Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Politics and Bruce Springsteen


Is this is as political as Bruce Springsteen has ever gotten?
President Donald Trump is “a threat to our democracy,” according to Bruce Springsteen. In conversation with David Brooks at The Atlantic, The Boss spoke about “existential threats” to America, the successes of the Black Lives Matter movement, police reform, and music for the current moment.
Springsteen was particularly incensed about Trump’s June 1st photo op at Lafayette Square and St. John’s Church. Peaceful, legally-assembled protestors were cleared out of the Square with pepper balls, tear gas, and rubber bullets. At the end of this unconstitutional aggression, Trump held up a Bible, as if a holy book would magically erase footage of state-ordered violence.
“I believe we may have finally reached a presidential tipping point with that Lafayette Square walk,” Springsteen said, adding that it was “so outrageously anti-American, so totally buffoonish and so stupid, and so anti–freedom of speech. And we have a video of it that will live on forever.”
Born in 1949, Springsteen came of age during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He sees some similarities between that tumultuous era and today. “When the SpaceX rocket was going up and cities were burning,” he said, “I had a 1968 flashback.”
There are many differences between then and now, of course. “There was an unbridled rage in 1968 that isn’t quite there today to the same degree. The level of violence, as bad as it was last week, was noticeably less than in ’68. And the protesters are younger. They’re much more diverse.”
Springsteen has always been someone who is unafraid of commenting on American society through his art and through his regular interactions with the music media.  He's always had an opinion, but I don't remember him being this overt in his preference for a specific candidate and I don't remember him being specific about what he wanted to happen in an election. I might have missed something from years ago, but this is stunning to me.

Good for Springsteen. Good for him as far as speaking out against Trumpism and the sickness that has enveloped the country. I don't know if he will change anyone's mind, but it's a welcome statement.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

A Lack of Political Sophistication


At one point, Krist Novoselic struck me as a very thoughtful guy. That was wiped away by his declaration for support of Donald Trump:
Former Nirvana bassist Novoselic expressed vocal support for Trump’s comments on his Facebook page, writing: “Wow!!! I know many of you can’t stand him, however, Trump knocked it out of the park with this speech.
“Social media and television are looping images of societal breakdown. I agree, the president should not be sending troops into states – and he legally might not be able to anyway – nevertheless, his tone in this speech is strong and direct.”
People can believe whatever they want, but this is stunning and stupid at the same time. Has Novoselic been asleep for the last five years? Trump is the most virulent of racists, a wannabe dictator who threw babies in cages, shut down legal immigration to our country, and enacted more inhumane policies than anyone could have imagined.

There are more than a few very thoughtful people who happen to make music. Richard Marx comes to mind, a guy who is very much in touch with people and with what's going on in the world. I just think that anyone praising Trump at this point has not been functioning as a thinking person during his time in office.

I mean, goddamn. Pay attention to the news.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Worry About the Government


Your periodic reminder that electing assholes means there will always be more suffering:
A new survey by the Musicians’ Union has revealed that almost one fifth of musicians are currently considering abandoning their careers because of a lack of support from the British Government.
19 per cent of respondents to the Union’s Impact Survey said they might give up on their career due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis on their livelihoods.
The Union say that “a significant number” of their members, the majority of whom are self-employed, are struggling financially, and that 38 per cent are falling short of the criteria required to receive assistance from the Government.
You can see the difference here in America. We elected Democrats in the House of Representatives. Those Democrats have come through for the American people, time and time again. They're funding relief efforts, they're bringing forth legislation that would alleviate a lot of the stress being faced in all sectors of our economy, including the arts.

And yet, because we voted in conservatives and grifters and crooks, we're watching all of the money go to the people who don't need it. This is true in America and elsewhere. In Britain, the Tory government wants to eviscerate every possible critic and destroy the country in order to enrich the financial sector. Remember this the next chance you get to vote.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong




Playing music in North Korea legitimizes the horrors carried out by an inhuman, brutal regime that has systematically starved, tortured, and murdered millions of people:

Joss Stone has performed in a bar in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, as part of an ongoing mission to perform in every country on Earth.

The singer posted a video message from Beijing airport shortly before her departure on Tuesday (March 12) in which she informed fans that she was learning the words to ‘Arirang’, the unofficial anthem of Korea, for the performance.

Yeah, you could have skipped that one.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

R.E.M. Should Reform and Protest Trump




If there is one thing that should get your old band back together, it should be to protest Trump and raise money for Democratic candidates.

