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Jews occupy a peculiar position in the Democratic Party: The Jewish vote is part of the Democratic base, but at the same time the party does not represent Jewish interests, either at home or abroad, and of the last three Democratic presidents, two were nakedly hostile to the Jewish state. Now the second of them is running for reelection and is counting on the Jewish vote.
After November 6th, 2012, Barack Obama will either be a leader with absolute control over foreign policy and nothing to lose or the first Democratic incumbent since Carter to lose the White House. For Obama everything hinges on securing the next four years and that requires him to play up his pro-Israel credentials while trying to convince Jewish voters that the animosity and ugliness of his present term never happened.
But there are two things dragging him down: The Center for American Progress and Media Matters.
Jewish discomfort with the administration has been growing for some time now. While Obama’s growing loss of Jewish support cannot only be put down to Israel, the Jewish state has become shorthand for the administration’s attitude toward the Jewish community. Vocal condemnations by former New York mayor Ed Koch and now by prominent civil rights attorney Alan Dershowitz make it clear that even mainstream Democrats are aware of the problem and that it is not going away.
While Koch’s remarks have been fairly vague, Dershowitz has been much more direct about identifying and attacking the root of the problem. “Media Matters and Center for American Progress are two extremely left-bigoted groups that are so virulently anti-Israel and anti-supporters of Israel that they’ve gone over the line from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism,” Dershowitz recently affirmed.
“These two organizations have been found to be anti-Semitic by many of the objective monitoring groups. And now they are closely associated with the Democratic Party and I have said very clearly there is no room in this tent for me on the one hand, and for Media Matters and for this other group on the other hand. We can’t be in the same tent. I will not be in a tent with fascists, with supporters of Ahmadinejad, with supporters of Hamas, with supporters of Hezbollah, with anti-Semitic bigots, whether they’re Jewish or not.”
Unlike Koch who did not set up a specific test that Obama needed to pass, Dershowitz has issued a clear call for accountability, and that creates a specific metric that cannot be avoided with vague promises and assurances. It offers Obama a choice between the radical left and the Jewish community. But the radical left is no longer radical; it has become the establishment.
The Center for American Progress is not just another think tank; it is the brain, heart and soul of the administration. It is the interface between the proposals of the left and the policies coming out of Washington D.C. and it is also the interface between the policies of the White House and the media coverage of those policies and the opposition to them.
The Center represents the power of the left over the message, shaping the ideas that reach the White House and then shaping the ideas that leave the White House, blending the power of policymaking with the power of spin to form one of the most powerful arms of the shadow government set up by billionaire criminals like George Soros to control the American political process. But the power and radicalism of the Center is also becoming a liability.
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