Commentary Magazine


Posts For: August 22, 2010

Jabotinsky Then and Now

Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky the Jew from Odessa who became one of the towering figures in the history of Zionism — was commemorated on the 70th anniversary of his death in a lecture at Park East Synagogue on August 18 in New York, delivered by Douglas Feith (currently a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute).

It is a 4,000-word discussion of Jabotinsky’s character, accomplishments, and current relevance that is worth reading in its entirety, as perhaps this brief excerpt about Jabotinsky’s political and intellectual influence — then and now — will demonstrate:

Though Ben Gurion is admired by many Israelis, no political leaders in Israel anymore describe themselves as Ben Gurionites.  None describe themselves as Weizmannites.  But many proudly think of themselves as Jabotinskyites …

Jabotinsky understood that the physical vulnerability of a people or a nation has both physical and metaphysical effects. [...] This was a paramount theme of his life.  In his early manhood, he organized a Jewish group to fight violent antisemites in his home city of Odessa.  During World War I, he was the prime mover for the creation of a Jewish Legion in the British army that would help conquer Palestine.  After that war, as the Arabs in the Jerusalem area prepared their first major anti-Jewish progrom, Jabotinsky put together a Jewish defense organization known as the Hagana, a forerunner of the underground militia of the same name.  Jabotinsky created Betar, the Zionist youth organization that trained its members in military discipline and skills.  Jabotinsky provided inspiration and leadership to the Irgun, one of the underground military organizations in Mandate Palestine.  And when he died in New York seventy years ago, he was laboring to the point of exhaustion to create a Jewish army to fight Hitler.

In his book, The Story of the Jewish Legion, Jabotinsky describes how the first Jewish battalion, soon to be deployed abroad, marched through London behind its British commander, Colonel John Henry Patterson.

There were tens of thousands of Jews in the streets, at the windows and on the roofs. Blue-white flags were over every shop door; women crying with joy, old Jews with fluttering beards murmuring, ‘shehecheyanu’; Patterson on his horse, laughing and bowing, and wearing a rose which a girl had thrown him from a balcony; and the boys, those “tailors,” shoulder to shoulder, their bayonets dead level, each step like a single clap of thunder, clean, proud, drunk with the national anthem, with the noise of the crowds, and with the sense of a holy mission, unexampled since the day Bar-Kochba, in Betar, not knowing whether there would ever be others to follow and to take up the struggle, threw himself upon his sword.

Jabotinsky concludes:

Long life to you, my “tailors” of Whitechapel and SoHo, Leeds and Manchester! You were good tailors: you found the torn rags of Jewish honor in the street and you sewed them together—to make a beautiful, whole and everlasting flag.

In 1981 an Israeli historian, lecturing on Jabotinsky’s place in Jewish history, said …

We can now appreciate the depth of the revolution which Jabotinsky, by his preaching of resistance, effected in our thinking [...]. He taught resistance to a people who, for many generations, had lost the capacity and the will to resist.

The Israeli historian who wrote that is Benzion Netanyahu, the father of the prime minister.

More on the relevance of Jabotinsky to Bibi Netanyahu is here and here.

Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky the Jew from Odessa who became one of the towering figures in the history of Zionism — was commemorated on the 70th anniversary of his death in a lecture at Park East Synagogue on August 18 in New York, delivered by Douglas Feith (currently a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute).

It is a 4,000-word discussion of Jabotinsky’s character, accomplishments, and current relevance that is worth reading in its entirety, as perhaps this brief excerpt about Jabotinsky’s political and intellectual influence — then and now — will demonstrate:

Though Ben Gurion is admired by many Israelis, no political leaders in Israel anymore describe themselves as Ben Gurionites.  None describe themselves as Weizmannites.  But many proudly think of themselves as Jabotinskyites …

Jabotinsky understood that the physical vulnerability of a people or a nation has both physical and metaphysical effects. [...] This was a paramount theme of his life.  In his early manhood, he organized a Jewish group to fight violent antisemites in his home city of Odessa.  During World War I, he was the prime mover for the creation of a Jewish Legion in the British army that would help conquer Palestine.  After that war, as the Arabs in the Jerusalem area prepared their first major anti-Jewish progrom, Jabotinsky put together a Jewish defense organization known as the Hagana, a forerunner of the underground militia of the same name.  Jabotinsky created Betar, the Zionist youth organization that trained its members in military discipline and skills.  Jabotinsky provided inspiration and leadership to the Irgun, one of the underground military organizations in Mandate Palestine.  And when he died in New York seventy years ago, he was laboring to the point of exhaustion to create a Jewish army to fight Hitler.

In his book, The Story of the Jewish Legion, Jabotinsky describes how the first Jewish battalion, soon to be deployed abroad, marched through London behind its British commander, Colonel John Henry Patterson.

There were tens of thousands of Jews in the streets, at the windows and on the roofs. Blue-white flags were over every shop door; women crying with joy, old Jews with fluttering beards murmuring, ‘shehecheyanu’; Patterson on his horse, laughing and bowing, and wearing a rose which a girl had thrown him from a balcony; and the boys, those “tailors,” shoulder to shoulder, their bayonets dead level, each step like a single clap of thunder, clean, proud, drunk with the national anthem, with the noise of the crowds, and with the sense of a holy mission, unexampled since the day Bar-Kochba, in Betar, not knowing whether there would ever be others to follow and to take up the struggle, threw himself upon his sword.

Jabotinsky concludes:

Long life to you, my “tailors” of Whitechapel and SoHo, Leeds and Manchester! You were good tailors: you found the torn rags of Jewish honor in the street and you sewed them together—to make a beautiful, whole and everlasting flag.

In 1981 an Israeli historian, lecturing on Jabotinsky’s place in Jewish history, said …

We can now appreciate the depth of the revolution which Jabotinsky, by his preaching of resistance, effected in our thinking [...]. He taught resistance to a people who, for many generations, had lost the capacity and the will to resist.

The Israeli historian who wrote that is Benzion Netanyahu, the father of the prime minister.

More on the relevance of Jabotinsky to Bibi Netanyahu is here and here.

Read Less

How Bad?

How bad is the Ground Zero mosque story for the White House? Bad enough that Obama advisers are pointing fingers at the president and trying to absolve themselves of the fiasco. Politico reports:

Prior to the decision, [Rahm] Emanuel and Obama’s communications staff vividly — and presciently — predicted that Obama would be handing Republicans a weapon to batter Democrats as weak-kneed on terrorism three months before the midterms, according to several people familiar with the situation.

In other words, not our fault! Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod, the president’s most devoted cheerleaders for the most extreme liberal positions, were all for it, you see. But not Emanuel and the communications team because they are smart enough — they remind us — to tell Obama what a harebrained idea this was. But it wouldn’t look good, especially for Emanuel, who had his own bout of “not my fault” media coverage early in the year, to look so blatantly disloyal. So he throws in an e-mail:

“Give me a break,” Emanuel e-mailed POLITICO when asked about a press report that he had opposed the move. “We all stand behind and support the president’s decision.”

But on background, you guys should know: “not my fault!” What is clear is that Axelrod and Jarrett, arguably the most powerful of Obama’s team, also possess the worst instincts:

No one supported Obama more forcefully than Jarrett, Obama’s close friend and the administration’s liaison to the civil rights community, who told people she thought the mosque issue was a matter of core Democratic principle, according to several sources familiar with her actions.

And Axelrod, a canny tactician with a keen sensitivity to political danger, didn’t dissuade his boss from jumping in, citing his own parents’ experiences with religious persecution as Jews in Europe.

Well, I guess his sensitivity to political danger was on the fritz. And his disgusting  invocation of the Nazi analogy — make no mistake, the American people get the role of the Nazis in this one, and the Muslims are awarded the status of potential Holocaust victims – suggests his undiluted leftism has rendered him tone deaf and a severe liability for a president who needs his worst instinct to be curbed, not accentuated.

