The Obama administration has been holding its tongue over Republicans inviting Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress without informing the White House so far, but it looks like that period of silence has more or less ended with a bang.
The Obama administration, after days of mounting tension, signaled on Wednesday how angry it is with Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted Republican leaders’ invitation to address Congress on Iran without consulting the White House.
The outrage the episode has incited within President Obama’s inner circle became clear in unusually sharp criticism by a senior administration official who said that the Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer, who helped orchestrate the invitation, had repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States.
The official who made the comments to The New York Times would not be named, and the White House declined to comment. The remarks were the latest fallout after Mr. Dermer, without the White House’s knowledge, worked with House Speaker John A. Boehner to arrange the speech, which is scheduled for March.
If there is a head around here that’s going to roll, it’s going to be Ambassador Dermer’s.
Mr. Dermer, an American-born former Republican political operative who is so close to Mr. Netanyahu that he is often called “Bibi’s brain,” became Israel’s envoy to the United States in 2013. White House officials were at first wary that Mr. Dermer would politicize relations between Washington and Jerusalem, but over time cultivated a working relationship with him after concluding that there were advantages in his closeness to Mr. Netanyahu.
The last week has borne out their initial concerns.
Mr. Dermer relayed the invitation to Mr. Netanyahu from Mr. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, without notifying top officials in Washington or Jerusalem. American and Israeli officials said that Mr. Dermer, in the course of a lengthy meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry just before Mr. Netanyahu’s speech was announced, never mentioned it.
Let’s not forget that Dermer was one of Frank Luntz’s boys back in the GOP’s “Contract With America” days of Speaker Newt Gingrich. He’s a GOP operative through and through, and he decided that his loyalties to the Republican machine trumped all.
We’ll see how this shakes out, but the crosshairs are definitely on Dermer’s career right now should the White House decide to persona non grata his ass. That however would be a major escalation on our part.
It may very well be warranted.
MAY be warranted? It’s overdue if you ask me.
For a while I was deeply confused by these stories because I thought Dermer was the US ambassador to Israel. It makes much more sense this way around.
Man, the passenger list for that Slow Boat to Haifa is getting really long. Hopefully, Ari Fleischer, Eliot Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz and Doogie Feith are already booked. Live where your allegiances truly lie, assholes.
MULTIPLE heads should roll. When Fast & Furious and Benghazi and EBOLA! were popping out of the noise machine like popcorn on steroids, the truth was too dull to catch the MSM’s, and the populace’s, interest.
But this is an epic clash, real rules were broken, and death is on the line.
I hope the White House beats this like a drum. A big, bass, drum carried by a resentful football player.
The only thing the White House will do is complain to the Village idiots through anonymous officials letting them swirl rumors around for a few weeks of how seriously in trouble those Israelis are, before we continue to block UN resolutions on their behalf and let them get away with murder while we give/sell them more weapons to do it.
Pretty sure the only way we’d actually take serious consequences against Israel would be if they attacked a major American city and we had no choice in the matter.
I doubt very much the Obama administration will slap Dermer and Netanyahu down, though they richly deserve it; it’s not their style. But I hope the Israeli electorate understands what a dangerous game their elected officials are playing and kicks them to the curb in the upcoming election. They need us. We don’t need them. It’s therefore unbelievably self-destructive for an Israeli government to so openly throw its lot in with one political party in the US.
@Comrade Dread: this.
Obama should wait until just before the election to disinvite Dermer. Don’t give Netanyahoo time to weasel out of it.
Hopefully the Israeli people realize it. Netanyahu’s approval rating was already down to 38% in December before this shitstorm. I can’t imagine this has done anything to raise those numbers.
I still don’t see how Netanyahu’s pissing off the president of the one country in the world on whose support Israel is dependent is going to help Bibi in the Israeli elections.
‘Murka’s bestest friend and freedomistical democratic ally in the Middle East just doing what it can to make Earth wonderful.