R.E.M have responded to the fact that President Trump used their music in a meme on Twitter.

Trump had posted a meme that positions his latest State of the Union address against down-cast looking politicians including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. The post was soundtracked to R.E.M’s 1993 track “Everybody Hurts.”

However, the clip posted from Trump’s account has since been removed from Twitter.

And the band weren’t happy about the use of their 1993 hit, making their thoughts about the American president clear.

They tweeted: “World Leader PRETEND!!! Congress, Media–ghost this faker!!! Love, R.E.M.”

Given the way they ended their time as a band, I don’t think it is feasible or possible to expect anything from them beyond what we’ve just seen (which is plenty!).

Thank goodness they spoke out and said what they said.

As for a reunion, well, don’t count on it. To me, it just seems like there is nothing that could bring R.E.M. back together. But, if there was one thing that could, it would be a desire to reform and make new music solely with the purpose of opposing Trumpism. I could see that as a justification for properly getting back together, given the band’s long history of being aligned with common sense and decency.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Sir Paul Speaks




Wow:

Paul McCartney threw his weight behind calls for gun control at the March for Our Lives in New York on Saturday, saying the issue has struck a chord with him because fellow Beatle John Lennon was killed by a gun. Speaking to CNN, McCartney conceded he wasn’t sure calls for change could end gun violence altogether, but “this is what we can do, so I'm here to do it.” “One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here, so it’s important to me,” he said. Lennon was famously shot and killed outside his Manhattan apartment building in 1980.

This is what the beginning of a movement looks like.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Jimmy Fallon is Sad and Irrelevant




How do you get away with butchering a Bruce Springsteen impression in order to try to make yourself part of the discussion about politics and current events?

I guess you have to be Jimmy Fallon:

"You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not lie to the FBI."

Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon channeled Bruce Springsteen on Monday night to address the recent guilty plea by Michael Flynn to lying under oath to the FBI special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian investigation. 

Sporting mirrored shades, a red bandana, and no sleeves, Fallon sang a festive, politically-charged version of Springtsteen's "Santa Clause is Comin' to Town" entitled "Robert Mueller's Comin' to Town."

"It's all cold down along D.C., wind's whipping round the White House," Fallon sang in his best Springsteen growl. "You guys all been good this year? Jared, you been good? Everybody in the Trump Administration been good, or what? That's not many, not many - you guys are in trouble out here..."

He then launched into the chorus: "You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not lie to the FBI. Robert Mueller's comin to town."

That's some Andy Borowitz level of satire and hilarity right there.

Over a year ago, Jimmy made the decision not to offend "Trump voters" and look how that turned out. He went from being on top to being the guy who got left behind.
















Saturday, July 15, 2017

A War Upon the Arts is Brewing




One of the inherent dangers of normalizing the Trump Regime is that it will be possible to attack the arts when they reflect the evil that has been unleash on America:

An inflatable pig with Donald Trump's face on the side. Screens that show doctored images of the President throwing up. Photos of Trump with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as a big baby, and as Hitler.

They're just a few of the images music fans can catch on Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters' 54-date North American tour, "Us + Them," which kicked off on May 26 and coincides with the release of Water's first studio album in 25 years, "Is This the Life We Really Want?"

The political nature of his show, Waters told CNN, is a calculated and defiant response to what he calls the "charade" of the American presidency.

In an interview with Michael Smerconish, the 73-year-old Waters said he has no regrets about turning parts of his 2 1/2-hour performance into what the CNN host described as just "as much an anti-Trump rally as a rock concert."

"It would be a lot easier to be on tour if I wasn't doing any of this, if I didn't have opinions," said Waters, a longtime Trump critic.

The positions that Waters has taken are no different than they were in the early 1980s. He is an artist who has consistently skewered politics and fascism and cults of personality. The danger for Waters is that his stance on Israel can be weaponized against him. The Trump people could easily paint him as an anti-Semite (quite a few people have tried over the years) and the media will probably let them get away with it.

Why would Waters sit down with a turd like Michael Smerconish? I have no idea. But the demonization of anyone who uses art to explain the damage Trump has done to America is well underway.