But this is a reminder that the one responsible for the White House’s egregious political malpractice and who is hermetically sealed from the concerns and values of the American people is the president. He is the only one who matters — and it is his flawed judgment and estrangement from ordinary Americans that have landed him in a ditch.

How bad is the Ground Zero mosque story for the White House? Bad enough that Obama advisers are pointing fingers at the president and trying to absolve themselves of the fiasco. Politico reports:

Prior to the decision, [Rahm] Emanuel and Obama’s communications staff vividly — and presciently — predicted that Obama would be handing Republicans a weapon to batter Democrats as weak-kneed on terrorism three months before the midterms, according to several people familiar with the situation.

In other words, not our fault! Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod, the president’s most devoted cheerleaders for the most extreme liberal positions, were all for it, you see. But not Emanuel and the communications team because they are smart enough — they remind us — to tell Obama what a harebrained idea this was. But it wouldn’t look good, especially for Emanuel, who had his own bout of “not my fault” media coverage early in the year, to look so blatantly disloyal. So he throws in an e-mail:

“Give me a break,” Emanuel e-mailed POLITICO when asked about a press report that he had opposed the move. “We all stand behind and support the president’s decision.”

But on background, you guys should know: “not my fault!” What is clear is that Axelrod and Jarrett, arguably the most powerful of Obama’s team, also possess the worst instincts:

No one supported Obama more forcefully than Jarrett, Obama’s close friend and the administration’s liaison to the civil rights community, who told people she thought the mosque issue was a matter of core Democratic principle, according to several sources familiar with her actions.

And Axelrod, a canny tactician with a keen sensitivity to political danger, didn’t dissuade his boss from jumping in, citing his own parents’ experiences with religious persecution as Jews in Europe.

Well, I guess his sensitivity to political danger was on the fritz. And his disgusting  invocation of the Nazi analogy — make no mistake, the American people get the role of the Nazis in this one, and the Muslims are awarded the status of potential Holocaust victims – suggests his undiluted leftism has rendered him tone deaf and a severe liability for a president who needs his worst instinct to be curbed, not accentuated.

But this is a reminder that the one responsible for the White House’s egregious political malpractice and who is hermetically sealed from the concerns and values of the American people is the president. He is the only one who matters — and it is his flawed judgment and estrangement from ordinary Americans that have landed him in a ditch.

Read Less

Why Bother?

As I observed on Friday, onlookers and officials could barely muster the forced smiles and rote expressions of optimism that normally accompany the “beginning” of (OK, the never-ending, fruitless) direct negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The New York Times confesses:

There is little confidence — close to none — on either side that the Obama administration’s goal of reaching a comprehensive deal in one year can be met. … Yossi Beilin, for example, who left politics in 2008 after years as a leftist member of Parliament and government minister, said Friday that the Obama administration was wrong to set a one-year goal without consequences.

“I think this is a huge mistake by the U.S. administration,” he said by telephone. “There is not a chance in the world that in a year — or two or three — peace can be achieved. The gap between the sides is too big. Netanyahu did not come to power to divide Jerusalem or find a solution to the Palestinian refugees.

And now even the mainstream media don’t bother to conceal the PA’s game:

[Mahmoud Abbas] was hoping that the Obama administration would impose a solution, which he imagined would push Israel to yield more land and authority to him than the Netanyahu government favored.

That is why the Palestinians wanted only indirect talks brokered by the Americans. But Mr. Abbas failed to obtain what he sought, and the administration pushed him toward direct talks. He has agreed only from a position of weakness, he and others say.

Abbas did not disappoint, threatening “that the new round of Middle East peace talks announced Friday by the Obama administration could be over as soon as they begin if Israel continues new construction on the West Bank.” Bibi has already said he will not extend the moratorium. Abbas, you see, is already planning his escape route from the talks.

Umm, did the Obama team not realize all this? And really, what is the point? As one canny observer put it:

Nothing good has ever come of decades of American meddling in the Israeli-Arab “peace process”—at best, it’s been a monumental waste of everyone’s time; at worst, it produced the Second Intifada—and nothing good can come of this latest and most farcical effort.

