Obama had barely lowered his hand after being sworn in back in 2009 that Glenn Reynolds proposed that a re-run of the Carter presidency was likely a best case scenario for the lightworker, and while this has been manifestly true for quite a while now, yesterday’s UN vote seals the deal.
I dimly recalled that Carter made a similar move in his last year in office, voting to abstain on a UN resolution that sounds identical to the one passed yesterday. Only that time Carter reversed course—sort of. To refresh your memory, here’s my account of it from volume 1 of The Age of Reagan:
On Saturday, March 2, 1980, the United Nations Security Council called a vote on a resolution condemning new Israeli settlements on the West Bank, the Gaza strip, and Jerusalem—in other words, the U.S. was siding with a resolution that denied Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. Anti-Israel resolutions were a perennial at the U.N. in those years. The U.S., torn between the desire to prod Israel to restrain new West Bank settlements and our longstanding general support for Israel, had abstained on previous similar resolutions. This time Vance persuaded Carter that the time had come for the U.S. to signal its displeasure with Israel by voting in favor of the resolution. The resolution passed unanimously, and all hell broke loose. An angry Robert Strauss, Carter’s campaign chairman, told Carter, “Either this vote is reversed or you can kiss New York goodbye.” Invoking a parliamentary technicality, the U.S. managed to get a revote on the resolution the next day, and changed its vote from “yes” to “abstain.”
Carter attempted to explain the “mistake” by claiming that the inclusion of settlements in Jerusalem was supposed to have been struck from the resolution, and said that the U.S. vote resulted from a “failure of communication.” This story might be true, although it strains credulity. Copies of the resolution with the Jerusalem language had been circulating at the State Department and the National Security Council well before the vote, making a clear instruction to U.N. Ambassador Donald McHenry an uncomplicated task. Whatever the truth of the matter, the administration was either politically or diplomatically incompetent. Vance didn’t help matters by defending the original yes vote to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee four days before the New York primary. Jewish voters, who had never been enthusiastic about the southern Baptist president anyway, were outraged.
I’m not clear on how that 1980 resolution differed from the one that passed yesterday. But it is not especially relevant. This whole scene really ought to be simple, but like most things, isn’t for liberals. The Palestinians have no interest in peaceful co-existence with Israel. Full stop. Like the Soviet Union and detente, the negotiations about a “two-state solution” are just like “class struggle by other means,” a mere way station on the road to total victory. Demoralizing the other side is just a bonus. This is why my mentor M. Stanton Evans liked to say that “Middle East peace process” is one of the all time great oxymorons. Unfortunately the morons in our foreign policy establishment, most of whom have turned their back on the occidental heritage (hence their immunity to oxymorons), buy into it.
It appears that Donald Trump may understand this at an instinctual level. The problem with conventional Republicans during much of the Cold War is, as Norman Podhoretz once memorably