March 3, 2015

The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg has done some reporting on the lead up to Bibi Netanyahu's speech to Congress that has polarized relations with the White House. In a disrespectful break of U.S. government protocol, Speaker John Boehner gave Bibi an unparalleled platform, the House of Representatives to use as a stump speech for his reelection campaign.

Netanyahu is engaging in behavior that is without precedent: He is apparently so desperate to stay in office that he has let the Republicans weaponize his country in their struggle against a Democratic president they despise. Boehner seeks to do damage to Obama, and he has turned Netanyahu into an ally in this cause. It's not entirely clear here who is being played.

Bibi's speech was a typical red meat, no substance affair that Conservatives revel in as long as it bashes those they despise. (This explains the rise of Scott Walker) It was long on recriminations against the Obama White House and short on what should be done with Iran even before a deal has been reached in which to disagree with.

Jeffrey Goldberg appeared with NBC's Andrea Mitchell and described the speech thusly:

Goldberg: The staging was unbelievable, the whole thing has an air of unbelievability to this because this seems like the Republican response to the SOTU, in some ways. A foreign policy Republican response to an Obama SOTU..

Mitchell: On a grand scale...

Goldberg: On a grand scale. You don't get a Republican response like that to a SOTU. The interesting thing for me is that the topic, the text was Iran, but subtext was Obama - the target of this speech was President Obama, John Kerry and their negotiators and basically his message to congress was, "do not trust Obama get a good deal." "He is too naive." Despite about all of the rhetoric Kelly pointed out, Obama's done this for Israel, that for Israel, but you can not trust them to do this.

I don't understand how political commentators can say that Bibi was being respectful to the White House during his speech. It was an all-out offensive against their negotiations with Iran, plain and simple.

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