Archive for January, 2016


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The Republican Conflation of Immigration and ISIS

January 29, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

You can learn a lot from the words politicians use, and even more from the words they don’t. At last night’s Republican debate, candidates and moderators mentioned “immigration” 27 times. No surprise there. It may the single biggest issue in the GOP race. The word “Mexican,” however, wasn’t mentioned once,… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

Following in Obama’s Footsteps, Ambassador Shapiro Succumbs to Netanyahu

January 27, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama told Jeffrey Goldberg that, “My job in being a friend to Israel is partly to hold up a mirror and tell the truth.” It was an odd thing to say. Holding up mirrors to injustice is the job of journalists and human rights activists. American… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Is Bernie Sanders Really Naive About Iran?

January 26, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In the final days before she and Bernie Sanders face the voters of Iowa, Hillary Clinton is leveling the same attack she leveled against Barack Obama. She’s saying that on foreign policy, she’s the only adult in the race.

The Atlantic »

Sarah Palin’s Circle of Victimhood

January 20, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In endorsing Donald Trump, Sarah Palin faced a challenge. How does a woman who has built her brand on hating cultural elites endorse a billionaire, Manhattan TV star? Her answer: by turning Trump into a victim.

The Atlantic »

Marco Rubio Sells Out His Principles

January 15, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

It was a debate with several ugly moments. Chris Christie called President Obama a “petulant child” and vowed to “kick” his “rear end out of the White House come this fall,” evidently forgetting that the man he once hugged is leaving at the end of this year anyway. Ben Carson… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

American Jews’ Concern for Israeli Democracy Ends at ’67 Borders

January 14, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Establishment American Jewish groups are publicly criticizing the Israeli government. You read that right. Establishment American Jewish groups are publicly criticizing the Israeli government.

The Atlantic »

Obama Takes Stock of His Tenure

January 13, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

To put President Obama’s last State of the Union speech in context, I reread his first. Placing them side-by-side illustrates not just the way Obama’s agenda has changed during his terms in office, but the way America’s entire political debate has changed.

The Atlantic »

Rubio Turns Hard Right

January 7, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On Monday in New Hampshire, Marco Rubio virtually accused President Obama of treason. “It’s now abundantly clear,” the Florida senator declared, that “Barack Obama has deliberately weakened America.” The president, Rubio continued, wants to “humble” the United States because he believes “our power has done more harm than good.” Essentially,… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

Netanyahu Fears Palestinian Authority Collapse That He Helped Induce

January 6, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Benjamin Netanyahu is worried that the Palestinian Authority may collapse. According to Barak Ravid, he’s twice convened Israel’s security cabinet to discuss the prospect since late December. It reminds me of a quote from the 2003 film Cold Mountain: “They made the weather and then they stand in the rain… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Swooning for Saudi Arabia

January 5, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Once upon a time, Republican leaders said the United States should push the Middle East toward democracy because Arab dictators were breeding Arab terrorists. Not anymore. In the party George W. Bush once ran, his fight-terrorism-with-democratization thesis has been largely orphaned. The new buzzword is “stability.” Donald Trump publicly bemoans… Read the Rest »