TCS Daily


Consistent, Yes. And Foolish?

By Michael Rosen - August 14, 2006 12:00 AM

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." If this is true in politics, many of my fellow American Jews have smaller minds than they think.

Why so pessimistic?

Because the recent conduct of many prominent Democrats with regard to Israel's current war -- when contrasted with the steadfast support for the Jewish state evinced by President Bush and virtually all Republicans -- serves only to highlight the peculiarly, but enduringly, strong predilection of Jews for the Party of Jackson.

Numerous explanations have been floated for the link between the Democrats and American Jews -- adulation of President Roosevelt, the immigrant experience, ethnic group solidarity -- but none explain the persistency of the affinity, even into the third generation after FDR.

To be sure, Jewish Republicanism is slowly escaping its oxymoronic origins; the percentage of Jews voting for a Republican president has crept upward from a low of 11% in 1992 to 19% in 2000 to as much as 25-30% in 2004.

But that 3 out of 4 Jews supports a single party remains perplexing -- especially considering that party's recent behavior.

Take the vote in the House of Representatives for the Stand With Israel resolution introduced on July 21 by Republican leader John Boehner in which the House "reaffirm[ed] its steadfast support for the State of Israel; condemn[ed] Hamas and Hezbollah;...and support[ed] Israel's right to take appropriate action to defend itself."

Yet Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi -- who would be Speaker if the Democrats retake the House in November -- refused to co-sponsor the bill (although she voted for it).

Even more surprisingly, seven Democrats voted against the resolution and four voted "present." Several of these Democrats would become chairmen of powerful committees such as Judiciary, Energy and Commerce, and Resources, as well as one of the Armed Services subcommittees.

These naysayers aren't backbenchers but popular Democratic leaders who declined to stand with Israel. One of them, Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, added that "I don't take sides for or against Hezbollah; I don't take sides for or against Israel."

The Democrats have compounded these problems by opposing the renomination of Ambassador John Bolton to the United Nations. From his earliest years in public service, Bolton has consistently demonstrated his backing of Jewish causes, championing freedom for Soviet Jewry and bolstering Israel's position through his role in the State Department.

On the latest crisis, Bolton remarked that "it says something about the morality and respect for human life of Hezbollah that they would use innocent civilians as shields; that's just something that for civilized people is not acceptable."

Democratic antagonism to Bolton -- much like the boycott of many Democrats of the Iraqi Prime Minister's recent address to Congress -- is little more than a cynical attempt to embarrass President Bush politically at the expense of the Jewish community.

Finally, a few weeks ago, Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, tried to distinguish Bush's response to the crisis from that of his predecessor, President Clinton.

Yet by doing so, Dean unwittingly praised Bush's approach. Recall that when Israel accidentally shelled Qana in 1996, killing 100, President Clinton called for an immediate cease-fire, a request that Israel's Labor government grudgingly obliged.

By contrast, Bush has stood firm even amidst the outrage attending this year's Qana attack. In a climate far more hostile to both the United States and Israel, the Republican Bush has further reinforced his status as the most pro-Israel president in history.

But it's not just Bush. Two recent experiences bear out the unprecedented support Republicans have displayed toward Israel.

At a fundraising breakfast I attended this week, Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of San Diego delivered a brief but stirring endorsement of Israel's right to self-defense. The grandson of Lebanese immigrants, Rep. Issa could be forgiven for not singling out Hezbollah for its craven conduct. Yet this is exactly what the congressman did, blasting the Iranian-backed terrorists not only for targeting civilians in Israel but also for inviting death and destruction upon its fellow Lebanese citizens.

Issa's congressional district is not especially Jewish; his strident criticism of Hezbollah instead reflects a support for Israel now inculcated in virtually all Republicans. (Despite initial ambivalence, Issa signed onto the Stand With Israel resolution.)

In addition to this, the Stand With Israel rally sponsored by the San Diego Jewish Federation featured an inspirational address by a representative of Christians United for Israel. It would have been unthinkable just a decade ago for such a group to be warmly embraced by the Jewish community. But now, American Jews are increasingly realizing that the steadfast support of our devout Christian brothers and sisters -- who overwhelmingly support Republican candidates -- is as necessary as it is appreciated.

More and more Jewish Americans are coming to recognize this. They're not just not doing so fast enough.

Michael M. Rosen, TCS Daily's Intellectual Property columnist, is an attorney in San Diego.

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24 Comments

pointing the bone
Could it be that they have the luxury of not being in power?

That dog won't hunt
Mr Rosen-- I think you'll have to try harder than that if you want to convince people the Democrats aren't the party of Israel. Look at the record without keeping your filters on. The D's have always stood with Israel, right or wrong.

