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Trump: The Case for Despairing — About America

No sense pretending: Donald Trump is the only news of the 2016 race, and this fact says something very troubling about the Republican party, the conservative electorate, the mass media culture, and the United States in general. Sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s not. Really it’s not.

Ted Cruz goes to war with the GOP Senate leadership; Hillary Clinton proposes the highest tax rates in 70 years; Marco Rubio goes after John Kerry on the Iran deal in a Senate hearing. Well, big deal. Phffft. They’ve all been crowded out by the Trump noise. There will be the first Republican debate in ten days. It’s the most important political event of the year thus far. And it will be all about Trump. He will see to that; the reporters will see to that, and the minor candidates looking to move up will see to it by trying to pick fights with him and best him.

It’s not enough to say that there are matters of deathly seriousness to be discussed, from Iran to ISIS to the possible collapse of the Euro and the Chinese economy to the harvesting of fetal organs, because there are always serious matters to be discussed as elections approach. The issue with Trump is that his approach can only be called “the politics of unseriousness.” He engages with no issue, merely offers a hostile and pithy soundbite bromide about it. He yammers. He describes how wonderful things will be when he acts against something or other without explaining how he will act, what he will do, or how it will work.

The Trump view, boiled down: They’re all idiots and I’m very rich and I know how to do things and if you say Word One against me I will say something incredibly nasty about you and who cares about how the Senate works or the House works or international alliances work or how treaties work or how anything works. That stuff is for sissies and losers and disasters. I know how to do it I me me me I me me I I me. And me. And I.

Politics and megalomania go hand in hand — otherwise, why would the ancient emperors have had someone whispering “Caesar, thou art mortal” in their ears as they paraded triumphantly through Rome to remind them they were not gods? To take one random example, Ed Koch, a very good politician indeed and one who did very good things, spent the last 20 years of his life literally incapable of speaking a sentence that was not in the first person. When I made a close study of the presidency of George H. W. Bush for my first book, Hell of a Ride, I discovered to my amazement that his speeches too were remarkably self-referential and his policies often came down to a kind of “what should a person like me in this situation do” rather than representing a serious grappling with the issues at play. In that book, I called Bush’s time in the White House a “solipsistic presidency,” and the charge still stands.

Trump is something different. He is not a politician whose success has turned him into a megalomaniac, but a megalomaniac who has decided to play politician for a while the way he played being a reality television star for a while. He’s free to do this, of course.

The problem is not with him. The problem has to do with his reception. He is garnering support that may actually be real, and may actually change the course of the 2016 election — and, therefore, American history — through nothing more than blowhardism.

Efforts to figure out how to coopt him and his issues on the part of other Republicans are doomed to failure because it’s not the message that people are attracted to; it’s the messenger. Or, if it is the message, it is a message that cannot be coopted because it is little more than a vile expression of open hatred toward Mexicans in a country where people of Mexican descent make up 11 percent of the electorate. For those who want Trump because of it, anything less than his defamation will strike them as the castrated bleating of what they have started to call a “cuckservative.”

And while happy talk (some of which I’ve indulged in myself) may dismiss Trump as this year’s flash-in-the-pan like the 2012 Republican also-rans, right now he’s more likely a version of Ross Perot in 1992 — the man who got Bill Clinton elected. Perot managed to convince people he was only in it to talk about the deficit and the national debt when it was probably more the case he was running out of a long-standing personal animus toward George H.W. Bush and a desire to deny him the presidency based on an imagined slight. Trump doesn’t even have a real issue to bring in Democrats and Republicans dissatisfied with their choices. Trump is Trump’s issue.

These are unhappy times in the United States, and unhappy times generate unhappy political outcomes. Last week I made the case for despair following the Iran deal. I know people always want commentary that offers a path forward, a way out of trouble, a hope for something better. Sometimes, though, you just have to sit back and despair at the condition of things, and maybe from the despair some new wisdom may emerge.



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61 Responses to “Trump: The Case for Despairing — About America”

  1. ANDY MOSKOWITZ says:

    It’s true that this Trump thing says appalling things about American political and non-political culture, but on second thought, there is an aspect to this that might not reflect so badly. Perhaps, despite the incessant grumbling, the American people do have a rock-solid (if subconscious) confidence in the basic soundness of their underlying system(s), and therefore feel free to enjoy this spectacle as sheer entertainment. Nobody believes the buffoon is going to be elected, or even nominated, and it’s still deep summer, over a year before the election. Democrats are certainly enjoying themselves, and most believe that Trump is only a slightly unfair caricature of actual Republicanism. Republicans, on the other hand, many of whom are clearly enraged and frustrated out of their minds, are happy to get their rocks off through Trump’s uninhibited id. The GOP will not get off unscathed, but the country probably will. I join with Jon Stewart in expressing my undying gratitude to the Donald.

    • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

      Yes, and so do I. But be warned, a populace that makes Fox the leading cable news network, and makes a hero out of a man like Trump, and buys into all the hysterical lies about Obama and the Democrats might very well vote Trump in, and that would not at all be funny for anyone. The pretense of patriotism on the Right as it undermines the United States has led to this rise of Trump. The falsification of American history and of the dedicated patriotism of the Democrats where for eight years the country has lacked a loyal opposition and instead had a Republican opposition working to undermine the country instead of work on its behalf to destroy the President so that he and his Administration could get no credit has led to the creation of a cynical populace which just might accept a man like Trump. He is the radical right wing’s guy. As soon as the Republican’s stopped being conservatives and started their leap into the dark of right wing radicalism, pretending Roger Ailes was a good guide to what was “fair and balanced” news, and the sons of a key father of the John Birch Society (a man William F. Buckley rejected in no uncertain terms) began funding the Radical Right along with the rest of the radical right plutocrats who are not so different from Trump in the end, the avenue for the rise of Trump had been paved. Let us just hope that the right has not so corrupted the electorate that Podhoretz is right to despair. Fortunately, I think this too we can get through. Even if the radical right wins, the Democrats will be the loyal opposition the radical right can not find the loyalty to be. They would certainly have cut the baby in half had they been one of those women arguing over the baby in front of Solomon, no question in my mind. Trump is the radical right’s baby all the way. And don’t bother me with all the stuff about how he used to be a Democrat, or is a Democratic plant. You’re projecting if you do. Take care guys and gals. The loyal opposition will save you yet.

      • TERRY QUIST & M MEYLIKHOVA says:

        The “dedicated patriotism of the Democrats”? As an undifferentiated whole? As opposed to those disloyal Republicans? Please.

        Terry Quist

      • LINDA REBOHKING says:

        Why is Trump a blowhard and Obama who,has sealed his college,records legitimate. Obama had no experience except as a community organizer and a. Couple years in the senate.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        Yes, Terry. In the Eighties the Democrats cooperated with the Republicans and thus the country’s business got done. Under H.W. Bush the Democrats continued to cooperate with President George H.W. Bush. Yes, they denied him things he wanted, but it was never a blanket no as it was under Senator McConnell where Republicans pushed to try to make sure President Obama got no credit for any successes. McConnell made sure to let all know that it was the Republican goal to deny Obama credit for getting anything accomplished during his presidency. Only late in his second term would the Republicans give him votes in things such as the the TPP. The key was to deny him both credit and any sign of legitimacy in either victory, or in 2008, or 2012. Otherwise the Republicans fought him every step of the way, and that was not the experience of Reagan, Bush 1 or Bush 2. I, for one, consider that disloyalty to the country on the part of the Republicans. And they did nothing to scotch the lies about Obama’s citizenship, let the lies regarding Obama’s original election being false because of the alleged actions of the Democratic Party get out the vote group ACORN, accusations which were shown to be false, but not before ACORN was destroyed. Perhaps even more significantly leading Republicans publicly praised Russian leader Putin as a greater leader than Obama as Putin began his takeover of parts of the Ukraine and leading Republicans praised Putin for his leadership at a crucial time as the U.S. was also confronting ISIS.

        Republicans even were praising the communist management of the Chinese economy at the expense of the Obama Administration. This while voters were being thrown off the voting rolls across the country by Republican Governors and Republican Secretaries of State in the states. This is what I mean by the disloyal Republicans Terry. Praising the leadership of Putin and Communist China while attacking the Obama Administration while throwing voters off the voter rolls in the U.S., blocking government action on behalf of the country so as to make sure a President of the opposing party can accomplish much less than he might have, and, even leaving millions without healthcare because the Republican leadership didn’t want such people to have that healthcare if Democrats were going to get any credit for it. And the list goes on. Not to mention throwing many older citizens of the country off the voter rolls because the Republicans fear their votes. To me all of that is unpatriotic and disloyal to the country and the fundamental principles of the country: Praising Putin’s leadership as he moves into the Ukraine as the President is seeking an effective response and at the same time praising Putin’s leadership skills over those of the President’s: That is worse than not patriotic Terry. Can’t you see that? Denying Americans medical care when they can have it? Is that not disloyal to the American people? Think about it Terry. Just think about it hard.

  2. WILLIAM CARROLL says:

    The Republican leadership has no one but themselves to blame for the rise of Trump. How often did they think they could lie to their base until the base turned on them. They delude themselves that if they just just pander to this group enough or that group enough they will find the magic key. (The latest shiny toy they’re chasing is Hispanics who are never going to vote for Republicans.). Meanwhile they laugh and look down their noses at the stupid white conservatives who knock on doors, send in checks, and man the phone banks. At least Trump treats their worries about untrammeled immigration with respect and yes, even anger because they are angry that their country is being sold out to the cheap labor business groups.

    • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

      Well, William, you are certainly right that without employers, there are no immigrants pouring in. Save the flow of immigrants is way down as I understand it, though I haven’t checked the stats lately.

      • WILLIAM CARROLL says:

        Raymond: I’m in favor of an E-Verify system that will hold the employers accountable. We have laws in this country. If the American people decide that importing millions of Mexicans that are in the main illiterate in two languages is a net plus for the country, then by God let’s have that debate. I live in Southern California and can tell you that when the Mexicans take over an area, it soon resembles where they escaped from. I can show you areas here that are basically Mexico. They’ve got it all. Mounds of trash, half naked children running loose, loud blaring trumpet music, men standing around the sidewalks as they use it for their employment office unlicensed food vendors taking up scarce parking. If this is what people want America to be, I suggest they come here and see the reality of it before they decide.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        Good response, William, Thank you.