Because this brain-sharing arrangement worked out so well when we tried it.
@Betty Cracker: We’ve been surprised by quite a few things Obama has done recently now that he doesn’t have an election to win. If he does something what are consequences? Congress doesn’t work with him? I don’t think it would alter Hillary’s chances.
Foreigners and foreign countries are outside of the scope of most Americans understanding. There’s no way to get people interested in this issue, who are not already interested and those who are interested have already drawn up sides long, long ago.
Given the amount of spying Israel gets caught doing against us, I think it’d have to be a really, really big fucking attack, which is orders of magnitude greater than 9/11/01.
Israel has attacked U.S. military ships and killed Americans and we just hope we have not offended them.
Help, I have a comment in moderation. I am not sure what naughty word I used.
Someone in the Knesset should offer Obama an invitation and then everyone can watch Netanyahu sputter.
it is self-destructive, but the US is where bibi’s campaign cash comes from. and his campaign is getting close to ‘swirling down the drain’ territory in terms of popularity.
bibi would easily spike israel’s relationship with the WH for 2 more years if it means staying PM.
Netanyahu is skilled at stroking the hot-buttons of fear among enough of the nominal center of the Israeli electorate such that even though they disapprove of much of what he and his right-wing coalition government does, they are reluctant to let go of “tough daddy” who so forcefully projects that he won’t put up with any shit from Israel’s surrounding enemies. AND: take it to the bank – Hamas or Hezbollah or some other group of violent extremists determined to destroy any possibility of compromise with eventual destruction of Israel will give Netanyahu an assist with a particularly showy terrorist attack shortly before the election.
Snarki, child of Loki
Obama can always instruct ICE to not allow Bibi into the US.
Or hold him up at the airport, slow-walking the procedures. Hey, gotta watch out for those middle-eastern terrists, y’know? “So, Mr. Bibi, have you dropped explosives on civilian kids in the past year?”
‘Anonymous sources within the White House’ has come to mean ‘pulled out of the reporter’s ass’ in journalism, but I admit I’d be shocked if there wasn’t resentment in the administration for this move.
His sucking up to Romney was not popular. A lot of Israel loves Obama, and a lot of it hates him. I can’t say for sure how this will play out, but my guess is that it will accentuate Netanyahu’s reputation as an extremist.
No way. On this issue, like on torture prosecution and closing Guantanamo, I’m pretty sure he’d face veto-proof majorities. It’s congress that worships Israel.
IMO, Bibi knows he overstepped and will find a way out of the meeting with Congress but my track record is about ten percent.
@Marc: Heh. Reading the Mark Ames article Anne linked to down below, I stumble across this:
Quite an honor, that. They just can’t help themselves, can they?
which is why this congressional speech works double duty – he gets to try to piss all over the USs negotiations with iran. what use is the iranian boogieman to netanyahu’s campaign if obama works out a deal?
@chopper: Wouldn’t that be a great negotiating tactic forObama ot use with Iran: “You know, if we get this deal worked out it hurts Netanyahu.
@JoeShabadoo: Because unlike Netanyahu, Obama is interested in more than his own personal legacy or party’s fortunes. It would be personally satisfying to smack those fuckers down, no doubt, but would it be in the best interests of the US and Israel?
By my lights, yes, because I think it’s long past time we started “seeing other people,” so to speak. But it seems Obama buys the time-honored US politician attitude toward Israel, and while I wish he didn’t, I expect he’ll act in a way that minimizes the drama and disruption, as usual.
Michael Oren, Bibi’s former ambassador to the US, is calling on Bibi to cancel his speech. Michael Obama-Hating Neo-Con Fucking Oren. WTF is Bibi thinking?.
@Snarki, child of Loki:
He’s killed two American citizens…one on the Gaza flotilla in 2011, and one in a protest on the West Bank last October. How many has Iran killed?
@Betty Cracker: But it seems Obama buys the time-honored US politician attitude toward Israel, and while I wish he didn’t, I expect he’ll act in a way that minimizes the drama and disruption, as usual.
