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I realize Rush Limbaugh is an easy target. But something he said yesterday is indicative of a larger national political problem that affects both sides of the aisle.
As expected, the settlement-expansion prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Bibi Netanyahu, did his best to derail the tentative Iranian deal announced over the weekend. "A historic mistake" is what the Israeli leader said after the deal became public.
It's perfectly understandable for an Israeli leader to make such a pronouncement. Isreal's leaders, I'm sure, are looking to get their best deal vis-a-vis Iran....and as far as Bibi is concerned the only acceptable deal would be Iran shuttering all nuclear enrichment processes....even though Iran has a perfect right to enrich uranium for energy purposes.
But what explains this?.....
"I happen, by the way, to know the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. I have known him since 1993. I've known him before he was prime minister. I've known him as prime minister.
I have smoked cigars with him at a hotel on Central Park south while he was prime minister...... I trust this man. I think Netanyahu is a fine man, and I trust him and I believe him, and I think he is a fantastic ally. And if Benjamin Netanyahu says that this thing is bad for Israel, I'm gonna believe him before I'm gonna believe John Kerry. Sorry, folks, this is experience guided by intelligence talking. This is not partisanship. This is not anti-liberal bias, although you can't leave some of that out."
The most listened to radio celebrity in the Homeland trusts the prime minister of a foreign country over his own country's leaders. Yes, "this is experience guided by intelligence", is some funny shite, but it's just part of the "fun" Limbaugh has daily as he tries to anger listening liberals.
Now, Limbaugh considers himself to be an American patriot's patriot. He even wrote a new children's book that he's been hawking entitled "Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims." Limbaugh is so patriotic, and so humble, that he places himself in the first Thanksgiving story.
But tell me, since when does an American patriot side with foreign leaders against his/her own nation's leaders? When did that become acceptable? And when was it, exactly, that the interests of Israel's leaders took precedent over the interests of American leaders?
To ask those questions is not to criticize Israel, or even Netanyahu, per se. Those questions are about the state of today's American political discourse. If the number one radio-guru for the political right is Mr. Limbaugh.....would it, then, be acceptable for all elected Republicans to announce their trust in Israel's leader OVER trust in America's leaders? And, would that announcement be interpreted as "patriotic?"
Yes, Israel, like all nations, has the perfect right to defend itself.....however, does that truth mean that Americans should side and trust Israeli leaders INSTEAD of trusting our own nation's elected leaders?
Lots of questions. I'm looking for answers.