This is a bit like Reagan calling himself the first Soviet president. But fair enough, it’s true. Jeffrey Goldberg did once call him the first Jewish president — three years ago, and not for any policy reason but because Obama had absorbed large doses of American Jewish culture from his Jewish friends and colleagues over the years. That was before he began chasing the great white nuclear whale in iran. Three years later the first Jewish president is on the verge of a deal that would lift sanctions on a Shiite fanatic terrorist state in Israel’s backyard and give Iran a legal path to weapons-grade uranium enrichment within a decade or two. Giving Obama a chance to spin that reality plus his cold war with Netanyahu as evidence of just how darned Jewish he is was the key point of Goldberg’s interview with O on Iran and Israel this week. My favorite part? The one where Obama tried to portray his buck-passing nuclear framework deal with Tehran as some sort of bold claim of political responsibility:
On Tuesday afternoon, as President Obama was bringing an occasionally contentious but often illuminating hour-long conversation about the Middle East to an end, I brought up a persistent worry. “A majority of American Jews want to support the Iran deal,” I said, “but a lot of people are anxiety-ridden about this, as am I.” Like many Jews—and also, by the way, many non-Jews—I believe that it is prudent to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of anti-Semitic regimes. Obama, who earlier in the discussion had explicitly labeled the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, an anti-Semite, responded with an argument I had not heard him make before.
“Look, 20 years from now, I’m still going to be around, God willing. If Iran has a nuclear weapon, it’s my name on this,” he said, referring to the apparently almost-finished nuclear agreement between Iran and a group of world powers led by the United States. “I think it’s fair to say that in addition to our profound national-security interests, I have a personal interest in locking this down.”
The whole point of creating a 10-year process of compliance is that it pushes ultimate responsibility for an Iranian bomb onto a future administration. Obama’s name will be “on this” the same way Bill Clinton’s name is on 9/11: He could have and should have done more to neutralize the threat before a foreseeable cataclysm occurred, but because that cataclysm didn’t happen until after he left office, his party will bitterly insist that he bears little blame for the attack. Bush failed, not Clinton. To this day, you can’t find copies of “The Path to 9/11” in stores because the left considers it some sort of revisionist history hate crime to hold Clinton culpable for the later catastrophe. That’s how it’ll go with this too, especially if Obama is succeeded by a Republican. The only way Democrats will think twice about laying an Iranian bomb at his feet is if it’s dropped when Hillary or some other Democrat is in office. In that case, better to blame the guy who can’t run again than the incumbent whom you’re invested in. But even then, Team O will deny vehemently that their deal with the mullahs set the bomb in motion irretrievably. They’ll just blame it on Bush. Why didn’t President Cowboy bomb their facilities circa 2006 when he had the chance, huh? Ever think about that?