And yet I’ve seen him accused again and again by those on the right of being anti-israel.
The problem is that the right wing coalition that props up Netanyahu currently forms the Israeli majority, and Obama is a schwartze. I tend to find that right wingers of Jewish heritage are just as odiously racist as are right wingers of Christian heritage. In other words, the haters tend to outnumber the lovers.
@biff diggerence: They’d never go to Haifa; it’s the most culturally integrated of Israel’s major cities, with lots of Arab influence. They’d probably end up in J’lem where another handful of radical American racist shitstains won’t even make a ripple.
Iowa Old Lady
@Faction: Pot, kettle.
I had to go and review history, but found it interesting that the Iranian students didn’t kill any of the embassy hostages in 1979-1980, and that those who succumbed to despair and suicide attempts (conditions were mentally torturous) were rushed to medical treatment. Still, the only dead Americans were the ones in on that incompetently planned, poorly executed and lousy idea of a rescue raid.
Big ole hound
The evangelical right needs all this help from the Jews to ensure the “rapture” happens and Israel is using this belief to endear themselves to all things GOP. Once again, religion is rearing it’s ugly head and spitting all over the Constitution. The “tan man” should be arrested for treason along with all involved. Lets do a Benghazi style investigation and haul their asses into court for a full media investigation. Just for fun.
@Buddy H: I was commenting on the probability of how Obama will act based on his performance to date and stated values, not wingnut perceptions. The right has also accused him of being a Kenyan witch doctor, a time-traveling Manchurian candidate and the love-child of Malcolm X. I think we can safely ignore their fantasies.
@Botsplainer: Isn’t Bibi’s wingnut portion of his coalition – the Avigdor Lieberman wing – filled with relatively recent Soviet/Russian immigrants? I know they were oppressed in the former USSR but seems that experience has led them to take a very wingnut approach in the adopted homeland, much more wing nuttier than longer term Israeli residents and just as wingnutty as US born Israelis. (eg, Oren, Dermer)
@Belafon: Nah, Bibi can turn that to his advantage. If you REALLY want to make him sputter, have Abbas invite him to speak at the Palestinian Parliament. That kind of legitimacy would throw Bibi into a snit that might just make him explode.
@Betty Cracker: I’ve tried to ignore their fantasies, but they make a point of voting. In my old home “town” (the drive-thru cul-de-sac) every election season there was an ocean of republican signs. Several democratic signs scattered here and there. One day I saw a guy come out of a pickup truck with a smirk on his face and remove one of the democrat’s signs. Threw it in the back of his truck and sped away.
They fantasize, and then they do real harm, locally and nationally.
By the way, I love this blog. It’s an oasis.
@OGLiberal: Should add – nobody more Pro-Israel wingnut than US Christian fundies, who love Israel solely because Jewish domination of the Levant is part of their end-times fantasy, at which time the Jews will either accept Jesus as their lord and savior or suffer for eternity in the pits of hell. Not exactly the type of allies I would want as an Israeli Jew. But then Jews don’t believe in Jesus or hell so they’re actually just using the Christian fundies as the rubes they are.
Sadly, we have as many idiots here as in the USA, who confuse arrogance and cock-slapping with Leaderly Leading with Leadership. People who support Bibi tend to swallow all the GOP nonsense about Muslim communazi affirmative-action hire Jew-hating Obama, so it’s all catnip for them.
Yeah, a lot of them. Wouldn’t be too surprised to see the number 27% pop in there somewhere.
From my observation, they carried most of the Russian ethnic prejudices, reflexive social conservatism and cultural predilection for authoritarianism with them when they emigrated. Think Putinists without the longing for a good, old-fashioned pogrom against those in the Pale.
I believe Lieberman’s also got a large number of relocated American Jews behind him too.
