The so-called "Middle East Peace Process" is usually the last resort of a weak occupant of the White House.
Presidents traditionally improve their approval ratings when the focus shifts to foreign policy, and for almost a generation now, the "Middle East Peace Process" has been a safe way to do that, without any real domestic cost or risk. Of course people die as a result. The death toll in Israel from Obama's latest effort to pander to Muslims and boost his domestic approval ratings is up to 5 now just this week. It was nearly even higher than that. And that is a lot of blood to spill for 2 or 3 percent in the polls.
But what other choice does Obama have? His domestic program is wildly unpopular, so he's shifted over to an emphasis on foreign issues. And so we got a high profile announcement that the War in Iraq had ended (it hadn't) and another high profile bid for Middle East Peace. Five dead is a small price to pay for that. The process is pointless, but the point is the process.
The Democrats to salvage something from the upcoming disaster, for Obama that means moving to disassociate himself from the Democratic congress, ObamaCare and the future legislative program with such items as Cap and Trade and Amnesty, and instead make it look like he's hard at working, instead of hardly working, on weighty international matters.
"You didn't like that Iraq war? Well I took care of it. You wish someone would put a stop to all that violence in the Middle East. I'm on it." It's a sham, but it's not a terribly original sham. And what it really highlights is Obama's weakness, a perception of weakness that has even managed to filter through into the White House bubble. A brief focus on foreign affairs is supposed to repair Obama's damaged credibility and approval ratings. First Iraq, then Israel and cap it all off with September 11.
The irony of course is that now that Obama is acting as if he really wants to be Bush. Taking ownership of Iraq, Middle East Peace negotiations and September 11 is supposed to give him the same bona fides that Bush had.
It's a thoroughly misguided strategy, but we're also seeing the beginning of a new talking point, that began evolving around the time of the Ground Zero Mosque controversy. That Bush was a moderate, and Obama is a moderate like him. The current Republicans on the other hand, and that "crazy" Tea Party movement are crazed fanatics and extremists.
The reinvention of Obama as a moderate, or a heir to Bush, rather than the avatar of radical change, is laughable to anyone who has been paying attention to anything in the last few years. But it may be a transformation occasioned by the White House coming to terms with significant changes in congress, and an inescapable anti-government populism.
Like a snake, Obama is shedding his skin and trying to fit into another. If people are tired of the Hope and Change express, try the voice of reason moderating a contentious congress. It won't work, because Obama's personality isn't a good fit for it, but under the likely influence of Rahm Emanuel, the boys are going to give it a shot.
The redesign of the Oval Office only shows how marketing-minded Obama and his minions are, treating his identity as a brand that requires a complete redesign of the labeling, just like a relaunch of Coke or Pepsi. The level of disrespect involved in thinking that way of the White House and treating a speech on the Iraq War and September 11 in such a cynical manner would have been mind-boggling before 2008, but it's become par for the course now. And 5 people dead, so Obama can brush up on his foreign policy creds... who even counts the cost?
Obama is positioning himself to deal with a more heavily Republican congress, in which he will have to get his way by creating a coalition with "moderate" Republicans. And he'll still have some of those to kick around.
One of them is Mike Castle, a big Cap and Trade promoter, whose vote Reid is counting on, in the Senate. Seriously, we're going to support a man whom Reid is counting on to destroy the US economy?
This latest campaign against Christine O’Donnell on some conservative sites, smacks of the same thing that was done to Hayworth. Well Hayworth lost, and Reid got to keep another vote for radical environmental legislation and amnesty.
Once again Mark Levin says it best and gets it right. And I can only quote him.
I’ve noticed that Christine O’Donnell is under vicious assault today. You can’t go on the Internet without her being attacked for her finance, for her rent payments. For a lawsuit that she brought. And it’s not just the liberal nut-jobs. It’s some of the others over there at the Weekly Standard. There’s a link at Hot Air and so forth. I’m all for reporting the news, but obviously people with grudges and opposition research is being spread virally because it all seems to be happening today.
Let me put this in some perspective for you, the same way I try put the J.D. Hayworth matter in perspective before National Review and others came out and endorsed McCain.
I don’t give a damn about any of it. If she’s a moral, ethical person who follows the law, I don’t give a damn about any of it.
We need people in the United States Senate who are going to repeal government-run health care. Mike Castle in Delaware says he is not going to vote for that.
We need people in the United States Senate who are going to do everything possible to kill this phony Cap & Trade. Mike Castle voted for it in the House.
You know, there are big issues in front of us. Big matters. A big election.
And why we have some back-stabbing going on for a variety of motivations, much of it personal. I don’t really care. People feeding information to bloggers hoping it goes viral. Well congratulations, it went viral.
The people of Delaware, this has no impact on your lives whatsoever. None!
We’re going to have John McCain, likely, in the United States Senate. What do you think John McCain is going to do? He’s going to be rounding up the liberals and moderates, as he’s want to do in the Senate, to do what? To undermine us!
Yeah, but that J.D. Hayworth was in an infomercial. Who cares? I mean, for crying out loud! We can do better than this. And, we’re going to do better than this.
Mike Castle is a liberal. I even see him being written as a moderate. What the hell’s a moderate? The guy votes for 90% of Obama’s agenda. That’s a moderate?
Well Mark, he didn’t vote for government-run health care…but he won’t vote to repeal it, so he might as well have voted for it.
I mean, ladies and gentleman, we have a country to save. We have a Constitutional Republic to establish and I’m supposed to worry about Christine O’Donnell’s rent! Well, I’m NOT worried about her rent! I’m worried about our future. And it is time that these self-appointed commentators who think they represent somebody or some perspective understand that this isn’t 2004, 5, 6, 7. It’s 2010 and we’re in perilous times and these are crucial elections. Crucial.