On the merits, the time and effort invested in the counterproductive “peace process” cannot be justified. But Obama persists, one can surmise, for reasons that have nothing to do with a “two-state solution.” (For that, as George Will correctly observes, is “delusional” at this point.)

Imagining his mere appearance on the stage and a huge amount of suck-uppery to Muslims would deliver the peace that has eluded his predecessors, Obama invested a huge amount of his personal credibility in brokering a deal. He elevated this issue to the top of his foreign-policy agenda. He strained our relationship with Israel to the breaking point. To give up now, as his domestic standing is crumbling, would be a blow — both personal and political — too great to endure. He is merely postponing a humiliation, and at the price of further fraying ties with Israel and provoking yet another intifada when talks inevitably end and Israel is fingered as the culprit.

And, if Obama did not have the endless “peace process” to hide behind and to discuss with the increasingly irritated American Jewish community, what would there be to talk about? Oh, yes, the existential threat to Israel, the rise of a hegemonic-minded Iran, the drift of Turkey into the Islamist orbit, the rearming of Hezbollah, the abominable state of human rights in Muslim countries, and the failure of his administration to do much of anything about any of these issues. Just as Arab despots in the region point to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to distract “Arab street” from their own shortcomings, Obama has used the “peace process” like a gaudy bauble to dangle before American Jews, elite opinion makers, and the media. And to a large degree, he’s suceeeded in lulling them into a semi-catatonic state (and snagging himself a Nobel Peace Prize, which by the way, looks even more ludicrous now than at the time it was bestowed). Once the “peace process” charade ends, the focus would once again be on him and his failure to abate  — in fact his apparent effort to accelerate –the decline of American power in the region. And the president can’t have that, can he?

As I observed on Friday, onlookers and officials could barely muster the forced smiles and rote expressions of optimism that normally accompany the “beginning” of (OK, the never-ending, fruitless) direct negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The New York Times confesses:

There is little confidence — close to none — on either side that the Obama administration’s goal of reaching a comprehensive deal in one year can be met. … Yossi Beilin, for example, who left politics in 2008 after years as a leftist member of Parliament and government minister, said Friday that the Obama administration was wrong to set a one-year goal without consequences.

“I think this is a huge mistake by the U.S. administration,” he said by telephone. “There is not a chance in the world that in a year — or two or three — peace can be achieved. The gap between the sides is too big. Netanyahu did not come to power to divide Jerusalem or find a solution to the Palestinian refugees.

And now even the mainstream media don’t bother to conceal the PA’s game:

[Mahmoud Abbas] was hoping that the Obama administration would impose a solution, which he imagined would push Israel to yield more land and authority to him than the Netanyahu government favored.

That is why the Palestinians wanted only indirect talks brokered by the Americans. But Mr. Abbas failed to obtain what he sought, and the administration pushed him toward direct talks. He has agreed only from a position of weakness, he and others say.

Abbas did not disappoint, threatening “that the new round of Middle East peace talks announced Friday by the Obama administration could be over as soon as they begin if Israel continues new construction on the West Bank.” Bibi has already said he will not extend the moratorium. Abbas, you see, is already planning his escape route from the talks.

Umm, did the Obama team not realize all this? And really, what is the point? As one canny observer put it:

Nothing good has ever come of decades of American meddling in the Israeli-Arab “peace process”—at best, it’s been a monumental waste of everyone’s time; at worst, it produced the Second Intifada—and nothing good can come of this latest and most farcical effort.

On the merits, the time and effort invested in the counterproductive “peace process” cannot be justified. But Obama persists, one can surmise, for reasons that have nothing to do with a “two-state solution.” (For that, as George Will correctly observes, is “delusional” at this point.)

Imagining his mere appearance on the stage and a huge amount of suck-uppery to Muslims would deliver the peace that has eluded his predecessors, Obama invested a huge amount of his personal credibility in brokering a deal. He elevated this issue to the top of his foreign-policy agenda. He strained our relationship with Israel to the breaking point. To give up now, as his domestic standing is crumbling, would be a blow — both personal and political — too great to endure. He is merely postponing a humiliation, and at the price of further fraying ties with Israel and provoking yet another intifada when talks inevitably end and Israel is fingered as the culprit.

