It’s easy to come up with several different reasons for the Obama administration’s moves against Russia and Israel.
The repudiation of his policies in last month’s election would have wounded a normal person’s ego, to say nothing of someone as vain as Obama. To rub it in, the press has left the setting to follow the rising sun, reporting so much about Trump that Obama had seemed quite forgotten.
The extraordinary burst of diplomatic activity over the last week, so unusual for a departing president, might therefore seem a piece of Obama’s petulant claim that he could have defeated Trump had he been able to run for a third term. It reminds one of the party Bill Clinton threw for himself after leaving office on George W. Bush’s Inauguration Day, in order to upstage the new president. When they leave office, recent Democratic presidents find it difficult to withdraw into a customary, dignified obscurity.
But there’s more to it than that. What is behind Obama’s attack on Russia and Israel is a pathetic attempt to tie the hands of the new administration, and to extend his rule beyond the two terms allotted a president.
It’s no secret that Trump seeks an accommodation with Russia and desires an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that he’d pursue this in a very different manner from Obama and former Secretary Hillary Clinton.
By demonizing Russia, and withdrawing our historic support for Israel, Obama sought to place an insurmountable barrier to Trump’s two major foreign-policy initiatives, even as the flurry of enormously costly new regulations is meant to tie the hands of Trump’s domestic-policy advisers....