August 22nd, 2015

“Would any of us voluntarily enter into a deal where we had to play Russian roulette?”

Dershowitz on the Iran deal, and his proposal for a better deal.

A proposal which, I might add, is probably moot. But the interview is well worth listening to.

It always seems odd to me how the obviously brilliant Dershowitz voted for Obama twice. But of course, it’s not odd at all. I’ve noticed how often it is that political affiliation overrules judgement, particularly on the liberal end. Even now, as Dershowitz talks, half of what he says is insightful and tough and half is naive—“naive” because I think he’s a liberal and a patriot rather than a leftist.

18 Responses to ““Would any of us voluntarily enter into a deal where we had to play Russian roulette?””

  1. blert Says:

    No matter what transpires, Dan’s not for changing.

    He’s a True Believer — and Team Player.

    Translation: irrelevant.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    blert:

    That doesn’t mean Dershowitz (is that who you mean by “Dan”?) is always wrong, or irrelevant. Much of the interview is very good, although not all. I think it’s a good summary critique of some of the details of the deal, and contains an interesting proposal for some items that should have been included in a deal.

  3. Eric Says:

    People don’t only vote for something. They also vote against something. There can be any reason, deep or shallow, or none at all to cast a vote. The value of the vote is the same in any case.

    Until the record is set straight and the Iraq disarmament is vindicated in the zeitgeist, there is little footing for an Iraq-type disarmament for Iran and implicit justification for Obama’s Iran deal that appears purposely designed in antagonization of the Iraq disarmament regime.

  4. M J R Says:

    “I’ve noticed how often it is that political affiliation overrules judgement, particularly on the liberal end,” writes neo.

    In the case of Alan Dershowitz and so many more, it’s not mere political affiliation, it’s tribal. Particularly in the case of Dershowitz and others who identify as Jews, it’s the Jewish-Democrat complex rearing its head. *Of* *course* Dershowitz (and others who identify as Jews) voted for Obama twice: there was never a serious question about doing anything but. Just plain not an option. It’s what one *does*.

    Gratefully granted, this Jewish-Democrat thing has slowly weakened over the decades, but Dershowitz is a prime example of how persistent that tribal identity thing continues to be. Pundit Dennis Prager chalks it up to the rousingly successful demonization of the “other” going on for decades now, the “other” being conservative-thinking or Republican-leaning people. That’s got a lot to do with it, for sure.

    Just have a look at how so many Jews, like the proverbial lemmings, politically fall in line even at this late stage, when Israel is existentially threatened and antisemitism is running rampant — on the *left*. It’s not even a conscious decision, it’s tribal. That falling in line is what one *does*. That falling in line is what one *is*. It’s a matter of identity.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    M J R:

    Are you aware that Obama’s support has faded a great deal among Jews? See this:

    President Barack Obama’s approval rating among American Jews continues to slide, according to a new Zogby Analytics poll.

    The June 1-5 poll shows only 41% of American Jewish voters approve the way Obama is handling his job as president, while 54% disapprove his performance.

    “This is a cohort that normally votes in the 70%-75% range for a Democrat,” pollster John Zogby noted.

    The numbers are just the opposite of a recent poll conducted for J-Street, showing 56% of Jewish voters approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, while 44% disapprove. The numbers matched a recent Gallup poll showing Obama’s approval rating at 54% among Jews, down from an all-time high in 2009 of 77% of American Jews.

    Whether you believe the lower approval numbers of the Zogby poll, or the higher ones from Gallup, neither are all that high compared to the traditional support Jews have for Democrats. Nor is that traditional support anything like 100%, either, because a full quarter of people identifying as Jews do not support Democrats.

    So it is not really “tribal”—especially since the supporters contain great numbers of secular Jews who are really Jewish In Name Only, and non-supporters tend to contain the more religious Jews, the more Jewish Jews.

    Jewish support for Democrats is based on certain traditional Jewish values (not Jewish identity) for some and for others it’s just something learned in childhood and never re-examined, while for still others it is a substitute for religion rather than something they follow because of religion.

    There are books about this if you want to learn. Try this one for starters.

  6. rickl Says:

    Oh, Jews have soured on Obama after voting for him twice? That is downright comical.

