Fresh from our “Is she still talking?” file, MSNBC is reporting that Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota blamed President Barack Obama’s stand on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks for the uprisings against autocratic governments across the Arab world.
At a fundraiser Thursday in North Carolina, the Republican lawmaker and candidate for president traced the mass protests that sometimes turned deadly to Obama’s call for Israel to return to negotiations and pull back to the territory it held prior to the 1967 war with Egypt.
Speaking in Concord, she compared Obama’s policies to those of President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s. “I am probably even more concerned about the foreign policy implications because of what Barack Obama has done to the nation,” Bachmann said.
“Just like Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s didn’t have the back of the Shah of Iran, we saw the Shah fall and the rise of the Ayatollah. And we saw the rise and the beginnings of radical Jihad which have changed this world and changed this nation,” she added.
“So, too, under Barack Obama, we saw him put a lot of daylight between our relationship with our ally Israel. And when he called on Israel to retreat to its indefensible 1967 borders, don’t think that message wasn’t lost on Israel’s 26 hostile neighbors,” Bachmann said.
“You want to know why we have an Arab Spring? Barack Obama has laid the table for an Arab Spring by demonstrating weakness from the United States of America,” she said. “The No. 1 duty of the president is to be the commander-in-chief.”
Her comments were first reported by NBC’s Jamie Novogrod, who is following the Bachmann campaign.
First, the marketing of pro-democracy demonstrations and protests as “Arab Spring” is ridiculously condescending. We suppose that everything, including unrest, has to be branded or canned so that nonthinking audiences can receive it. Second, blaming President Obama for the so-called Arab Spring is preposterous. Pro-democracy movements in Northern Africa were the result of decades of tyranny by dictators who literally disregarded the needs of citizens and continued to create and uphold oppressive environments. Third, how are you going to blame President Obama and Jimmy Carter and skip over Reagan, Bush, Clinton and G.W.?
Last, since when have pro-democracy movements been a bad thing? A Tea Party member who is against the spread of democracy? Does Bachmann even listen to herself?