    • DAVID S LEVINE says:

      I’m afraid that William is also right about the antics of the Republican leadership allowing a vote on the Imp-ort-Export Bank when they needn’t have had one. perhaps it will fail in the end because the House is going away but why have a vote? To please the big business lobbyists?

  3. JAMIE RAPP says:

    Honestly John, I think you’re getting caught up in the 24/7 media cycle, so it’s understandable that it’s bringing you to despair. This IS called the “silly season” for a reason. IMO, Trump’s popularity is more like how GOP primary voters flirted with Gingrich, Cain, et. al., and then settled on a respectable candidate like Romney than it is like Perot in 92’. It’s the summer before likely voters start paying attention, people want to be entertained, and Trump is entertaining. Log off of Twitter and enjoy the summer, come Fall, actual GOP voters will start paying attention and by next year we’ll all look back on the Trump Summer 2015 tour as the political version of a big budget Hollywood blockbuster with lots of explosions, that no one can quite remember a year later.

    • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

      Sure, 47% Romney, who won the real Republican base: 47%. The Red States mostly getting their welfare money from the Blue States. And who will your Romney be this year: The ISIS defeater who took on the unions, Walker? The participant in Project for a New American Century Jeb Bush, cosponsor behind his brother of the Iraq War and thus ISIS? Have you actually heard him speak? Loose canon Cruz with his memorized Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers and all his debate experience schooled in the art of bullying? Rubio with his fresh young face, and not much else? And walk down the list some distance and see what you have. It’s a sad sack list. It might not be long until you’re all shouting: “Trump! Trump! Trump for Emperor!”

      • LINDA REBOHKING says:

        Well I’m sick,of hearing obama Obama Obama. We live in brave new world lies are truth and truth is lies.

  4. DRENNAN LINDSAY says:

    I think you are right on, John. I wonder how much the favorability of Trump and Huckabee is due to their familiarity from television, and the unfamiliarity of the other candidates to anyone from another state.I have never seen either one on TV so I can’t judge their popularity from simple familiarity.

    Republicans are deeply frustrated with their representatives’ inability to respond to the president’s efforts to enact his agenda by ignoring the Constitution and do it all with executive orders. We have always assumed a basic responsibility of any officeholder to do the best for their country, and to abide by their oath of office. What Obama has done is to expose in full the agenda of the hard left. We do not merely disagree with Democrats on matters of policy. This IS their real agenda, and Republicans are rightly horrified.

    • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

      My God! He didn’t ignore the Constitution. Where do you get this stuff. His executive orders were used less frequently than other Presidents, especially those you so dearly love (though you may correct me on this as I did not fact check it and relied on media reports). And where the heavens do you get this stuff about the hard left? There is no “hard left” operating in the United States. Are you high? “The Republicans are rightly horrified”? Now I know you are high. Very high. Get yourself into treatment fast.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        Okay, I got the stats on Executive Orders:
        Check the link:
        http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/every-presidents-executive-actions-in-one-chart/
        And I will do it in reverse order:
        Here it is AVERAGED EXECUTIVE ORDERS BY PRESIDENT PER YEAR:
        OBAMA 33.6
        W. BUSH 36.4
        CLINTON 45.5
        H.W. BUSH 41.5
        REAGAN 47.6
        CARTER 81.0
        FORD 69.0
        NIXON 62.3
        LBJ 62.9
        JFK 75.4
        EISENHOWER 60.5
        TRUMAN 116.6
        FDR 290.6
        HOOVER 242.0
        COOLIDGE 215.2
        HARDING 216.6

      • KATHLEEN BARNES says:

        it doesn’t make any difference how many times a president uses his executive orders. It is about the content its pretty silly that you don’t get that. my guess is the abomination that is our president will continue thinking he’s a monarch with the assistance of a very compliant media and the hard soft and middle left who will do WHATEVER it takes to decimate what remains of our constitution. No hard left indeed, you are the one who needs treatment mr Marshall.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        And I’m supposed to take your word on that? Evidence my dear. Evidence. And I am not being silly at all. I want specifics. You call President Obama an “abomination” “thinking he’s a monarch” and that those who support him “will do WHATEVER it takes to decimate what remains of our constitution.” And you say I need treatment.

        In what sense is the President an abomination? Could you provide detailed evidence to support your thesis? Does he attend nightly witch’s or warlock ceremonies? Is he a member of a demonic cell sent up from Hell? Were you there to witness these ceremonies?

        President Obama thinks he is a monarch? Could you provide evidence for this belief? How do you know what he is thinking? Did you get it from a diary, an interview, a passage in one of his books, something one of his staff reported? Please tell me so I can pass it on? Has he plans to announce that one of his daughters will be succeeding him as President upon his death? Has he created a Praetorian Guard for his protection?

        And the treatment that you say I need, has it anything to do with your preternatural experiences related to your experience with abominations in your community? Are you clairvoyant? Have you ESP? And should I get a knee replacement, or dandruff shampoo, or what?

        By the way, the Roman Army practiced decimation to enforce discipline on its troops at times. In decimation one out of every ten soldiers had to kill himself. How exactly does the Constitution get “decimated”? Are you suggesting that he tears it in ten pieces and then, say, stabs one of the pieces with his short sword? Or does he burn it?

        Anyway Kathleen, thank you for incisive and thoughtful reply. It was very refreshing to learn so much from one of the wiser more well spoken souls in this world. I am glad we have people like you bearing witness to the truth so brilliantly.

      • ALAN BLY says:

        Oh…and on Weinberger on Pollard after some years…he wrote:

        (Weinberger’s memorandum has been the U.S. government’s main basis for Pollard’s continued incarceration.) Yet stunningly, even Weinberger, before his death in 2006, recanted. Weinberger stated in a 2002 interview that the Pollard case was “a very minor matter, but made very important.”

        “It was made far bigger than its actual importance,” he said.

        Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/07/u-s-to-release-israeli-spy-jonathan-pollard-after-30-years/#IZyc2DG8qG4HKBZw.99

    • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

      By the way Drennan, I do apologize for saying you should “Get yourself into treatment fast.” I just criticized someone else for using that kind of talk and was disappointed for finding that I had done so myself. What I meant to say was that I found the word “horrified” to be a bit too hyperbolic, and I pictured all these people in a horror film screaming in real horror. I have not met any one with hard leftist views since the early seventies. So I put the two concepts together of horror and a hard left, and came up with a radical right wing overdosing on hallucinogenic drugs and hallucinating horrifying visions. What would have helped me understand your views better would be if you had been less hyperbolic. I did some research and understand something of this debate regarding Executive Orders and Executive Memoranda now. I will look into it and see if there is any there there, and get back to you. Once again, my apologies for suggesting you needed “treatment.”

      • ALAN BLY says:

        You ask: in what sense is Obama an abomination? I wonder if you are serious and expect an answer or you’re just asking because you chose to place those who object to him on the defensive. Obama, when campaigning for his first nomination as the Democratic candidate for the presidency expressly demanded that Jerusalem be and forever remain the undivided capital of Israel. He declared that “it must!” Now, he is perhaps the world’s most important opponent of Jerusalem remaining undivided. When Netanyahu declared that there would be no Palestinian state under his watch if elected in the last Israeli elections and then backed off from that a few days later, Obama haughtily dismissed Netanyahu’s retreat. What of Obama’s retreat? Particularly in light of the import of the issue on which he retreated and his arrogant judgment of someone else? That’s just for starters on the abomination that Obama is.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        Alan, I simply do not respond to Obama in this fashion, nor do such responses seem even faintly sane to me, and as an American in which American government policy under Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton, W. Bush, and Obama the Annexation of Jerusalem has never been the accepted policy of our government, nor has it been accepted in the United Nations, I find it unusual that an American journal of opinion should find in an abomination that an American President should carry on traditional American policy.

        And here is why I find abomination an odd word to use in today’s language, given that I see people hallucinating whereas you see people seeing clearly.

        Alternative forms[edit]
        abhomination (obsolete)
        abominacioun (obsolete)
        Etymology[edit]
        First attested around 1350. From Middle English abominacioun, from Middle French abomination (“horror, disgust”), from Late Latin abōminātiō (“abomination”); ab (“away from”) + ōminārī (“prophesy, foreboding”), from ōmin (“omen”).[1]

        Pronunciation[edit]
        (Received Pronunciation, US) IPA(key): /əˌbɑm.əˈneɪ.ʃn̩/, /əˌbɑm.ɪˈneɪ.ʃn̩/
        Rhymes: -eɪʃən
        Noun[edit]
        abomination (plural abominations)

        An abominable act; a disgusting vice; a despicable habit. [First attested around 1150 to 1350.][2]
        The feeling of extreme disgust and hatred; abhorrence; detestation; loathing. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][2]
        (obsolete) A state that excites detestation or abhorrence; pollution. [Attested from around (1350 – 1470) to the late 15th century.][2]
        That which is abominable, shamefully vile; an object that excites disgust and hatred; very often with religious undertones. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][2]  [quotations ▼]

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        I’m sorry Alan. Why in the heaven’s name was I calling you Abe last night? Please excuse me.

    • ALAN BLY says:

      I’m afraid your reference to etymology isn’t helpful…Instead, it’s really avoidance. Who cares, really, about whether one president of another or even all hadn’t accepted Israel’s capital as the undivided Jerusalem. We’re discussing Barack Obama here. He ran a campaign insisting on Israel’s policy as the one HE’d insist on, as well, if elected. Then, once elected he became the West’s foremost detractor of that policy. Anyone who argues that he didn’t intend to go back on his word once elected is either naive or just a hopeless Obama ideologue. Accepting that kind of disingenuousness from a politician…or anyone…is accepting an abomination of honesty and decency…and leadership. Stay focused, my man.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        Well I looked into your reference and he did make such a statement. Unfortunately he learned that it is not so easy to reverse so many years of settled U.S. policy. Like so many men and women who enter politics he found he could not follow through on that statement. And as for the statement in the Democratic platform, neither could the Democrats. Neither party does a very good job of standing on its own platform, and you certainly must know that. The fact that you think my reference to etymology isn’t helpful and is in your opinion “an avoidance” is flat out wrong from my point of view, for the application of the term “abomination” to the man because as a politician he found himself unable to act on a promise does not make the gross use of such hyperbole, as you might say, “helpful.”

        As to whether he is “the West’s foremost detractor of that policy,” it would be helpful if you would tell me who the leading non-Israeli Western leaders are. Please let me know who the lesser known Western leaders are who are advocating the policy Obama promised in his first campaign so I might see these lesser abominations.

        Your statement offering an either/or choice as to what makes one naive or a hopeless Obama ideologue, is a choice invented by you, followed by a concoction of words “Accepting that kind of disingenuousness from a politician or anyone…is accepting an abomination of honesty and decency…and leadership.” I imagine you think you are resurrecting the word abomination from the grave somehow and contriving to make me accept your usage.

        Well, Alan, I have never accepted Jerusalem as wholly owned by modern Israel. Why not? Because the government of the United States has never accepted it as such, and it turned out that Barack Obama discovered that he couldn’t change that fact and however much that strikes you as an abomination, an indecency, a dishonesty, or a failure of leadership, it is an unassailable fact. It has been United States government policy for the entire history of the United States, and I guess Barack got his comeuppance on that one.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        No President, Democratic or Republican, has changed that, nor to my knowledge has any country on earth. Perhaps I am wrong. Which countries recognize Jerusalem as wholly owned by Israel. So far as I can find, none.

        But Obama is an abomination. Face it: The world is an abomination!

        Perhaps you are being disingenuous and dishonest if you say otherwise. And if you think the President in a country like the United States can do anything he likes because he said he would, or his party’s platform promised he would, it is you who are naive. To my knowledge Obama has no Ideology as such, and I have many disagreements with Obama, but that does not make me demonize him as an “abomination.” I remain an American patriot, not an advocate for a foreign power who Presidents from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama were extremely reluctant to release because of the secrets he released that were then given to the Soviet Union.

        You want abomination. I give you the Israel’s behavior regarding the
        U.S.S. Liberty and the espionage assignments Israel gave to Pollard and the use of the secrets thereby gained by Israel. Don’t talk to me of decency, honesty, leadership, naivety, and disingenuousness in such a context. Israel is in no position while American presidents, including Barack Obama, have been shielding Israel from Israel’s own abominations by not publicizing to the American people the true depth of Israel’s betrayal of its only true friend in the world–It is not Obama but Israel that is guilty of the real abominations and in the classical etymologically true sense of the word not your pathetically contrived sense.

        Thanks for keeping me focused, my man.

        Goodbye Alan.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        TO PROVIDE A CORRECTION FOR A TYPO OR MISSING WORD OR PHRASE

        I remain an American patriot, not an advocate for a foreign power who Presidents from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama shielded from game changing negative publicity despite their extreme anger (that especially included the CIA, FBI, and Pentagon) after the discovery of Israel’s assignments to Jay Pollard to get particular secrets and all were extremely reluctant to release Pollard ever because the store of military secrets Pollard released were then given by Israeli agents to the Soviet Union in order to get more Jews out of of the Soviet Union. [I read that Cap Weinberger, in a furor, said that Israel had given America’s entire war plans and codes away.]

      • ALAN BLY says:

        Your assumption that Obama “learned the hard way that it is not so easy to reverse so many years of settled U.S. policy,” is being very kind…unreasonably kind…to the President. Instead, what Obama did (sadly, successfully) is to have pandered to the “Jewish vote” and to Jewish contributors with promises of support for Israel which he didn’t, when he made those promises, have any intention to live up to. That conclusion is based on a good number of facts that allow one to confidently conclude that Obama was simply being dishonest when he made them. And, with regard to my remark about Obama being the foremost detractor of Israel’s right to have Jerusalem as its undivided capital, this is my point: There are many who agree with Obama’s present position, Of course, there are all of the Arab leaders who. frankly, couldn’t care less about Jerusalem except for the fact that they don’t want Israel to have it. There is the EU and most of its leaders who are hopelessly out of love with Israel and find fault with Israel at every turn. But, the American President, even one who has abandoned serious American influence in many parts of the world like Obama has, still possesses great influence when he wants to and he does want to with regard to parsing Israel’s role in the Middle East. It’s notable in this instance, that in a very recent decision by the Supreme Court to not permit a boy who was born in Jerusalem, to have that it was “Jerusalem, Israel” noted on his American passport. The Court’s decision stated that this was largely based on the fact that it is this President’s policy (read “Obama’s”) to consider Jerusalem’s status to be unresolved and so not part of Israel. This is giving fiction a footing with more fiction. I do find consolation in the fact that Obama’s tenure is (not) quickly (enough) coming to a close and so his ability to permanently fashion his Arabist policies into reality at Israel’s expense will also come to a close. The fact that Israel is nothing short of an island of civilization in a Middle Eastern world that is extremely rapidly becoming a sea of barbaric and despotic insanity will lead to an American policy recognizing that in the future, and Jerusalem will be Israel’s undivided capital sooner than Obama would like. At very least, it would keep ISIS from moving in.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        Well Alan, I have no love for Islam or Islamic culture, but I also have no desire to see a Clash of civilizations such as Samuel Huntington envisioned, and many seem eager to advance. I also have no love for fundamentalism of any form, be it Christian, Islamic, Marxist, Mormon, pan-slavic, atheist, pacifist, militarist, secular, or you name the ideology. I consider the radical right wing of the United States frequently disloyal and a danger to the country. I had never voted for a Democrat, save for Daniel Patrick Moynihan, until I voted for Al Gore in 2000. But by that time, I had seen what a Republican Congress and Supreme Court would look like and considered the Republican Party and Commentary for that matter not to be at all conservative in the tradition of Edmund Burke or Adam Smith, or even William F. Buckley.

        I only changed my registration from Republican to Democratic during the last year. I don’t think I could ever vote for a Republican again: To me the party is disloyal to the country and the vast majority of its people no matter how those people vote. My vote could never depend on how a candidate treated Israel, especially given the way Israel has betrayed the United States in the past, and as far as I am concerned, in the present. Under your own definitions the Israeli government has been disingenuousness, dishonest, and indecent with regard to the crew of the USS Liberty, the highest military secrets of the Pentagon, and its nuclear threats to which the U.S. must of course head off by acting first and these are the real abominations.

        And knowing American policy in the West Bank, the evident lack of gratitude is glaring as the U.S. pays upwards of half Israel’s military budget while Israel spends billions on West Bank settlements the U.S. is opposed to, and even covers for Israel and whitewashes its crimes against this country, and grants Israel what amounts to a free Security Council veto, it yet still must see Israel’s leaders and American supporters denigrate as an abomination an American President.

        To me this is outrageous and unforgivable. And there we have it.

        As for weakening U.S. power, no one could have weakened as much as the Republicans have, but you wouldn’t know it on these pages because the people here are too busy projecting their own rewriting of history onto others out of the understandable desire to erase the extraordinary disasters Republicans have brought down upon the country. I will say it again: Republicans are not conservatives, no matter how loud or how often they say it. They are radical right wingers, and conservatives are neither. Read your Burke and your Adam Smith.

        Obama has been amazingly patient with all this noxiousness. I admire him immensely for his ability to maintain his balance while all these confused ahistorical people try to shout him down and poison the atmosphere for him. He took over as President when the country and the world was in a state of collapse, and has gradually with the Republicans fighting every move using their propaganda network at full force to rewrite and erase history, and make people forget the truth of things or get distracted with the inessential, or the tinsel distractors used to keep them constantly with their eyes averted from the horrible truths of Republican failure.

        You see an abomination. I see the most wholesome and admirable president since Eisenhower. A conservative in the most patriotic sense of the word. And when Eisenhower didn’t like what Israel did, he did far more than Obama: He told it to go home. And when he didn’t like desegregation, he still ordered the troops out to open those schools because that is what the courts ordered. And when the Republicans told him to shut down Social Security and the rest of the New Deal, he said words to this effect: “You must be nuts!” And when the country was worried about nuclear war he kept playing golf so people complained about all the time he spent playing golf, but, on the other hand, how bad could it be if Ike is out playing golf all the time. He calmed a nervous country. And as he left the White House he gave a speech that Republicans have since systematically dismissed every year they have had the Presidency or control of one or both houses of Congress. But Obama couldn’t pull that off of course. He wasn’t the D-Day commander, or the European Theater commander after all. Nor was he a multi-millionaire with the Roosevelt name like FDR. You cannot pretend that kind of thing of course. But he had other qualities. Something people here don’t take any trouble to look for and see, nor do the liberals who are unhappy with him.

        Well I see those qualities, and I appreciate them. And much as I dislike some of his policies, REALLY dislike some of his policies, I am not going to join the chorus of ninnies the can’t remember the nightmare he faced, the worldwide wreck he faced, that was turned over to him by years of mostly Republican hubris and disastrous policies and actions, that he has somehow had to contend with. And all in all, while you folks abominate and abominate some more, he steadily goes about his business. And no one seems to remember that ISIS was wholly a creation of Bush, Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle, Bremmer, Señor, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and the rest of Commentary’s leaders and the rest of the radical right wing that did so much to make America great again (and all of that nonsense, as if it isn’t great still and always). Oh, and then the Crash came. And do you remember the look on McCain’s face, on Bush’s face?

        Clueless. Just clueless.

        So in came no drama Obama.

        And here we are, aren’t we? Yes, I wish he had sent many of them to jail, then I remember how Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee spent their last days. Obama may be no Lincoln, but he tries to be forgiving.

        Ever so weak you say.