    I guaran-damn-tee you that they will vote 70%+ Democrat again next year, whether the nominee is Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or Joe Biden.

    “Socialism will work. We just need to have the right people in charge.”

  7. M J R Says:

    neo writes, “So it is not really “tribal”—especially since the supporters contain great numbers of secular Jews who are really Jewish In Name Only, and non-supporters tend to contain the more religious Jews, the more Jewish Jews.”

    That’s part of my point. They’re Jewish In Name Only, but they’re nonetheless very much part of the tribe.

    neo continues, “Jewish support for Democrats is based on certain traditional Jewish values (not Jewish identity) for some and for others it’s just something learned in childhood and never re-examined, while for still others it is a substitute for religion rather than something they follow because of religion.”

    Couldn’t’a’ said it better myself. (Possibly you and I harbor differing concepts of “tribal”.)

    neo points out, “Whether you believe the lower approval numbers of the Zogby poll, or the higher ones from Gallup, neither are all that high compared to the traditional support Jews have for Democrats. Nor is that traditional support anything like 100%, either, because a full quarter of people identifying as Jews do not support Democrats.”

    Why, yes. As I pointed out, “Gratefully granted, this Jewish-Democrat thing has slowly weakened over the decades,” and I was in fact “aware that Obama’s support has faded a great deal among Jews.” (It should have faded a lot more at this point.) In presidential elections, Jewish Democrat support had generally been as high as 80 percent or more, based on my observations and memory, and not on any studies. I’d have estimated, off the top of my head, that it was down to 2/3 now — which is “landslide” in terms of presidential elections — but if Zogby says 70 to 75 percent, who am I to argue? [smile]

    That Obama’s support among Jews has flagged to the extent you document, is nonetheless different from voting for him as opposed to voting for Romney or McCain or any Republican. When faced with a choice between Obama and the “other”, or an “other”, I believe the percentage will rise — because many who don’t approve of his performance will nonetheless prefer him to the “other”. And we’ll see in the next fifteen months or so if substituting “Hillary” for “Obama” in the foregoing makes any material difference.

    Finally, I once took time — a lot of time one day — to browse the Podhoretz book on the shelf at a Barnes and Noble. (That means I have not read it all, but I believe I did glean his general drift.) To the best of my apprehension, he strikes me as knowing what the h#ll he’s talking about, and he expresses it very well. Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    M J R:

    I don’t understand your definition of “tribal.” Supporting a candidate or a party for tribal reasons does not mean “I support Democrats because they share my values,” for example. It means “I support Democrats because I am a Jew and it’s good for the Jews.” In other words, supporting them for tribal reasons. That’s not what’s going on here. In fact, it’s quite the opposite in terms of Obama.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    rickl:

    I am completely puzzled by your use of the word “comical.” Nothing funny about it.

    And some of them soured before the 2012 election, by the way:

    Romney’s share of the Jewish vote represented a “huge increase” of almost 50 percent over Sen. John McCain’s 22 percent in 2008, Brooks told The Huffington Post, calling it “part of an ongoing and unmistakable trend” in which five out of the last six national elections saw Republicans “steadily and consistently” make inroads in the Jewish community.

    The RJC released results from its own surveys of 1,000 Jewish voters nationwide and 600 each in the pivotal states of Florida and Ohio. Nationally, it said Romney received 32 percent of Jewish votes, slightly higher than the 30 percent he received in the exit polls conducted by the television networks and the Associated Press. Either number represents the biggest GOP haul of Jewish votes in a presidential election since 1988, when George H.W. Bush took 35 percent.

  10. sdferr Says:

    Surely it is not the ClownDeceptor who is proposing himself to play Russian Roulette. Oh hells no, he’s happy just to watch everyone else do that while he will run away to fame and riches without a care in the world that should his clever strategy to punish America and its former allies succeed he would ever suffer the fate of justice or retribution for his deeds.

    America, what a great country: guilty as sin, free as a bird.

  11. M J R Says:

    I parenthesized, “Possibly you and I harbor differing concepts of ‘tribal’,” and I am evidently right about us having differing concepts, if not about the concept of “tribal” itself.

    neo: “Supporting a candidate or a party for tribal reasons does not mean ‘I support Democrats because they share my values,’ for example. It means ‘I support Democrats because I am a Jew and it’s good for the Jews.'”

