February 26, 2013

And he’s the best of the second-term national security team. “America’s new top diplomat is already facing trouble and confusion as he begins a two-week trip whose major focus is on coalescing international action on Syria. With John Kerry in London Monday on the first leg of his nine-country tour of Europe and the Middle East, administration officials were scrambling to salvage a planned meeting between the new U.S. secretary of state and the leaders of the Syrian opposition coalition scheduled for Thursday.”

John Kerry
Secretary of State John Kerry (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

The worst president ever on Israel? It sounds like it, from what a former Democratic supporter says: “But for all his romance with the Muslim world, the president has a tick about Israel. … Obama somehow can’t resist telling the Israelis how misguided they are in reading their own neighborhood. He makes no secret about this. Jerusalem, which the administration insists is not factually located in Israel, will now have to deal with Chuck Hagel, who is likely to be confirmed this week as secretary of Defense and who has rarely even disguised his antipathy to the Jewish state. With Hagel waiting to run the Pentagon, all our allies now have a heads-up on America’s impending strategic withdrawal from their world. No one can honestly deny this, and almost no one tries.” They do try, but it’s just not believable.

The best-laid plans of political hacks go awry. Chuck Todd: “Finally, The New York Times reported over the weekend that donors who contribute and raise $500,000 for President Obama’s Organizing for Action will get special access to the president. That’s right. They’re selling access to the president. … The New York Times says ‘giving or raising $500,000 or more puts donors on a national advisory board for Mr. Obama’s group and the privilege of attending quarterly meetings with the president along with other meetings at the White House.’ Excuse us? This just looks bad. It looks like the White House is selling access.”

The worst thing the GOP could do on the marriage issue: “‘If people are concerned about the future of the conservative movement, they know we need to broaden our appeal,’ said [GOProud] executive director Jimmy LaSalvia. ‘They need to deal with the political reality of this issue, and beating the drum against gay marriage is a political loser.’” Indeed.

The best approach. “[CPAC's exclusion of] GOProud does seem to be all downside. It lacks even the abstract nobility of ‘holding the line’ or ‘standing athwart’ leftward cultural drift, because GOProud was a CPAC sponsor for two years before it was kicked out. Meanwhile, the active, purposeful decision to leave it out in the cold gives the Left — see Chris Hayes — a cudgel with which to beat the Right for its implied intolerance. And unlike, say, the mythic ‘war on women,’ they will kind of have a point. … [T]olerance in its original, and best, sense requires merely a respectful coexistence governed by a principle of charity, not a commandment to embrace or celebrate. CPAC could perfectly illustrate the difference by inviting GOProud back into the tent.”

The worst and most predictable excuse. “Bob Menendez plays race card, blames conservatives for scandals.”  Well, what do you expect from such a character?

The best part is how clueless they are about their own hypocrisy. “At the White House today, Obama ended his remarks by saying, ‘And with that, what I want to do is clear out the press so we can take some questions.’”

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.