Over the weekend the President met with the Prime Minister of Israel and delivered a speech in front of everyone’s favorite lobby group, AIPAC. Ben Netanyahu wants a committment to launch an attack on Iran, Barry Hussein thinks we should probably try to work things out diplomatically before bombing a country that doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction and plummet the region still further into chaos. It’s a fascinating two-step.
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said President Barack Obama’s repeated pronouncement that the administration keeps “all options on the table” is a talking point, not a policy, and the United States needs a straightforward, deliberate plan that would force Tehran to negotiate to preserve its survival. McConnell was making the case for his proposal in a speech to the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday night, shortly before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to address the gathering.
“If Iran, at any time, begins to enrich uranium to weapons-grade level, or decides to go forward with a weapons program, then the United States will use overwhelming force to end that program,” McConnell said, according to an advanced text of the speech.
It’s not my place to point out Mitch is saying the exact same thing as the President and is not proposing a policy but just spouting the President’s own talking points — I assume the folks at AIPAC aren’t total morons and can understand that on their own — so instead I’ll just suggest that the Senate Minority Leader trying to lead the nation into yet another large scale war is unhelpful to the course of the nation.
McConnell’s reckless belligerence is not a policy, it’s a very dangerous and very stupid talking point.
Via Mr. Bailey at WFPL we hear that Congressman Awesome joined a Congressional delegation to Israel only to find Prime Minister Netanyahu misplaced his day-planner and couldn’t find time for a meet-and-greet.
“I was asked today by a journalist if I was offended and I said I was not, I just considered it a missed opportunity for them and us,” says Yarmuth. “Also said I thought it would useful for Netanyahu to hear that while his reception in Congress was a reflection of broad support for Israel, it was not an endorsement of every Israeli government policy.”
To be fair to Netanyahu, the trip was organized by a DC-based Jewish lobby group that supports Obama’s stance on, oh, how to put this, land issues.
Still, there are other people in the Middle East to talk to and Congressman Yarmuth and his cohorts will continue on to meetings with Egypt’s military leader and foreign minister, members of the Israeli parliament and with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
And it may just be that Yarmuth is working with Congressman Chandler to triangulate the issue after Chandler’s April visit and face-to-face with the Israeli Primo. I mean, maybe.
Ben Chandler and a bipartisan group of eight other Congressmen are touring Israel and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday, releasing this statement on the ongoing Palestine/Israeli tensions:
“This is a time for clarity. The Palestinian Authority has chosen an alliance with violence and extremism over the democratic values that Israel represents. The United States should not aid an entity whose members seek the destruction of the State of Israel and continue to fire rockets and mortars at innocent Israeli children. If the Palestinian Authority follows through on this decision, American law dictates that US assistance to the Palestinian Authority will end.”
It’s promising that members of congress seem willing to take the necessary steps to oppose the Fatah-Hamas axis. The Obama administration has remained fairly quiet on this issue, but let’s hope that the outcry from Congress prompts a more robust response from them as well.
So let’s take another look at this bizarrely fascinating endorsement by Sarah Palin of Rand Paul.
Do they share anything in common? Sure, particularly their opposition of the stimulus, or just about any government spending outside of border control/security. They also like to refer to moderate policy positions as “socialism”, and over-the-top scare tactics about the watered-down health care bill. They both like everything about teabagging.
But that seems to be where the similarities end. Their points of differences are plentiful, and quite glaring.
First of all, one of Rand Paul’s biggest issues is opposition to the bank bailout of 2008. Not only his biggest issue, but also that of his teabagging supporters. In fact, this has been a frequent point of attack on Trey Grayson, despite the fact that he wasn’t in any position to vote for it, and at least revealed in 2009 that he wouldn’t have voted for it (of course, this was his first statement on the matter, so who knows what he thought back then). Paul’s campaign attacked Grayson for merely having the support of Senators who voted for the bank bailout. Such as:
U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul on Monday pledged not to accept campaign contributions from any U.S. Senator who voted for the bank bailout and challenged his opponents to follow suit.
Dr. Paul issued this challenge after learning that Trey Grayson has scheduled a Washington D.C. fundraiser co-sponsored by several U.S. Senators, seventeen of whom voted for the so-called TARP bailout in 2008, which was then used to fund an auto industry bailout Congress rejected.
“This isn’t about holding politicians to an impossibly high standard of agreeing with everything one’s supporters say or do,” Paul said. “But a primary focus of my campaign is that we need Republicans in office who will have the courage to say no to federal bailouts of big business.”
“There is nothing in the Constitution that allows the government to pick winners and losers in the private sector and the Republican party platform specifically condemns bailouts,” Paul said. “I’m running for the U.S. Senate to stand up for true Republican principles and the Republicans I’ve talked to agree that is what we need.”
