Like Philip Weiss, I’m cheered by yesterday’s Times editorial on Sheldon Adelson. For those who don’t know, Adelson is the Macau casino mogul who contributed $20 million to Newt Gingrich, and is planning to donate even more to Romney — in the hope of buying Romney’s opposition to a Palestinian state and, hopefully, getting him to start a war with Iran. Adelson’s loyalties are public and very transparent — he’s on record as saying he regrets wearing a US army uniform, and hoping his son can be a sniper for Israel. He is well to the right of the mainstream US -Israel lobbying organizations.
The Times editorial marked, for perhaps the first time, the centrist establishment displaying some discomfort with this. John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt’s classic book was dismissed by the Times reviewer, and the subject of Israel-centric money in American politics is, for the most part, considered unfit for Times reportage. But the coven of billionaires around Romney, with Adelson at the center of the show, become difficult for a serious paper to ignore.
My hunch is that Romney is pulling into a lead right now. Americans should at least know whose and what foreign policy they’re voting for — so, cheers for the Times for finally doing the journalistic medium.
My speculative question about Adelson is whether there is a Chinese calculation behind his fortune. He makes much of his money from a government sanctioned casino monopoly in Macau, and the monopoly is granted by Beijing. Unless one assumes the Chinese government is very stupid, I would think it must not be ignorant of Adelson’s political activities, and must believe they conform broadly to China’s strategic interests. Presumably China sees a benefit in U.S. kowtowing to the Israeli right. To discern why would require a more sophisticated sense of China than mine.