        You will go on and harbor your fierce grievances against Obama because he didn’t keep a campaign promise and the three Jews on the Supreme Court were forced to deny a Jewish boy his wish because Obama wouldn’t take the trouble to break precident and keep his promise.

        That certainly ranks as an abomination.

        I will try to forgive him for not breaking up the banks and throwing a bunch of fat cats in jail. (And all of this about his having a Democratic Congress for two years. Study it. It’s difficult, but he actually had one for a little over two months. But I won’t explain now..

        Perhaps you had an easy life, Abe.

        Reminds of a kid I asked once what the worst moment in her life was, and she said she once laughed while she was drinking tea and the tea suddenly came out through her nose. I told an audience that and it lightened up our night to know that such innocence was still possible.

        Spare me, Abe. Try restarting another Project for a New Century and get the same guys to sign onto it, because that’s what is happening in Jeb Bush’s campaign. You have a future there if that is that what you want? Turns out he is even worse than his younger brother.

        Or maybe it will be quick draw Cruz? Or will it be Rubio? Or straight talking Cristie? Or how about “Obama will show you the oven now” Huckabee, that must be the guy for you! A bible thumper from Arkansas. Just look at the crowd you’ve got on the wrong side. 16 people with the same lines some spoken with punch, some sort of limply.

        No wonder Trump is in the lead.

        Obama is an Abomination.

        Perhaps we might actually get a Jewish president in 2016. Wouldn’t that be a kick?

        But you simply must could try that Project for a New American Century again, you know? It was so successful that last time, it will work even better the next time. And don’t worry, your friends won’t even notice they tried it before. It’s been written out of history. They won’t even know. Who will tell them? If someone does, it won’t make any difference. They’ll just blame it on Obama, or the Clintons, or Social Security, or Medicare or some such thing.

        Got to go shopping for free range chickens and a whole bunch of fix ins. I got to work on making America great again. It’s hard to do with only 10 super carriers and all are nuclear powered, 9 amphibious assault carriers: Now let me see how many super carriers are there in the world? Huh? How can that be? 10! Why we have them all! But Romney said… Oh never mind. And those 9 Amphibious assault carriers they must be pretty small huh? No, they carry as many aircraft and are about the same size as all the other carriers in the world. And those other carriers in the world–Who has them? Why they are almost all U.S. allies? Oh, Russia has one and China has one Russia sold them, but in both cases they are just partial aircraft carriers, and carry not many planes, but America’s allies have some 16 or so smaller aircraft carriers. Yeah we gotta make America great again.

        Shall I keep going Abe. Gotta English Pointer to walk and then gotta go get those Chickens and fix ins I mentioned.

        Shalom

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        BY THE WAY, ABE, THAT SHOULD HAVE READ

        “PROJECT FOR A NEW AMERICAN CENTURY”

      • ALAN BLY says:

        You apparently do have a lot to say. I have tropical fish and watercoloring to attend to for which I am equally motivated if not quite so emotionally invested. Still, I feel compelled to address some of it.

        Strangely, I find myself agreeing with a bit of what you write…just a bit. I will first not that I am not “a Republican.” When for the first time I did register to vote, I did so as a Republican but found that I wasn’t comfortable in that condition and ended that. That’s not to say that I ever registered as a Democrat, though. To have gone that way would have given me hives.

        So too, do I perceive how Republican Presidents have engaged in policies that have weakened American and placed her in disrepute and caused her great distress…and just as unforgivable, in the wake of their foolhardiness, left the country willing to elect an individual of Barack Obama’s ilk. How desperate they left America!

        That having been said, I respectfully ask you; do you have any idea how haughty and condescending you appear with what you post?

        Your rant about how one-sided the America-Israel relationship reveals an anger that I will not characterize. I will say that it is enormously exaggerated and dismissive of Israel’s value to the United States and the world at large, which is far bigger than a country of a mere six million or so. I hope I don’t disappoint if I refrain from making Israel’s case because you are plainly unwilling to accept it and instead fixate on “the settlements in the West Bank.” And, instead, you take the banner of the Reverend Wright’s erstwhile longtime parishioner. Wow.

        Your keen sense of irritation at Israel’s policies with the West Bank are peculiar. I’ve been there…I read intensely about it. I suppose you have as well to harbor such intense feelings about this, but I can’t be sure. But, what I am fairly sure of is that you aren’t so annoyed by Turkey’s time-proven treatment of the Kurds. I am confident that you aren’t posting at blogs or online magazines that give vent to Turkey’s mistreatment of Christians, or for that matter, Myanmar’s abuse of her Muslims, not to mention China’s of the Tibetans. I doubt, too, that you are spending your time criticizing Pakistan’s treatment of Shi’ites or the way immigrant communities in France and England, for example, impose upon the majority populations in those countries. But, Israel, you do have time for, don’t you?

        So, though those who post here are at times very enthusiastic about their positions concerning Obama, Israel, etc., I plead guilty to, more often than not, agreeing with them and see what they say as non-political correct, more-often-than-not, fair and credible observations.

        And, now that we’re back on the subject of Israel because I fear that you were bored at the mention of Pakistan and Turkey for which I apologize, here again I want to note that you ought to be more aware of how condescending you appear.

        You suggest that I “will go on and harbor [my] fierce grievances against Obama because he didn’t keep a campaign promise and the three Jews on the Supreme Court were forced to deny a Jewish boy his wish because Obama wouldn’t take the trouble to break precident (sic) and keep his promise.” Do I really have to articulate that I mentioned that decision in my post as a metaphor and solely in that vane? I chose to do that rather than to mention the enormous insinuation that the President has indulged in, in lecturing Israel’s leaders as to which borders it should agree to in the “negotiations” that it foisted on Israel, at a time when it was clear that nothing would come of them other than the wanton release of murderers and terrorists. And, when he asked, much less demanded nothing of the Palestinian. I chose to not note the slights he whined about and the demands for apologies from Israel’s citizens and parliamentarians for having stated honest criticisms in their own country of his “highness.” (which gives me a chuckle, I admit, when you go out of your way to mention how “forgiving” Obama is. I suppose we see his charm differently.)

        Mr. Marshall, I mentioned the Supreme Court decision as a metaphor for Obama’s mean-spirited, transparently dishonest perspective of Israel. I didn’t feel it was necessary to note that when Israel finally, after thousands of rockets and finally kidnapping-murders of its citizens it undertook a defensive war against a depraved Hamas and our President “urged restraint” by both parties! Did he really believe that Hamas could care a wit about his suggestion that they show “restraint? And, where was his proclivity for “restraint” when Saudi Arabia undertook its assault on Yemen’s Shi’ite forces and civilians?

        I suppose some people believe that only Israel needs to be urged to show restraint. Yeah, right!

        
Where was that man when he undertook to promote and coddle the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’ soulmate that even an intensely Muslim Egypt finally had to reject in the most pronounced way that it did because if its abuses? Where was your favorite modern President when those rockets were incessantly fired at civilian targets in Israel for so long? The fact is that he was in denial. Utter denial. He bases his very policies regarding Israel and the Palestinians as if there were no Hamas. Period. Your admiration for a man so out of touch with reality is precious. You are a very charitable man, indeed.

        So, forgive me for being impatient when you lecture me and everyone else about your fondness for the President and our naïveté or even stupidity for not being so much his fan as you are . There simply is another side of him that you wantonly ignore. Dragging up the USS Liberty (how many years ago was that?) is very revealing about your flights of fancy about this whole matter.

        Kindly attempt to be a bit less dismissive of my…and other supporters of Israel…who are all too attuned to the essential unfairness and very frequent irrational motivations and prejudices that the President regularly demonstrates drive him with palpable arrogance.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        Abe, I have to go way up on the page to find the reply box:

        Well, I read your reply box, and of course I am surprised.

        But pleased in a way, because we do have a dialogue going, though perhaps it goes nowhere, as I wasn’t at all aware I was ranting. I thought I was very civil.

        I thought your reply here was a rant, and perhaps you thought it was very civil.

        I am not going to take a lot of time here: From memory a couple of points:

        You cannot possibly argue that 1967 was a long time ago to make a big deal about while you are making a big deal about the West Bank. The two events: The USS Liberty and the Six Day War are connected. And Israel became a kind of “hero” if you will of mine in 1967, but the willful slaughter of those American sailors dashed much of that, as did the huge amounts of money Israel has spent populating the West Bank while the U.S. was providing it with billions of dollars of weaponry while opposing the settlements. The U.S. does not provide such money to Turkey or whatever other places you mentioned. Israel and Egypt together get most of U.S. foreign aid. And the only reason Egypt gets three billion dollars foreign aid per year is to keep it off Israel’s back. That doesn’t happen in any other country. It is kind of like a broken love affair. Israel broke my heart, so to speak, though that in deed exaggerates it for sure.

        I was raised a Christian, but many of my friends were Jewish and they made a huge difference in my life. My intellectual interests are great, and you cannot be interested in Western Civilization without being interested in Judaism. I am not at all attracted to Islam, though in my community the people I trust the most are Palestinians. They are the most honest people I know. This fact does influence me, but on the other hand I could never discuss this kind of stuff openly with them, because one cannot question the Koran or Muhammed for one second with them. Still, sticking with business, and their families, and all is fine.

        My favorite composer is Jewish for example and I almost live for him, but he was not exactly a practicing Jew, but Jewish music breathes in his music.

