…that Walter Russell Mead brings up in passing while explaining why AIPAC succeeds and J Street fails*: does that mean that Barack Obama will start criticizing the organization until it discloses its donors list? Personally, I don’t particularly care one way or the other, but it seems to be a bit of a preoccupation among Democrats contemplating their own political mortality these days; so practice what you preach, Democrats.
PS: I am practicing what I’m preaching: I don’t care if they do. But if advocating full disclosure is such an important moral stance for Democrats, why aren’t they pounding the table and demanding that J Street reveal its donor list?
*It’s actually not that hard to understand. Mead puts it as follows:
It can’t be repeated too often: the American Jewish community is not responsible for the popularity of hard line views among American non-Jews on Middle East issues. Individual Jews and predominantly Jewish organizations like AIPAC derive their influence over American foreign policy not from their Jewishness, but from the affinity of their policy agenda with the views and priorities of America’s non-Jews. When American Jews say things about the Middle East that resonate with the views of American non-Jews, they are influential. When, as in the case of the persistent agitation to free convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, Jewish conservative supporters of Israel deviate from the gentile consensus, that influence suddenly disappears. When, like the many liberal Jewish journalists and pundits who think hard line policies in the Middle East are bad for both Israel and the United States, they say things that American non-Jews don’t like — their views and their insights are largely cast aside. In none of these cases is the Jewish identity of the writers the key to the reception accorded their ideas.