And, if Obama did not have the endless “peace process” to hide behind and to discuss with the increasingly irritated American Jewish community, what would there be to talk about? Oh, yes, the existential threat to Israel, the rise of a hegemonic-minded Iran, the drift of Turkey into the Islamist orbit, the rearming of Hezbollah, the abominable state of human rights in Muslim countries, and the failure of his administration to do much of anything about any of these issues. Just as Arab despots in the region point to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to distract “Arab street” from their own shortcomings, Obama has used the “peace process” like a gaudy bauble to dangle before American Jews, elite opinion makers, and the media. And to a large degree, he’s suceeeded in lulling them into a semi-catatonic state (and snagging himself a Nobel Peace Prize, which by the way, looks even more ludicrous now than at the time it was bestowed). Once the “peace process” charade ends, the focus would once again be on him and his failure to abate  — in fact his apparent effort to accelerate –the decline of American power in the region. And the president can’t have that, can he?

Read Less

Desperation Time

The Democrats are now in full retreat. Less 75 days before the midterm elections, the Republicans have a historic lead in congressional generic polling. The president’s approval rating is sinking. It is now every man for himself, as the Democrats scramble to be the ones on the electoral lifeboat that will survive the electoral wave. The smarter and more vulnerable Democrats distance themselves from Obama on the Ground Zero mosque. A few savvy Senate Democrats back extension of the Bush tax cuts. And now they’re even promising to “improve” ObamaCare.

But wait. As to the latter, why not do it before the election? Hey, there is time. They claim that they’re not out of touch. They say the bill could use some work. So how about it, fellows? Oh, yes, I guess they don’t really mean it. This would be another gambit, a fraudulent inducement really, to convince voters to spare them the ax. We’ll put immigration reform at the top of the agenda. We’ll pass a budget. We’ll fix ObamaCare. Desperation rivals dishonesty as the central feature of their campaign strategy.

As the great philosopher Groucho Marx put it, you don’t like those principles? They’ve got other principles. Well, not a principle but an eye-rolling mantra of declining utility: George W. Bush.

It is worth pondering what they mean by invoking the name of the president whose approval is now higher than Obama’s in key congressional districts. The Republicans are going to start another surge and win the war in Iraq all over again? A Republican Senate will insist on judicial appointees of the caliber of John Roberts and Sam Alito? A Republican Congress will insist we not raise taxes in the midst of a recession or burden the private sector with a mind-numbingly complicated regimen of financial reforms? Many voters would say, “Sign me up!” As his brother Jeb Bush put it: “It’s a loser issue — they have a big L on their foreheads. If that’s all they’ve got, it’s a pretty good indication of the problems that the Democrats face in 2010.”

Then there is the old standby: insult the American people. We are bigots, rubes, and Constitutional illiterates, the left tells us. Finding themselves on the wrong side of an emotional issue, they have lashed out at the Ground Zero mosque opponents. It is too much even for Howard Dean: “I think some of my own folks on my end of the spectrum of the party are demonizing some fairly decent people that are opposed to this. Sixty-five percent of the people in this country are not right-wing biogts.” Aww, thanks, Howard. And it’s 68 percent, but who’s counting?

If you think the Democrats’ strategy seems scattered and bizarre, you are not alone. The voters, already cynical and angry, are unlikely to be charmed by transparent campaign inducements or to be scared by bogeymen. Nor are they likely to reward with their votes those labeling them racists. In fact, if the voters didn’t have reason to throw the Democrats out before, all of this may convince them it’s time to give others a chance.

The desperation of the left stems not merely from the prospect of an election wipeout but also from the potential for a repudiation of the undistilled liberal rule that has riled voters. The “permanent majority”, the shift from a center-right to a center-left country — that fantasy goes poof! The real possibility that ObamaCare will never go into effect, leaving as Obama’s sole accomplishment the completion of the Iraq war successfully waged against his objections, is no doubt terrifying to the left.

