Archive for February, 2016


The Atlantic »

Why Liberals Should Vote for Marco Rubio

February 29, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Marco Rubio would be a terrible president. His tax proposals make George W. Bush look fiscally prudent. He acts as if America can use sanctions, war, or the threat of war to bludgeon its adversaries into submission despite the devastating failure of that approach since 9/11. He has been dishonest… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

The Ceiling Buster

February 25, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Last Sunday, Marco Rubio voiced the conventional wisdom that guides much horse-race commentary about the GOP campaign: “Part of the dynamic up to this point,” Rubio declared, “is Donald [Trump] has been, you know, in the mid 30s to low 30s, high 20s, in most polls, and then you have… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

Stop America’s Military Aid to Israel From Subsidizing the Settlements

February 24, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Should the United States give Israel $4 billion a year without asking it to do anything to keep the two state solution alive? It’s a timely question. America’s current agreement with Israel, which expires in 2018, grants the Jewish state $3 billion per year in military aid.

The Atlantic »

Donald Trump’s Perfect Foil

February 22, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

If Jeb Bush hadn’t run for president, Donald Trump would have had to invent him. The former Florida governor was Trump’s perfect foil. First, because Jeb was prim, proper, and incapable of expressing the rage—especially towards Muslims and Mexicans—that many Republicans currently feel. Second, because Jeb’s candidacy represented the reductio… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

How to Stop Israel’s ‘Delegitimization’ Among American Progressives

February 16, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

I got an email last weekend from a gentleman asking my advice on how to counter Israel’s “delegitimization” in the United States. This column constitutes my response. To counter Israel’s “delegitimization,” you must first understand what “legitimizes” Israel in the first place. For three different groups of Americans, there are… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Clinton the Consummate Insider

February 12, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Some commentators think Hillary Clinton’s problem in wooing the progressive young is her lack of authenticity. I disagree. In the way she talks about political change, Clinton is entirely authentic. She believes in working inside the system for incremental change. She always has. Were Hillary Clinton a college student today,… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Sanders, Trump, and the War Over American Exceptionalism

February 11, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Pundits keep reminding us that the two men who won New Hampshire, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, are both “outsiders.” But that doesn’t mean much. George Wallace and George McGovern were both outsiders, too. While the Trump and Sanders campaigns both represent insurgencies against party elites, they represent insurgencies aimed… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

It’s Not Bernie Sanders’ Jewishness That Matters. It’s His Secularism

February 10, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

By fighting Hillary Clinton to a virtual draw this week in Iowa, Bernie Sanders became the most successful Jewish presidential candidate in American history. But that’s largely beside the point. Sanders’ real cultural significance isn’t that he’s Jewish; it’s that he’s secular.

Haaretz »

On Foreign Policy, Bernie Is Blowing It

February 10, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

If Marco Rubio is a robot, then what’s Bernie Sanders? On Sunday, CBS’ John Dickerson asked the Vermont Senator how he’d respond to North Korea’s missile test. In his answer, Sanders ignored North Korea entirely. Instead, he recited his standard talking point about opposing the Iraq War. As David Sanger… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Why Attacking ISIS Won’t Make Americans Safer

February 10, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

For close to a decade, the trauma of the Iraq War left Americans wary of launching new wars in the Middle East. That caution is largely gone. Most of the leading presidential candidates demand that the United States escalate its air war in Iraq and Syria, send additional Special Forces,… Read the Rest »