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?
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