        Your take on Reverend Wright is simply not my own. My take on Obama’s religion comes far more from his eulogy in Charleston, for example. To you that is probably all fraud. To me, such an attitude toward his eulogy is enough to make me want to walk away in disgust. I can hear Wright talk, and I hear the voice of a 250 years of American slavery and over a hundred years of Jim Crow, and why not? Why shouldn’t Obama have heard such sermons? I don’t know if Wright was anti-semitic, but I can tell you this, I have never befriended an anti-semite in my life, nor uttered an anti-semitic word in my life, though no doubt anti-semitic hunters on the pages of Commentary can know doubt find some little inkling of it in me somewhere, but I have no idea where. (Some of my best friends are Jews. Rats, I gave it away.)
        Anyway, I will see if it is worth your while and mine to maintain this conversation, but as a history teacher Israel is part of American history much more than the other countries you mention. I have a narrow book case on Israel, and a narrow book case on the Muslim world. There are about 5.5 million Israelis, and about 1.5 billion Muslims. I would say I have given quite the advantage to Israel for cultural and historical reasons.
        I used to like to shock my students by saying suddenly “Jesus was a Jew.” Inevitably students would look around as though I had said something scandalous. Thus would begin my discussion of anti-semitism and how ridiculous it was. And someone would inevitably say “But the Jews killed Christ.” And I said, “No they didn’t.” And usually someone said with a little prompting, “the Romans killed Christ” and then I said and do you know why Paul wrote in the New Testament that the Jews killed Christ and so on, because he wanted to convert the Romans to Christianity, and so on.

        It depended on what class I was teaching. My job has always been to clear the air. And these pages are fouler than any air I have ever found. The people here are worse than Angela Davis radicals in the Sixties. They are over the top. You each seem to reinforce each other. I think one person is about to lose it, and the rest of the people are utterly unaware of it. No one cares about anyone on these pages that I can see. I have one connection with you, and have found another kindred spirit haunting the pages, and we sort of shared a joke, I think it might be lower on this page actually, but I am not sure. You can look for it. He actually has a published book and a blog. But I think there is a kid on these pages that might be really in danger and other people, adults I think, one can’t tell here because most people are so manic, egg him on and encourage him.
        This site is not healthy. That is why I may not hang around, but I might keep talking with you. We will see if anything comes of our conversation. You have qualities I can sense, but I am not sure we can cross the gap that separates us. I will try to give it a shot.

        Anyway, good night Abe. (Or more likely, good morning.)

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        Yes Abe, that little exchange I had, and his blog and the really funny set of exchanges is right after this comment.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        Okay, this is the spot to say it, I guess.

        ALAN. I am sorry. I kept referring to you as Abe is last night’s email–actually this morning’s email–Please excuse me.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        ALAN,
        You know Alan, I decided to remind myself of what the word “rant” meant because I knew I had not been ranting, and though I suppose this doesn’t mean much to you, here is what I found:

        Noun
        rant (plural rants)

        A criticism done by ranting.
        A wild, incoherent, emotional articulation.

        To speak or shout at length in an uncontrollable anger.
        To criticize by ranting.

        One, I was not wild, or incoherent, or possessed of uncontrollable anger.
        I might have been emotional and critical and angry, but that alone is hardly enough to fulfill the definition of a rant.

        Perhaps you consider it a lecture, and I suppose it was. There are a good many people on these pages who need to attend a few hundred lectures to straighten themselves out. Ever read a non-fiction book. It is a form of lecture. You don’t like long lectures, don’t read non-fiction books, especially great ones.

        Not that I am passing my efforts off as great ones. If people had to write greatly to write, they would never write at all. Is that what I would have to do? Write greatly? Stop every five sentences to wait a day for your response if it ever came? Watch the Commentary folk and their unique new synthesis of group paranoia run amuck as they work other into near hysteria while I waited for your response before I went on to say another word?

        God created a universe 13.7 billion light years across, and about 13.7 billion years old. The earth has been around about 5 billion years. Most scientists now believe their are about, I don’t know, maybe 14 dimensions. And that God first spoke 4,000 some years ago to Abraham. And eventually gave on to Abraham’s children’s children’s children for all eternity the small area known to us as Israel. And in the Christian year 72 they were cast into what is widely called diaspora. But that land remained their God given right for almost two thousand years, all people are to believe. Then you Allen suddenly tell me that 1967, the year Israel took East Jerusalem and the West Bank happened too long ago to be concerned about an Israeli massacre of American sailors and the subsequent pay off of the U.S. of $6,000,000 for damages to that ship representing $1 for each Jew killed in the Holocaust. So nearly 2000 years ago is almost yesterday in a Jewish context, and 58 years ago is almost ancient history, no longer worth thinking about, in an American context. You don’t see a problem there, and that is a problem– A big problem. I want the whole story spread out in front of the American public by the survivors you see, because I think it proves, along with a number of other facts, that Israel is not, and has not been, and ally of the United States. And I think that is a provable fact.
        I am not anti-Israeli. I know that members of the attacking craft did not want to do what they were ordered to do. I know that the Israeli people do not hate the United States. The Israeli leadership however, and many of its American supporters, see America’s job as primarily to support Israel, and nothing else. The vast majority of American Jews are loyal to the United States first and foremost. But things changed in 1967 for reasons you may not even understand because you may not have taken much trouble to understand how extreme the change was in the American fundamentalist right was was Israel took East Jerusalem in 1967. If you do know about it, you are underestimating its influence and its possible consequences. To get an idea, Google red heifer and notice how many hits you get. Then start going through the hits, and keep checking page, after page, after page, after page, after page. The obsession is to bring on Armageddon in Northern Israel (joyously mind you). And with Armageddon all Jews will go to Hell save those who convert to Christianity. And these people, who form 20% of the voting Republican base, are welcomed into Israel as the famed “Christian-Zionists” who love the Jews because they will one day destroy the Dome of the Rock and build the Third Temple, and according to their reading of the Christian bible, the Antichrist will then appear, most think he is already alive, and a giant war will occur in northern Israel that will lead to hell for all remaining Jews and the return to earth of Jesus Christ for his 1,000 year reign. These are the most important and solidified voting block of the Republican Party. Without it they cannot win the White House or much else. These are your allies, your friends. People who want all Jews to go to hell, but first they must get Israel to build that Third Temple, and what is so important about that Red Heifer. Well I will leave you to figure that bit of foolishness out for yourselves. Yes, these people are of course off their nut, but they came out of the woodwork with the taking of East Jerusalem by Israel. They love Jews, as long as they build that temple and convert, otherwise it’s do the Christian God’s eternal Auschwitz with no chance of death to ease the pain ever. Aren’t they sweet, Alan? Ever so sweet. Now get yourself some of those ribs over their Alan, and have yourself some of grandma’s pie, she just baked it herself, and donate some money to Israel, they got that awful black man in the White House selling them down the river to Eye-Ran, we gotta make sure dat don’t happen before the Lord done return to set things right don’t we Alan, and we can dunk you in dat water over dere and make you Christian, ain’t than right Alan. Here’s a copy of the good book, you might want to be reading this before the Lord done come to test you on this, you don’t want to be found wanting den do you now, Alan. Dose fires down under is mighty hot, and da Lord git mighty mad when he find people dis him. He let Satan burn den to a crisp like that bacon over and over til the end of time. And he start with those Jews that Lord does. They a hard people you know. Very hard.

        The Christian Zionists. Israel’s friend. You don’t take it seriously do you. Well, Israel has the bomb. Once it got the bomb, it pretty much guaranteed Israel would be the home of the next nuclear war, forget Iran. Every country in the world that is within the reach of Israeli nuclear forces is a possible target. That includes Russia, which was probably being targeted by Israel in 1973. Thus the huge change of American policy all of a sudden in 1973 as the Israeli threat became clear: The famous Samson Option: If we go down everyone goes down.

        Its wild and crazy stuff. I can see why hysteria abounds on these pages. Fortunately, there are a lot of Israelis and a lot of American leaders who can keep their heads. Fortunately none of the people on these pages are in positions of authority, at least not any more, thanks to the grotesque disasters of that Plan for a New American Century hatched by so many of its alumni and other radical right wingers.

        Enough.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        Oh, Alan, a couple of last points:

        You say, and I quote with emphasis added:

        “Instead, you quite literally condemn the very air that people who might get animated breathe because they might be frustrated because the one Jewish country in the world is treated differently than any other for the simple reason that it is Jewish…the very same motivation that led to one pogrom after another and ultimately left 6-million dead. YOU MAY TAKE THAT LIGHTLY, but let me remind you that there are those that don’t. And, if they say something that you don’t like, it doesn’t make them the VERMIN THAT YOU SO BLITHELY CHARACTERIZE THEM TO BE. Frankly, with your holding on to the USS Liberty incident (I mention that here as a metaphor…to be clear) and your obviously unsympathetic concern for Israel’s safety, it is certain that YOU APPEAR TO MANY [HERE ON THE COMMENTARY SITE IS IMPLIED], I assure you, TO BE VERMIN. I SUSPECT YOU AREN’T THAT BAD, though I probably couldn’t successfully convince many people here that you aren’t.”

        So here we have a Jewish journal of opinion, in which you suggest in an absolute and astounding lie that I am indifferent to the horrors of the Holocaust, and then you go on to state in yet another flat out lie that I have called the people here, or Jewish people in general “vermin.” Then you further go on to “assure” me that many of the people on this site consider me “vermin,” but you suspect that I am not as “bad” as vermin.

        That is the most incredible paragraph I have ever seen written in Commentary. That an intellectual journal of the Jewish people, a people whose ancestors were literally considered and called “vermin” by the SS and its infamous Death Head Squads could call me “vermin” because I take issue with Israeli government actions with regard to the United States and with the tenor of their comments regarding the President of the United States is shocking beyond my capacity to find words for it. That any Jew anywhere could call human beings vermin is a startling admission much less in the pages of Commentary.

        And that you could so condescend to lower yourself enough to suggest that I might not be as bad as vermin. And from that I am expected to learn that Israel and its supporters are what? ARE WHAT? Vermin hunters of the first order? Exterminators? A people to be trusted? What are you trying to convince me of, Alan?

        It is hard to believe you could be so thick! My God man! Those who disagree with you are just so many fleas, lice, and rats. Vermin! Were you not aware that the Nazis used such terms as they slaughtered six million Jews. You are becoming what you despise, Alan and don’t even know it, and given the evidence of your letters you will never know it, for you cannot be wrong.

        And don’t put me in that camp with that lie above. I never suggested such a thing. And because you lie about me, I refuse to credit you with being being right about your fellow Jews. I won’t believe it. Certainly put a group of Jews in a room and if someone calls non Jews vermin, the others will shut them down fast. How could it be otherwise? Out of the fire, out of the sacrifice of the Holocaust must come something other than the creation of human vermin exterminators?

