Like most people, my dislikes are bigger drivers of my political preferences than my likes. Hate is a stronger motivator than love. Its a fact. Hate energizes. Love pacifies.
I like and admire Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. They are, and have been, strong figures on the national stage, who have stood the test of time. I’ve made Speaker Pelosi my Person of the Year. And I enjoy reminding Obama haters that Barack Obama is the only President since Eisenhower to win over 51% of the popular vote twice.
I took a flyer in 2020 and gave some money to Tulsi Gabbard. I thought she had potential but the press boycotted her. There is an untold story there. She had called out Netanyahu, by name, for getting us into unnecessary wars. Suddenly, the story changed from Tulsi the hot veteran peacenick to Tulsi the Russian Operative.
What! On what evidence did that charge lie? An off-the-top comment by Hillary Clinton. C’mon, most people need more than that.
I think the Gabbard case may be a case study on how the Israel Lobby handles a public figure whose love for Israel is less than total obeisance (we’re talking Cruz-Pompeo-Cotton-Rubio) levels. They can’t actually say that’s why the person is no good. They didn’t get to be who they are by being stupid. So, they say the person is something other than they purport to be, like a pothead, a wiccan, cult member or a Russian opperative. Whatever works, you get the picture. On line trolls are alerted and any unknowing stooge, like me, who says something good about Gabbard online gets hit with a barrage of nearly identical comments. It cuts off a candidates air and blunts temporary momentum.
As a result of the successful hit on Gabbard, the only people who would put her on TV, during the 2020 campaign were Chris Matthews and Tucker Carlson. Chris got fired shortly after putting her on his show AND admitting to the existence of the late Sheldon Adelson who was very much alive at the time. Bottom line, I give Matthews and Carlson credit for hanging in there on the Gabbard matter and giving her some coverage.
I have no problem saying straight out I have no use for Rachel Maddow. She takes no risk and attacks only easy targets. The late Bill Safire of the New York Times would tell new writers “Don’t kick people when they’re down, kick them when they’re up, it takes guts.” Maddow kicks them when they’re down or when their status (Supreme Court Justice) does not allow them to respond.
I wouldn’t even be wasting space on Maddow were it not for the fact she took a misleading and cheap shot at Justice Kavanaugh last Friday night. Kavanaugh wrote the Majority Opinion in a 6-3 Decision upholding sentences of Life Without Parole for defendants classified as Juveniles if the sentencing Court exercises “discretion”, which means treats each case on its individual merits. Maddow neglected to make clear that no case is ever really final. A subsequent Supreme Court can reverse and/or modify the opinion we’re talking about. Plus, Governors, at the State level, and the President at the Federal level can always rectify gross injustices through the Pardon Power.
Classic Maddow. She had some time to to fill. She could have announced an upcoming trip to Iran to actually see the results or our ghoulish sanctions on Iran curtesy of Steve Mnuchin or gone to Gaza to view the handiwork of Israeli snipers taking out the eyes and knees of kids in Gaza. As is her custom she stayed home to take a cheap shot. This one at Mr. Justice Brett Kavanaugh. (Many will remember Sen Susan Collins of Maine cast the deciding vote in the Kavanaugh Confirmation. Subsequent to that vote Collins won her reelection by 10 points.)
I’m usually a D, but not on every detail. I was on Tucker Carlson’s side in the fight to get Brett Kavanaugh confirmed. I thought the Ds played sleaze ball in the confirmation hearings, and, Kavanaugh is part of my tribe. Hey tribalism is real. Kavanaugh’s wife teaches at a Catholic school that is part of the Parish where my daughter was Baptized. I can guarantee you I’m not the only one in America capable of being influenced by tribal loyalty. I think there are a few in New York.
If I could talk international affairs with any one person in the world for an hour, it would be Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of Iran. Zarif rebuts the existing presumption that you can’t be Iranian and funny at the same time. Zarif has a PhD and studied in the US. He can actually be charming…ask Wendy Sherman, our No. 2 at State. Charm is in short supply in the Mideast.
The most respected member of Congress is Rep. Jim Clyburn. When he speaks, which is rarely, people listen. He has moral authority. The best Cable Host is, Brian Williams. He’s an old school gentleman. He gives respect and it flows back to him.
The best single TV Program is Global Public Square (GPS) with Fareed Zakaria 10AM Sunday. Zakaria’s program is the only place you’ll get an “almost fair” discussion of Iran and Israel on American TV.
I always speak well of Reagan. I love the fact Reagan told the Israelis to immediately cease their massacre operation in Beirut in 1982 or “it would change our relationship on all matters.” It’s in the Reagan Autobiography around P.416. I’ll always have a warm spot in my heart for former Secretary of State Jim Baker for barring Benjamin Netanyahu from the State Department Building when Netanyahu was a junior officer at the Israel Embassy.
I intensely disliked the way Netanyahu tried to humiliate Obama by secretly plotting to go behind his back to address a Joint Session of Congress to oppose the Iran Deal. Israel is paying for that arrogance to this day.
This is a good place to stop. These are the things I notice and from which I draw conclusions. I know there are a lot of folks thinking about Israel, Iran, Black Americans, Police Power, The Media, Et. Al.
Power equations are always in flux. Never underestimate the power of an individual, like Sheldon Adelson, who is no longer with us. He was a Force whose power went way beyond his ability to allocate capital in substantial amounts. He had the power of belief and the willingness to act.
Someone else will emerge. Persians aren’t stupid. They go back 4,000 years. They’re not going to be a punching bag forever. Israel is tough, creative and resourcful. They’re not going anywhere.
Sometime in the next ten days to two weeks I’ll try and put some meat on these bones. In the meantime, keep calm and carry on.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.