May 28, 2024

I’d kick this one off by calling Washington Post associate editor and MSNBC weekend host Jonathan Capehart a “self-absorbed, out of touch with reality, bubble-dwelling, elitist D.C. insider,” but that would steal some of the article’s thunder— and Capehart more than deserves every bit of what’s coming. 

During a Friday appearance on “PBS NewsHour” (where else?) Capehart asserted that anyone who believes embattled Joe Biden is playing politics by withholding aid from Israel during its military offensive against Hamas in Rafah hasn’t “been paying attention.” 

The festivities began with “NewsHour” co-anchor Amna Nawaz asking Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis if Biden has drawn a clear “red line” on an Israeli military offensive in Rafah.

(Incidentally, Barack “Red Line” Obama was unavailable for comment.)

Lewis responded, in part (emphasis, mine):

Well, first, I think we should be drawing red lines on our enemies, not our allies, right?

But I think Biden has a problem right now and it is a political problem. It is axiomatic in politics that if you try to please everybody, you will end up pleasing nobody. And, up until now, I think that, domestically, in terms of domestic politics here in America, Joe Biden had a problem certainly with, kind of, young progressives who were unhappy that he was standing firmly with Israel.

I think now that has become muddied. And I think we’re now in a position where, number one, it’s unlikely that these young progressives who are calling him things like Genocide Joe are going to come around to liking Joe Biden and voting for him. He also, though, risks alienating, number two, Democrats who are pro-Israel, kind of the mainstream Democrats.

And the other thing that I think isn’t really being talked about is the impact this may have on never-Trump conservatives. We saw people like Liz Cheney, Nikki Haley, Mitt Romney come out and strongly condemn Joe Biden’s comments about Rafah.

Spot-on analysis, in my opinion.

Nawaz then turned to Capehart, whose knickers were already in a twist over Lewis’s comments.

On the domestic politics front, Jonathan, was the tough talk for Bibi Netanyahu, the pausing of some weapons deliveries, was that President Biden bending to political pressure here at home?

Not quite hyperventilating, Capehart responded directly to Lewis.

No. No. I mean, Matt, love you to pieces, but anyone who thinks that there are domestic political considerations on the part of the president that’s driving his decisions hasn’t had — you haven’t been paying attention to Joe Biden.

Stop the tape.

On the contrary, Jonathan, we have been paying heavy attention and that’s precisely Biden’s problem.


Israel Enters Rafah As Negotiations With Hamas Breakdown and Bibi Tells Biden Where to Put It

Biden’s Israel Fumble Is More Than a Betrayal of Israel

Capehart then reduced himself to utter foolishness.

We have to remember this is a man who’s been on the world stage for 50 years. During — during those years, he was chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He knows — he’s known Prime Minister Netanyahu for 50 years.

Yes, Jonathan, yes he has. 

Joe Biden has been on the “world stage” for over five decades, which is a large part of his problem, and your argument that “he knows” anything. Moreover, the Joe Biden who has known Bibi Netanyahu for 50 years is long gone. Today’s Joe Biden has flipped on Bibi and Israel like a confused fish out of water. 

Check it out for yourself; here’s Biden in 2006 talking about Israel and the terrorist group Hezbollah:

Is that the Joe Biden you know today, Jonathan? Or even close? Heck no, it’s not— and he’s only getting worse.

Capehart then went full-metal stand-up comic:

He is about getting to — he’s about using the power of diplomacy to bring about a resolution. He’s done a lot of things on the world stage that domestically have hurt him, the withdrawal from Kabul and how disastrous that was. But he stood by that decision because it was the right thing to do.

Uh-huh, Jonathan. Joe is always “about getting to…” isn’t he? Please. Speaking of diplomacy, an effective component is the ability to “read the room,” or the players at the table, if you will. 

Do you think Bibi Netanyahu, of all people, is about to play Joe’s little “diplomatic game” after the way the worst president in American history has treated him and his country in the aftermath of the horrific October 7 terrorist attack that left more than 1,300 Israeli men, women, and children murdered by Hamas?

“And I think that the president doing what he’s doing, from carrots and sticks with Netanyahu,” Capehart ended, adding: “He is doing it because he’s — for him, the resolution is a cease-fire deal, however he can get it.”

It’s probably time for you to sit this one out, Jonathan, before Bibi Netanyahu shows you where to put those carrots and sticks.


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