Saturday, February 18, 2017

Bono Will Do Anything to Save Lives




He's the most pragmatic rocker on the planet:

U2 frontman and human-rights activist Bono met with Vice President Mike Pence in Munich on Saturday to thank him for his past work in securing funding for HIV/AIDS assistance efforts in developing nations, telling the vice president that "we really appreciate" past efforts in support of the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. "You're the second-busiest man on earth," Bono said of Pence, before noting that "twice on the House floor you defended [PEPFAR] - that's how we know you." Pence, for his part, remembered Bono's appearance in support of the initiative, which has provided anti-retroviral treatment for tens of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa since it was created under President George W. Bush. "You played a leading role in carrying it forward," Pence recalled. Despite the apparent friendliness of the chat, Bono has been critical in the past of Pence's boss, calling President Donald Trump "potentially the worst idea that has ever happened to America."

I can appreciate what Bono is doing here. He's operating from a safe place as an Irish citizen. He knows more about America than a lot of Americans do, but he can maintain that distance from our politics and wring money out of Republicans and Democrats alike. The genius of this is that he is willing to look naive and foolish in order to get the money needed to keep people alive.

There isn't anybody out there who is better at charming people who would otherwise tell people dying of AIDS to go pound sand. The fact that he's been doing this for years is proof that there will always be a place where Bono can go and schmooze people, pick their pockets, and deliver that money to the folks who need it. You can be cynical, or you can applaud the fact that the most virulently anti-gay politician in power right now is going to go out and convince Congress to give money to provide anti-retroviral drugs to those who need them. He's going to do that because Bono went to him with his hat in his hand and delivered an irresistible sales pitch. Yes, Pence will use it to prove his humanity. No, Bono won't get credit for making it happen. But people in need will get the drugs. At the end of the day. that's all Mr. Paul Hewson really gives two shits about, and that's all right.

This does not redeem Pence in any way. It does validate the idea that only a mega-celebrity with no other agenda beyond getting blood from stones can pull something like this off and keep his day job. Anyone willing to entertain the inanities of a Mike Pence in order to save lives is fast-tracked for sainthood.













Sunday, February 5, 2017

Gutless and Meaningless




I guess Lady Gaga went with this guy's pleas for civility:

Lady Gaga will be the performer at the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday (February 5) and some people think she should leave politics out of her appearance at the event.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) urged the pop star to keep things fun during her performance via their own TV network, NRA TV.
Conservative political commentator Bill Whittle said Super Bowl organisers had “once again” “chosen a gigantic progressive mouthpiece for their Super Bowl halftime” in booking Gaga. As well as referring to BeyoncĂ©’s politically-charged performance of ‘Formation’ last year, he recalled past performances from which he thought Gaga should take her lead.
“I can remember days when Michael Jackson or somebody would do the Super Bowl and politics didn’t enter into it because they understood that they’re performing for the entire nation and not for the staff at MSNBC,” he said.
 

That's funny. I can remember when we didn't have Nazis in the White House and Russians in control of our elections.

Her performance was a slap in the face for everyone standing up to Trump. Think of the millions who would have been angered if she had said something--their anger would have been confirmation that they like what's being done in their name. Think of the vast majority of Americans who have been protesting and calling their elected officials. They weren't encouraged, validated, or affirmed. It was just another pop singer making a lot of money to toe the corporate line. Another sellout and another nod to the money men. A wasted opportunity to rally those fighting to uphold the rule of law, protect the defenseless, and stand against hate.

It was gutless.

Every kid that goes hungry, everyone who dies from a lack of health care access, every refugee turned away, every family bankrupted, and every soldier who dies because the president can't control his anger is more than reason enough to risk losing a few album sales.

If you don't stand up to Trump, and Trumpism as a whole, you are normalizing what is happening in America.

If you don't use your platform to speak out, you are giving your consent to be governed in this manner.

If you don't make your voice heard, you are joining the silent millions who are pleased with what Trump has done.

When we look back on this era, I think one thing is going to be evident. Those who spoke against Trump will be on the right side of history. Those who had the chance but didn't because they didn't want to offend anyone are going to be forgotten and irrelevant.

This thing we used to call America dies a little more every time we shrug and do nothing.













Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Obamacare Saves Lives




Gail Greenwood is the bassist for Belly, and while they were touring this past summer, she kept secret the fact that she was undergoing chemotherapy for endometrial cancer.

Here's another connection between music and politics that people may not be aware of:

Though I prefer to keep health issues private, with the impending
threat of repeal of the ACA (Affordable Care Act, or ‘Obamacare’), I
feel I cannot remain silent. Thanks to the ACA, many independent
artists, musicians, freelancers and small business owners, such as my
partner, Chil, and myself, and millions of low-income Americans have
access to health insurance and medical care. Chil and I have been with
the program since its inception, buying our health insurance through
Rhode Island’s excellent exchange. This is not my first ride at the
cancer rodeo, and without the provisions of the ACA (such as
prohibiting the denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions and
outlawing yearly and lifetime caps) I would’ve had a very difficult
time getting the treatment I needed. I can literally say that
Obamacare has saved my life twice (so far….)!

