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The Win-Lose Trap


Opponents of President Obama do not lack for reasons to criticize him or his administration. Not justifiably among them, however, would be the contention that Obama the candidate had misled the country regarding his intentions.

Despite little bits of dishonesty (expected of all seekers of public office) for the most part he promised departure from past policies in nearly every area of public concern. It was labeled “Change” and the country bought it under a restrictive no-return policy – to be emphatically enforced without reservation if he wins a second term.

He told us he would sweet-talk Iran, reset relations with Russia, reduce unemployment, provide universal health care, and much more. What he didn’t say was what he’d do if his initial forays failed.

He didn’t – and still doesn’t – tell us how we might need to accommodate a nuclear Iran; or what we can do to restore the trust of the Poles and other East Europeans after ditching their missile defense system; or how many more public trillions will be flushed before job creation incentives are directed toward the private sector; or that employer-provided health benefits will be taxed as income to the employees.

What appears more remarkable than those and other policy failures, to the astonishment of any objective observer, is how the media heavyweights with their signature left/liberal bias are protecting him to an extent possibly never before seen. Certainly not in recent times.

Clinton, Carter, LBJ and JFK were to varying degrees criticized and even exposed by their media acolytes for various things – but not this guy. Beginning with the tax problems of his appointees and continuing to date (for example, his administration’s dropping the case against the New Black Panther Party despite video evidence and its sponsoring the major domo of the Ground Zero mosque as a State Department representative), there’s been no outcry about anything.

Think of it: Jimmy Carter was hassled for wearing a sweater, yet Emperor O prances about covered in oil from the Gulf spill with barely a harsh word from his supportive elite. CNN, Newsweek, The New York Times – have they not even a shred of shame anymore?

Contrary to logic or experience, there are no significant signs of voter remorse among those who elected the president, notwithstanding the slippage of his approval ratings. Generally, liberals and a good many independents remain unrepentant if somewhat disappointed (still pointing the finger of blame at Bush for any and every problem) despite having good cause to rethink their support for Obama.

This is particularly true for Jews, who clearly have reasonable grounds to mistrust Obama’s policies and his demonstrated instincts. After the black vote (over 90 percent), the Jewish vote (78 percent) for Obama was the highest of all demographic groups. Presumably, that level of support will go down, but probably – and inexplicably – not enough to make a difference in Florida and other key states.

So, as summer closes and we enter the off-year election season, what can be expected? Should Obama’s opponents be especially careful of what they wish for?

Early indications show that Republicans will likely gain control of the House or Senate but that could well become a case of battle won/war lost. Indeed, it’s a prospect about which Obama, Rahm Emanuel and the rest of the gang may not be too unhappy. Their priority (if not sole concern) is Obama, not the Democratic party.

Of course, were there to be any effective congressional opposition, two years of untidy partisan bickering probably wouldn’t be all bad. It surely would slow down or preclude adoption of the Obama agenda, in whole or in part.

However, the unintended consequence of such limited power will no doubt bestow upon the president a convenient gift toward his reelection effort: the opportunity to blame congressional Republicans for whatever are the hot-button messes of 2012. Is it not Rahm Emanuel’s credo to exploit every disadvantage and setback? This regime can find opportunity in each crisis. Don’t expect less.

Moreover, it’s fair to say that, with the exception of Ronald Reagan, the Republican party has not nominated a generally attractive presidential candidate – one capable of generating enthusiastic support from independent and Democrat voters – since General Eisenhower. That’s nearly sixty years!

About the Author: Arnold Mazur is a retired attorney and business executive who, defying the Arab boycott office, was first to establish in Israel a subsidiary of a major U.S. software company.


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It was the late Abba Eban who famously said that “the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” In his time that was for the most part true, and it arguably worked for Israel’s benefit, particularly when Israel found itself in a tight diplomatic squeeze.

Beginning with Kennedy and Nixon in 1960, major party nominations and presidential election campaigns have increasingly been subjected to forms of circus television we carelessly label “debates.”

Now that we’ve suffered, yet again, through the annual United Nations circus, has it occurred to anyone (other than New York City police officers) to question why we continue to tolerate the hypocrisy and waste of it all?

Small things make a difference. For example, as an old folk tale has it, a pebble in your shoe can cause more pain than a rock in your pocket.

Opponents of President Obama do not lack for reasons to criticize him or his administration. Not justifiably among them, however, would be the contention that Obama the candidate had misled the country regarding his intentions.

We need to learn from history. Once upon a time (nearly forty years but not so long ago, really) American foreign policy was being stymied, on every issue and continent, by a duplicitous Soviet Union, Confounded by the Vietnam War, President Richard Nixon and his foreign policy czar, Henry Kissinger, faced not so much crises that threatened America as murky messes that wouldn’t yield to unilateral resolution. Soviet partnership was needed but at best absent.

Former president Jimmy Carter’s controversial twining of Israel and the “apartheid” epithet created quite the fuss, as has the Biden construction affair and its aftermath of bloodying the Israeli nose. Unsurprisingly, if leaky reports are true, lurking in the background of both stories is the second-rate theorist Zbigniew Brzezinski, still hoping somehow to overcome the frustration of not being Henry Kissinger.

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