Last week I suggested that I became interested in writing about the Middle East because the left's embrace, or semi-embrace, of the Walt-Mearsheimer argument was changing the American political discourse in disconcerting ways. Here's a recent example. A few days ago, Democratic Congressional candidate Marcy Winograd attacked Reps. Henry Waxman and Jane Harman as loyal to Israel over the United States, demanding that they "pledge allegiance to this country as the country they represent."
There's nothing new about the belief that Americans Jews who lack a sufficiently critical view of Israel -- Winograd opposes the existence of Israel as a Jewish state under any terms -- are disloyal to their country. There's nothing wrong with attacking Henry Waxman's views on the Middle East. My objection here is the attack upon the legitimacy of their political expression. This flies in the face of basic liberal norms, which are premised on the notion that all citizens enter the public square on an equal basis.
What's new is that beliefs like Winograd's, along with other associated conspiratorial beliefs about Jewish political participation in the formulation of American foreign policy, have become accepted and even fashionable on the left. Not too long ago, such statements would make you radioactive among any mainstream political organization. The progressive group Democracy for America is continuing to support Winograd despite her statements.