Making Sense of Barack Obama

While the right wing has been engaging in a shameful smear campaign against Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, the hard left has been slamming him for “kowtowing” to AIPAC.

I get a lot of e-mail, from all different points of view. I’m on a lot of lists. The words I’ve seen used to describe Obama include “maggot,” “toady,” “hypocrite,” “worm,” “traitor,” “opportunist,” and “supporter of war crimes.”

These were all from people on the so-called left.

One has to pause and wonder what planet these folks are living on. They have not forgiven Obama since he made his speech to the AIPAC convention a year ago. The intensity of their anger toward Obama has only increased as the pressure Obama has faced from AIPAC has increased. A recent Mother Jones article details the kind of heat the so-called “pro-Israel” community has been putting on Obama.

The left, apparently, would have preferred that Obama disqualify himself from the running by launching a broadside against Israeli policy. This is not about the alleged “omnipotence” of the “Israel Lobby” in the Walt-Mearsheimer vein. This is simply about realities in American politics.

AIPAC does not call the shots all by itself. The fact is that American public opinion is decisively with Israel, and to the extent that it isn’t, it is still not with the Palestinians. Consider this… Continue reading