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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 05/20/2011

Morning Bits

What a difference an election makes. The Senate Democrats can’t get cloture on a far-left, inexperienced judge.

What difference did President Obama’s speech make to Bashar al-Assad? None. “Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad is continuing his assault on protesters. . .”

What a difference a few thousand votes make. Instead of the J Street favorite, Sen. Pat Toomey won the Pennsylvania Senate seat. “I am extremely disappointed with President Obama’s speech. The president’s reference to pre-1967 borders as the basis for peace undermines our ally Israel’s negotiating position, demonstrates insensitivity to the security threats Israel faces on a daily basis and ignores the historical context that has shaped the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for more than 60 years.”

What difference do platitudes make when the president’s specifics are unfavorable to Israel? “Mr. Obama made clear that ‘Ultimately, it is up to Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them, not by the United States, not by anybody else.’ So why did he go on to do the imposing on borders?”

What a difference a rotten speech can make. “Obama has ample reason to worry about a poor reception when he speaks to a very pro-Israel audience at AIPAC this Sunday. In addition, Obama’s campaign goal of raising $1 billion becomes much harder if he loses major Jewish fundraisers. While Bush’s 2004 improvement in the polls among American Jews was relatively small — from 19 percent support in 2000 to 24 percent in 2004 — Bush also poached a number of significant fundraisers from the Democratic side because of his pro-Israel stance.”

What difference can a nice personality make? Some. “Conservative activists want a political ninja to kickbox his way to the White House. There’s a reason a brash loudmouth like Trump was a brief Republican sensation this spring. But that’s not Tim Pawlenty, he of the Minnesota-nice demeanor and goofy sense of humor. His appeal is in the middle, not the margin. He’s smart, likable and decent and, as the blue collar son of a truck driver, has a powerful American story to tell. He cut taxes and reined in spending in his two terms as governor of Minnesota, proving himself a solid conservative but not a fanatical ideologue. Those credentials have earned him the respect of Republican insiders. But poll after poll shows that he’s yet to catch on with voters.” Well, unless someone flashier comes along they may warm to him pretty quickly.

What a difference a week makes. “Exit Mike Huckabee. Enter Newt Gingrich. Exit Donald Trump. It’s been a busy week in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. A few questions remain to be answered. Enter Mitch Daniels? Exit Sarah Palin? But already two of the best-known candidates seem bent on ruling themselves out of contention.”

What difference could the NLRB’s Boeing decision make in 2012? Plenty, says Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who blasts away: “I have seen a lot of absurd things come out of this administration. But the absurdity here is pretty amazing. This involves the right of a company to decide where to locate its business. I cannot believe that the president has not spoken out about it. This kind of thing should not happen in America.” Well, it’s not like he’s a constitutional law professor. Oh, wait.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 05/20/2011

Categories:  2012 campaign, Morning Bits

 
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