While the rapture stuff is a motivation of the GOP right, I think it ignores the most important reason they love Israel, the one consistent unifier of the wingnut coalition – hate. The more Israel takes a hard-line genocidal attitude towards Arabs, the more wingnuts support it.
One retired former partner of mine used to have a rhetorical retort for those who claimed that he should support conservative Republican due to their support for Israel. His line was always this:
My retort was less rhetorical when I got this question from my Jewish conservative family: “I believe Israel died the day Yitzak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish settler.” Pissed them off, but I don’t get this question anymore.
mai naem mobile
You’re.in trouble when a former Republican operative is.called.your brain. Big trouble.
Gin & Tonic
@Botsplainer: How you doing?
Relentlessly representing Israel’s interests? We have a word for that. It’s not diplomat; it’s lobbyist.
I don’t know if this will damage Israel’s relationship with the US – because this isn’t diplomacy. It’s not about the relationship between our two countries. It’s politics. Without a doubt, it has damaged Likud’s relationship with the Democratic Party.
Declaring an ambassador PNG is practically an act of war, so that’s exceedingly unlikely. However, there’s lots of things the Administration and the State Department can do to make life difficult for the Israelis.
It’s long past time that Israel discovered the reality of its situation as a pissy little client state with not much to offer. They need the US far more than we need them and their behavior towards us should reflect that fact.
Zandar @ Top:
Oh, it’s definitely warranted. I suspect it won’t happen until after Bibi speaks, though. The White House will probably want to make sure they’ve given Netanyahu every opportunity to fix this – or, if he makes no attempt to fix it, plenty of rope to hang himself – before they come down hard on him.
Speaking of doggies, I believe it has been two days since we last saw Ginger and her young’uns. I could do with puppy pictures to ease the discomfort of this cold I’ve just caught.
@Betty Cracker: Absolutely, Ms. Cracker.
On that note:
Population, Israel: 8.06 Million
Population, New York City: 8.41 Million
Wow, that is an answer to beat all answers.
It’s sad but it seems true.
Maybe we should send them an Andy Cuomo stripagram every time Netanyahu gets above himself?
@Joey Maloney: I just assumed that any freighter would be good enough for their trip home.
@Gin & Tonic:
Doing about a 3 on a 10 scale. Things are confusing at the moment.
@JGabriel: Iran: 80 million. I had to email Bob Casey to remind him that this many Persians are no more or less important than 8 million Israelis.
Persona non grata is not a thing done to signal displeasure with another countries’ foreign policy or because its ambassador is a meddling asshole. It’s what you do when a diplomat a) commits a felony or very serious misdemeanor that can’t be prosecuted because of diplomatic immunity; b) is caught spying harder than accepted norms permit spies operating under diplomatic cover permit or when an espionage ring run by the covered spy is shut down; c) as a pro forma type of retaliation after either of the above occurs, such retaliation being considered a way of bringing the parties back to even-steven so the episode doesn’t have to escalate further (if the retaliation is for someone below the ambassadorial, charge’ or consular level, you usually want to take advantage of a tit for tat expulsion to toss out the ones you know or suspect are spies, just to screw with their operations for a few days or weeks); and, d) when war has been declared.
Instead, if you want to rid yourself of an ambassador who’s pissed you off to the point of being intolerable you a) send that message through back channels and expect the other party to force his resignation, or, b) if you really want to send a serious message, recall your own ambassador “for consultations” knowing that the other side will have to do likewise under the tit for tat norm.
Perhaps the Obama administration should recall our ambassador on the plea that he urgently needs treatment for “aggressive dermertitis”.
Dermer’s career is on the line? Maybe as an ambassador but I smell a lot more lucrative career of ratfvcking up ahead. Any bets that Fox is working on their “Former Ambassador to U.S.” chyron for his upcoming appearances as a very special expert?
@Belafon: No one needs to tell them that. The problem is that there are people in Iran whose grip on power and/or purpose for existence depends on continuous strife and conflict with foreign enemies. The Israeli right, the Revolutionary Guards and conservative mullahs in Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the U.S. neocons are all engaged in a continual game of tacit cooperation to keep peace from breaking out. The prospect of peace terrifies them.
