Saturday, September 24, 2011

Why can't we have a better pres corps part Aleph null

Amy Sullivan correctly notes that silly people have been saying that Obama has a problem with Jewish Americans for 3 years in spite of all of the proof to the contrary.

She also makes a blatantly false, pants on fire, four Pinoccios false assertion on a point of fact.

"...Obama ... when he delivered a speech in May calling on Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders, "

This claim is totally utterly false. Neither in May nor in any other month did Obama call on Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders. The text of his call is not disputed. It is also totally unoriginal. He called on negotiations on mutually agreed changes to the 67 borders. This was also Clinton's position. I think Bush's to, to the extent he pretended to believe in peace talks at all. Anyone who followed the controversy and can remember simple facts for four months knows that Sullivan's claim is false.

The horrible thing is that I am sure she is not lying. I don't know if she fell for easily refuted Republican lies, forgot in four months, or thinks that what Obama actually said is immaterial because in politics perceptions are realities (and heaven forfend that journalists inform the public about the facts when all statements on a subject from one party are false -- that would be unBallanced.

Also, Sullivan's main point is that Jewish Americans don't support politicians entirely based on the degree to which they agree with the Israeli government of the day (or even entirely based on whether they serve the interests of Israel as the Jewish American sees them). Good thing she isn't a protocols of the elders of Zion anti-semite or a neoconservative. But then she assumes the opposite of what she just spent an article proving, saying that Obama will not have a problem with Jewish Americans because he opposes a declaration of Palistinian statehood.

I'd like to see some polling comparing the views of Jewish and Christian Americans on that particular question. More generally, I'd like to know if Jewish or Christian Americans are more likely to agree with, say, AIPAC. I promise you that I don't have a firm prior.

So what the hell is going on ? I'm sure that Sullivan once new that Obama didn't call for Israel to return to its 1967 borders. I'm sure that she knows that Jewish Americans are not all much concerned about Palistinians (and almost none are obsessed by Palestinians). So why does she feel obliged to stick to a narrative which she knows (or knew) is false ?

That is not a rhetorical question and I will try to answer it. I think the key to understanding the nonsense in her post is that both the plainly false claim on a matter of fact in the public record and the conventional but silly speculation about what matters to Jewish Americans are in asides in which she concedes that both sides have a point. The post principally argues that Jewish Americans don't take marching orders from Netanyahu or any Kristol. But to be balanced, she feels the need to concede that the people she criticizes aren't totally 100% completely wrong (I agree that they aren't). I think this means that she does not feel responsible for the concessions. The idea seems to be that if one agrees with her general take, spin, slant and main conclusion then one just can't criticize her.

If I am right, then this is terrible. It means (as we all know) that persistent disciplined liars can get their lies to be treated as facts. If they are careful to avoid saying the truth, then their statements must all be 100% rejected or lies must be partially accepted. So the fact that Obama didn't call for Israel to return to its 1967 borders is less important than the need to agree with Republicans about something. The most frustrating part is that Karl Rove clearly explained his strategy "you don't attach their weaknesses. You attract their strengths" and journalists feel duty bound to make sure that it works.

Note I am not saying that all Republicans lie all the time. I am just saying that some Republicans lie all the time as a matter of principle. If its true, then they don't waste their soundbite and miniquote saying it, because the journalist will say it if they don't. OK I don't have absolute rock solid proof that any Republican other than Karl Rove lies all of the time as a matter of principle, but he is very influential and made his approach very very clear.

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