Friday, May 16, 2008

Obama, slighted

Not a good pose for Senator Obama.

If the shoe fits...

There is an old Yiddish story that fits the case of the protesting Obama and J Street. You probably know this story. Once upon a time, in the Cheder (old time Yiddish pre-school), a little boy complained as he was about to go home, that one of the other boys had stolen his hat. The teacher, a wise old man, gathered the children together and said "God will punish the wearer of the stolen hat, as it will catch fire on his head." One little kid (named Jay Street, I guess or maybe Barack) immediately touched his hat to see if it was on fire, revealing himself as the thief. From which we get the Yiddish proverb, "Auf dem gonnef, brent di hitaleh" (the hat burns on the (head of the) thief).

Ami Isseroff gets it just right:

As a campaign strategy, Obama's complaint about the Bush reference was probably an error for Obama. It makes him appear to be a self-centered grand-stander, trying to steal a bit of publicity and call attention to his policies, which are not different from those of many others. It also calls attention to a very weak part of the Obama platform. The problem is not just that Obama wants to engage Iran, but that he has no "plan B." Given that European engagement with Iran as well as UN sanctions and pressure have failed, Obamian engagement of Iran is likely to fail too. What does he plan to do then?

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