The Honorable Mr. Boehner

By Jeffrey Goldberg

A press release from House Republican leader John Boehner asserts that Barack Obama told me that Israel is a "constant sore" that infects American foreign policy. "Israel is a critical American ally and a beacon of democracy in the Middle East, not a `constant sore' as Barack Obama claims," Boehner's statement reads.

Mr. Boehner, I'm sure, is a terribly busy man, with many burdensome responsibilities, so I have to assume that he simply didn't have time to read the entire Obama interview, or even the entire paragraph, or even a single clause. If he had, of course, he would have seen that Obama was clearly calling the Middle East conflict, and not Israel, a sore. Why, there's no one who would disagree that the Middle East conflict is a "sore," is there?

I have no doubt that Mr. Boehner will issue a correction to his press release in which he states the obvious, which is that Obama expressed -- in twelve different ways -- his support for Israel to me.

If he doesn't, however, I would, sadly, have to agree with my colleague, the less-forgiving Andrew Sullivan, who called Boehner's statement a "flat-out lie." In fact, I would add to Andrew's post, by calling Boehner's statement mendacious, duplicitous, gross, and comically refutable. So Mr. Boehner, do the right thing, and correct the record. I'll be happy to post the correction right here.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2008/05/the-honorable-mr-boehner/8319/