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Trump tests the turning radius on the ship of state

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TRUMP TESTS THE TURNING RADIUS ON THE SHIP OF STATE
The president offered some tough talk to a key international ally. And while the policy demands were not much of a departure from those of his predecessors, the scolding tone and emphasis on the failings of our foreign friends drew shocked responses.

The president’s political rivals said he had thrown an important ally “under the bus” and undermined its fragile governing coalition. The president had made a “dangerous demand” in what amounted to a “betrayal” of a stalwart supporter of U.S. policy in a crucial region.

That’s what some of Barack Obama’s potential 2012 opponents had to say about Obama’s May 2011 speech calling for Israel to return to its borders before 1967’s Six-Day War.

American presidents had previously suggested that a two-state solution for the decades-old conflict depended substantially on Israel surrendering these buffer zones as part of a peace deal. But Obama did so in a public fashion and in such a way that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said ceded Israel’s negotiating power.

Obama’s conservative critics went bonkers and made Obama’s obviously strained relationship with Netanyahu part of the GOP effort to oust the incumbent the next year. And in 2015 when Obama campaign operatives were part of the effort to unseat Netanyahu in Israeli elections, many Republicans said it was further evidence that America was abandoning its most important regional ally at a time of crisis.

Then came the Iran nuclear deal and many Republicans shifted all the way to arguing that Obama was “hostile” to the interests of Israel. Conspiracy theorists in the racist right-wing fever swamps suggested that Obama’s secret Muslim faith and alleged Kenyan nativity were behind his undermining of Israel.

But while Republicans, mainstream and fringy alike, were apoplectic – some even sincerely so – Obama’s base was quite pleased.  Read more

Read also: TRUMP HITS TWO MORE COUNTRIES WITH VISA SANCTIONS FOR REFUSING TO TAKE BACK DEPORTEES

Trump tests the turning radius on the ship of state