    M J R: To my apprehension, it means “I support Democrats because I am a Jew and it’s what the vast majority of my tribe expects and thinks — employing that latter word, errrmmm, *liberally*.” In particular, and I think we’ve been witnessing this for quite a few years now with both Obama and with Hillary, the part about “and it’s good for the Jews” doesn’t apply, in my concept of “tribal”.

    I think the only way out is as follows. “I support Democrats because I am a Jew and it’s what the vast majority of my tribe expects and thinks,” and since that’s what I am expected to think and then act accordingly, it must be good for the Jews” — even if it ain’t. Which it ain’t for both Obama and Hillary.

  12. Jim Miller Says:

    I read Michael Oren’s “Ally” quite recently and found parts of it fascinating. Before Obama took office, Oren was worried about Obama, and, all through Oren’s time as ambassador, he keeps trying to figure out whether Obama believes the assurances he keeps giving Oren, and Dershowitz, and others, about Israel.

    As an ambassador Oren was discreet, and he is still being discreet in the book, but I concluded that Oren had, by the end of his time as ambassador, given up on Obama.

    Why did it take him so long? Because Oren, like Dershowitz, really wanted to believe Obama.

    (Haven’t finished Dershowitz’s instabook on the Iran “deal” yet, but I’ll probably write some posts on that, too.)

  13. parker Says:

    The contradiction between many of Dershowitz’s opinions on bho’s actions and his voting record is what it is. It is self defeating to say the least. His analogy to russian roulette is on target, but he didn’ factor in that instead of one cartridge in the cylinder, there are five loaded chambers.

  14. Molly NH Says:

    Who can take dersh seriously anymore when he continually reveals himself to be an idiot ?
    Imagine coming to his age in life & learning
    essentially NOTHING, he belongs to the professorial group that is terminally stupid.

  15. blert Says:

    Molly…

    Carter’s bigotry was an — unexpected — surprise to Alan.

    Sheesh.

  16. Tonawanda Says:

    Paglia (for what it is worth) is not Jewish and yet she strikes me as being very similar to Dershowitz.

    Fascinating, open-minded, human, fair, just, better able to express certain conservative opinions than conservatives themselves, but still … some really odd thing, some bizarre in-congruence.

    As far as Dershowitz, I look at Stephen Jay Gould as a better comparison, and not because of Jewishness (assuming Gould was Jewish but I don’t know).

    I am going to blather simplifications, but here goes. Gould realized that necessary evidence for the commonly understood version of evolution was not only missing, but also that the evidence which did exist contradicted evolution in a necessary way.

    So Gould wrote a big book about it, suggesting an elegant theoretical path to Save The Faith.

    Now I am going to make a diversion which seems irrelevant but is not.

    In The Master and Magarita, the communist editor of the literary magazine commissions a poet to write a poem about Jesus.

    M and M opens with the editor criticizing the poet for submitting a poem which trashes Jesus and putting him in a bad light. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    The poem (so goes the criticism) by trashing Jesus, implies that he actually existed.

    The correct and absolute take on Jesus is that he did not exist, and was a mythological (at best) or deliberate historical falsehood based on primitive mythology (preferred).

    Gould committed the same sort of error. His sole expected function was absolutist. No hinting of shades or degrees of possible belief.

    Gould loved his Harvard life too much, as any rational human would, so he put on the dunce cap and consented to receive his ritual adulation.

    Dershowitz is not God but he is high among the angelic order. God (Harvard) permits him some freedom as long as fealty is humbly made.

    Dershowitz is Jewish, Paglia is Italian, and they are both abject cowards who love their abundant life.

    And before anybody condemns them, that person ought to be confident he would also reject the life under similar circumstances.

    In the meanwhile, we all can enjoy and benefit from Paglia and Dershowitz.

  17. G6loq Says:

    Kapo:
    Did Jerry Nadler Betray America, Israel and His Community?
    Yes.

    Kapos were an essential component in the running of the German National Socialist concentration camps.

  18. blert Says:

    G6loq…

    The SS insisted that they couldn’t run the kamps without them.

    Sobibor proved it.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
Read More >>






Monthly Archives



Blogroll

Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge