Comic relief amid an unusually grim news cycle from Capitol City Project. This morning she outlined 11 commandments of progressivism at Netroots Nation; the clip below was her chance to outline number 12, “Blame Israel.” She passed, which is too bad. I’m curious to see how she handles the deep, thinly concealed split on the Middle East between her two constituencies. Democrats in Congress are overwhelmingly pro-Israel, grassroots liberals … not so much. Warren, as the Great Progressive Hope, must be tempted to sharpen her contrast with Hillary the Hawk by taking a more pro-Palestinian line, but that’s risky business. Party leaders don’t want Jewish voters, who are otherwise loyal Dems, to take a second look at the GOP because their nominee’s too hostile to Israel — although if Jewish Democrats were willing to tolerate the Obama years, presumably they’d hang on for the Warren era too. Warren knows too that as nominee she’d be attacked as being “out of the mainstream,” first by Hillary and then by the Republican nominee. Given the state of U.S. public opinion, tepid support for Israel would play into that. No wonder she’d rather keep quiet.
But maybe the truth is that she doesn’t much care. She’s like Obama in that she clearly takes a *much* greater interest in domestic policy and its redistributive potential than she does in foreign policy, but she’s unlike Obama in that she’s pretty upfront about that. Obama ran as the guy who’d restore stability abroad after the Bush years; that’s paying big dividends today, as a glance at your local front page will tell you. Warren, though, hardly bothers with foreign policy at all. If she runs it’ll be as a class warrior, unabashedly, so maybe her thoughts on Gaza aren’t much more robust than a bare progressive impulse that some way, somehow, Israel must be in the wrong but she’s not entirely sure why. That’s bad — certainly much worse than Hillary — but it also means that, if the seventh seal was broken and she became president in 2016, she’d probably be unwilling to jeopardize her domestic initiatives by following a bold leftist line abroad that might generate a backlash here at home. That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway, as liberals build a dumb new cult of personality around a Clinton challenger.