        It is you with your fish and your water colors who have made this up. If the Jews of Israel are walking around thinking of the Palestinians as vermin it is over for you, and not because of the Palestinians or the Iranians or Barack Obama, but because you yourselves are now the ones who have forgotten the Holocaust for you are thinking the way of the your ancestors’ torturers and executioners and their bosses and the many people that looked the other way and did nothing.

        I don’t know where you live, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you woke up tomorrow feeling a bit like Gregor Samsa for having sunk so low. But more probably, I feel, you have already sunk too low to wake up. Feed your fish. And watch out for vermin. Just go to work as if nothing as wrong. Don’t worry. Not everyone sees or lies the same way you do, and besides, you don’t even know you do it, do you? No? I thought so. (That was a no folks, a resounding No!)

        Shalom

      • ALAN BLY says:

        That’s fantastic. Your response with its characteristic histrionics and contortions was all I could ever ask for. So, here’s the deal: I’m going to allow you the last word! Why? is it because you’re a knowledgeable man that sheds light and wisdom on perplexing issues? Is it because you’ve been bestowed with insight and clarity that I and all others that may bask in the sunshine of your posts are made better people by it? NAH!! It’s because every single time you post here you reveal a vile pomposity, the magnitude and plainness of which you’re amazingly too self absorbed and satisfied to even recognize. It allows me to have you do all the work of making your Israel bashing crowd appear exactly as they are: self righteous know-nothings that don’t use their brains but will instead cast absurd accusations wherever and whenever they please. Thank you, Professor Marshall for making this so darn easy.

    • ALAN BLY says:

      So, by now we can discern your “style.”  You are naked. The Emperor, so to speak, has no clothes. You make great effort to appear the intellectual with your honing in on a word here and an anecdote there. But, at the same time, you reliably avoid confronting any real issue and with the wave of a hand, dismiss anyone for having expressed theirs as if their opinions are nothing short of simply empirically incorrect, if not crude and barbaric.

      That does make for a challenge if one wants to have a meaningful discussion with you about an issue because you are much like your overwhelmingly “honest” Palestinian neighbors with whom it is impossible to discuss religion. A small example is that after siting Weinberger as a major source of the significance of Jonathan Pollard’s transgression, you make no mention of my having reminded you of Weinberger’s expressed real sentiments about Jonathan Pollard’s despicably harsh sentence. Instead, you are happy to have made your spurious point and let it land wherever it does, like a Hamas rocket.

      Indeed, the very notion of your “rocket” about ‘Palestinians being the most honest people in town is so laughable that you don’t even get your own joke. The Palestinians…honest!!! If there were ever a People for whom the adjective “honest” does NOT apply, it arguably would be the Palestinians. Are the Palestinians honest when they formally declare Jesus to have been one of their own, and not a Jew? Are the Palestinians “honest” when they, as they very recently declared that there was never a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem? Are they “honest” when they claim Jewish holy sites that pre-existed Islam by hundreds and hundreds of years as having been Islamic in origin and got an anti-Semitic UN agency to agree with them? Maybe you think that if a Palestinian in your neighborhood tells you it isn’t raining when it isn’t…this good enough to conclude that Palestinians are the most honest people in town. You might consider elevating your standards.

      Your sophistry regarding my dismissive remark about the USS Liberty incident is cute. You exoressly attempt to keep that matter’s importance breathing by linking it to “the West Bank,” which you so condescendingly remind us still exists as an issue, is as valid as keeping the Confederate Flag flying over South Carolina because that State is still in the South.  You see, the West Bank is an issue that generates differing points of view. It has history, it has legalities attendant to it, it has geopolitical significance and it has security relevance to Israel, etc. You do not grapple with ANY of those. None! You find it adequate to simply pillory Israel for having the misfortune of not being able to deal with it in any way that leads anywhere good because there is no one with whom they can settle the matter. You are obviously a partisan in the Israel-Palestinian discord, and your wistful cry that “some of my best friends are Jews” doesn’t cut the mustard when one does have a concern…a real concern for Israel’s safety and integrity. Instead, you quite literally condemn the very air that people who might get animated breathe because they might be frustrated because the one Jewish country in the world is treated differently than any other for the simple reason that it is Jewish…the very same motivation that led to one pogrom after another and ultimately left 6-million dead. You may take that lightly, but let me remind you that there are those that don’t. And, if they say something that you don’t like, it doesn’t make them the vermin that you so blithely characterize them to be. Frankly, with your holding on to the USS Liberty incident (I mention that here as a metaphor…to be clear) and your obviously unsympathetic concern for Israel’s safety, it is certain that you appear to many, I assure you, to be vermin.  I suspect you aren’t that bad, though I probably couldn’t successfully convince many people here that you aren’t.
      All in all, people like yourself will be in the majority. We know that. Palestinian partisans abound…in much of Europe Palestinians are the darlings and even in San Francisco, I’m told, expressing pro-Israel sentiments are more often than not, greeted with social disdain. But, that’s no matter.  Palestinian partisans…and Obama apologists, I’m afraid…will insinuate themselves in any place that pro-Israel expressions are aired. They revel in attacking people who are concerned for Jewish culture and survival in much the same way as Palestinians and their allies physically attack elderly Jews and Jewish school children in Jewish neighborhoods in Paris or Brussels. It’s just another form of the same thing. But, the truth is that when someone like yourself does come into such a community to express your noxious ideas, all that really is, is the kind of poisonous air that you so easily attribute to being generated by others.  I myself find it odd, but personally, to a degree, I enjoy the repartee. I don’t have a compulsion to strike out at the idiotic, pseudo-intellectual, anti-historical points that so frequently and ubiquitously underpin the Palestinian narrative. I find the intensity of anti-Israel sentiments to be so over the top and so thoroughly out of touch with reality and decency and history and archeology that it invigorates my admiration and concern for that wonderful, impressive country that Israel is.

      Perhaps you can ignore the obscene assault on Jewish history that so characterizes the Palestinian position. Perhaps you can comfortably exaggerate the level of abuse that Palestinians experience notwithstanding the intensity and relentlessness of their international efforts to destroy the Jewish People in Israel and elsewhere. Perhaps you can rationalize an American President’s efforts to “put sunlight” between Israel and the United States. I believe that the best policy is to be able to address issues head on…directly…without avoidance and without detours.

      My suggestion to you is that if you want to have an intelligent discussion about issues such as these….an intellectual discussion such as these…do it more honestly than you do. Do it directly. Do it without holding on to your obvious prejudices and rancor. I’d be there for that.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        I don’t recognize the person you are describing Alan, nor the person you claim has been writing me, but I am impressed by the power of your invective. A few things stand out: Now I looked through your writing a few times just now, and could not find any reference to Weinberger at all, so you either I missed it several times, or you thought it and forgot to write it. Check it for me please, but don’t bother typing it and sending it now. It’s too late.

        When I mentioned the Palestinians where I live, I did not intend to make a blanket statement about all Palestinians. I was saying that in my experience the ones I had met seemed like decent enough people and were in fact more honest than most. My comment of having Jewish friends, at least the one in parentheses, was meant to be a humorous one regarding people who were anti-semites who used that as a cover. It was meant as a joke in other words.

        I don’t know the Palestinian argument in any detail. I only know their dire situation and how they got to be where they are; and I know it largely from reading Benny Morris’s books. Morris, as you must know is a first rate Zionist historian whose loyalty to Israel is unquestioned, as inconvenient as much of his scholarship and honesty has been to the old propaganda Israel used as to how it came into being and Joan Peters made widely misinforming the public in her book From Time Immemorial. Ari Shavit’s effort to revise the myth has tried to catch up with Morris’s history and that of the other so-called New Historians.

        I have no detailed knowledge of the legal nitty gritty of the arguments, nor of the Palestinian positions except that contrary to Israeli claims, the story about the creation of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians had been highly falsified by Israeli propaganda.

        I realize you write from one point of view to highlight one set of events and circumstances and while I write from a different point of view to highlight another. Thus we work at cross-purposes. I write to make the argument that Israel is not an American ally. I claim that Israel uses the U.S. (and remember I am always speaking of the Israeli government, not the Israeli people).

        You write from the point of view that the world including me and most especially Obama is out to destroy Israel out of deep seeded anti-semitism. That the Palestinians are blood thirsty, lying, thieving terrorists who have not got a legal leg to stand on, and that President Obama is opening the way to the destruction of Israel out of a deep seated hatred of Israel at least in part gained at the feet of Jeremiah Wright.

        So we are making two arguments, you see. I don’t want to engage yours, because I am making a narrower argument about the alleged alliance between the U.S. and Israel. And you don’t want to engage mine, because you think mine is rubbish and you want to make a universal argument about the attitude of the world toward Jews insisting that what one thinks of Jews is the same as what one thinks of Israeli government policy. I don’t wish to engage that, partly because in terms of the details of the many negotiations regarding Israel and the Palestinians, the Egyptians, the Jordanians, the Lebanese, and the Syrians, and relations world wide, it is both too broad, and, I think, intentionally so. I grant that the Islamic world is anti-Jewish, though I will be damned if I can understand if Arabs, being a semitic people, can be anti-semitic, some how anti-Jewish seems more accurate in their case.

        With regard to the terrorism associated with Islam and Palestinians and Muslims who could regard it as anything other than nightmarish: my problems would be the terrorist roots of Israel: The Irgun, the Haginah, and the Stern Gang, some whose leaders became famous Israel leaders (Begin, Shamir) who said one should never negotiate with a terrorist, and I have seen the video images of Israeli soldiers breaking the arms of children intentionally, or of course the havoc in Gaza and the miles of collapsed building, or the collapse of Lebanon in particular. My suspicion has always been that Israel’s invasion of Lebanon and its occupation thereof under Sharon gave birth to Hezbollah as much as any money from Iran ever did, and that if you imprison people in hopeless poverty in Gaza and severely restrict their access to jobs and goods and services, you will of course give rise to something like Hamas. In other words, Israel’s own behavior creates the hopelessness that creates the nastiness of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the suicide bombers, and the perverse psychology in the region. But I do not wish to debate this topic, because the suicide vests, the videos of martyrs, the bus bombing, the cafe bombings, the use of children to slaughter women and children is utterly sickening and also will call up the worst in others. So it is a nightmare situation from both sides, and I am not on the ground, and if I were on the ground I am not sure how much I could see, that is why I have taken a video tour of Israel with Netanyahu, first rate books about the access roads to the West Bank settlements, the walls, the operations of the IDF, the Mossad, Jerusalem, the liberalness of Israeli culture, and histories of Zionism, and so forth, but also books on the Israeli lobby in the U.S. I have read a good deal of Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz over the years, but don’t think too much of either of their sons.