Israel is of no importance
Israel is of no importance for the US Jewry other than symbolic. So they can express solidarity with Israel but would never make the voting decision over this insignificant issue.

Correlation
There is a strong correlation between political affiliation and intellegence/education. The smarter a person is, the more schooling he/she has, the more books she/he reads, the more likely he/she is to be liberal. There are educated well read Republicans, but among the educated well read thoughtful set, Democrats are the majority.

Jews consider themselves smart and educated (I was told that every day in Hebrew school as a kid). No wonder they're mostly liberal.

not being in power excuses bad behavior and stupid positions?
Actually, it's behavior like the above, that is keeping the Democrats out of power.

that was then, this is now
The last Democrat that supported Israel was just kicked out of the party.

LG and his delusions
LG, as usual, has it completely backwards.

The less education one has the more likely one is to vote Democrat.
Those who failed to finish high school vote overwhelmingly Democratic.

The percentage of those who vote Republican rises steadily, up till the Doctoral level, at which time there is a switch back to Democratic voting. This has more to do with those unable to do anything productive with their lives, staying in school and getting educated way past their intelligence. The unproductive always vote Democratic.

LG is pushing his usual, liberals are smarter than everyone else meme. This goes along with his other meme, that people who attend Ivy League schools, and who teach at Ivy League schools, are also, by definition smarter than everyone else.

So you'd be
The exception to your rule?

Paralysis of Analysis
Clinton was accused of analyzing a situation to death, while Reagan and GW have been accused of the opposite.

The distinction I make is from the expression, "If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."

Modern Israel took a stand over 50 years ago. The Jewish people had been avoiding taking a stand for centuries as a means to survive.

It takes time and circumstance to change.

I agree
Any upward trend in Republicanism among Jews probably has more and will have more to do with more younger Jews growing up in the suburbs than the city.

If the evangelical crowd thinks it can score points through "Jesus for Jews" posturing, it doesn't get the whole concept of cynicism. Republicans too. The reason to support Israel is not so you can have a shot with mostly liberal Jewish voters. The reason to support Israel is because it represents the 21st century in a battle against the 12th or 13th century.

LG is close enough
"Jews consider themselves smart and educated (I was told that every day in Hebrew school as a kid). No wonder they're mostly liberal."

You're close on the correlation, but not quite there. People who think they are smarter than everyone else do tend to be more liberal. People who know they are smart but aren't asses about it tend to be more conservative (or libertarian).

LG and Mark are both partly right
Its people at the very top and the very bottom of the education level that both tend to be Democrat.

Household income shows an interesting correlation as well. The lowest incomes are overwhelmingly Democrat, the middle incomes are slightly more Democrat than Republican, and the upper incomes are overwhelmingly Republican.
The rich folk know who butters their bread.

Granted, this is from data in one midwestern, purple state. So nationally it might break out differently, but this seems like common sense too.


I don't know Bosco, there are a lot of conservative asses out there too who think they're smarter than everyone else. Just because they're the first to point out that liberals think they're smarter than everyone else doesn't change their own assed-ness.


Nice comment superheater, thanks again for contributing nothing.

bob still thinks conservatives are sheep
Ah yes, the upper class are conservative because they "know who butters their bread".

narcissism
LG,

Being rather self-congratulatory aren't we.

Ironical
I always thought the "smart jews" line was stupid. I thought the post was stupid. Therefore, the two belonged together.

The Biggest Con of All Time
...is the fact that evangelical Christians are "united" behind a group of people that have worked DELIBERATELY for a VERY LONG time to deconstruct the Christian ethos and replace it with a hedonistic, nihilistic, socialistic, NON-Christian worldview.

The same Jews that are lauding these "Christians United for Israel" secretly laugh at them behind their backs and have nothing but contempt for the "goyishness" of these "simpleton evangelicals". This whole nexsus between Christian evangelicals, the Republican party, and the Jews is carefully crafted con job.

Hollywood, the capitol of anti-Christianity is a wholly owned and controlled subsidiary of Jewish ethnocentricity and supremacy. Hollywood has worked for decades now to undermine morality, Christian culture, and decency in general....they are smut-peddlers. These Hollywood jews deliberately pervert the audience and push a worldview that is perverse by all historical standards. Look at poor Mel Gibson...he makes a movie about Christ, and the Jews have a tizzy. Yet, the Jews freely produce and distribute movies like "Priest", "Dogma", "The Da Vinci Code", that push the most perverse forms of heresy and afrontory to the Christian religion.

