The Left tells us that supporting dissidents against enemy thug regimes will just cause people in that country to rally around the thug regime. Did the Obama administration's efforts to fund opponents of Netanyahu lead people to rally around Netanyahu and deliver victory?
Netanyahu's party won Tuesday's election and he should be able to organize a government, it seems.
This follows reports that the Obama administration wanted Netanyahu out of power and funded efforts that had that effect (which makes administration anger over Netanyahu speaking to Congress more understandable--they didn't want to undermine their spending!).
If the administration truly believes that helping dissidents "taints" them by associating them with America, why would the Obama administration risk tainting opponents of Netanyahu?
Of course, the general notion is nonsense. Dissidents have long relied on foreign help. That's why the Athenians sent a runner 26 miles back to Athens to bring the news of the victory over the Persians at Marathon--dissidents would have thrown the gates open if the Persians had won.
But the administration apparently sincerely believed this. So in their own little world, they were not smart.
Of course, a democracy isn't a thug regime and dissidents in Israel are also called "voters."
More important than a "tainting" of the opposition to Netanyahu was his own tilt to the right late in the campaign to attract voters.
So the Obama administration got a "worse" Netanyahu (from their point of view) after their effort to influence Israel's election.
And this will be called smart diplomacy?
I'm sure our State Department will explain that if those voters just had jobs they would have voted for the more liberal parties approved by the White House.