But if you think the Democrats are desperate now, wait until the election returns are in. The effort to explain the results — to furiously spin the returns as really good news for Obama and to simultaneously blame the results on anti-Muslim hysteria — will make the Democrats’ current campaign tactics seem tame and sane by comparison.

The Democrats are now in full retreat. Less 75 days before the midterm elections, the Republicans have a historic lead in congressional generic polling. The president’s approval rating is sinking. It is now every man for himself, as the Democrats scramble to be the ones on the electoral lifeboat that will survive the electoral wave. The smarter and more vulnerable Democrats distance themselves from Obama on the Ground Zero mosque. A few savvy Senate Democrats back extension of the Bush tax cuts. And now they’re even promising to “improve” ObamaCare.

But wait. As to the latter, why not do it before the election? Hey, there is time. They claim that they’re not out of touch. They say the bill could use some work. So how about it, fellows? Oh, yes, I guess they don’t really mean it. This would be another gambit, a fraudulent inducement really, to convince voters to spare them the ax. We’ll put immigration reform at the top of the agenda. We’ll pass a budget. We’ll fix ObamaCare. Desperation rivals dishonesty as the central feature of their campaign strategy.

As the great philosopher Groucho Marx put it, you don’t like those principles? They’ve got other principles. Well, not a principle but an eye-rolling mantra of declining utility: George W. Bush.

It is worth pondering what they mean by invoking the name of the president whose approval is now higher than Obama’s in key congressional districts. The Republicans are going to start another surge and win the war in Iraq all over again? A Republican Senate will insist on judicial appointees of the caliber of John Roberts and Sam Alito? A Republican Congress will insist we not raise taxes in the midst of a recession or burden the private sector with a mind-numbingly complicated regimen of financial reforms? Many voters would say, “Sign me up!” As his brother Jeb Bush put it: “It’s a loser issue — they have a big L on their foreheads. If that’s all they’ve got, it’s a pretty good indication of the problems that the Democrats face in 2010.”

Then there is the old standby: insult the American people. We are bigots, rubes, and Constitutional illiterates, the left tells us. Finding themselves on the wrong side of an emotional issue, they have lashed out at the Ground Zero mosque opponents. It is too much even for Howard Dean: “I think some of my own folks on my end of the spectrum of the party are demonizing some fairly decent people that are opposed to this. Sixty-five percent of the people in this country are not right-wing biogts.” Aww, thanks, Howard. And it’s 68 percent, but who’s counting?

If you think the Democrats’ strategy seems scattered and bizarre, you are not alone. The voters, already cynical and angry, are unlikely to be charmed by transparent campaign inducements or to be scared by bogeymen. Nor are they likely to reward with their votes those labeling them racists. In fact, if the voters didn’t have reason to throw the Democrats out before, all of this may convince them it’s time to give others a chance.

The desperation of the left stems not merely from the prospect of an election wipeout but also from the potential for a repudiation of the undistilled liberal rule that has riled voters. The “permanent majority”, the shift from a center-right to a center-left country — that fantasy goes poof! The real possibility that ObamaCare will never go into effect, leaving as Obama’s sole accomplishment the completion of the Iraq war successfully waged against his objections, is no doubt terrifying to the left.

But if you think the Democrats are desperate now, wait until the election returns are in. The effort to explain the results — to furiously spin the returns as really good news for Obama and to simultaneously blame the results on anti-Muslim hysteria — will make the Democrats’ current campaign tactics seem tame and sane by comparison.

Read Less

Flotsam and Jetsam

Nancy Pelosi better not ask who’s “funding” them. New York construction workers maybe spell the end of the Ground Zero mosque: “A growing number of New York construction workers are vowing not to work on the mosque planned near Ground Zero. ‘It’s a very touchy thing because they want to do this on sacred ground,’ said Dave Kaiser, 38, a blaster. … ‘I wouldn’t work there, especially after I found out about what the imam said about U.S. policy being responsible for 9/11,’ Kaiser said.”