There's more at Red State and it's worth reading too...
What, you might ask, could induce a conservative who believes in The First Amendment to vote for a politician who co-sponsored the recently passed “Disclose Act,” an act designed to stifle free speech and gag opposition to establishment politicians? What would cause a Second Amendment supporter to vote for a politician who has earned an F- grade from The NRA? And how could an advocate for life pull the lever for a pro-abortion candidate? There must be a compelling reason for “free enterprise believing” Republicans to be asked to support a man who supported TARP, “Cash for Clunkers,” “Cap and Trade” and the auto industry and bank takeovers. Those who oppose socialized medicine would need to have a strong motivation to support a candidate opposed to the repeal of Obama-care. What is the case for Castle? It comes down to this. Castle campaign workers and old guard GOP operatives, supported by corporate money, are parroting a single talking point. It is that Mike Castle can supposedly win, giving the Republicans a senate pickup, and his opponent, Christine O’Donnell, supposedly cannot.
Christine O'Donnell is being Hayworthed. There's no other word for it. You can see this in action at Hotair and some other sites. The same tactics are being used, paint the genuine conservative candidate as unstable, stupid and a bit shady. Point out that, yes, the RINO isn't perfect, but it's better than having a Democrat. With Mike Castle, "we win". But what exactly do we win? We win a chance to stand for nothing again. We win a chance to be the party that's sort of like the Democrats, but not as crazy. We win a chance to lose any meaningful reform identity at all. That's what we win.
This is no different than Hoffman vs Scozzafava, the same principles are at stake, except O'Donnell is a much better candidate than Hoffman. If Hoffman vs Scozzafava was about principle, than those principles still apply in O'Donnell vs Castle. Unless to some Hoffman vs Scozzafava was not about principle, but a chance to flex some political muscle, and nothing else.
Moving on to the roundup, Boker Tov Boulder has information on where you can donate for the children orphaned in this week's Muslim terrorist attack in Israel.
The media meanwhile is tipping its hand more than usual...
“They [Israel] haven’t had a car bombing in two and a half years and the sad truth, really, is that the wall with the West Bank has actually worked.
That is what Richard Stengel, Time magazine editor, and presumably the fellow responsible for Time Mag's next Israel bashing cover, had to say. It's an overt admission not only whose side the media is on (we already knew that), but that they actually want to see terrorists succeed in killing Jews.
The New York Times, not to be outdone, chimed in with their best "she was asking for it" defense, headlining their story on the attacks with...
JERUSALEM (NYT) — The killing of four Israeli settlers, including a pregnant woman, in the West Bank on Tuesday evening rattled Israeli and Palestinian leaders on the eve of peace talks in Washington and underscored the disruptive role that the issue of Jewish settlements could play in the already fragile negotiations.
People being murdered is very disruptive. Naturally the blame lies on them for being murdered.
This reminds me of Sheikh Hilaly's "Uncovered Meat" defense for Muslim rapists targeting infidel women.
Boker Tov Boulder has her own story of trying to get through to a biased New York Times editor to no avail.
Robert at Seraphic Secret has photos of the dead, and some thoughts on The Murder Process, and in Five Blue Stones, his own way of mourning for them.
At Ace, the unsurprising revelation that the money man behind the Ground Zero Mosque donated to Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation. That case for the GZ Mosque being an oasis of moderate Islam just got harder to make.
At American Thinker, Jack Kemp asks some more questions about the $$$$ and Liu's proposal to have the city pick up the tab.
This is a proposed $70 million, tax exempt loan to a house of worship that also would pay no taxes to the City of New York, to finance a structure opposed by a majority of New Yorkers. The city's officials find no problem with this, apparently.
This proposal appears to a normal bond situation with bonds paying interest from monies paid by the borrower. However, Muslim teachings forbid the paying of interest. This applies to government as well as private company loans.
Robert Spencer's book "Stealth Jihad," on pages 185-186, tells of Chicago Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid giving examples of Muslims enforcing Sharia compliance against interest payments, starting with a Muslim who refused to pay Internal Revenue Service penalty interest -- and won his case. The Muslim's secretary (a non-Muslim) pointed out the section of the Qu'ran that forbid this and the IRS supervisor allowed this waiving of interest on religious grounds.
Incidentally this is another example of Sharia in the US, where Muslims are subject to a more favorable set of laws.
Solomonia has a look at growing relations between Kurds and Israelis, facing a common foe in the north.
Finally a heart-warming story of a Muslim in Jerusalem who just wants Osama bin Laden to buy his house.
A Jerusalem Arab man is offering to sell his villa in the neighborhood of Shuafat, in the north of the city – but only if the buyer is arch-terrorist Osama Bin-Laden, head of Al-Qaeda. The seller, attorney Mueen Khouri, told his story to the Hebrew-language daily Maariv.
Khouri said he would be willing to sell the home to Bin-Laden because it once belonged to the Bin-Laden family. Osama Bin-Laden's father purchased the building in the 1940s, he said. The elder Bin-Laden housed his servants on one floor, and his family used another.
Young Osama Bin-Laden visited the house during the 1960s, when Jordan controlled Shuafat along with other Jerusalem neighborhoods, Khouri claimed.
The family abandoned the building after the Six Day War, when Israel regained sovereignty in the city. The house was used as the Spanish consulate for some time, and was eventually purchased by Khouri.
Khouri said he was not deterred by Osama Bin-Laden's reputation as the world's most wanted terrorist. He expressed conviction that the Al-Qaeda head had been wrongly condemned.
This story may well be made up, in order to attract Muslim buyers to pay a ridiculous amount of money for the house (see Seinfeld, Voight's car) but by the same logic that made Egyptians like Arafat and Edward Said into Palestinians, Bin Laden too would qualify as a Palestinian.