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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 15, 2012/ 22 Shevat, 5772

Obama's cynicism for me, not for thee

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "My rival in this race," President Obama announced early in 2007, "is not other candidates. It's cynicism."

It's now clear that what he meant by this was other people's cynicism -- not his own.

As you may recall, Obama came into office a very inexperienced politician, spouting a lot of hopeful and idealistic rhetoric. He had made a name for himself by refusing to demonize conservatives and Republicans.

For instance, during a Nevada Democratic debate, then-Sen. Obama told the late Tim Russert that, "My greatest strength, I think, is the ability to bring people together from different perspectives to get them to recognize what they have in common and to move people in a different direction."

Whether that was a lie at the time or simply unwarranted self-confidence is unknowable. What is plainly knowable is that it was untrue.

Among modern presidents going back to Eisenhower, Obama has proven uniquely incapable of working with his political opponents. Even Jimmy Carter got his signature airline deregulation bill passed with whopping bipartisan majorities. Bill Clinton got NAFTA, welfare reform and some balanced budgets with Republican help. George W. Bush got Democrats on board for No Child Left Behind and the Iraq war. (Obama's vice president and his secretary of state both voted for it as senators.)

There have been some bipartisan victories on Obama's watch, but he's often been the partisan loser in such fights. For instance, Congress extended the Bush-era tax cuts, much to Obama's dismay. And even on more clear-cut bipartisan victories -- say, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, or the trade deals Obama delayed unnecessarily -- there's little evidence that Obama brought any opponents around to his position. The man just isn't very persuasive.

Now Obama's defenders, starting with the man himself, insist this isn't his fault. He's actually super persuasive and bipartisan, he just suffers from the fact that the Republicans are the most unreasonable politicians ever, so he can't be blamed for utterly failing to work with them. It's like the guy who insists that he's a real ladies' man but can't get a phone number because all of the hot women in the bar just happen to be gay.

Actually, it's worse than that. Everywhere the president goes, he explains that he's failed to get anything done either because the system is broken or because his opponents lack the honor and decency to work with him. Such arguments define cynicism.

But for Obama, cynicism is a vice for other people.

For instance, just this month, after five Democratic senators and several members of his own inner circle (including Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and former Chief of Staff William Daley), not to mention the unified leadership of the Catholic Church, expressed profound dismay over Obama's decision to force religious institutions to pay for contraceptive and "preventative" services in violation of their faith, Obama insisted that opponents of the move were "cynical."

Also this month, the president proposed a budget that assumes everyone in this country is too stupid to understand what he's up to. It simply pretends there's no debt or deficit problem. It assumes that entitlement spending is nothing to worry about. It "saves" money by cutting spending no one ever planned to spend. And it proposes huge tax hikes nobody believes that even Obama wants.

Why? Because Obama expects Republicans to vote against the budget -- as any responsible legislator of either party would -- so he can then further demonize the "do-nothing Congress" while pretending to be serious about fixing our problems.

By the way, the only part of Congress worthy of that sobriquet is the Democrat-controlled Senate, which hasn't proposed a budget in over 1,000 days (longer than the entire run of the Kennedy administration). Why hasn't it? To make it easier for the Democratic president to demonize his opponents.

Instead of fulfilling his promise to deliver a "new kind of politics" and a new era of idealism, he's made politics more cynical than ever. The case for Obama has become the case against everyone and everything inconvenient to his success. Don't agree with Obama's policies? Well, you can't possibly have a good reason to do that. So you must be racist, greedy, dumb or corrupt.

Meanwhile, Obama casts himself as the humble servant of the 99 percent, even as he forklifts cash from Wall Street into his campaign coffers and exploits the very sort of super PACs he not long ago claimed were a "threat to democracy."

But to point that out is just cynicism.

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