Allahpundit nails it: Faced with the dilemma of ticking off pro-Israel Democrats and donors versus ticking off her party's left-wing, hostile-to-Israel base, House Minority Nancy Pelosi decided to split the baby. She'd show up to Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to rebuff the "boycott" crowd (representing a sizable chunk of Congress' remaining Democrats), but she'd also cartoonishly flaunt her displeasure with the Prime Minister's message. Her angry theatrics were so ostentatious that reporters in the gallery couldn't help but take notice:
Nancy Pelosi looks ENRAGED on the House floor. She shook her head and covered her eyes at one point.— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) March 3, 2015
Here's the key bit of her ridiculous post-speech statement, accusing the leader of one of America's closest allies of "insulting the intelligence of the United States:
…As one who values the U.S. – Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.
All in all, Pelosi actually had a pretty good day, which makes this spectacle even more unseemly. But such is life as an elected Democrat these days. Fulsome praise of Israel's leader signals insufficient loyalty to The One, who made it a point of not watching the address -- with his Vice President attending to an important scheduling conflict. AP reminds us of a fun 2007 episode in which Pelosi jetted over to Damascus for a photo-op with this guy, against the wishes of the Bush administration. Her show of righteous indignation yesterday was, shall we say, complete rubbish, and entirely misplaced. In fairness, that same guy was later described as a "reformer" by Hillary Clinton (she said so in public, not in her unlawfully private emails, so we know this for a fact). But that was before he started butchering his own people in earnest, prompting President Obama to draw a red line from which he'd eventually retreat in an episode of abject, embarrassing weakness. Smart Power.
Speaking of which, O weighed in on Netanyahu's speech after it happened, taking pains to note that he merely read the transcript. His bottom line takeaway: Nothing to see here, folks. No "news," no viable alternatives to the Obama administration's rumored deal with Tehran's evil regime. Setting aside the fact that the White House was previously warning Bibi not to break any news in the way of intelligence, the president was wrong on both fronts. Netanyahu's speech was itself highly newsworthy, and his platform generated much more attention and coverage than it would have if the White House hadn't spent months throwing tantrums and personally trashing the Israeli leader. Smooth, guys. His clear, powerful words also spelled out the extent of Iran's crimes against humanity, genocidal intentions, and long history of cheating and lying to the international community. The administration's foreign policy team was likely unfazed by Netanyahu's rhetoric, but most people watching had never heard these arguments before. And the arguments were very persuasive. More than anything else, Netanyahu emphasized that the rumored agreement's ten-year "sunset" provision is totally unacceptable, and that, if necessary, Israel will stand alone against the Iranian menace. That's news, Mr. President. It's just not the news you wanted Americans to hear. Secondly, Netanyahu did offer an alternative to striking a terrible deal with Iran: Striking no deal at all, applying stepped up pressure and leverage to demand a course correction in Tehran, and a refusal to reward the regime's despicable conduct. These aren't just the sentiments of Israel's Prime Minister, or the (nearly) unanimous Republican caucus. Some prominent Democrats are savaging the administration's position because the stakes are enormous:
Sen. Bob Menendez takes joy in being on the wrong side of Tehran, and he's not afraid of being at odds with his own party's White House. "When it comes to defending the U.S.-Israel relationship, I am not intimidated by anyone—not Israel's political enemies and not by my political friends when I believe they're wrong," Menendez declared to an energized crowd at the AIPAC policy conference Monday evening. A call to action for his fellow members of Congress, Menendez vowed never to back down from a brawl to defend the U.S. and Israel's "sacrosanct" and "untouchable" relationship. "As long as I have an ounce of fight left in me, as long as I have a vote and a say and a chance to protect the interest of Israel, the region, and the national security interests of the United States—Iran will never have a pathway to a weapon," Menendez says. "It will never threaten Israel or its neighbors, and it will never be in a position to start a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East. Not on my watch." Menendez's speech marked a crescendo in a long and—at times—tense relationship with the Obama administration.
Menendez is immersed in these issues, and has been alarmed by what he's seeing for some time. I leave you with the Free Beacon's superb two-minute recap of Netanyahu's forceful address to Congress. This is what Team Obama didn't want you to see:
UPDATE - Oh my: