With Amigos Like These

With the endorsement of Samantha Power’s nomination as Ambassador to the United Nations by Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham, you’d figure prospects for her quick confirmation went way up. Maybe so, but maybe not, if you consider how rapidly this brief and angry post from Powerline‘s Paul Mirengoff has gone bouncing around the conservative blogosphere:

I always expect the worst from Lindsey Graham, and he rarely disappoints. Today, Graham strongly backed Samantha Power for the U.N. ambassador post.

But that wasn’t the worst. The worst was his statement that Power “will be a strong supporter of our close friend and ally Israel.” As I said, Graham rarely disappoints.

I wonder what evidence Graham would cite in favor of his claim that Power, with her record of anti-Israel statements that easily could have been uttered by Israel’s worst U.N. enemies, is a strong supporter of the Jewish State. But then, Lindsey Graham doesn’t need evidence; preening has always been sufficient.

The real question is, why are John McCain and his South Carolina sidekick in the tank for Samantha Power. The answer, I think, has to do with Syria, not Israel. McCain and Graham have been clamoring for U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war. Power made her reputation by arguing in favor of military intervention to prevent genocide. Bingo, as far as McCain and Graham are concerned.

So much for the Two Amigos-bashing. Here’s Mirengoff’s actual talking point against Power:

[A] careful analysis of Power’s thinking would show that behind her robust interventionist rhetoric lies her real mission, which Stanley Kurtz describes as “us[ing] our shared horror at the worst that human beings can do in order to institute an ever-broadening regime of redistributive transnational governance.”

Ah yes, a one-worlder at the UN: that’s an easy target for the Right. As for McCain and Graham, it’s probably time for them to shore up their conservative bona fides yet against with another spasm of outrage about Benghazi!

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.