Look at the Bolshevik and Communist movements. Karl Marx, an ethnic jew, and Lenin, Trotsky, et. all...were ethnic jews. Bolshevism and communism are ENTIRELY jewish ideologies. MILLIONS of Christians were murdered DELIBERATELY by Lenin and Stalin...in fact, Christianity was OUTLAWED by communist states. Communism had butchered 20 million people before Hitler and the ***** were even a pipedream in the beer halls. The western press at the time (controlled by jews then too), did not report on Stalin...again, carefully controlled propaganda.

Look at groups like the ACLU, People for the American Way, etc... Virtually EVERY counter-cultural, anti-Christian, anti-morality, radical group in the last 50 years has been organized, funded, and/or run by the Jewish Lobby. School busing, political correctness, school prayer, racial grievance politics, etc., etc...are almost ALL a result of the activity of radical leftist Jews. These Jewish lawyers have used our torte system to erect a system of totalitarian control of our own ability to control our lives, educate our children, and pass our own laws.

Why is Israel the central topic in the Western media? WHO CARES about a tiny country of 5 million people? Why does Israel receive 4 billion a year of US tax payers money (they call it "foreign aid"...but its really extortion by the Israel Lobby as described by Walt and Mearsheimer). Israel receives more money THAN ANY OTHER NATION. We give Israel billions a year? For what??? Why do Jews promote "multiculturalism" in the US and Europe, but practice the most xenophobic form of ethno-nationalism in Israel? Most Jews push for open borders in Europe and the US, but closed borders in Israel (minus the obvious terrorist threat).

There are so many reasons why this whole phony alliance between evangelicals and Jews is total BS. It hinges on ONE thing....the idiotic belief among Christian evangelicals that support of Israel is somehow fullfilling prophecy is ridiculous.

Before you conclude I am a rabid "anti-Semite" (that phrase is SO overused), I will say this. I don't blame the Jewish Lobby exclusively. I blame people who are dumb enough, STUPID enough to be conned by them. If Christian evangelicals are dumb enough to embrace their WORST enemy, an enemy that has worked to insidious and diabolical extent to break down Christian religion and culture, then they deserve what they get.

Last note: I'm not a "Nazi"...I'm not in league with the Islamo-fascists...I'm not a "hater". I look at the Jews like I look a the Italian mafia. Most Italians are not part of the Italian criminal syndicate...but it exists. Many jews are not part of the Jewish Lobby (syndicate), but a sizeable number are, and the Jewish Lobby is a REAL political/economic force...its FAR MORE POWERFUL than the "Christian RIght" ever thought of being. The Jewish Left/Lobby is a real entity, and its NO FRIEND of the Christian evangelicals.

Rich folk?
"The rich folk know who butters their bread."

So the Kennedy's, Kerry's, etc. are all Republicans?

A better generalization is that rich folks who feel guilty about it tend to be Democrats.

Reasons to feel guilty: the Kennedy money came from booze.

America has stood by Israel…
But Nixon really got the ball rolling. Still, it is perplexing to me that the American Jewish community remains firmly Democrat. It will be intersting to see if they stay that way in 2008.

A warm welcome to...
I want to be the first person to welcome Mahmood Ahmadinejad to the TCS discussion boards. Pleasure to see you here sir. BTW, you look much shorter in person.

we've always thought that you are pretty stupid, so it's a natural fit.
...

since your first paragraph began with an out and out lie, there was no need to read the rest.
you are paranoid, and you need help.

Better to Contribute Nothing, Than Stupidity
You admit your data is limited in scope and then blither on?

Soros, Gates, Lamont, Rubin, Sulzberger, Kerry, Edwards, Pelosi, etc. (all die hard libs- all loaded)

& just about any hollweird celebrity-yeah,

them super rich know who butters their bread.

Oh thats right, those folks are all driven by altruism.

Jews as Democrats
That Jews aren’t Republican seems incomprehensible. Christian Republicans are pro-Israel. Secular Democrats are not. The answer is neither mysterious nor attributable to mere habit, but to a deeply ingrained point of view. Jews associate the Christian Cross with the Nazi Swastika and American Christianity with the Republican Party. The American religious right is the younger and larger brother of German Nazism. What Jew in his right mind would join that? For a Jew to register as a Republican he must first overcome an erroneous perception.

if you say so superheater
Just like a delusional despondent, you hit me for being honest about the data I present. Typical- right or wrong doesn't matter, substance doesn't matter, all you do is attack. Fool.

Your list of diehard libs makes a good point. Those people figured it out, they don't need Republican handouts to get rich. Half of those are politicians anyway, even diehard lib politicians are still politicians- use the system to further their own wealth and power.

You could make a case that Gates is driven by altruism. I'd venture to guess thats what happens when ambition for success and wealth are not driven by greed.

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