All of this bad-faith posturing garbage was fairly recent, yet it feels like the narrative of a million years ago. The one where Obama used the IRS and the DOJ to go after his political enemies, where investigators were dispatched over a depiction of him in an outhouse, where he spied on his opponents, including Netanyahu, and befriended Islamist tyrants.
And then compared a democratically elected Jewish leader to a dictator.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama credited ex-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with fueling the rise of Putinism, alongside other authoritarian leaders, before stepping down from office, newly published quotes reveal.
“What I worry about most is, there is a war right now of ideas, more than any hot war, and it is between Putinism — which, by the way, is subscribed to, at some level, by [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan or Netanyahu or [former Philippines President Rodrigo] Duterte and [former U.S. President Donald] Trump — and a vision of a liberal market-based democracy that has all kinds of flaws and is subject to all kinds of legitimate criticism, but on the other hand is sort of responsible for most of the human progress we’ve seen over the last 50, 75 years,” he told reporters in off-the-record comments first published by Bloomberg.
Erdoğan was one of Obama’s great pals. The Islamist terrorized and brutalized his own people, staging a fake coup and then having his thugs sexually assault his political opponents, seize control of the press (without a word of protest from our media) and run a totalitarian state.
Comparing Trump and Netanyahu to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Erdoğan is particularly ironic coming from a guy who spied on both. Trump and Netanyahu were freely elected leaders. And had Trump acted like Obama, we’d have had DOJ and FBI types entrapping Obama and Clinton associates.
Obama’s theory of “Putinism” is a new level of dishonesty. Erdoğan isn’t copying Putin, he’s following the Islamist plan of the Muslim Brotherhood. But Obama can’t say that. Netanyahu is not a strongman. As a prime minister, he’s fairly weak, and there’s nothing that Obama could point to that’s authoritarian. Netanyahu actually liberalized the Israeli economy significantly.
If Obama wants to talk about “a liberal market-based democracy that has all kinds of flaws and is subject to all kinds of legitimate criticism,” Israel has that.
Under Obama, it began to disappear in the United States as socialism was imposed and speech was suppressed. But notice how Obama emphasized “legitimate criticism.”
Legitimate criticism is leftist speech. Illegitimate criticism is conservative speech.
Leftists falsely equate conservatives with authoritarianism, when they’re the “I have a pen and phone” authoritarians.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
This article was first published by FrontPage Magazine.