        I am not anti Jewish. This is a game people play. I have heard Jews that are critical of Israel dismissed as “self-hating Jews”. The comment disgusts me. I know that if the accusation is ever thrown at me that I am anti-Jewish, or that I hate Jews, that it is absolutely false. And I know it without a doubt. And I am not sure, but I suspect you just through it at me. I have known blacks who tried that same trick on me. My answer always was: I don’t dislike (distrust, suspect, doubt) you because your black, I dislike you because your you.

        I also know when I went to visit a Jewish couple I regarded (wrongly) as good friends, the night of the 9/11 attack, that they were happy because this meant the U.S. would now know what it was like and be all the more bound to Israel. He was a former colonel in the IDF. And when I walked out of their house that night, I knew they and I were not friends. But, I didn’t take them to represent all Jews. Not for a moment. Just as when my Palestinian friends in town send me pictures of Israeli police “murdering” Palestinians in the street, I don’t give those pictures any credit at all, for I have no idea what the story is behind them: I don’t know what I am seeing. And I know that they aren’t sophisticated enough to understand how photographs can lie, even without being manipulated.

        Now, enough for protecting myself from your personal attack on me and making my point that we are not arguing about the same things. Obviously you feel and apparently many or most Jews feel that the world is literally against them, especially those Jews who are daily involved with what is going on in Israel. I subscribe to Haaretz, get a news letter from Bernard Avishai who is an Israeli writer and business man I greatly admire who also writes for The New Yorker, and has two excellent books under his belt. When I read Benny Morris, Bernard Avishai, Amos Oz, or Haaretz, I don’t get any of this the world is against us atmosphere or attitude. I find on these pages. It just isn’t there. The air is freer.

        So, I am not going to subject myself to being called an anti-semite, a Jew hater, a pseudo intellectual, or someone who doesn’t care about the Holocaust, or wants to see Israel driven into the sea. The first time I saw photographs I was alone at home and the U.S. News and World Report had come. I think I was about ten. I was stunned. I could not believe what I was seeing. I can still see those pictures, poorly printed as they were, and I was in a state of shock. I think half the reason I became a history teacher and thought of becoming a minister was that shock. I wanted to answer the question how could people do this to one another? Well now I have thought about it a lot, forget the never again, it has kept going on and on in country after country after country. I have photographs of the lynchings whites did of blacks. Gunnar Myrdal wrote a great two volume series on what life was really like for blacks in the South in the 1930s. You could buy the severed hands of black men in curio shops on back streets in a number of southern towns. And some of the most famous lynching photographs weren’t taken in the South, they were taken in Indiana or Illinois. From Cambodia, to Rwanda, to the Congo, to Liberia, to China, to the Soviet Union, to India, to and you know the story, it goes on and on and on. Suicide bombings carried out in beautiful Sri Lanka against the Buddhists! The Tamil Tigers, Hindus, invented the suicide belt and started using women suicide attackers. It’s nationalist leaders, with people who feel culturally deprived or put down, and people who rebel.

        I don’t think the world hates Jews. The world might hate Israeli government policy. That is true. And if Israeli leadership decides to go for a Greater Israel, it will hate that government more.

        My point is simple: The Israeli leadership has not operated as an ally of the United States. It has no alliance with the United States. I suppose it does what it can when it suits it, but it takes and takes and takes, and gives back betrayal. You care not one whit about my points and dismiss them. That is part of my point. You don’t care.

        Your points are legalistic ones, and I am not interested in getting into the minutiae of the endless negotiations which I know the Israeli leadership never intended to resolve. When Rabin was assassinated, that was it. The powers that be in Israel wanted a Greater Israel come what may. Well come what may may well come, and it won’t be pretty, and it most certainly won’t be Obama’s fault. When Israel went nuclear, it became a much bigger target. I once recommended on these pages that Israel ask the U.S. to give Israel 30 MOPs (GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator bombs) so it knew it had the capacity itself to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities if that was the issue. Then I realized that at a weight of 30,000 pounds for each MOP the only plane that could carry them was the U.S. Carter initiated B-2 Stealth Bomber which cost nearly a billion dollars each. In no way would the U.S. sell or give such an advanced plane to a country like Israel that had betrayed it before, especially since Israel had nuclear weapons and was known to have the Samson Option among its war plans. Not to mention the plane was no longer being built (Reagan had wasted 100 billion dollars building the nearly useless B-1 bombers), and the U.S. now had only 20 B2s because the military had cut back and built far fewer than it wanted in the first place. (The F117 is the small Stealth Bomber that Carter also secretly had built.)

        So you win your argument against no opponent.

        And boy how those Danes, those Dutch, those French, those Norwegians, those Swedes, those Brits, and those Germans do love their Palestinians and their other Muslims. You can bet they do. But don’t bet too much money, because if you do make that bet: you won’t have any money left. I am sure they would all much prefer Jews, thank you very much.

        Good job Alan.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        RAYMOND MARSHALL says:
        August 1, 2015 at 3:29 pm
        Oh, Alan, a couple of last points:

        You say, and I quote with emphasis added:

        “Instead, you quite literally condemn the very air that people who might get animated breathe because they might be frustrated because the one Jewish country in the world is treated differently than any other for the simple reason that it is Jewish…the very same motivation that led to one pogrom after another and ultimately left 6-million dead. YOU MAY TAKE THAT LIGHTLY, but let me remind you that there are those that don’t. And, if they say something that you don’t like, it doesn’t make them the VERMIN THAT YOU SO BLITHELY CHARACTERIZE THEM TO BE. Frankly, with your holding on to the USS Liberty incident (I mention that here as a metaphor…to be clear) and your obviously unsympathetic concern for Israel’s safety, it is certain that YOU APPEAR TO MANY [HERE ON THE COMMENTARY SITE IS IMPLIED], I assure you, TO BE VERMIN. I SUSPECT YOU AREN’T THAT BAD, though I probably couldn’t successfully convince many people here that you aren’t.”

        So here we have a Jewish journal of opinion, in which you suggest in an absolute and astounding lie that I am indifferent to the horrors of the Holocaust, and then you go on to state in yet another flat out lie that I have called the people here, or Jewish people in general “vermin.” Then you further go on to “assure” me that many of the people on this site consider me “vermin,” but you suspect that I am not as “bad” as vermin.

        That is the most incredible paragraph I have ever seen written in Commentary. That an intellectual journal of the Jewish people, a people whose ancestors were literally considered and called “vermin” by the SS and its infamous Death Head Squads could call me “vermin” because I take issue with Israeli government actions with regard to the United States and with the tenor of their comments regarding the President of the United States is shocking beyond my capacity to find words for it. That any Jew anywhere could call human beings vermin is a startling admission much less in the pages of Commentary.

        And that you could so condescend to lower yourself enough to suggest that I might not be as bad as vermin. And from that I am expected to learn that Israel and its supporters are what? ARE WHAT? Vermin hunters of the first order? Exterminators? A people to be trusted? What are you trying to convince me of, Alan?

        It is hard to believe you could be so thick! My God man! Those who disagree with you are just so many fleas, lice, and rats. Vermin! Were you not aware that the Nazis used such terms as they slaughtered six million Jews. You are becoming what you despise, Alan and don’t even know it, and given the evidence of your letters you will never know it, for you cannot be wrong.

        And don’t put me in that camp with that lie above. I never suggested such a thing. And because you lie about me, I refuse to credit you with being being right about your fellow Jews. I won’t believe it. Certainly put a group of Jews in a room and if someone calls non Jews vermin, the others will shut them down fast. How could it be otherwise? Out of the fire, out of the sacrifice of the Holocaust must come something other than the creation of human vermin exterminators?

        It is you with your fish and your water colors who have made this up. If the Jews of Israel are walking around thinking of the Palestinians as vermin it is over for you, and not because of the Palestinians or the Iranians or Barack Obama, but because you yourselves are now the ones who have forgotten the Holocaust for you are thinking the way of the your ancestors’ torturers and executioners and their bosses and the many people that looked the other way and did nothing.

        I don’t know where you live, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you woke up tomorrow feeling a bit like Gregor Samsa for having sunk so low. But more probably, I feel, you have already sunk too low to wake up. Feed your fish. And watch out for vermin. Just go to work as if nothing as wrong. Don’t worry. Not everyone sees or lies the same way you do, and besides, you don’t even know you do it, do you? No? I thought so. (That was a no folks, a resounding No!)

        Shalom

      • ALAN BLY says:

        That’s fantastic. Your response with its characteristic histrionics and contortions was all I could ever ask for. So, here’s the deal: I’m going to allow you the last word! Why? is it because you’re a knowledgeable man that sheds light and wisdom on perplexing issues? Is it because you’ve been bestowed with insight and clarity that I and all others that may bask in the sunshine of your posts are made better people by it? NAH!! It’s because every single time you post here you reveal a vile pomposity, the magnitude and plainness of which you’re amazingly too self absorbed and satisfied to even recognize. It allows me to have you do all the work of making your Israel bashing crowd appear exactly as they are: self righteous know-nothings that don’t use their brains but will instead cast absurd accusations wherever and whenever they please. Thank you, Professor Marshall for making this so darn easy.

  5. LAURA T GUTMAN says:

    You conveniently forget, John, that it was Trump and Trump alone who successfully raised the issue of Obama’s fabricated and fraudulent history, persona, and documentation. ALL media suppressed those legitimate essential questions about who and what were we voting for. There is a residual respect and appreciation for Trump’s efforts to demand an explanation, and he did cause a forged document to be posted by the White House. There was no follow-up, of course, and that certainly includes the limp Commentary editorial board. Obama knew for a fact that if he could get away with stonewalling, mocking, refusing, and sneering at those demands he could get away with anything, and we now see the direct consequences. Pity.

    • RODGER MITCHELL says:

      Yes, you’re right. I was Trump who was the biggest “birther,” and the fact that every ounce of evidence uncovered shows he was wrong, wrong and wrong.

      Can you imagine how much time, energy and money he spent to prove Obama wasn’t born here, and when he was unable to find even a speck of evidence, he kept beating the same drum. He still does.

      What does

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        Yes, and it didn’t even matter whether Obama whether Obama was born here or not, just as it didn’t matter that McCain was born in the Canal Zone, or Cruz was born in Canada: Their mothers were all American born citizens making them native born American citizens according to the Constitution. It was an the argument the uninformed to start with. But do we care, huh, the uninformed have the right to be heard, and heard real loud don’t they: And the radical right is there to speak for them if no one else will. Maybe that’s why Trump switched parties. He sensed kindred spirits: Who knows?

      • LINDA REBOHKING says:

        I would like to see Obamas sealed college transcripts.

      • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

        RODGER, LAURA GUTMAN, THROUGH YOU, THEN ME, THEN FINALLY, LINDA REBOHKING, it is killingly funny. It is as if to say: Nothing gets through here. It is the last line by Rebohking that is killing.

  6. JEREMY SCHAIN says:

    When your will is repeatedly and continuously ignored, dismissed, and/or belittled, it leads to this. Trump is now “the voice of the people”, for now. The establishment GOP has no one to blame but themselves and I, for one, am enjoying the fact that Trump is infuriating career politicians on the left and right. Unless something drastically changes within the system, I expect we will be seeing more of this type of rhetoric.

  7. RODGER MITCHELL says:

    You should read, “Of whom does Trump remind you> (http://goo.gl/UDaGu1)

    The parallels are remarkable.

  8. K T NOELL says:

    Apparently John does not like Trump. Nor his messages, because of insufficient length and nuance.
    Apparently John thinks the media would be doing their jobs ably, were it not for Trump.
    Apparently Trump has sucked all the oxygen out of John’s room, and left him delirious.

    • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

      Yes, John is a “chucklehead” I guess you would call him, and at least you are not just looking for Commentary to give you your marching orders, Ms. Noell. And you aren’t fooled by any of that, how you say, “chuckled headed” intellectualism and all its nuance, though there is not really much of that left in Commentary–that was dispatched decades ago.

      Now we have here commenters who think “Obama accomplished as a liar”, I think you once said just before you mocked his “wealth of knowledge” while praising Trump for having “Shades of Harry Truman!” Can you imagine you were once so delirious from the same lack of oxygen you accuse John Podhoretz of suffering thanks to Trump.

      Oh, K T Noell, who I suspect live now within a revisionist swamp from which you will never emerge nor ever even recognize. At least you recall McCain’s connection to the Keating Five, but perhaps forgot he was cleared, though Reagan was not cleared for creating the conditions that led to the 500 Billion dollar S&L Crisis of the 1980s, but hell why not smear McCain while you can anyway, he was after all a friend of Keating’s. And why not mention Neil Bush’s connection to the 1.3 Billion dollar government bailout after his association with the failure of Silverado S & L Bank during the same period? Or why not underscore the 53 Republican Administration figures under Reagan who were convicted of felonies only to be pardoned or to get off on technicalities while you are smearing, who was that guy, oh yes, the present President of the United States, the one who didn’t sell missiles to Iran as Reagan did? And why not bring up the huge H.U.D. bribery scandal as Republican figures raked in the bucks ripping off the government as they ever so love to do (as they assume it is a Republican’s right to do) also in the miraculous years of the Reagan Administration.

      So who rewrites history, forgets it, or decides that Obama and his Administration is filled with liars? Commentary, Trump, and Trump pushers like independent spirited K T Noell, who marches to the beat of a different drummer, or so she thinks as she makes of crassness a positive virtue praising Trump. Well then, hurray Trump. He can join Huckabee. Perhaps he can teach Huckabee something about the difference between super industrialized 1930s Germany, 1930s Europe and the person of Chamberlain, and Iran, the superstate United States and its power and government, and modern Europe.

      But I forgot, the first part of the definition of a radical right winger is that holding onto their prejudices for dear life is their first and foremost right. Well do hold on to your right K T. Up with Trump. May he bring you much joy.

  9. BRUCE TRAGER says:

    Angelo Codevilla is correct is his piece about Trump at Powerline. People are looking for leadership. Trump is at least showing leadership by taking on the sacred cows such as illegal immigration and John McCain. The current Republican leadership in Congress never offers any challenges to Obama. They confirm Loretta Lynch and get nothing in return from Obama. They grant the President trade authority and get nothing in return from the Administration. The Corker Amendment on the Iranian deal made it easier for Obama to get it through Congress. Whatever happened to the honorable opposition? The current Republican Congressional leadership are go along to get along guys and that is not leadership. Trump, such as he is, at least provides an alternative.

  10. KENT LYON says:

    Mr.Podhoretz wants to blame the electorate for the sad state of America.The poor shmucks out here in the hinterland who seem to support Trump don’t know jack about what’s good for America. Does Mr. Podhoretz know what’s good for America? Do America’s leaders have any idea what’s good for America? The people are less confused than their leaders, and have a better moral sense than their leaders. They are confused because America’s leaders are so confused, and have increasingly proved themselves to be vile as well as incompetent people. These are sad times because of Barack Obama, mostly combined with the utterly nihilistic response to his feckless and destructive acts and policies coming from Republican leadership. The vile stench in Washington, whiich is also infecting Wall Street, and spreading to institutions across the country, has revealed that America’s leaders have feet of dung. The entirety of our institutions has proven rotten as soon as a miscreant achieved the White House. No one will stand against his outrageous acts. Thc country has proven its has no leadership. The question is why. I would suggest it is a complete loss of character, incident to the welfare state, Progressive policies and issues, and the medicalization of everything and the acceptance of responsibility for nothing. The character of the nation has disappeared, and everyone knows it. No wonder the national mood is so sour.

    • WILLIAM CARROLL says:

      Mr. Lyon: Well said, Sir. If I may add when we have a major political party where if you say “All Lives Matter” you are shouted down and forced to grovel out an abject apology that is a sure sign of decline.

    • LINDA REBOHKING says:

      Too true Kent

  11. TERRY QUIST & M MEYLIKHOVA says:

    Just a footnote to all this, John. I suppose you noticed that individuals who haven’t bothered to comment on other substantive issues, at least to my memory, have suddenly appeared from nowhere to avidly comment on any topic having to do with the elections–either with ready talking points of the Trump campaign or of the Democratic National Committee.

    The funniest thing is when they start going after each other.

    Just sayin’.

    Terry Quist

  12. MICHAEL WOLIN says:

    John Podhoretz writes:

    “… his approach can only be called “the politics of unseriousness.” He engages with no issue, merely offers a hostile and pithy soundbite bromide about it. He yammers. He describes how wonderful things will be when he acts against something or other without explaining how he will act, what he will do, or how it will work.

    … I know how to do things and if you say Word One against me I will say something incredibly nasty about you and who cares about how the Senate works or the House works or international alliances work or how treaties work or how anything works. That stuff is for sissies and losers and disasters. I know how to do it I me me me I me me I I me. And me. And I.”

    Enough about Obama, already. I’m sick of hearing it.

    Yes, Illegals are responsible for a lot of crime — anyone with eyes can see it. Yes, our immigration policies are a mess and a disaster. Every sentient person knows it, and has voted over many elections for candidates who promise to change it. Nothing happens. Yes, John McCain suffered greatly as a POW and showed true courage, but as a senator he has undermined his reputation for bravery and courage, and has instead become part of the problem.

    Thank you Donald Trump for uttering a few true and courageous words. One can judge their merit by the howls brought forth from the discredited and corrupt establishment, which includes the self important chatterati in the media. If Trump splits the vote and causes a debacle for the GOP, so be it. America doesn’t need a progressive lite party capable only of aping the Democrats in deed, even while protesting them in word.

    Out of the ashes will come something better.

  13. KATHLEEN BARNES says:

    thanks for setting us straight on the wonderfulness of Obama and the democrats mr Marshall. Especially what better Americans and patriots they are Now go take your meds

    • RAYMOND MARSHALL says:

      Now Kathleen, if I didn’t know better, I would say you are being sarcastic. I see you prefer one sided discussions and evidence free discussions. And that you assume that people who try to use evidence to support their arguments must in some way be in need of drugging of some sort. Well, it says on the page “Join the discussion…” and it also says “Reply” You don’t have to read what I write. I am a subscriber to the magazine, and I have decided to join the discussion. And I am replying to what I read and discussing it with the information I have in what is meant to be an ongoing discussion. To suggest that because you disagree with me I need medical assistance is I suppose meant to be funny. But, it reveals much more about you than it does about me or the subject at hand for that matter. Perhaps you can skip over me next time Kathleen, or next time join the discussion rather than just make off the cuff accusations. {You know: “This guy disagrees with me, he must be nuts!” kind of remarks.)

  14. KENT LYON says:

    Given the current behavior of the Republican leadership (despite Mr. Wehner’s attempts to defend them), a lot of the blame for the problems Podhoretz bemoans can be laid at their feet. In fact, one might predict that if such Republican leadership continues, the Republican Party will implode in this election cycle or the next. If Hillary wins the Presidency, one can confidently say that the Republican Party is history. Even if she doesn’t, unless a Republican President is elected who successfully restores Constitutional and Lawful governance, and something other than a national spoils system that financially rewards the cronies of whoever wins the White House, the Republican party will still self destruct. A Party that stands for nothing but self preservation and aggrandizement cannot stand.




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