Flight Club

Jonathan Bernstein, trying to make us feel better when we’d prefer to just wallow in misery, writes:

I think a lot of what’s hitting liberals over the last couple of weeks is a delayed reaction to the severity of the Republican landslide of 2010. And I’m not at all convinced that the policy changes so far this year are any worse for Democrats than the policy changes in 1995-1996.

We still haven’t forgiven Bubba for that, so let’s not go there.

And never mind 2010 — we’ve spent our entire adult life suffering a delayed reaction to 1980. We’ll never forgive Our Fellow Americans for that.

So our baseline in all this is a very dark, deeply cynical judgment about the immortal souls of a significant portion of the citizenry. This is the latest chapter in a very long, very sad story. And the deity overlooking our human comedy is Sisyphus. (Yes, we know, Sisyphus was mortal. Work with us, people.)

That said, what we dispute about the latest episode is this:

But to be realistic, those criticisms need to take into account the actual bargaining strength and positions of everyone involved, most of which has very little to do with Barack Obama.

We’ll grant anything you’d like to say about “realistic” practical obstacles — to a point. A bold President would not have been afraid to wield the Fourteenth Amendment. A bold Senate leadership would have dispensed with esoteric rules that have nothing to do with the chamber as conceived. A bold Party would not have hesitated to make its case to the public.

We still may not have won. But we would have gone down fighting.

What depresses us in all this are not the Insurmountable Odds, but the Incorrigible Cravenness. The man who exhorted us to struggle despite all setbacks forgot to mention that he would be the one repeatedly standing in the way. We thought we voted for a Champion, not a coward.

The strongest argument we’re hearing these days is, well, at least he’s not them. And truly, he’s not. But that’s not an argument from Hope, it’s an argument from Fear. It’s an argument for a least-worst choice. Obama 2012: Pick your poison.

On the Liberal Bitterness About the Deal [via Sully]

no surprises for me. i dumped barry when he showed us his back with no spine with his brilliant foreign policy suggestion that israel go back to it’s 1967 borders, in effect, calling for their very annihilation, and short of that, an awful lot of things that go boom.

@baked: Did you see this news report:

Israel is prepared to accept a U.S. plan drawn up after Netanyahu’s visit to Washington in May that would include land exchanges on both sides, an Israeli official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. The draft calls for Israel and the Palestinians to use the 1967 lines as a starting point in talks, while recognizing that “demographic facts on the ground” will mean the final result will differ, Israeli broadcaster Channel Two said yesterday.

About the only thing I’m looking forward to is the GOPer Preznit primary fight which will be kray kray kray kray KRAZY.

yes. the key words are “starting point” and “final results will differ”
bibi is gonna play along while thinking “kish mir yiddishe tuchas.”
and now i’m going back to look at RML’s post again–the gorgeous bad ass women of the IDF with bazookas.


Yeah, the 1967 borders as a starting point for negotiations has been a standard assumption for ages. The fallout from Obama’s speech was a was a completely manufactured “scandal” promoted by the right-wing echo chamber to undermine his presidency and support in the Jewish community.

Israel basically has one of two plausible choices if they want some semblance of peace: (a) they can largely go back to the 1967 borders with suitable land-swaps. (b) they can annext the West Bank and give Palestinians full citizenship rights, including full suffrage.
Everything else results in a prologation of the current conflict.

“Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodillas.”
-Emiliano Zapata

@Serolf Divad: Yes as to it being a manufactured scandal. To recap —

What Obama said in May:

The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.

What Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said last November:

The Prime Minister and the Secretary agreed on the importance of continuing direct negotiations to achieve our goals. The Secretary reiterated that “the United States believes that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state, based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.” Those requirements will be fully taken into account in any future peace agreement.

Related: Krugman has a great bit up summing up the entire clusterfuck, with a postscript to remind us where this is all *really* headed.

I do have to disagree with his conclusion though – we’ve got something a lot worse than the ’30s, since the lunatics responsible for the ’30s didn’t really know how things would turn out when they came up with their policies. The evil fucks responsible for this replay KNOW what the endpoint is, and they’re STOKED about it.

the different twist on the scandal is “mutually” agreed swaps. only israel has voluntarily given up land in exchange for nothing but the hope of peace. recognizing their right to exist would be a good starting point and a nice swap.

@Serolf Divad: i’ve often wondered why that hasn’t been the solution all along. give the palestinians isreali citizenship and seek legitimate political solutions instead of trying to solve everything with bombs, bullets, and guns. if not that, then the isrealis can take the exact opposite approach and promise to return to the 1967 borders when the good ole usa returns to its 1492 borders. they can still get their fighter jets from france and their tanks from britain. seriously but not realistically, if isreal were to go so hard core as to tell the good usa to fuck off and then back it up by not answering our phone calls anymore, then foreign policy would get a whole lot easier for our appointed diplomats and somewhat duly elected officials.


The fabled “one state solution” is actually the more radical of the two, championed only by a small group of “can’t we all get along” leftists. I personally think it would be the ideal and most humane solution, myself. But the problem is that such a solution immediately turns Israel into a multi-ethnic state with more Arab citizens than Jews, as opposed to a Jewish state with an Arab minority. For this reason it is categorically opposed by committed Zionists, even those who aren’t radical in their beliefs. The other “one state solution” is that favored by the Israeli neo-fascist right, and that involves “transfer” of the Palestinian population out of the West Bank and into neighboring Arab countries. Basically it is a far-righht ethnic-cleansing fantasy that would be far too horrible in its consequences to seriously consider.

The impasse in Israeli society revolves around the conflict between those realists (both left and right) who realize that annexation of the West bank and its population would formally end the Jewish character of the Israeli state, and that of the zany (but politically powerful) right who fantasize of annexing the West Bank and clearing the resulting “greater Israel” of its Arab population altogether.

@Serolf Divad: Israel will never give the Temple Mount area away — nor should they.

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