Skip to content Skip to footer

Netanyahu’s Visit

The Boehner-Netanyahu arrangement demonstrates a mutual contempt for the president.

Sigmund Freud, in Case Histories II wrote of “psychological projection,” a theory in which humans defend themselves against perceived negative impulses by denying their own negative impulses, while attributing them onto others.

For example, a person who acts unconstitutionally or threatens to shut down the government and contravenes international law may constantly accuse other people of being unconstitutional and contravening international law.

The Netanyahu visit and the controversy that surrounds it, is interesting for two reasons and they are largely separate issues.

First, is the fact that the Democrats oppose the speech only for its violation of protocol and not for the US government’s poor treatment of Iranians through vicious sanctions and hostile military sponsorship of the “cop on the beat,” Israel.

Second, is the Republican dedication to destroying what they see as President Obama’s legacy and rallying their base to discredit Obama, while undermining basic parliamentary traditions. The respected Conservative Norman Ornstein, has cited the deeply ingrained problems laced within the Republican Party establishment and electorate.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit in some ways is emblematic of the residual Tea Party movement which combined to undermine anything that Obama tried, in the effort to elect Republicans. Netanyahu energizes for the GOP: the fundamentalist and evangelical Christians base, the nativist and extreme nationalist base, the gun culture, and lily white sectors of the paleo-conservative landscape. To this petty bourgeoisie, the country is conservative under establishment hawks, and Obama, who’s devout to the neoliberal security state, but not nearly enough.

All of this is done while calling Obama corrupt and unconstitutional. If you recall in 2010, it was the Republican Eric Cantor of Virginia, who undermined Obama and the nation by meeting with Netanyahu in private.

This was to again, demonstrate the GOP’s refusal to adhere to traditions and conventions as the Israeli Prime Minister was supposed to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton first.

It should be mentioned that the Logan Act forbids U.S. citizens from negotiating with foreign countries in illegal and inappropriate ways. Cantor never considered the meaning of the Logan Act and the Obama administration was forced to let it go because ultimately, they share essentially identical interests with Israel.

It may be beside the point that whenever Obama acts as President: on Iran, healthcare, immigration, or otherwise, House Speaker Boehner tries to remind his base how much Obama undervalues the founders’ vision of government. Forget that the GOP might not know the founder’s vision if they tripped over it. What they presuppose and can identify with however is that Obama and Netanyahu share the important portion of common ground, which is essentially terrorizing the Middle East and presenting Iran as offensive and without a right to a deterrent.

Journals such as the National Interest and the American Interest refer to Obama and his illegitimate power. Authors such as Leslie Gelb and Mitchell Reiss promote the idea that neoconservatism under Bush was one thing, while expanded security state powers under Obama represents an unchecked imperial federalism. When in doubt, enter the GOP favorite meme: “big government.” Of course, the policy has not shifted at all. If anything, much of the Arab world disapproves of Obama just as they did Bush.

And while the content of the foreign policies have remained consistent the domestic policies have remained on balance as well. But despite this, Ramesh Ponnuru wrote in the National Review that the tea-party is a popular movement concerned about the Constitution and that Obama has brought about his own, “constitutional crisis.”

Never mind actual moments in history that involved crisis such as Obama’s NSA and Bush’s Patriot Act.

Not to mention the major moments of US history where the Constitution experienced epic proportions of crises: Free Speech During the Revolutionary War, Abraham Lincoln and Justice Taney (Slavery, Secession, and the President’s War Powers), The Compromise of 1850, The Election of 1876, The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson, The Watergate Scandal, The Impeachment of Bill Clinton, and The Election of 2000

The Greatest Generation was shocked and appalled with the election of the first Baby Boomer President Bill Clinton in 1992. I can recall the pre-Lewinsky impeachment task force A.C.T.I.O.N. (Activate Congress to Improve Our Nation) under William Norman Grigg.

This was in reaction to the election of the so-called “New Democrat” in 1992.

President Obama represents the tail end of the Baby Boomer Generation and is met with the same vitriol times two probably as a result of his skin color.

Robert Parry has written that: “The scheduling of Netanyahu’s speech caught the White House off-guard, since the Israeli prime minister had apparently not bothered to clear his trip with the administration. The Boehner-Netanyahu arrangement demonstrates a mutual contempt for this President’s authority to conduct American foreign policy as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.”

His words are accurate, not to mention filled with GOP projection.

A quick message before you keep reading

We’re proud to publish real news 365 days of the year, completely free of charge to our readers. But producing high-quality, independent work is not cost-free – we rely heavily on your support.

If you found the piece above useful, informative, or inspiring, please consider supporting Truthout with a tax-deductible donation. A gift of any size makes a difference and helps keep this unique platform alive.