Our leftie friends at Mother Jones put it this way:Benjamin Netanyahu just mansplained Iran to Obama
Er, okay. Glad you said that because there’d be no end to it if some rightie guy sneered that Obama was our first female president.
For what it’s worth, I prefer mansplaining to ‘Bamsplaining, where he peddles a lot of gaseous pap interrupted by cheap digs at straw men and all delivered in that set-your-watch-by-it left-right prompter-swivel. (To stick with the Mother Jones shtick, real men don’t use prompters.)
But, if this was “mansplaining”, it was a big man doing the ‘splaining. The shout-out to Harry Reid, the “my long-time friend John Kerry” schmoozeroo, all this was brilliant – not because everyone doesn’t understand how fake it is, but because the transparent fakery underlines how easy it is to be big and generous and magnaninmous and get the snippy parochial stuff out of the way to concentrate on what really matters.
Obama could have done this. He could have said yesterday, “Hey, my good friend Bibi and I don’t see eye to eye on everything, but I’d have to be an awfully thin-skinned insecure narcissistic little dweeb to make that a capital offense, wouldn’t I? So, since he’s in town anyway, I’ve asked him to swing by the White House for an hour to shoot the breeze – and maybe we can have that dinner we missed out on the last time, right, Prime Minister? Hur-hur-hur.”
In loosing off all the phony-baloney bipartisan crapola, Netanyahu reminded us how easy it is to play the game, and how small and petty Obama is by comparison. And then, without ever saying it directly, he went on to lay out (or, if you’re as touchy as Mother Jones, “mansplain”) how pathetic it is to be that small and petty at this tide in the affairs of man.
Mother Jones is right to that extent: it was a man’s speech, delivered at times with oblique but intentional Churchillian flourishes – “some change, some moderation,” as he said of Rouhani’s Iran.
Netanyahu was especially strong on the mullahs’ expansionism. He pointed out that Iran now controls four regional capitals – Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad and Sana’a. The P5+1 negotiatiors talk about Iran “re-joining the community of nations”. Au contraire, a not insignificant number of the community of nations have joined Iran. How many more capitals would a nuclear Teheran be exercising control of?