Saturday, June 07, 2008

Two-Party Leap Frog

After winning the Democratic primary with a message of "change" and appealing to the anti-war majority in the U.S., Obama speaks to AIPAC talking tough on Syria, Iran, and Hamas - out of line with most Americans and even most Israelis who, among other things, want their government to negotiate with Hamas. The passion in his voice is reminiscent of MLK, except the text reads more like Bill Clinton or even George Bush, as he declares that Jerusalem should be undivided and the capital of Israel. This notion is very controversial in the world and many so-called "moderate" Palestinians see East Jerusalem as a future capital to a Palestinian state.

It is a sharp turn to the right - at least on this issue - but at least he's not John McCain. True, but he certainly plays the role that Democrats have played well since JFK. Speak to the left and move to the right. The Republicans can't have the Dems out maneuver them, so they move even further - where they're most comfortable anyway. And thus McCain now says the U.S. should move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem (it has been in Tel Aviv). Where does this leave the illegitimate Palestinian authority? Perhaps they can negotiate for a sliver of desert near the Dead Sea. That is unless the two-party power structure in the U.S. decides that can be sacrificed as well.

This little example of Democrats speaking to the progressive mood of the country and moving right, thus pushing Washington as a whole right-ward, reminds me so much of Bill Clinton, it isn't even funny. While watching Obama give his speech to AIPAC, my heart sank. It reminded me of watching Bill Clinton give his State of the Union address calling for "smaller government" to the loud cheers of Republicans.