The basic tenets of Obamacare are easy to grasp--insurers cannot discriminate against you if you have a pre-existing condition, they can't tell you that you've "run out" of benefits, and if you're lesbian/gay/straight/bi-curious or whatever, they can't deny you and the person you love the benefits of life-saving health care.

Why anyone would vote against that is beyond comprehension. Do you think it had something to do with the fact that Republicans have lied about it since day one and our overweight sexist media failed to call them on their lies?

Here's hoping Gail comes through this with flying colors and keeps rocking that bass. Pass this inspiring story on to everyone who know who about to be affected by the repeal of Obamacare and the destruction that will follow.













Friday, July 22, 2016

The George Harrison Estate Hits Back at Ivanka Trump




It's getting to be an epidemic. The Republicans are so loathsome and unpopular that no one decent wants them to use their music. Donald Trump refuses to stop using the music of the Rolling Stones. Last night, Ivanka Trump used a George Harrison song without seeking permission.

George Harrison's estate has condemned Donald Trump and the US Republican party for use of The Beatles' classic 'Here Comes The Sun' at the 2016 Republican National Convention. 

The song in question featured on the Fab Four's 1969 album 'Abbey Road' and was penned by Harrison. It was played to accompany Trump's daughter, Ivanka, onto the stage as she introduced her father. 

The ideas of the Republican Party are so reprehensible, even dead Beatles condemn them for stealing their message.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Bono Put His Hands Up Like Everyone Else




There's something a bit misleading about this article. It suggests that the police rushed to Bono's aid. That is simply not the case:

U2 frontman Bono was reportedly rescued by armed police while dining in a restaurant in Nice during last week's terror attacks in the French city.

Last Thursday night (July 14), a truck ploughed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the southern city. The crash left 85 people dead and 202 others injured. The driver of the truck Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was later shot dead by police and the incident is being treated as a terror attack.

The Mirror reports that Bono was on the terrace of La Petite Maison, a restaurant on the Nice seafront and near where the attack took place.

Bono was not given celebrity treatment, however. Once the police worked their way through the area, they had him put his hands on his head like everyone else before they let him go. There was a real fear in Nice on the night of the attack that there were others involved.

 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Mike Love is Going to Hell




Buried in this list of sad has-beens is proof--proof, I tell you!--that Mike Love is going to go to hell:

Trump has said on the campaign trail that he wants the event to be a gathering of “winners”—and not politicians, like at past conventions. “We’re going to do it a little different, if that’s OK,” he said in Virginia earlier this month. “I’m thinking about getting some of the great sports people who like me a lot.”

Trump frequently credits the endorsement from the chair-throwing Knight for his Indiana primary victory. Tyson and France have publicly backed Trump, and Ditka has voiced strong support for the presumptive Republican nominee.

Separately, third-party groups have booked musicians to perform at venues throughout Cleveland during the July 18-21 convention: the quintessential 1960s-era surfer band The Beach Boys; 1970s-era rock band Journey; Bret Michaels, the frontman of the 1980s-era metal band Poison; 80s hitmaker Rick Springfield: country singer Martina McBride, who rose to stardom in the 1990s; country band Rascal Flatts, who formed in Ohio in 1999; and The Band Perry, a siblings trio known for country pop songs.

Somewhere, Mike Love is railing at someone about this bill. Are the Beach Boys on top? They'd better be. If they're not, you can forget about getting near him for the rest of the summer. You already knew Journey was going to hell, but think about this: why aren't there any movies about the Beach Boys where Mike Love seems like a reasonably human being? And who was worse--Jim Morrison or Mike Love?

Last night I watched the extended conclusion of Oliver Stone's hilariously bad take on The Doors. This was the end of any possibility that he was interested in coherent movie making, up to and including the poor Native American actor who had to appear onstage with Jim in Florida. Morrison was a drunken asshole with a penchant for throwing flowers at John Densmore, but he seemed like a pleasant fellow compared to Love's passive aggressive bullshit. Love is going to hell for what he put Brian Wilson through. But, that's a given.

We're getting a really bad week at Grand Casino Hinckley instead of an actual GOP convention. Man, Trump must really hate the American viewing public.












Friday, June 24, 2016

Noel Gallagher For Prime Minister




Noel Gallagher was absolutely right about the Brexit vote:

Noel Gallagher has said he doesn't think the British public should get a vote in tomorrow's (June 23) EU referendum. 

In a new interview, the musician criticised the government for not doing "what we pay you to do" and said he may be too "busy" to vote. 

Speaking to CBC, Gallagher said: "I like the fact that it sounds like a cereal; a bowl of Brexit! I'll decide to vote on the morning. I might be busy."

He continued: "Do I think we should leave? I don't think we should be given a vote. I see politicians on TV every night telling us that this is a fucking momentous decision that could fucking change Britain forever and blah, blah, blah. 

They'll never make him Prime Minister, but they should. The Brexit decision should never have been put to a vote.












Thursday, June 9, 2016

Monday, December 21, 2015

Donald Trump's Mandingo Analogy

This is just plain evil:

In the latest series of Trumpisms, the Republican presidential frontrunner on Monday knocked Hillary Clinton for not returning to the stage on time in Saturday night's Democratic debate and getting "schlonged" by Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race. "Even a race to Obama, she was gonna beat Obama. I don't know who would be worse, I don't know, how could it be worse? But she was going to beat -- she was favored to win -- and she got schlonged, she lost, I mean she lost," Trump said. The real estate mogul also criticized Clinton for her late return to the stage because of a bathroom break, calling it "disgusting." Unprompted, Trump said, "I know where she went. It's disgusting. I don't want to talk about it, it's disgusting."

I'm just going to say it--a mainstream Republican candidate for the presidency invoked the racist image of the Mandingo. He spoke of an African-American man having sex with a white woman. God help us all, but that dog whistle was blown today like it hasn't been blown in a long, long time.

Now, we know several things. One, Trump will not pay any price whatsoever for his latest crude missive. Two, he's unscripted and out of control for what amounts to the eighth or ninth week in a row, depending on when the first outburst occurred. Three, the sexism embedded in his comments about Hillary Clinton is still absolutely shocking and without any real precedent.

This is not the sort of thing that a John McCain would have said and it's not the sort of thing Mitt Romney would have said. I mean, there's just no precedence for the crudity and the vulgarity of this man. We've gone from the Romneyshambles to the Donaldshambles. It's a shit show no one can stop watching.

Do you know what would work right now for the Republican Party? A Mitt Romney-John McCain ticket. They should drag both nominees out of mothballs, give them a billion dollars in someone else's funds, and remove all of the other candidates from the race. Make it Trump against Romney-McCain. Granted, it would turn to shit and catch fire like a bus full of exploding propane tanks and potato masher hand grenades, but it would still be more fun than what we have right now.

If you're conservative, you're quietly pleased with this Donald fellow. If you're liberal, you can't imagine how many more

Salon

posts it's going to take before everyone agrees with you that Donald can't survive this. I'm sorry, but the crude sexism just brings more voters to the table. I would be surprised if he doesn't end up breaking forty percent soon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Modern Political Discourse




This morning, [what used to be called] the [St. Paul] Pioneer Press created some waves by calling President Obama an "assclown."

The off-color remark came in the context of the PiPress's "Loop Ten" feature, which is a slideshow that serves as sports producer Kevin Cusick's "daily countdown of the top newsmakers, groundbreakers and world-class fakers."


Clocking in at a tie for number three in today's installment was "selfies." That entry is accompanied by an image of Obama holding a selfie stick in an apparent effort to take a photo of himself.


That's all well and good, but where Cusick got himself in trouble was with the text below the image.


"A fool-proof way to make yourself look like a self-absorbed assclown," it said.


You can be rest assured that having a sports guy call the President of the United States an assclown isn't shocking or new in any context except one--when it appears on the website of a newspaper. That's a whole new ballgame, unless we're talking about a paper owned by Rupert Murdoch.





The unfortunate series of photos that accompanied an Internet interview with the President allowed for two things to happen. One, it humanized the President, who is often accused of being cool and aloof. Two, it handed conservatives all across the country more fodder for their insane diatribes against the President, as if they needed any assistance.





This was a sports guy that did this? Goodness, what a shitty life the ethics department has at the old paper. Will they fire this guy? Who knows? Wouldn't surprise me if it blew over and nothing happened. This is how far we have fallen in political discourse. You can call a Democrat anything you want. Call a Republican anything equal to or stronger than "proven serial liar" and you'll reap the whirlwind.





