Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Flotsam and Jetsam

David Broder demeans both women and the Supreme Court by adopting the “wise woman” pose. Because, using Amy Klobuchar to make his case, Broder explains that it really takes a woman to understand how the law impacts people in their daily lives. Somehow they never made that argument for Janice Rogers Brown.

Obama reneges on his deal: “Caught between a pivotal industry ally and the protests of Congressional Democrats, the Obama administration on Friday backed away from what drug industry lobbyists had said this week was a firm White House promise to exclude from a proposed health care overhaul the possibility of allowing the government to negotiate lower drug prices under Medicare.” Making the president into a liar for the sake of a stalled health-care scheme may be a big mistake. It’s not smart to devalue the president’s word.

Ronald and Allis Radosh explain: ”By initiating the peace process with demands that Israel freeze settlements, he has given the impression that if only it would comply, there’d be peace. And he has given the Palestinians and Arab leaders a rationale for again refusing to accept their neighbor’s legitimacy. Not surprising, a recent survey shows only 6 percent of Israelis consider Obama a friend.”

In a must-read on health-care reform, Yuval Levin explains that liberals didn’t learn the right lesson from the demise of HillaryCare: “In this sense, today’s Democrats have repeated a crucial error of the Clinton health care initiative of 1993-94: They have tried to take on the entire massive and complex American health care system at once, rather than pursuing discrete solutions to particular problems in manageable steps. This is not an incidental feature of the liberal approach to health care reform. It is a function of the left’s deeply held view that reform must involve wholesale reinvention from scratch, so that every last detail can be subjected to rational control and centralized expertise. Inevitably, the result is a project too large, too complicated, too expensive, and too disruptive to succeed. And the public knows it.”

You mean it’s not all about extra bedrooms in East Jerusalem? “Hezbollah’s deputy secretary general, Sheikh Naim Qassem, said his organization is ready for any outbreak in hostilities that may erupt along the border with Israel. Qassem, who spoke during a remembrance gathering marking three years since Israel and Hezbollah fought a month-long war, said the Shi’ite militia is not waiting for Israel to begin fighting before making the necessary preparations.”

And when it comes to borders, I must have missed the State Department’s objections to this sort of declaration from the Fatah conference: “Fatah will continue to sacrifice victims until Jerusalem will be returned [to the Palestinians], clean of settlements and settlers.” And in case you were wondering, there is no “distinction between the eastern and western halves of the capital, nor does it distinguish between the territories within the Israeli side of the Green Line and the areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.”

Dan Balz thinks Obama needs August to “rebalance” his presidency. Not sure how telling critics to get out of the way or hobnobbing in Martha’s Vineyard does that.

Max Schulz reports on a town hall in Maryland—contentious, though civilized. “The discontent is neither faked nor staged by the GOP. At the Mardela Springs event I attended, the parking lot was filled with Maryland license plates, the speakers made references to local areas and events, and everyone of the several people I spoke with lived in the congressman’s district. They were just upset and worried that the reforms Democrats were bent on enacting would hurt the economy and their ability to get the health care they needed. This crowd was probably far more representative of the national mood than Mrs. Pelosi realizes.”