A few days ago, I had the opportunity to talk with Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw and also watched a segment he did on Fox News this past Monday. Crenshaw is a pro-Israel Republican who represents the Houston area. He is 35 years old and a former Navy Seal, serving his first term in the House of Representatives.
The congressman concedes that there is a great philosophical divide in this country, with people seeing the issues of the day in opposite terms. On Fox the other day, he was talking about the radical approach to government advocated by Senator Bernie Sanders, citing the fact that Sanders does not want to achieve solutions for problems he sees in America, but prefers to maintain those problems because they fuel his agenda and keep campaign funds flowing in.
Congressman Crenshaw says that he disagrees with the campaign that says that border control means eliminating or at least reducing the flow of drugs and crime that originate in Mexico.
“The issue is that we have the right to control our own border,” Crenshaw says. The congressman, who serves on the Homeland Security Committee, adds that among those who present themselves at the border or find themselves on the U.S. side of the border, the legitimate claims for asylum are few. He says that what we need most, at present, is the wall and asylum reform, neither of which the Democrats will concede to anytime soon for political reasons. From his view of things right there in Congress, he marvels at how confident the left is about their wrong policies and positions.
There have always been interesting parallels between what is being experienced in the U.S. and in Israel. So when the subject is raised about being confidently wrong, it is inevitable that the Trump administration’s “deal of the century” for Middle East peace comes into the conversation.
The ideas behind the deal are supposed to be revealed by the administration later this month. Now that Israel has to go through the electoral process once again, there may be a delay in the release of the full plan until mid-September.
First son-in-law Jared Kushner was traveling in the region this week and gave some media interviews on the subject. Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared in New York and met with leaders of the Presidents Conference in what was supposed to be a confidential dialogue but was nevertheless recorded and released to the press.
In his comments, Pompeo says that he has doubts about the ability of the plan to be executed in its current form. And when asked about Pompeo’s comments, President Trump said that he agreed with the secretary. The Presidents Conference issued a statement on Tuesday that said that media reports on what was supposed to be an off-the-record meeting “did not accurately reflect the intent or the content of the remarks.” Once again, it was an effort from some within the conference who will stop at nothing in order to somehow embarrass President Trump and his representatives.
At the same time, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, commenting on some of the ideas in the plan, said the other day that both U.S. and Israel representatives behind the plan can “go to hell.” So even before it all gets started, it does not look like it is doing too well. And that, by the way, is fine with us.
Granted, it is a little unusual for a secretary of state not be the lead on Middle East peace, something that has frustrated secretaries of state for decades. Mr. Trump, and Secretary Pompeo both understand that there is a serious lack of integrity and almost no demonstration of good faith emanating from the Palestinian side.
In addition, the president loves Israel and understands that a brutal and diplomatically merciless world has tried every which way to harm the Jewish state in some fashion. It is clear that no such thing will happen or even be attempted under the Trump watch.
As far as the “deal of the century” is concerned, while it may be unworkable for some elements of Arab leadership, it is the best that the average Palestinian on the street can hope for in terms of the quality of life and the future of this and the next generation.
President Trump understands two things. One is that there is deep Palestinian corruption and dishonesty. The other is that, presently anyway, it is the leadership that will be making the decisions.
That brings us back to Congressman Crenshaw and some of his colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Mr. Crenshaw made news a few weeks ago when he clashed with Congresswoman Alexandria Cortez who was defending Congresswoman Ilhan Omar when she described the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade center as “some people did something” that then reflected poorly on Muslim-Americans. The something that those people did was fly passenger planes into the World Trade Center building and murder 3,000 Americans.
Ms. Omar was receiving death threats after her pronouncement, and Congressman Crenshaw said that she has no one to blame for any of that but herself. That is when Ms. Cortez went on the offensive against the congressman, giving him a few minutes of fame in the unattractive sphere that is AOC’s world.
Congressman Crenshaw has a lot to say about the goings-on in Congress, but the meeting was partly off the record so let’s leave it at that. One additional observation was that he doubts that many who say they are for socialism really know the definition of the word or the type of system it represents. He says that at one meeting he held with a group, a student said that he was in favor of both socialism and limited government. That is quite a contradiction, as a socialist type of rule means that government is involved in every aspect of your life.
But, he says, people feel strongly about things like that, and that includes Democrats in Congress today, including folks like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who are confident in their political and philosophical positions and also wrong.