Yea, so… little problem here. Sarah Palin wasn’t a Senator, but she sure as hell supported the bailout:
As you can see from the video, Palin supported the giant bank bailouts 100%. Also, she is an absolute bumbling idiot, but that’s totally beside the point.
So a question for the Rand Paul campaign: why are you pledging not to take donations from any Senator who voted for the bank bailout, yet are taking a big donation and endorsement from a major political figure who supported the bank bailout? Isn’t that a bit, uh, hypocritical?
Of course, most Teabaggers aren’t the sharpest nails in the world, and probably have no idea that Palin supported the bailouts. But if they are reminded of this over the next 3 months (by whoever that may be), this little nugget could hurt Paul’s credibility among his most ardent anti-bailout teabagging supporters.
Sarah Palin has a total Israel fetish, most likely because she is one of those rapture/End Times loonies. She says that no one in America should second guess anything they do, including bombing Iran to smithereens if they so choose. She wants aid to Israel to continue, and not only doesn’t want to end the settlements, but wants them to expand.
Does Rand Paul feel differently about Israel than his pops, falling more in line with Sarah Palin’s beliefs? Judging from his WHAS interview, I’d venture to say no.
The problem is, we give $6 billion to Israel’s enemies that are all around her and we give Israel $4 billion. One, we have to ask the question, where is the money coming from? We have a massive debt and we’re out of money. And two, is it wise to sell $200 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, what if next year they are overthrown and then they are a big threat to Israel?
So we may not be helping Israel by funding both sides of the arms race. We fund Israel’s side, but we also fund all of the Islamic allies. People who are somewhat opposed to Israel, we give them money too. We give everybody money, and that, I think is the problem.
I think financially we have to look at what we are doing as a country, but I’m not saying we have no relationship with Israel, or that we never sell anything to Israel. I’m saying right now we give $6 billion to all of their enemies and give 4 billion to them, and we are a country that is facing bankruptcy and approaching a deficit that is unmanageable. So I do think we have to rethink what we are doing on those. It’s not to say that there’s not going to be exchanges or sale of weapons to Israel, it’s just to say we’ve gone too far in a direction where we give everything to everyone and we have reevaluate what’s going on.
Semi-reasonable stuff, but not in the eyes of Palin, one can be sure. If you also take into account the well-documented anti-Semitic following of Ron Paul, Palin’s willingness to overlook Israel seems like a head-scratcher.
9/11 and terrorism
Sarah Palin is in the camp that you don’t need to think about why terrorists want to attack us, it is only because of Islam and their hatred of our freedom, and if you dare to venture past this you are just blaming America. Rand Paul’s dad is certainly on the different end of this spectrum. He ranges from thoughtful, to saying their grievances are warranted, which is political poison to most of the Republican base. Though Rand doesn’t appear to go as far publicly as Ron, he does talk about things that are a big no-no in the Palin world. From WHAS:
I think there’s a danger sometimes, and people misinterpret my father, I think is that, they think somehow it is blaming America. And it’s not. We are not to blame for people attacking us. It is their fault and they did something horrendous and that’s how the conversation needs to begin. But then we say why in the global scheme of things are these happening?
And then there are questions we have. The questions we have are, are we everywhere all the time to everyone? Or, are we nowhere and always here at home? And maybe we’ve gone too far in one extreme that we are everywhere all the time.
While these are reasonable questions, Sarah Palin would no doubt condemn anyone for even asking these questions. They hate us because of their religion and they hate our freedom, and you are blaming America if you say anything else.
This isn’t really a big issue with most of Rand’s supporters, but it is with Palin and her supporters that she’ll need to get the GOP nomination in 2012. Her support for Paul may end up harming her when it comes to this.
Palin is also of the view that we should lock the people up in Gitmo indefinitely without any rights, because none of them deserve any. Ron Paul is the complete opposite, saying we should shut it down and try them in civilian courts. Rand Paul’s position on Gitmo last spring tended to mirror his Dad’s, eliciting unhinged responses like this:
Facing heat from his right, Rand scrapped his thoughts on Gitmo and now takes the hard line right-wing approach of Palin. But will this come back to bite Sarah Palin, supporting someone who made the statement in the video above last year? I would imagine that she will, another reason this endorsement is a head-scratcher.
There are other points of disagreement between Palin, Paul, and his supporters, but these appear to be the big ones.
Will Rand Paul’s supporters lose faith in him because of his embrace of Bank Bailout Sarah, after his pledge not to take contributions from folks who supported the bailout? Will the Ron Paul fans supporting his son now back off because he is embracing the neo-con Palin?
Additionally, will Sarah Palin face a backlash from her supporters for her endorsement of Rand Paul, considering his foreign policy views? Or because of his closeness to Ron Paul?