It is not an uncommon situation, historically speaking.
If I were president, I would let it be known quietly that our representative at the UN will receive instructions to abstain from all votes on matters pertaining to Israel and encourage our actual treaty allies who would be inclined to vote in Israel’s favor to do likewise.
Of course, I would also have done that a few years back when they did kill one of our citizens, and would have cut them off from any non-humanitarian aid a while before that.
I can just imagine what other Christians would be saying about me then.
unfortunately iran’s response is ‘we have our own hardliners who would rather have nukes written in bold letters under the ‘stick it to israel’ header’.
all in all, i think tho that this really is the best time to squeeze something out of iran and obama knows it and unfortunately bibi and the goopers (what a band name!) know it too. because crazy-low oil prices are going to just wreck iran.
Yeah. I posted this in one of the Bibi threads a week ago, but by then it was a dead thread; yes, some (a big chunk) of the support for Israel comes from end-timers who see it as a human sacrifice, but not everybody’s like that even on the right wing. And yet, the right wingers from more mainstream denominations I’ve met (heck, even the occasional atheists) are just as completely in the tank for Israel as their end-of-times buddies.
For that matter, blind support for Israel in America goes a lot farther than just the right wing. Unfortunately. Religious looniness explains a few things, but it simply isn’t enough to explain why the AIPAC worldview has become virtually the only one allowed in our politics.
Just Some Fuckhead
Can we get a Patriots Cheatsplaining thread?
@Botsplainer: It’s hard to believe and I didn’t want to hear it when I was in your position at the end of my marriage, but it does get better. Just have to hang on till then. Come here to vent if you need to.
If I did this at work I’d be fired on the spot.
Strip his US citizenship, send him back to Israel and tell that murdering piece of shit Bibi he’s no longer welcome in the US.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
I am sure someone could improvise a “Jonathan Chait defends the Patriots against politically correct feminists who ruined Andrew Sullivan’s life” thread.
Peace would be a condition of the world none of them would understand. We’re peacful enough here that the right has to manufacture crisis after crisis, such as giving guns to lunatics.
In order for the rich to have premium elite classic olde time Himalayan rose rock salt butter the rest of us have to buy guns. Sacrifices must be made.
Gin & Tonic
@Botsplainer: Here’s hoping for improvement.
We can’t fire him because he doesn’t work for us; he works for Bibi, and that appears to be exactly what Bibi wanted. We have to express our dissatisfaction to Netanyahu and expect him to get the message.
This. We don’t have to come down hard on Netanyahu yet because he hasn’t actually spoken before Congress without the Administration’s permission yet. The goal now is to get him to back down and tacitly admit that this was a bad idea. The best way of doing that is to push hard in non-public channels while making just enough noise in public to make it clear that something is going on. Only if he goes through with the speech is it time to do something really nasty.
Sorry things aren’t all oojah-cum-spiff. I am not sure exactly how matters stand in your household, but I hope the situation will improve.
You really think Chuck Shumer (to name one prominent Dem off the top of my head) will side with the Democratic Party and President Obama over carrying water for Israel?
I think there are plenty of Democrats, who’d side with Israel – no matter who is in charge there – over any perceived American slight.
Have you considered a lucrative career in political strategy?
I very much doubt that. Reporters might pull quotes attributed to an “anonymous source” for the Republicans or Democrats out their ass, but a reporter falsely attributing quotes to an “anonymous source within the White House” will get busted, and have a very short career in Washington.
They would be messing with both the White House Administration and their employer, and it would not end well for them.
@Kropadope: mmmm. I’d imagine this recent reason to visit the Saudis would provide access to some interesting back alleys as well . .
Washington (CNN)Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain had harsh words for protesters who shouted criticism at 91-year-old Henry Kissinger at a hearing Thursday.
