I Am A Man of Constant Sores


Barack Obama, trying to stitch back together his reputation with Jewish voters, gives a hearty interview to Jeffrey Goldberg. They talk about Israel and the settlements.

BO: Look, my interest is in solving this problem not only for Israel but for the United States.

JG: Do you think that Israel is a drag on America's reputation overseas?

BO: No, no, no. But what I think is that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy.

Republicans respond:

It is truly disappointing that Senator Obama called Israel a 'constant wound,' 'constant sore,' and that it 'infect[s] all of our foreign policy.'

Warbloggers respond (it's at Little Green Footballs, so I won't link it):

Obama: Israel is a "Constant Sore."

Look: You have to be a liar, idiot, or both to think Obama was referring to Israel with that. How can a country be "constant"? A struggle can be constant, as can a conflict, or a "problem." That's the antecendent of Obama's "constant sore" comment. If the Republican strategy to turn Jewish voters against Obama is to prey on their lack of basic reading skills, well, good luck.

The irony is that Obama provides plenty of grist for honest skeptics, and David Frum goes over them here:

Notice what is embedded here:

(1) a condescending assumption that the so-called hawkish position on the Arab-Israeli dispute is "blind" and adopted by US politicians only because they seek political safety—there's no acknowledgement that the dovish position was ever tried or that it in fact produced a terrible war in 2000-2003;

(2) the attitude, common on the Democratic left, that real friendship to Israel consists in compelling Israeli governments to do things that most Israelis regard as dangerous;

(3) acceptance of the red herring that it is "settlements" that are the source of the Arab-Israeli dispute;

(4) enormous and unexplained confidence that he can solve a problem through his personal intervention.