In a long and searching interview with President Obama that appeared in the Atlantic over the weekend, Jeffrey Goldberg asked President Obama whether the virulent and frequently expressed Jew hatred that senior Iranian officials spew had him concerned. Here’s how Goldberg describes this moment in the interview, invoking a line of analysis frequently raised on this site:
I also raised another concern—one that the president didn’t seem to fully share. It’s been my belief that it is difficult to negotiate with parties that are captive to a conspiratorial anti-Semitic worldview not because they hold offensive views, but because they hold ridiculous views. As Walter Russell Mead and others have explained, anti-Semites have difficulty understanding the world as it actually works, and don’t comprehend cause-and-effect in politics and economics. Though I would like to see a solid nuclear deal (it is preferable to the alternatives) I don’t believe that the regime with which Obama is negotiating can be counted on to be entirely rational.
The President’s response is telling, revealing among other things that the Leader of the Free World doesn’t spend as much time with Via Meadia as for all our sakes he probably should: