Obama Plays the Liberal Card
3:01 PM, Dec 18, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
On Friday, President Obama addressed the Union for Reform Judaism's convention. As Jen Rubin notes, "A good two-thirds of the address was devoted to liberal nostrums, reflecting his confidence that no matter how badly he treats the Jewish state, liberal Democratic Jews will stick by him."
Likewise, Jonathan Tobin observes, "the main focus of his remarks was a compendium of liberal positions on domestic issues intended to draw cheers from an audience that, while still concerned with Israel’s security, was far happier hearing talk about higher taxes, defense of entitlements and the sort of class warfare rhetoric that Obama has been rehearsing since the start of the debt-ceiling crisis this past summer."
So that seems to be the approach the Obama reelection campaign will take toward the Jewish vote: Remind Jewish liberal groups that, at the end of the day, Obama is also a liberal, which is surely better than what any Republican can offer. It's an approach that will likely work better than focusing on Obama's approach to Israel.
Because, as Rubin comments, "for many pro-Israel Americans (Jewish and otherwise), Lilly Ledbetter really doesn’t make up for undercutting Israel’s bargaining position on borders, condemning the Jewish state for building in its capital, trying to strong-arm Israel both in private and public, insulting its prime minister to another world leader and making it a policy objective to show distance between the United States and Israel. They rather like presidents who visit Israel, recognize that its existence is not a function of Holocaust guilt, recognize that mistreatment of women in the region is not an Israeli problem but an Arab one and banish those from his administration who make excuses for anti-Semitism or scold Israel for not getting to the 'damn' negotiating table."