Archive for November, 2015


The Atlantic »

The Cowardice of the Republican Candidates

November 30, 2015 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Give Donald Trump this: He has taught Americans something about the candidates he’s running against. He has exposed many of them as political cowards. In August, after Trump called undocumented Mexican immigrants “rapists” and vowed to build a wall along America’s southern border, Jeb Bush traveled to South Texas to… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

Why Is AIPAC Silent on Syrian Refugees?

November 25, 2015 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The last two weeks have brought a festival of American ugliness. Since the attacks in Paris, virtually every Republican governor has declared their state off-limits to Syrian refugees. GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz has called for allowing in Syrians only if they’re Christian. Donald Trump has mused about registering American… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Donald Trump’s Politics of Fear

November 24, 2015 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Two days after ISIS attacked Paris, The New York Times published a front-page story suggesting that terrorism’s new centrality to the presidential race might be “prompting voters to reconsider their flirtations with unconventional candidates and to take a more sober measure of who is prepared to serve as commander in… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Why Obama Is Standing by the Syrian Refugees

November 24, 2015 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Once upon a time, liberals criticized Barack Obama for only taking on fights he knew he could win. Not anymore. In 2013, Obama responded to the Sandy Hook shooting with a fervent, if unsuccessful, push for gun control. Now, over the past week, he’s met the nativist hysteria sparked by… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

Syrian Refugees Are Being Punished by Republican Nativist Hysteria

November 18, 2015 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Imagine that today’s Republican contenders were running for president in 1920. In 1917, the Bolsheviks had taken power in Russia, and sworn to export revolution across the globe, if necessary by force. They were joined in that desire by the Communist Party USA, a disproportionate percentage of whose members were… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Do the Democrats Have a Strategy Against ISIS?

November 17, 2015 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Before Saturday night’s debate, the Democratic presidential candidates had only a day to prepare for terrorism’s new centrality to the 2016 campaign. And it showed. Bernie Sanders rightly noted that both the Iraq War and climate change had contributed to the political breakdown on which ISIS feeds. But when it… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

ISIS Is Not Waging a War Against Western Civilization

November 15, 2015 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

At least Marco Rubio didn’t answer the attacks in Paris by demanding that the United States accept only Christian refugees. He left that to Ted Cruz. But given the Florida senator’s reputation in GOP circles as a foreign-policy wonk, it’s worth looking in some detail at just how ridiculous his… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

U.S. Jews Need a New Relationship With Israel

November 12, 2015 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Peter Beinart’s remarks at Haaretz’s Israel Conference on Peace. I’m not an Israeli and I don’t know what it’s like to live here now. I don’t know what it’s like to wonder whether the next stabbing will take place on your block. I don’t know what it’s like to have… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

The Mindless Logic of Republican Foreign Policy

November 12, 2015 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Here’s a sampling of what the Republican presidential candidates said about Syria and Iraq at Tuesday night’s debate. Ben Carson declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is trying to really spread his influence throughout the Middle East. This is going to be his base. And we have to oppose him… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

Netanyahu Shows D.C. Liberals Why He’s the ‘Armor-plated Bullshitter’

November 11, 2015 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

This week, the staff at the Center for American Progress learned why Tony Blair’s foreign ministry nicknamed Benjamin Netanyahu “the armor-plated bullshitter.” And why former French President Nicolas Sarkozy called him a “liar.” And why former Clinton administration spokesperson Joe Lockhart said, “He could open his mouth and you could… Read the Rest »