WASHINGTON -- Every Arab-Israeli negotiation contains a fundamental asymmetry: Israel gives up land, which is tangible; the Arabs make promises, which are ephemeral.
"I'm going to do my part to lead a constructive and civil debate on these issues."
-- Barack Obama, speech on immigration, El Paso, Texas, May 10.
WASHINGTON -- Five days before his inauguration, President-elect Obama told The Washington Post that entitlement reform could no longer be kicked down the road. He then spent the next two years kicking -- racking up $3 trillion in new debt along the way -- on the grounds that massive temporary deficit spending was necessary to prevent another Great Depression.
WASHINGTON -- Today, everyone and his cousin supports the "freedom agenda." Of course, yesterday it was just George W. Bush, Tony Blair and a band of neocons with unusual hypnotic powers who dared challenge the received wisdom of Arab exceptionalism -- the notion that Arabs, as opposed to East Asians, Latin Americans, Europeans and Africans, were uniquely allergic to democracy. Indeed, the left spent the better part of the Bush years excoriating the freedom agenda as either fantasy or yet another sordid example of U.S. imperialism.