Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Bibi came but hardly conquered
So what did we learn from the gaudy Netanyahu road show on Tuesday?
Despite his contrite assurance that he meant no disrespect to President Obama, his presence at the podium did exactly that. You had to assume in the end that he didn't love the president, which is how Giuliani would have rated it.
When Bibi said he "deeply regretted" that his appearance was interpreted as a political event, you sat back and waited for his flim to head into his flam. It was fair to consider that the prime minister is up for election in a few weeks and he was fully prepared to ambush American nuclear talks with Iran - an in-your-face insult to Obama & Co. The scheme, as we know, was worked out with Speaker John Boehner, Bibi's scheduler and event planner who doesn't love the president, either. As such , Bibi, playing the role of Horatio, was a perfect fit, not only for Republican wingers but also for Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino billionaire and Israel lobbyist who vainly spent $100 million to defeat Obama in 2112.
As he puffily elevated himself as the the protector of Israel's welfare against an evil enemy, Netanyahu did manage to ignore the fact that his country has around 100 nuclear warheads ready for any funny stuff by his country's enemies.
Netanyahu is a slick politician who is running neck and neck with his opponent in the Israeli election so who can doubt the politics of it all? Ot that the prime minister is not a very good liar.
The Huffington Post, one of a host of media forces that shriveled the speech, described it in a single-word headline: Bupkis.
His audience was largely Pavlovian, instant partisan responders to his word, gleefully pumping themselves up and down.
And considering that his date with Congress was worked out by the light of the moon with Boehner without a hint to the White House, therein bared the scandal because we already had learned what Bibi was going to say anyway.
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Stop me as I lose it and how a little mercy to Boehner, who lost a second time on the homeland security issue. (That would allow Obama to repeat that he won both of them). On top of that is an Ohio colleague, Rep. Jim Jordan, the head of the Republican fringe group House Freedom Caucus, which has been in Boehner's face to wrest control from the speaker. Ohio! Why does the Buckeye State contribute so much nonsense in the House?
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Did you see Gov. Kasich working the crowd on the House floor, good naturedly shaking hands and looking like he's ready to move on to New Hampshire. He was part of the family reunion of former congressmen who turned up. Kasich said, of course, that he was a long time foreign policy student, thus resolving the issue of his qualifications by what he might offer to New Hampshire. Enough excitement for one day, folks