Waxman tells people to vote for Harmon b/c opponent is one-stater

On the HuffPost, Linda Milazzo — “participatory journalist,” Codepink booster, praiser (in this article) of Viva Palestina — wonders why Jane Harmon should get Henry Waxman’s support for reelection against Marcy Winograd, a democratic challenger who’s more progressive on Iraq, health care, etc. It seems Waxman has written a letter asking people to vote for Harmon focused entirely on one issue, Winograd’s support for a one-state dissolution of Israel (at least as her most ideal solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), and — gasp — there are not even many Jews in Harmon’s district.

Milazzo observes,

That Waxman and Harman stress Harman’s devotion to Israel as the primary catalyst for Harman’s reelection is illuminating, and underscores to what extent their legislative focus is defined more by the welfare of Israel and Israelis and less by the welfare of America and Americans.

The above passage seems to be in harmony with the theme of some recent posts on The Dish. But I wonder whether Sullivan, or Stephen Walt for that matter, would identify the same implication from Waxman’s “pro-Israel” letter (pro-existence-of-Israel in this case).

Is there a good case that in deciding between two congressional candidates, opposing positions on the dissolution of a foreign country should ever be the determining factor for an American citizen’s vote, as long as neither candidate’s domestic platform is Jim-Jones suicidal for their own community?

A stereotypical “realist” response: Yes … but it depends on the voter’s calculations of risk to America’s interests caused by the disappearance of that state … and the risk a particular seat in congress could add to the state’s disappearance. A stereotypical “neocon” response: Yes, we are permitted to act according to our national ideals in our statecraft, and to vote accordingly; state action is not all about obtaining utilitarian pleasures for citizens. But these are only stereotypical responses, and I’m not sure Walt would give the first or Sullivan would let himself acquiesce to the second.

Maybe Andrew would claim that despite the fact that he does not agree with Winograd, Waxman’s letter against her is still an example of what Andrew tried to point to with his remark “Or, does it really matter who wins elections as far as Middle East policy is concerned?”

… BTW, that stereotypical “realist” replied to the stereotypical “neoconservative”: “Utilitarian pleasures” can include religious or ethnic tourism, or any number of things that connect to citizens’ private ideals.

%d bloggers like this: