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Rand Paul found guilty of not clapping hard enough for Bibi Netanyahu

Senator Rand Paul was just convicted of a capital offense against America, Israel, decency, civilization, man, God, and the Occident. Paul attended Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress yesterday, and when the speech wrapped up, he was spotted clapping with what was promptly deemed insufficient enthusiasm.

Among neoconservatives, this is the equivalent of not getting agitated enough during the Two Minutes Hate. Someone, who apparently has a surplus of time and a deficit of things to do with it, created a meme that captured the moment:

Next Brendan Bordelon deemed Paul’s rate of hand collision worthy of a story at National Review:

With his outspoken views against foreign aid and a muscular foreign policy, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul was less-than-enthused by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech on the Iranian nuclear threat.

Apparently he should have clapped harder. He should have pumped his fist and led the congressional chamber in a whooping war cry. He should have sat in the front row with one of those giant foam fingers. He should have ripped open his shirt, revealing the painted letter “S” in a line of senators spelling out “ISRAEL.” He should have relocated his family to Tel Aviv. He should have tried to take Jennifer Rubin’s hand in marriage. He should have dashed off to Israel to begin a one-man vigilante patrol atop the Golan Heights.

Speaking of Rubin, this is an actual tweet from an actual adult human being:

If you support Israel and appreciate its friendship, but have a different preferred method for dealing with Iran than Jennifer Rubin, you stand against Israel. This must be what it’s like when someone just stops thinking.

Seriously, we already know that Paul disagrees with Netanyahu’s Iran policy, as do plenty of other members of Congress, as do many Israelis. Must he raucously applaud something he doesn’t support?

And I’m willing to bet that a good number of the conservative commentators criticizing Paul also lauded Congressman Joe Wilson when he summoned his inner Dennis Skinner and shouted “You lie!” during one of President Obama’s State of the Union addresses. Wilson was right: Obama was lying, and I’m all in favor of a more House of Commons-style Congress. But why is it okay to jeer your country’s own president, and not okay to clap at less than Mach Five for a foreign leader?

Also, have any of these commentators ever met Paul? He’s a fairly laconic and laid-back guy. It’s difficult to imagine him getting animated at a sports game, let alone a lengthy foreign policy address. Maybe Paul was clapping tepidly because Paul usually claps tepidly?

The answers to those questions don’t matter. The idiot genie is already out of the bottle on this one. On Fox News, Brian Kilmeade, who can apparently start subbing for Bill O’Reilly’s body language expert, called Paul’s reaction “less-than-thrilled.” Paul rejoined that he cosponsored bringing Netanyahu here, for goodness sake, and attacked “gossipy websites looking at, you know, the metric of how fast you clap.”

Paul should set up a subwoofer outside Jennifer Rubin’s office tomorrow and clap into the microphone during regular business hours. As dog whistles go, this is the least audible one I’ve ever heard.

Matt Purple About the author:
Matt Purple is the Deputy Editor for Rare Politics. Follow him on Twitter @MattPurple
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