Tuesday, March 05, 2024

When You Imply Termination of the Constitution is a Small Matter

Senator Chris Murphy appeared Sunday on ABC's This Week without George Stephanopoulos. After giving a bad answer on immigration (roughly: we need to address the border but once people are here, even illegally, welcome!), he was asked by correspondent/host Jonathan Karl

Okay, I want to turn to what we saw in Michigan, where over 100,000 Democrats went to the polls and voted non-committed, obviously a protest vote to the president’s handling of the situation in Gaza. How concerned, as a political matter, should Democrats be?

The Connecticuter (Connecticutite?) replied

I don’t think we should be concerned about this as a political matter because this is such a critical issue relative to America’s national security and the security of the Middle East. I would hope that the president doesn’t make decisions about what to do in Gaza or the Middle East based upon how the votes lined up.

Listen, I think it is time for the president to use all the levers that he has to get a long term ceasefire. I think if that ceasefire doesn’t come in, it’s in Israel’s interest for them to pause military activity to solve the humanitarian crisis. But to the extent the president is using additional leverage on Israel, he should do that for national security reasons, not for political reasons. These issues are too important to be dictated by the polls.

Philadelphia Inquirer national columnist Will Bunch, a fervent critic of Israeli policy, is incensed:

Murphy's statement was political boilerplate. Scratch a politician and the politician will claim that he or she has taken an action not to be politically popular but because it is the right thing to do. That is virtually identical to "I would hope that the President doesn't make decisions about what to do in Gaza or the Middle East based upon how the votes lined up.

This is serious business, and not only Israeli bombing of Gaza and Hamas' brutal, sadistic slaughter of civilians which proceeded it.  The future of our ally and of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims of the region is at stake, presenting nearly unprecedented danger and opportunity. They are, in fact, "too important to be dictated by the polls."

The senator clearly is not "telling voters that they don't matter." He's explaining that people matter and national security matters. For all the voters who are as hostile to Israel as Bunch- and are as favorable to Israel as (for example) U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres- the impact upon the election of Biden's policy in Gaza will be affected less by the current preferences of the ideologically committed than by the outcome of the war. Hence, policy matters.

If Bunch believes that Murphy's statement "is as undermining of democracy just as bad as anything Trump has ever said, his memory fails him. It was in December of 2022 that Donald J. Trump, complaining about the 2020 presidential election, asserted on Truth Social "A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution."

So Will Bunch believes forming Mideast policy based on national security rather than sentiment of voters is as bad as terminating the United States Constitution. Or maybe, hopefully, he does not. An excellent columnist, Bunch when tweeting allows his typing fingers to race ahead of his brain. But then, maybe that's what social media is all about.

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