“Get out of here, you low-life scum,” the Arizona Republican told the protesters.
I think that is changing and after this last little stunt gets played out, they will loose a percentage more. Some people will not be put into the completely changed their minds about Israel group. What it will do and other actions as well, is make people start to think and question our country’s position about Israel. By itself it won’t completely flip our fealty, but more people will start saying “hmmm – that is not cool”
Villago Delenda Est
Nietzsche is again vindicated on the entire fighting the monster thing.
Villago Delenda Est
@raven: War criminals have to stick together, you know, or they’ll hang separately.
Villago Delenda Est
@gene108: Menendez for example.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Villago Delenda Est
That’s when you declare Dermer persona non grata which simultaneously fires a shot across the bow of Orange Julius.
Villago Delenda Est
All in vain, as McCain carelessly threw his honor away by sucking up to the torturers-in-chief in order to secure the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, and in doing so stabbed every other POW who was tortured in the back.
Well (to my great surprise) Schumer just co-signed a letter sent to President Obama supporting his request for a delay on imposing new sanctions on Iran.
So apparently there are situations in which Schumer will side with the Democratic Party and President Obama over carrying water for Israel. Who knew?
Also interesting to read this again as an Israeli
Would you be thrilled that your official ambassadors were antagonizing allies of the nation in order to better position one or another specific political party? That international relations with major players were being orchestrated as handy backdrops for campaign photoshoots?
Villago Delenda Est
This is part of the same general meme where Obama is simultaneously utterly incompetent because he was a community organizer (also, too, just look at the color of his skin!) but also at the same time the most crafty, cunning, and evil figure to grace the world stage since Ernst Blofeld.
@Villago Delenda Est: Yes, and simultaneously being a muslim AND a follower of Rev. Wright.
Couldn't Stand the Weather
Too many people (in the press and the general public) seem to think the Iranians are stupid. I disagree with such a mindset.
First, Ahmadinjad’s successor isn’t actually in charge. The president’s more like a figurehead in Iran. Ayatollah Khamanei and the clerics are in charge. Khamanei can see all of this drama playing out. He knows by now he’s better off dealing with a pragmatic centrist like Barack Obama than the clown car occupants.
I think the nuclear program deal will get done. I hold out hope that the Cuban defrost will continue. The Castros, and the Cuban people, can see how far they haven’t gotten in their dealings with that clown car cavalry.
Because attacking a US Navy ship and killing 34 servicemen apparently wasn’t enough.
Who will rid us of this troublesome Jew?
pseudonymous in nc
I’m pretty sure that the usual channels have made it pretty fucking clear that a change in government in Israel, even if Bibi is in charge of whatever coalition emerges, will be accompanied by a change in ambassador.
But it’s a pretty weird situation when a country’s senior diplomatic corps only renounce citizenship of the country they’re serving in when they get posted there. (Dermer gave up his US citizenship in 2005 when he got a lower-tier posting in the Israeli embassy, Oren in 2009 when appointed ambassador; once a posting is announced, it’s a very quick process on the US side.)
I would say that doing the right thing in the negotiations with Iran IS carrying water for Israel, even if the present Likud leadership does not think so.
Villago Delenda Est
@Trentrunner: Oh, dear. The old “if you dare to question Israel, you’re Reinhard Heydrich reincarnated” approach.
Can’t help but think Obama trolled Bibi and Orange Julius into this when, in the SOTU, he didn’t genuflect and told them to pound sand if they didn’t like it. Bibi’s dick move might actually help in negotiations with Iran, who now may be more inclined to think that Obama is the only adult in the room and is not captive to Israeli interests and that, accordingly, time is of the essence. It sure flushed out some wavering dems like Menendez. It might also help Bibi in the upcoming election, but I imagine Obama could care less about that right now because, bottom line, Israel needs the US more than the US needs Israel.
FTFY. Despite wingnuts’ attempts to confuse the two, there really is a difference. IMO, the best interests of Israel are in getting Iran to formally give up any nuclear weapons program and agree to regular international inspections.