Democrats better not count any Blue state as safe: “The first KING 5 [Washington] Senate poll for the 2010 general election shows Republican Dino Rossi is actually ahead of Democratic incumbent Patty Murray, 52% to 45%.”

No better assessment of the prospect for a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal than this, from Thomas Lippman: “The likelihood that these talks, or any other, will produce some definitive agreement is between zero and infinitesimal.”

Isn’t it generally better to object before they release the mass murderer? “The Obama administration asked Friday that the only person convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 be returned to a Scottish prison. John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, told reporters accompanying the vacationing leader that the U.S. has ‘expressed our strong conviction’ to Scottish officials that Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi should not remain free. The comments came on the first anniversary of Al-Megrahi’s release.” With this administration, you really don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Blanche Lincoln better not be waiting for help from the DNC or the White House; she’s a lost cause: “Support for incumbent Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln has now fallen to its lowest level yet as Republican John Boozman remains on track to shift Arkansas’ Senate seat to the GOP column. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Arkansas shows Boozman capturing 65% of the vote, while Lincoln earns 27% support.” That’s a record low approval rating for an incumbent, in case you are wondering.

The left better not be banking on support from the Bush team on the Ground Zero mosque debacle. Karen Hughes: “The national debate about building a mosque near Ground Zero in New York is less about our freedom of religion than about the common sense and uncommon courtesy sometimes required to come together as Americans.” She’s with Howard Dean and Harry Reid in asking Imam Rauf to move his mosque, you know, if it’s all about reconciliation.

Better not let Eugene Robinson know, but his colleague Chris Cillizza declares, “President Obama, you finally — and definitely — had the Worst Week in Washington.”

Better have a Kleenex ready before reading this by a West Point cadet.

Nancy Pelosi better not ask who’s “funding” them. New York construction workers maybe spell the end of the Ground Zero mosque: “A growing number of New York construction workers are vowing not to work on the mosque planned near Ground Zero. ‘It’s a very touchy thing because they want to do this on sacred ground,’ said Dave Kaiser, 38, a blaster. … ‘I wouldn’t work there, especially after I found out about what the imam said about U.S. policy being responsible for 9/11,’ Kaiser said.”

Democrats better not count any Blue state as safe: “The first KING 5 [Washington] Senate poll for the 2010 general election shows Republican Dino Rossi is actually ahead of Democratic incumbent Patty Murray, 52% to 45%.”

No better assessment of the prospect for a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal than this, from Thomas Lippman: “The likelihood that these talks, or any other, will produce some definitive agreement is between zero and infinitesimal.”

Isn’t it generally better to object before they release the mass murderer? “The Obama administration asked Friday that the only person convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 be returned to a Scottish prison. John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, told reporters accompanying the vacationing leader that the U.S. has ‘expressed our strong conviction’ to Scottish officials that Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi should not remain free. The comments came on the first anniversary of Al-Megrahi’s release.” With this administration, you really don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Blanche Lincoln better not be waiting for help from the DNC or the White House; she’s a lost cause: “Support for incumbent Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln has now fallen to its lowest level yet as Republican John Boozman remains on track to shift Arkansas’ Senate seat to the GOP column. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Arkansas shows Boozman capturing 65% of the vote, while Lincoln earns 27% support.” That’s a record low approval rating for an incumbent, in case you are wondering.

The left better not be banking on support from the Bush team on the Ground Zero mosque debacle. Karen Hughes: “The national debate about building a mosque near Ground Zero in New York is less about our freedom of religion than about the common sense and uncommon courtesy sometimes required to come together as Americans.” She’s with Howard Dean and Harry Reid in asking Imam Rauf to move his mosque, you know, if it’s all about reconciliation.

Better not let Eugene Robinson know, but his colleague Chris Cillizza declares, “President Obama, you finally — and definitely — had the Worst Week in Washington.”

Better have a Kleenex ready before reading this by a West Point cadet.

Read Less




Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.