotheses in the spirit of inquiry. First, Obama doesn't like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Among other things, Obama would prefer to deal with another Israeli leader who would be more pliable on issues of Israeli national security. He feels free to treat Netanyahu with extraordinary hostility. Second, Obama -- how shall we say it? -- also really doesn't like Israel very much. He conceives of it as a Western outpost superimposed over a native Arab population to right a historical wrong. He does not acknowledge the deep historical roots of the Jewish people in the land of Israel. He seems to buy the Arab narrative regarding Israel. Third, Obama simply doesn't assent to the strategic interest of the United States in Israel. He's not particularly big on the defense of the United States to begin with. Fourth, Obama conceives of Israel as a strategic detriment to the United States. Unlike most of the other American allies toward which Obama is hostile, in Obama's eyes, Israel is an inconvenient ally. It is an impediment to his grand vision of a post-American world. Fifth, Obama thinks that he could befriend the Arab/Muslim world if only a Palestinian state were to be created. Of course, he also needs to wean Americans from the perception that Islam is associated with jihadi terrorism, but that too would be easier, in his view, if the problem of the Palestinian Arabs were resolved. Obama means to oversee the creation of a Palestinian state come hell or high water. Sixth, Obama thinks both extraordinarily highly of himself and extraordinarily poorly of those who beg to differ with him. He conceives of himself as a world-historic figure. While others may be too benighted to see their own interest and act
Israel is an American ally and therefore subject to the same shabby treatment accorded other prominent American allies...
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8 Apr 2010

It’s no mystery why conservatives oppose Goodwin Liu

Politico reports on the difficulties confronting the nomination of Goodwin Liu. It notes that the looming battle over the Liu nomination might hurt Democratic efforts to push President Obama's legislative agenda. As one prominent Democratic lawyer put it, "it's hard to have that legislative agenda and try to push through [controversial] judges at the same time." Politico purports to find it odd that conservatives are making such a "fuss" about one judicial nominee. Reporter Kasie Hunt claims they are fixated on blocking Liu because the "see Liu as the tip of the spear for the next generation of jurists -- if he makes it to the court, they fear he could become a leading liberal jurist on property rights, the death penalty, affirmative action, guns and even interpretations of the health care law." If Hunt means that conservatives oppose Liu because his positions on these issues extend way too far to the left, then Hunt is correct. If Hunt means that conservatives have some deeper fear of Liu, for example that he will win adherents to his leftist positions through the force of his intellect and persuasive powers, then Hunt is mistaken. From a selfish partisan perspective, conservatives might well profit from having Liu on the court of appeals. His radical views on issues like affirmative action, reparations for slavery, and welfare rights are likely to yield a jurisprudence that would make him the poster boy for an "activist" judiciary run amok. This would play into the hands of conservatives politically. Conservatives nonetheless oppose Liu for the simple reason that they don't like judges who are prone to run amok. Watch Liu argue that all non-blacks in the U.S. have a moral duty to "give up something" to compensate blacks for slavery because, though they may not be guilty for slavery, they are responsible for "making things right." Then ask yourself whether conservatives fear this guy because of his intellect or simply
Politico reports on the difficulties confronting the nomination of Goodwin Liu. It notes that the looming battle over...

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