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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 01/21/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

Bill Kristol makes a plea for the GOP not to blow it in 2012: "The 2012 GOP presidential nomination is too important to waste. And it's too important for candidates who might be successful to pass up. Any Republican leader who cares about the future of the country, and who thinks it's possible he or she might be the best nominee, should keep an open mind about running. Donors, activists and citizens should keep an open mind about who would prove to be the best nominee, and watch to see how they all perform--in Congress, in statehouses, in debates, and on the stump -- over the next year. It's worth getting this nomination right." The stampede of pundits, early polls and consultants give the impression of urgency and momentum, but that's illusory.

The hard left makes it impossible for J Street to stay out of the United Nations resolution issue. Lots of caveats, but, alas, J Street joins (well, it never departed from) the chorus calling for U.N. condemnation of Israel. Remember: "Eemonization, delegitmatization and double standards" are how the State Department distinguishes acceptable criticism from anti-Semitism. And, yes, Obama still vetoes it.

A much saner voice (don't mean to damn with faint praise), Elliott Abrams, makes clear the administration's predicament: "The administration's trying very hard to persuade the Palestinians not to push [the settlement freeze] resolution now, because it hasn't vetoed any resolution in two years, and I think it wanted to try to go through four years without a veto. So there's a lot of pressure on the Palestinians to pull back or rewrite the resolution in a way the administration can escape the veto. . . . [This is] exactly the kind of argument the administration is making to the Palestinians: You're going to corner us into a veto that we don't want [and] you don't want, and none of us is going to be helped by this."

Obama occasionally talks a good game, but when the chips are down he makes no effort to put America on the side of democratic reformers. Jackson Diehl writes that Obama didn't bother to raise the Jasmine Revolution's implications for Egypt with Hosni Mubarak. "By failing to mention reform, Obama effectively placed a public U.S. bet on Mubarak's ability to prevent any spread of Tunisia's unrest." Same as Iran. Same as Russia. No hope and no change.

Rick Santorum, who had virtually no shot at the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, makes certain he has none with some nearly incomprehensible comments on race and abortion.

The Islamists make themselves heard in Tunisia. "Such activism by the Islamists -- who want a role for Islam in their country's politics -- is feeding jitters that extremism may be on the rise in Tunisia, long a Westward-looking nation proud of its modern identity."

Republican victories in North and South Dakota are likely in 2012 and make Republican control of the Senate in future years a real possibility. So much for filibuster reform, eh?

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 21, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: No Labels gets this one right
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Comments

It is exactly this sort of inconsistent, not to say almost duplicitious, Obama policy towards Israel which has driven those voters who still like the President and largely approve of him personally to have serious doubts and misgivings regarding his reliability as a leader and his principles as a man.
More and more Obama comes across as a cynical and manipulative Chicago politico, whose word changes with his audience and whose pledges mean nothing after just few minutes.
It will take a series of massive and irreparable political mistakes on the part of the Republican party for Obama to win in 2012.

Posted by: Beniyyar | January 21, 2011 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Beniyyar,

Obama will win handily, in part because Jews will vote for him 2 to 1.

Posted by: Inagua1 | January 21, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

the media constantly talk about people liking Obama personally. I have never met him and i would bet most people have not had a smoke with him either so there opinion of him personally is a media driven feeling based upon no fact. All I know about this president is what his actions are what he says, how much he lies, and how much responsibility he shirks. Land for peace he is trying to turn into land for negotiations. Criminal trials in New york for terrorists, talking bipartisanship and passing everything almost on straight party vote. I don't know what type of dad or husband or friend he is. He seems fine but i don't know and neither do 99% of the people. All we should care about is how he and his agenda do as president and how he leads the free world globally, and how he deals with our rivals and enemies. JEN, MIke Pence in 2012

Posted by: eddiehaskall | January 21, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Jen,

The clip of Rick Santorum remarking “I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say ‘now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people,” was satisfactorily explained on Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record” last night.

He said that his remarks were taken out of context. He explained, among other things, that the 14th Amendment was created to assure the personhood of blacks, and that Obama, as a black professor of Constitutional law, ought to know that at least as well as anybody.

Did you notice that the video clip was produced by the People of the American Way? A George Soros skunk works? Remarks taken out of context? Is there a pattern here?

At this point, almost two years before the next Presidential election, I am not going to pass judgment on anybody and their bid to run for President. If Obama has shown anything, it is that anybody can become President regardless of anybody’s prejudices.

Posted by: nvjma | January 21, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I agree completely with nvjma and again am distressed at Jennifer's nose in the air dismissal of Santorum's remarks. Guess she wants to keep getting her invites to the WP cocktail parties.

Posted by: cajunkate | January 21, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

CONSIDER THIS:

"Obama occasionally talks a good game, but when the chips are down he makes no effort to put America on the side of democratic reformers. Jackson Diehl writes that Obama didn't bother to raise the Jasmine Revolution's implications for Egypt with Hosni Mubarak. "By failing to mention reform, Obama effectively placed a public U.S. bet on Mubarak's ability to prevent any spread of Tunisia's unrest."


ALSO THIS:


"The Islamists make themselves heard in Tunisia. "Such activism by the Islamists -- who want a role for Islam in their country's politics -- is feeding jitters that extremism may be on the rise in Tunisia, long a Westward-looking nation proud of its modern identity."

Jennifer, sometimes you make me so proud! Here's the comment I wrote just two days ago in your column when I predicted your ultimate headline on Tunisia:


"Islamic fundamentalist ascendency in Tunisia is caused by Obama failure to support nascent deomcracy movement championed by Bush administration, NOT a result, as liberals assert, of Tunisians actually voting for Islamic parties."

If I went to Vegas, I could make millions betting on the headlines for your column the next day!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 21, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

nvjma wrote:

"He explained, among other things, that the 14th Amendment was created to assure the personhood of blacks, and that Obama, as a black professor of Constitutional law, ought to know that at least as well as anybody."

Conservative Republicans are against the 14th Amendment or hadn't you heard?

Also wouldn't he know that as well if he was just a Constitutional law professor, or do "black Constitutional law professors" learn a different Constitution??

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 21, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Do you have any sources other than the AEI and your pal Elliot Abrams? Honestly Jennifer, you are like a one-trick pony.

By the way, since you raised the issue of Hannah Rosenthal in our post (although not by name) have you issued the clarification to your post about your interview where you misrepresented what she said to suit your own ridiculous purpose- ie. to try to frame the administration as soft on anti-semitism? Because if so, I missed it. Because she said you misrepresented her so I'm sure you'd want to rectify that.

Posted by: Stacyx | January 21, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Here is Santorum's follow-up:

"I am disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in this country.”

Wow, someone with the courage to speak into this issue! And the beltway pundits says he doesn't have a chance. Every time you attack someone who is pro-life, you lose respect and influence Ms. Rubin.

Posted by: johnhiggins1990 | January 22, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

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