The Spectacle Blog

Obama a Moral Coward on Carter and Hamas

By on 4.11.08 | 2:27PM

I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise that Barack Obama is refusing to criticize Jimmy Carter for meeting with the leader of Hamas:

"I'm not going to comment on former President Carter. He's a private citizen. It's not my place to discuss who he shouldn't meet with," Obama told reporters while campaigning in Indianapolis. "I know that I've said consistently that I would not meet with Hamas."

Obama's failure to take a stand on this issue is based on one of three motives: he isn't sufficiently outraged by the idea of an ex-U.S. president meeting with a terrorist group, he's afraid to anger liberals, or he's a political opportunist who doesn't want to alienate an important superdelegate. None of these possible motivations reflect well on Obama.

Furthermore, if he were being consistent, Obama would logically applaud Carter for meeting with Hamas. After all, Obama has made the point repeatedly that we need to engage even our enemies. "I recall what John F. Kennedy once said, that we should never negotiate out of fear, but we should never fear to negotiate," he is fond of saying. If Obama thinks we should meet with Iran, even though its leadership denies the Holocaust, threatens to wipe Israel off the map within the context of expanding its nuclear program, and openly funds Hamas, why would it be any different to negotiate with Hamas itself? Liberals, I see, have noticed this contradiction, though they come at it from the anti-Israel perspective.

UPDATE: Noah Pollak and Jennifer Rubin have some more thoughts.

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