The Jewish Daily Forward has openly identified "some of" Hillary Clinton’s biggest donors as a "cadre" of Jews with the power to "influence" the Democratic Party’s decision to prolong the fight between her and Obama until the convention, or not. Cadre and influence–aren’t those canards?
I welcome the honesty. The recent threatening letter to Nancy Pelosi on the subject of the super-delegates sticking by Hillary was signed by 20 giant donors, by my count about half of them Jews, including Haim Saban, the Zionist supporter of the Brookings Institution who gives millions in soft money to the Dems. Wait–here I see that the JTA reported that 12 of them are Jewish. And JTA has also been a leader in openly describing Freedom’s Watch, Bush’s angels, as an organ of rich Jewish Republicans.
The fascination here is that the Jewish press is being honest and helpful about something that all Jews and all people who follow politics know: wealth-generating Jews are major players, perhaps THE major players, in Democratic politics. They call the shots, or certainly help to. And Jewish issues have become a central wedge issue in the Obama/Hillary divide, in ways highly reminiscent of the Lamont/Lieberman fight of ’06. Look at the bubbling Merrill McPeak controversy, in which the retired general, an Obama adviser, has bravely stood by his comments about Jewish voters even as the Hillary campaign calls his views "troubling."
Meantime, the mainstream press tiptoes around the issue. Chris Matthews, scared of nothing when it comes to ethnic politics, is scared to bring this one up. The other day Linda Douglass of ABC spoke of all the "gender" and "racial" issues that are playing out between Obama and Hillary–true, but also something of an evasion. On MSNBC, discussing the donors’ threat earlier this week, Jonathan Alter said that Obama’s donations average about $110-odd each ($193 million collected from 165,000 people–wait, isn’t that $1,100 per, compared to about $1200 per for Hillary–actually not that big a difference), and offered it as evidence of Obama’s insurgent populist appeal against the "backbone" of the party. True and insightful; but again, not a word about the Jewish angle, which Alter, an old friend and associate of mine from Harvard days, knows as well as I do. The only guy I’ve heard talking about Jews and Hillary on MSNBC is the rebarbative Joe Scarborough.
This grand elision might be excusable if we were talking merely of sociology, the march of my people into the establishment through the Clinton years on–a great uncovered story. But we’re not talking just sociology. We’re talking about Middle East policy. A lot is at stake. Hearts and minds, heads and extremities, too. Let’s have the conversation.
P.S. Thanks to commenter Jim Haygood for pointing out the transparent role of money in the Chicago Global Affairs Council’s blacklisting of Walt and Mearsheimer.