The St. Paul Pioneer Press used to be one of my favorite papers. I read it and I delivered it as an adult, but that was in the early 1990s and all that has turned to murky memories and badly-remembered times. This was a major American newspaper at one point, home of some interesting journalism and commentary. They abandoned the Pioneer Press as a brand and called themselves "TwinCities.com" in the modern era of the Internet. That's a shame--a throwback, iconic name would be a hot property right now if the paper could muster any talent or ability to cover the news.





As you can see, it cannot.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Mitt Romney Will Run For President in 2020




That's how I read this:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will not make a third run for president, CNN has confirmed, and will tell supporters on an 11 a.m. phone call he believes it's "best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity" to become the nominee.


Multiple Romney aides confirmed that text of his planned remarks during an 11 a.m. call with supporters posted online by radio host Hugh Hewitt are accurate, and that Romney will "do whatever I can" to elect the GOP nominee, but will not run himself.


The call comes as Romney has faced deep skepticism from some quarters of the Republican party over his interest in another run for president. His surprise announcement to donors earlier this month that he's interested in making another run for the White House upended the developing 2016 GOP primary field, freezing Republican staff and donors who were torn between their loyalties to the 2012 nominee and a new crop of potential contenders.

Romney's trial balloon crashed, so he's going to step aside for a moment and see who emerges as a front runner. He will wait and see if someone falters, and then he will expect to either be drafted as the nominee or announced as the early pick for Vice President.

There's no chance whatsoever that Romney is "done" with presidential politics. He's making a tactical move that will maintain his viability for another chance.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jeffrey Goldberg on Israeli Politics




Jeffrey Goldberg writes about Israel's obsession with stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons and how Benjamin Netanyahu is the wrong man to accomplish this task:

[...] the only other way for Netanyahu to stop Iran would be to convince the president of the United States, the leader of the nation that is Israel’s closest ally and most crucial benefactor, to confront Iran decisively. An Israeli strike could theoretically set back Iran’s nuclear program, but only the U.S. has the military capabilities to set back the program in anything approaching a semi-permanent way. And only the United States has the throw-weight to organize sanctions regimes of lasting consequence.

For several years, Netanyahu and President Obama, despite their mutual loathing, worked more or less in tandem on this issue. Netanyahu traveled the world arguing for stringent sanctions, and Obama did much the same. In fact, Obama used Netanyahu’s tough posture to America’s advantage: On several occasions, Obama and officials in his administration played good cop/bad cop, telling other world leaders that toughening sanctions on Iran would be the only way to forestall an Israeli attack, and this line of argument often proved effective.

The focus here is on the wrong thing. You have the leader of Israel trying to start a war with Iran and you have the President trying to use diplomacy. Why are we not celebrating that effort? Successfully preventing wars doesn't lead to anything anymore in terms of real benefits for the incumbent President You are almost better off starting a war and letting "the next guy" finish it for you and take the blame for anything that goes wrong. The American people just don't care about foreign policy anymore, period.

If the Republicans think they can run in 2016 on the issue of support for Israel, they are mistaken. Americans want us to be friendly and continue to "save" Israel but they have never punished Obama for refusing to start a war on behalf of Israel. Even George W. Bush understood this.

Goldberg adds this:

Why doesn’t Netanyahu understand that alienating Democrats is not in the best interest of his country? From what I can tell, he doubts that Democrats are—or will be shortly—a natural constituency for Israel, and he clearly believes that Obama is a genuine adversary. As I reported last year, in an article that got more attention for a poultry-related epithet an administration official directed at Netanyahu than anything else, Netanyahu has told people he has “written off” Obama.

Someone advising Netanyahu has put it in his ear that there won't be any Democrats to negotiate with by the time the 2016 campaign is done; that's a wrong-headed notion. Control of the U.S. Senate could easily swing back to the Democrats in the next cycle and every sitting Republican Senator of note understands this fact. They are a temporary thing, given the demographics of the Senate and the presidency as far as elections are concerned. The House is safely Republican thanks to gerrymandering; unfortunately, you can't apply that magic to the Senate or the Executive.

This is why I fear a Hillary Clinton presidency--being tough with Israel is not going to be possible for her because of a need to have exceptional toughness that would not normally be applied to a male president. She will be under enormous pressure to use force, a la Margaret Thatcher, and she will be backed into conflicts we should not have to fight. She will be bullied into giving Netanyahu everything he wants.

If she tells everyone to go pound sand and that she will make peace wherever she can, good for her. We have had enough of the permanent wars of the early 21st Century. We cannot keep fighting forever.