The Yglessias (?) award

Andrew nominates Walter Russell Mead for writing

[…] The President of the United States cannot afford to look like a patsy; for Israel’s sake as well as for the many others who depend on American support for their security around the world, any American president needs to be seen as a figure who commands respect.  Israel’s actions left the Obama administration looking foolish and weak; like it or not, Israel must now do more than say it is sorry.  It must help fix the damage it caused.

My impression was that Walter Russell Mead has been a foreign policy “realist,” and not exactly a pro-Israel guy but with no animosity to the country. With his new series of posts, and upcoming book about Gentile America’s support for Israel, Mead is seeming more pro-Israel than he has ever been. I don’t think Andrew’s been paying better attention to Mead’s evolution.

I do not see how the quote that Andrew nominates for an Yglesiass award represents Mead’s turning his criticism toward his own usual position. It is his usual position; Mead is not delivering a “tough-love” message that only a “good Israel friend” (like Stephen Walt?) will deliver, to fit within the new sunshine-and-daisies narrative in Andrew’s head.

I like the series of Walter Russell Mead posts about Israel and its American support. It’s nice to see Realism divorced from fearful-to-hostile Israelicentrism, like my political science profs taught it to me.

BTW, I’ve always wondered: What was the illuminating moment when Matthew Yglessias, not whimsically, represented the “they” who in Andrew’s words

actually criticize their own side, make enemies among political allies, and generally risk something for the sake of saying what they believe

? Any number of people on the Left and Right would seem to make better examples.

… I’ve noticed that the Dish has its own special way of determining what other people believe, so it also has a special way of determining what signifies other people’s self-criticism or change in belief.

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