Mike Huckabee is in east Jerusalem today, and he had some critical things to say about President Obama's posture toward Israel. The U.S. should not "be telling Jewish people in Israel where they should and should not live," Huckabee said according to The Jerusalem Post; his traveling partner, a New York state assemblyman, called U.S. Israel policy a "horror." Glenn Greenwald asks why Huckabee gets to do this with political impunity, while Democrats are blasted for "criticizing the U.S. while on foreign soil," whenever they do so.
Obama took extensive flak for retrospectively criticizing U.S. policies and attitudes while abroad early in his administration, and the "foreign soil" element was partly why conservatives were mad...why the "apology tour" slogan was hatched. Greenwald chronicles how Al Gore was similarly blasted in 2006 for comments in Saudi Arabia. Indeed, the online world of political commentary is lacking today both in liberals and conservatives agog at Huckabee, or calling him seditious. In fact, no one's really writing about it.
Greenwald's point is that conservatives jumped to call Gore and Obama treasonous, and now one of their own is basically doing what Gore and Obama did. And no one (on either side, but especially on the right) has much to say about it.
Why aren't liberals, other than Greenwald, making a stink? Maybe they just aren't as interested in the "foreign soil" distinction. The left is more critical of U.S. foreign policy anyway, at least it's assumed that role for the last decade, and (until Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer called the town-hallers "un-American"?) the left has been far less eager to beat the patriotism drum. Maybe conservatives are too preoccupied fighting Obama's health care reforms to criticize Huckabee. Or maybe all those people who blasted Obama's "apology tour" are hypocrites for not jumping on one of their own. It'll be interesting to see if any of Huckabee's potential 2012 combatants jump on him for this.
Then again, maybe it's just August, and everyone's too tired to follow controversy halfway around the globe. After all, it's hot out.
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