The Forward »

The Lesson Of Netanyahu’s Victory: Israel Will Not Change Without Pressure

April 10, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The lesson of Benjamin Netanyahu’s apparent reelection victory is simple, and old. Frederick Douglass articulated it 162 years ago: “Power concedes nothing without a demand.”

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The Atlantic »

Elizabeth Warren Had Charisma, and Then She Ran for President

April 9, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Charisma comes from the Greek word for “divine gift,” and back in 2015, political commentators thought Elizabeth Warren had a lot of it. Vox called the senator from Massachusetts “a more charismatic campaigner than [Hillary] Clinton.” Roll Call said Clinton couldn’t “match Warren’s charisma, intensity or passion.” The polling firm Rasmussen called Warren “Bernie Sanders with charisma.”

That was then. Now that Warren is running for president, many journalists have decided the charisma is gone. An article last month in The Week noted that Warren “doesn’t do uplift, which is what people mean when they grumble about her lack of ‘charisma’ and ‘energy.’” In a recent story about Warren’s fundraising trouble, The New York Times suggested that she was suffering because Democrats’ “longstanding fascination with youthful charisma—along with its current, Trump-driven fixation on electability—can outweigh qualities like experience or policy expertise.”

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The Atlantic »

Beto Sees Trump’s Immigration Trap Clearly

April 1, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Beto O’Rourke isn’t known for his wonkish heft. But in his formal announcement for president on Sunday, the former Texas congressman offered one of the most important policy proposals of the nascent presidential campaign: He argued that to solve America’s problems at the border, America’s leaders must “help people in Central America where they are.” In so doing, he began laying a foundation to effectively rebut Donald Trump on his signature issue: immigration.

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The Forward »

AIPAC Is Playing The Victim, But It’s Palestinians Who Are Being Silenced

March 25, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

So far, the theme of AIPAC’s 2019 Policy Conference has been peril, not just to Israel, but to AIPAC itself. AIPAC’s CEO accused unnamed critics of “trying to silence each of us.”

AIPAC President Mort Fridman declared that, “none of us are willing to be silenced.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer warned of forces that seek “to silence others through exclusion, disenfranchisement, or fear.”

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The Atlantic »

Nobody Knows Anything About ‘Electability’

March 22, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Have we learned nothing? In 2016, very few political writers, myself emphatically included, thought Donald Trump would win the Republican nomination, let alone the presidency. Very few thought Bernie Sanders would win 23 states and 13 million votes in his Democratic-primary battle with Hillary Clinton.

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The Forward »

Trump Stoked The Islamophobia That Led To The New Zealand Mass Murder

March 18, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

“If you find yourself using the tragedy in New Zealand to take backhanded swipes at conservatives in America,” tweeted Congressman, and rising GOP star, Dan Crenshaw on Friday, “then you really have no shame and you are part of the problem.”

“Conservatives” is a broad category. So let’s narrow the focus to the Trump administration. And let’s be blunt — no “backhanded swipes.”

Has this administration blessed and fueled the anti-Muslim bigotry that, in the hands of lunatics, becomes mass murder? Absolutely.

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The Atlantic »

Secular Democrats Are the New Normal

March 15, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Were a Democrat from the Clinton, Bush, or Obama eras to watch the presidential-announcement video that Beto O’Rourke released on Thursday, they would likely be struck by how it ended. Or, more specifically, by how it didn’t end. O’Rourke did not close with any mention of God.

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The Atlantic »

How Bigotry Made a Dove Out of Tucker Carlson

March 13, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In the Trump era, some on the anti-interventionist left have developed a tolerance for, even a grudging appreciation of, Tucker Carlson. The reason: He’s a caustic critic of hawkish foreign policy. The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, the historian Stephen F. Cohen, and the author Max Blumenthal—all of whom agree with Carlson that the Trump-Russia scandal is fueling a new cold war—regularly appear on his show. After Carlson last month savaged William Kristol and Max Boot as “professional war peddlers,” Democratic Representative Ro Khanna—one of the most creative and influential doves in Congress—praisedCarlson on Twitter for offering “a devastating critique [of] interventionism” that shows “there is an emerging, left right coalition of common sense for a foreign policy of restraint.”

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The Forward »

Why Does Congress Care More About Jewish Feelings Than Palestinian Rights?

March 8, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Late last month, in between the firestorm over Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s comments about AIPAC’s influence being “all about the Benjamins” and the firestorm over her comments about “allegiance to a foreign country,” the United Nations issued a report into Israel’s killing of 189 Palestinians — some of whom were journalists and health workers, and 35 of whom were children — and injuring of more than 9,000 during protests last year in the Gaza Strip.

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The Forward »

Debunking The Myth That Anti-Zionism Is Anti-Semitic

February 27, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

It’s a bewildering and alarming time to be a Jew, both because anti-Semitism is rising and because so many politicians are responding to it not by protecting Jews but by victimizing Palestinians.

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