Today in Conservative Media is a daily roundup of the biggest stories in the right-wing press.
On Monday, conservatives responded to a Politico story on the Obama administration’s efforts to thwart law enforcement operations against Hezbollah in order to protect the Iran nuclear deal. National Review’s David French:
Hezbollah had transformed itself into an “international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year.” The DEA’s “Project Cassandra” was designed to disrupt this syndicate. And just as the operation began reaching into the highest echelons of one of the world’s worst terrorist organizations, the Obama administration started to shut it down.
[…] When Obama pulled back, our enemies surged. When he gave them an inch, they took a mile. There was no good-faith response, only the gleeful exploitation of newfound strategic advantage. When Obama finally re-engaged, American force was able to stop our enemies’ advance. But by then, the damage was done, and we’re still learning the extent of it today. We already knew that Obama gave Iran piles of cash, prisoners, an immense economic stimulus, and access to international arms markets in exchange for signing the nuclear deal. We now know — thanks to Politico — that the administration’s mercies extended even to Iran’s vicious terrorist allies.
The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro saw “clear evidence” of collusion with Russia in the story.
A little-noticed bombshell report from Josh Meyer of Politico reports that Ali Fayad, a Lebanese arms dealer and “suspected top Hezbollah operative whom agents believed reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin,” was captured by the Czechs in 2014. Fayad had been indicted in the United States already for “planning the murders of US government employees.” But the Obama administration did nothing to push for extradition. Instead, Fayad ended up in Lebanon, where he’s back at his terrorist work; he’s particularly active in supply weapons to the barbarous Syrian regime.
The Federalist’s David Harsanyi charged collusion too, but with Iran. “Despite what many Americans seem to believe, being favorably predisposed towards Russia, though bad policy and bad thinking, isn’t illegal,” he wrote. “But as friendly as Trump feels towards Putin, I wonder if there has ever been an administration since World War II that’s shown more deference to an outright enemy of the United States as the previous administration did towards Iran.” Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey called for an investigation of the Iran deal. “We’ve allowed ourselves to get distracted by the Russia story long enough,” he wrote. “It’s long past time for Congress to take a very hard look at the Iran deal and the Obama administration’s operations in support of it.”
In other news:
Multiple outlets ran posts on a report that some Senate Democrats want Al Franken to take back his resignation. RedState’s Andrea Ruth called the news predictable and suggested Franken may never step down. “Franken refusing to resign immediately was a fast sign the day might never come when Franken walks away,” she wrote. “The longer he stays in office, the better the chances he has of it being true.” Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw suggested Roy Moore’s loss in Alabama motivated the reversals:
The Democrats taking this position may indeed have the right idea at heart as we’ve discussed here before. Perhaps Franken (and others both in and outside of government) deserve at least a bit more of a hearing before a rush to judgment is completed. But they’re also opening themselves up to charges of blatant hypocrisy. When the original calls for Franken’s head went out, Roy Moore was still very competitive in his Senate race and was expected to pull off a victory. I noted at the time that it would be problematic for them to then call for Moore’s immediate expulsion upon arrival if they hadn’t cleaned their own house first. But now that Moore won’t be taking a seat alongside them perhaps they feel in the clear to let Franken back into the club (at least until the Ethics Committee has a chance to weigh in).
Ben Shapiro wrote that the Democrats who have changed their minds are wary of being pressured to pursue the allegations against President Trump. “If Democrats continue with the line that alleged sexual abusers must go, they’ll be duty-bound to impeach him come 2018 if they take the House, and top Democrats know that such a strategy will backfire politically,” he argued. “So they’re preemptively walking back their call for sexual abusers and harassers to step down. All of which proves that there was no moral high ground here, just political high ground.”
One more thing
You depend on Slate for sharp, distinctive coverage of the latest developments in politics and culture. Now we need to ask for your support.
Our work is more urgent than ever and is reaching more readers—but online advertising revenues don’t fully cover our costs, and we don’t have print subscribers to help keep us afloat. So we need your help. If you think Slate’s work matters, become a Slate Plus member. You’ll get exclusive members-only content and a suite of great benefits—and you’ll help secure Slate’s future.Join Slate Plus