Buddhism in America has been degenerated/deviated from its original spirit. You have to have certain worldview to be an American Buddhist. In other words, you have to be an Obama follower.
This is a big deviation from Zen Buddhism in Japan.
As for the Dalai Lama I think he is like an Obama of the East. He loves publicity and being popular with a light non-commital personality. He did not oppose the Iraq war and kind of went along with the whole charade.