The Washington Post

Morning Bits

She has this one right. “Rep. Michele Bachmann defended her recent critiques of Newt Gingrich Sunday calling the former House speaker a ‘memory-challenged professor.’ ‘Professors don’t like to be challenged, but I think in this case he’s memory challenged,’ she said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ ” She was talking about immigration reform but could as easily have been referring to global warming, the individual mandate or Freddie Mac.

Iran is right not to take the “military option” very seriously. Elliott Abrams on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s much-criticized speech : “How can it be the role of the Secretary of Defense to undermine the declared policy toward Iran? One wonders if the White House cleared this speech. If not, one hopes there will be hell to pay. If there is not, or if it was indeed cleared, we are learning something anew: that the declared policy that ‘all options are on the table’ is simply not credible. Not here, not in Jerusalem, not in Gulf capitals, and alas not in Tehran.”

Even the Anti-Defamation League got this one right. On the “blame the Israelis first” Panetta speech, an ADL statement reads, in part: “We are deeply troubled by the message sent by Secretary Panetta at precisely a moment when the region is so volatile and uncertain. The Defense Secretary emphasized the shared U.S. and Israeli interest in deepened strategic cooperation and in countering the Iranian threat. But he undermined the sense of assurance that this could have projected by using a prestigious public platform to focus disproportionate responsibility on Israel for the campaign of hostility against her. The Obama Administration knows firsthand of the Palestinian rejection of the Quartet’s initiatives, Turkey’s years-long shift away from its alliance with Israel, and the campaign to isolate Israel in the U.N. Secretary Panetta’s call on Israel to be the party to overcome this comes on the heels of a victory in Egypt of Islamists who have espoused virulent hostility toward Israel and other troubling signals about the impact of the Arab Spring on Israel’s security.”

Bachmann’s also right on the law. “Well, he’s taken money from special interest and organizations to put forward ideas that they agree with before members of Congress — whether he’s come in to meetings that Republicans or whether he’s worked together with Republicans or Democrats to bring forth their special interest. There is a strict definition of lobbying and influence peddling, and that’s clearly what Speaker Gingrich has done.”

What about firing him right away? “The White House has distanced itself from the American ambassador to Belgium following his declaration . . . [last] week that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians has stoked global anti-Semitism. ‘We condemn anti-semitism in all its forms, and that there is never any justification for prejudice against the Jewish people or Israel,’ the White House said in a statement that was sent tonight to Jewish leaders and others.”

However right he may be, Gingrich probably doesn’t need Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) echoing his “humane” line. Aside from Obama and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (R-Calif.), there’s probably no one who angers the right as much as McCain.

Republicans are right that the November job numbers are nothing to brag about. “There was a huge 594,000 decline in the number of Americans who are officially unemployed. But the main reason for the big drop in that number and the fall in the jobless rate wasn’t more people working, but fewer people looking for work. The labor force declined by 315,000 workers and the labor force participation rate fell to 64% from 64.2% in October. The labor force participation rate has fallen by some two percentage points since early 2009, which means that more than two million Americans have withdrawn from the work force. Normally during a recovery as hiring picks up, Americans get back into the jobs market.”

Rick Santorum is right about this. “Oh, I think character is definitely an issue. You know, I think they have to make a decision based upon the person’s entire record. And certainly character counts.”

Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.) was right in the middle of the action when Gingrich was speaker. So Coburn has credibility when he says, “I’m not inclined to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich, having served under him for four years and experienced personally his leadership.” I am confident that a majority of conservatives who served with Gingrich would agree.

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

opinions

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing