This issue is so polarizing that the blogger must establish his admiration for the president before writing about it.
It, this monumental and regrettable gift President Obama handed PE Trump with America’s abstention on the UN resolution condemning Israel’s settlement policy.
I love our president, have been proud, and felt fortunate every day, including this one, that he leads our nation. In a New York Times article I once referred to myself as “Obama Man.” When interviewed and passed over for a position by his White House appointments office several years ago, I answered the question of whether something else interested me with “I’ll clean the latrine for this guy” and I would.
The president’s demeanor had been most nearly perfect throughout 2016 and never more so and needed than after November 8, in the way he faced the debacle and treated the victor – for the good of our country. And to the best of his tiny ability Trump reciprocated, attempting to graciously receive the baton. That is until December 26, when for no (good) reason the president mused out loud that he would have defeated Trump “if I had run again” and criticized Hillary’s campaign with an analogy from sports. At that moment he began sounding less like Barack and more like the trash talking Hawaiian high school hoopster, Barry Obama.
And with that the “your turn to curtsy, my turn to bow” transition ended. But all that was lost there were style points. Permitting the U.N. to savage Israel, among, if not America’s most important technological, cultural, diplomatic and military allies was an act of dangerous and destructive pique, vanity and pride.
Unlike Obama’s lame duck actions concerning off-shore oil drilling, new national monuments, the skillful orchestration of millions of new Obamacare enrollments and tough new sanctions against Russia – all which undercut the next president’s ability to harm our nation and the world, disgracing and allowing John Kerry to tongue lash Israel, is a great gift to Trump. Let us count just some of the ways. He has already condemned the resolution and certainly will point to the moral bankruptcy of its sponsors, including Malaysia and especially Venezuela, currently starving its people and allowing the military to profit over this self-inflicted famine. He will point to New Zealand’s burgeoning trade relationship with Iran as the major motivation for its sponsorship. Trump will agree with many progressive Democrats attacking the resolution including Senators Ben Cardin, Richard Blumenthal, Kirsten Gillibrand, Chris Coons and his own incoming minority leader Chuck Schumer, who on January 20, becomes the highest elected Democratic official in the United States.
Obama’s justified disdain for Benjamin Netanyahu will make Trump’s embrace of him so much easier and all but erase memory of Bibi’s many clear breaches of diplomatic rules, including going around Obama to address Congress and asking Trump to intervene with Egypt. By allowing the U.N. to flog the only democracy in the Middle East and permitting Kerry to lecture it about how its status as such is in jeopardy (at a moment when America’s democracy if not shaky clearly is challenged) Obama permitted Netanyahu to credibly counter-lecture us on friendship. He pointed out that the U.S./Israel disagreement on settlements has existed for decades but we had agreed that all disputes about land were to be resolved by Israelis and Palestinians in face to face negotiations. Bibi was even given license to explain how Old and New Testament commands diverge in the response to an attack – pointing out that Israelis “do not turn the other cheek.”
President Obama’s many clear and principled bases for hostility to the leader of Israel and future leader of America were also the very reasons that he needed to hold his vanity and pride in check just a little while longer. Too bad Mr. President.