Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 July 15, 2011 / 13 Tammuz, 5771

Republican Show-and-Tell

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A lot of conservatives are having fun at President Obama's expense after his latest gaffe. In the midst of testy debt-limit negotiations, Obama told House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, "Don't call my bluff."

The first rule in bluffing is to keep it a secret that you're bluffing. So, technically speaking, that's like a con man saying, "Don't give any weight to the fact that I'm lying."

And while I do think Obama is not telling the truth about a great number of things, conservatives should look closer to home if they want to criticize impolitic truth-telling.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has introduced a complicated plan that would truly call Obama's fundamental bluff: that the White House honestly favors a courageous "grand bargain" that would make serious and steep cuts to entitlements in exchange for tax "revenue" increases (i.e., tax hikes).

High among the problems with McConnell's plan is how hard it is to explain. But basically, Republicans would give Obama all of the responsibility for proposing specific spending cuts and for raising the debt ceiling three times up to $2.5 trillion over the next year. Obama would get his way unless a supermajority of Congress objected, so the GOP could vote against Obama without stopping him. Default would be averted without Republicans being forced to vote for tax hikes.

Conservatives are split on the idea. Personally I think it might be the least bad of the currently possible options.

But what's particularly frustrating is how McConnell is selling his proposal. In an interview with radio host Laura Ingraham, McConnell explained his thinking: "If we go into default, (Obama) will say that Republicans are making the economy worse. … The president will have the bully pulpit to blame the Republicans for all of this destruction," setting himself up for re-election.

"I refuse to help Barack Obama get re-elected by marching Republicans into a position where we have co-ownership of a bad economy," McConnell added. "That's a very bad positioning going into an election."

McConnell is right. But McConnell isn't a pundit. Why the hell is he reading his stage direction out loud? Last fall, he said that the "single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." Most conservatives agree with him, because without a Republican president, you can't repeal ObamaCare or do the other things conservatives believe are necessary to set the country back on the right track. Democrats see things the same way, but from a liberal perspective.

But Democrats, for all their internecine squabbles, have the discipline to take the high road rhetorically.

Republicans have a habit of seeming like actors who first want to know their "motivation" and then read it instead of their lines.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush explained that he wanted "to be positioned in that I could not possibly support David Duke because of the racism and because of the very recent statements that are very troubling in terms of bigotry and all of this." Positioned?

When Bob Dole, another former Senate leader, ran for president in 1996, he assured voters, "If that's what you want, I'll be another Ronald Reagan." He even launched a national debate on whether he should "go negative" against Bill Clinton. According to his own strategists, his plan was to "act presidential." Not to "be presidential" -- just to act that way.

Politics is about show, not tell.

His remark about not calling his bluff notwithstanding, Obama has at least demonstrated the political professionalism to read his lines. His refusal to sign a short-term debt-ceiling extension is, according to him, an act of moral leadership, high-minded pragmatism and flat-out bravery.

"I've reached my limit. This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this," Obama reportedly said about his determination to have a long-term deal. He says he wants the deal because America can't continue to kick the can down the road, even though that's what he did during his entire presidency until the GOP got in the way.

My suspicion is that if he read his stage direction instead of his lines, it would sound very different. Something like: "I want to be positioned as if I'm taking the high road, but I'm really just trying to kick this can past the 2012 election. I want to keep asking for things Republicans won't agree to so I can paint them as irresponsible. So, whatever you do, don't call my bluff."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


To comment on JWR contributor Jonah Goldberg's column click here.

Jonah Goldberg Archives

© 2006 TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles