President Obama let it be known that he didn’t watch Prime Minister’s historic speech to the joint session of Congress yesterday. Netanyahu came to present the case against the nuclear deal with Iran that is in process. Obama has made concession after concession that would abrogate sanctions against Iran and facilitate Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. Netanyahu sought to explain why that was the case and why it wasn’t a good idea.
Obama had arranged a conflict in his schedule in order to avoid watching Netanyahu’s speech. Obama took an important conference call at the time Netanyahu was to address Congress. The conference call must have kicked off around 11:000 a.m. (Eastern) and run 40 minutes or so, overlapping perfectly with Netanyahyu’s address.
Obama turned Netanyahu’s speech into an offense against majesty. He refused to meet with Netanyahu while he was in town. He procured the absence of Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Kerry from the speech. He assured that his administration had no representation at the event.
Obama commented on Netanyahu’s speech yesterday afternoon (video below). What a contrast with Netanyahu. Obama appeared petty, angry and petulant. He can’t help it.
Obama dismissed Netanyahu’s speech as lacking “viable alternatives.” If there is no alternative to what Netanyahu argued was “a bad deal” with Iran, that means Obama finds rejection of a bad deal or achievement of a good deal to be unrealistic alternatives to his chosen path.
Obama thus starkly confirms Netanyahu’s critique. Obama intends for us not to think too hard about what he has to say. We can foil him by exercising the power of critical thought.
Obama also sought the absence of Democratic congressmen from the speech. He wished to turn the event into a matter of partisan division. Though the vast majority of the minority attended, some 53 dutifully obeyed and stayed away. Among the conscientious objectors were Minnesota’s own Al Franken, Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum, representative of the range of congressional Democrats from jerk to thug.
Democrats who opposed Netanyahuy’s speech held a press conference immediately following Netanyahu. What a crew. C-SPAN broadcast the whole thing and posted the video below.
The video is 45 minutes long. I won’t say it’s worth your time; it probably isn’t. These folks deserve the fate of having to listen to each other as the price of getting their mugs in front of a national audience.
Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth led off and set the tone. “This speech was straight out of the Dick Cheney playbook,” Yarmuth explained. For anyone who had seen Netanyahu’s speech, this event would have been laughable were it not for the animus that creeps through (and I do mean creeps).
The video is especially valuable in one respect. In case you have wondered whatever happened to Baghdad Jim McDermott, the video answers the question.