Tree With Water
I support the people of Israel, as I support peoples everywhere. But if I were king, I’d make clear to them that their own government has once again betrayed their own long term best interests. For starters, I’d begin by slashing their allowance by one third, until I was convinced they got the message. And by convinced, I mean reach the point at which they began to dismantle the occupied areas of the West Bank. Any Israelis who care what Americans think about their country should understand the tide has turned– that Israel is no longer perceived as a scrappy little underdog. Their governments have been pissing in our soup too long for it to be otherwise, and they’d be well advised to take that fact to heart.
Villago Delenda Est
@Roger Moore: This.
Carrying water for Likud would be an indictable offense if I were king. Or tsar.
@Morzer: Do I detect another PG Wodehouse fan?
This is called pooping in your own plate. Very stupid and damaging to Israel’s interests. I don’t think Bibi, Boehner and the other nitwits know exactly HOW damaging, but they will. What is worse is that it is an unforced error — totally self-inflicted — which just makes Bibi look stupid and inept, right before his election. This is not the move of a strong leader but the move of a desperate leader with really poor advisers. It will leave a lasting scar on US Israeli relations. It will also add another fuck up to the growing list of the Republican’s leadership of the “new” congress where they can’t seem to do much right so far.
I see complaints about Netanyahu and Dermer all over the place, but I don’t hear much about Boehner, whose idea it apparently was and who gave the invitation.
As the kids say, “He started it!”
@Just Some Fuckhead: Ugh, why? Also a thread on Dancing with the has-beens, and housewives of richfuckistan too? Fucking pablum for the masses.
As stupid as it is/was for Boehner to extend the invitation, the impact of the mistake was made much worse when Bibi accepted the invitation. But Boehner will get more direct blowback later…
@muddy: Oh, there’s been plenty said about Boehner in other threads.
@coin operated: I didn’t mean in here, I meant on lamestream media.
Are you kidding? We’ve had a trail of them since Obama’s inauguration. Remember when an anonymous source in the White House said he was going to announce Social Security cuts in his SOTU address?
@NCSteve: Another way to get rid of him is to completely ignore him. After a certain number of phone calls go unreturned, and requests for favors are ignored, the message gets through that your current guy in Washington is de facto PNG.
I’d bet on this method, since the others would be unnecessarily messy.
I think the MSM and most of the politicians are “keeping their powder dry” and being circumspect in their reporting in order to give Bibi enough room to ‘save face”. If he does not and goes ahead with the speech, there will be bad things that will happen for Bibi’s fortunes– and to some extent, Israel’s. I don’t think there has been a realization of how vulnerable Israel will be… they cannot find another partnership like this anywhere in the world… to weaken it in the name of partisan politics here and in Israel shows how clueless and reckless all the parties in this fiasco are… it is stunning
IMHO, I think Bibi will walk this back. It will be interesting as hell to see how he does that
This column by Juan Cole is very informative, I think, in terms of this latest dustup, so I thought I’d share for those who’ve not seen it…
Funny, that’s just what I was thinking about Kissinger.
@Betty Cracker: I doubt very much the Obama administration will slap Dermer and Netanyahu down, though they richly deserve it
Their style is, they telegraph stuff. They’ve already taken a position that looks very much like, “You give that speech, Bibi, and your ambassador is toast.” And yet they haven’t said it and they’re not going to say it. Because, among other things, that would be undiplomatic. But also because it would be showing their hand.
@Elie: IMHO, I think Bibi will walk this back. It will be interesting as hell to see how he does that
In that subtle way of his, no doubt.
This is just another example of the Obama administration trying to make lemonade out of the lemons available to be ambassadors when they come from the Republican rightwing.
I have no idea why they really chose him, but they did. It didn’t work out well because it never does and never will. So relieve him of his post and replace him with someone who is more mainstream…or at least someone who will not cause huge ideological waves.