Saturday, January 17, 2004

Jewish Voters

This is not a new subject for this blog. As the presidential elections approach there are more and more articles claiming that the Jewish community is either becoming more Republican or solidifying its Democratic base. This can be quite confusing. I'd like to try to put it into some context for my loyal readers.

In this article from the Washington Times, we're introduced to the main culprits in this argument: David Harris and Matthew Brooks. Harris, as we're told in the article, is the deputy executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council. One thing the article leaves out in describing him: he's also the executive director of the American Jewish Committee. Yes, that's the same AJC that did a study on jewish opinion as described in this AP article. [Click here for the official survey site]. Does this mean that Harris had his organization put out a biased poll and hoped that news organizations (such as the Washington Times, as it turns out) would use his other title when describing the author? (John Podhoretz puts the AJC poll in perspective in a recent NYPost article)

But this is now standard. This blog has commented on the Republican Jewish Coalition poll that stated just the opposite. (You can either search "The Slippery Slope" archives or click here to search the RJC news archives. In the "2002 News Items" click on the October 4th article entitled, "Are Jews becoming Republican?...") Obviously both are doing their part to support their respective parties, nothing wrong with that. Interestingly enough, the JTA has published an article detailing the plan the Democrats have to try to retain their Jewish base. If it weren't such a problem, would they have to do this much to protect themselves?

One point struck me when I considered considering a town meeting with Anthony Weiner a few weeks ago:
"The campaign has three prongs, according to senior Democratic operatives who were involved in its formulation: Stress the Democratic Party´s commitment to Israel and raise questions about Bush´s own commitment; remind Jewish voters they are much likelier to favor Democratic positions on domestic issues, and marginalize Democrats who alienate Jews."

He did all three on that snowy day in Queens. He asked why President Bush had to place so much pressure on Israel and claimed a Democratic president would never do such a thing; noted the mostly-elderly crowd's displeasure with the recently-passed Republican-sponsored Medicare bill and used that to demonstrate their shared domestic policy views; and marginalized anti-Israel comments by Howard Dean.

Before we start making sweeping generalizations pro or con either side, let's make sure we have everything in perspective first.
Some advice for the Dems
The members of Congress vying for the Democratic presidential nomination might want to bone up on their political science history before continuing their campaigns. According to research by The Goldman Sachs Group, while almost two-thirds of U.S. presidents served in Congress before winning the White House, only three made the jump directly, and all three died in office. The study also pointed out that one-third of presidents served previously as vice president, and all but one acceded directly to the presidency. Turning the perspective around, 14 of 46 vice presidents -- about 30 percent -- have made the jump. "Taken together, these two points suggest that the Democrats should be falling all over each other to quit the campaign and join someone else's as the vice presidential nominee," Goldman Sachs suggests.
-CQ Today Midday Update [1/5/2004]
Ever heard of caller ID?
Howard Dean may understand the virtues of the Internet for fundraising, but he doesn't seem to have mastered the basic etiquette of another high-tech gadget -- the cellphone. The Associated Press reports that Dean was addressing about two dozen voters gathered in a supporter's living room last night when his unmuted phone started to ring. He pulled it from his jacket and announced, "This one I'm going to get." After greeting the caller, Dean told the crowd it was former Vice President Al Gore. The crowd cheered and Dean put the phone back to his ear and said, "You're just as popular in Iowa as you were here before." Dean then asked Gore if he could call him later and passed the phone to a staffer with instructions to take down Gore's home number.
-CQ Today Midday Update [1/7/2004]
"Let me be perfectly clear: Failure to make the tax relief permanent would be a huge mistake and would put our recovery in jeopardy." -- Treasury Secretary John SNOW, in prepared remarks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce."
-CQ Today Midday Update [1/7/2004]

But I thought that the tax cuts were either for stimulating the depressed [oops, did I just use the 'd' word?] economy or for giving money back when the economy was up. Now we're just giving away more tax cuts to the wealthy because we've been accustomed to doing so for the past few years? Someone please explain this to me. Perhaps it would be better if, as the economy begins to recover, we retain some of the tax revenue our government has been lacking of late so that we can start to shrink the enormous budget deficit.

Here in Israel on Friday morning I was asked by a senior Ministry of Welfare official how we can possibly waste so much money so as to create such a mammouth national debt. I had no answer for him. They're in deep economic distress here with deflation for the first time in Israel's history. Let's make sure such misfortune does not spread globally, specifically in the US.
Here we go again...
"The Atlanta JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION reports that former five-term Rep. Cynthia McKinney, "ousted from office in a hostile 2002 Democratic primary, wants a rematch against the woman who beat her: Democratic Rep. Denise Majette. McKinney's father, Billy McKinney, a former state representative, yesterday confirmed his daughter's planned entry into the 2004 4th District Democratic Party primary. 'Absolutely, she's running,' the elder McKinney said. 'We're going to make it exciting.' " McKinney lost to Majette after suggesting that President Bush may have known in advance about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and did nothing. She also stirred opposition from supporters of Israel because of her outspoken advocacy of Palestinian causes."
-CQ Today Midday Update [1/12/2004]

It would really be a travesty if she got re-elected. It would say a lot about the district in Georgia she represents. As hard as I worked to support her candidate [some of you know what I'm talking about], looks like we must soon gear up for round two and ensure that Denise Majette retain her seat in the House of Representatives. We should be cracking down on bigots, not electing new ones!
As Americans prepare to celebrate the New Year, there will be more of us than ever before to don silly hats and toot plastic horns. The Census Bureau, in a projection released today, estimates the population as of Jan. 1 will be 292,287,454 -- up 2,816,586 or 1.0 percent from New Year's Day 2003. Next month, the United States is expected to register one birth every 8 seconds and one death every 13 seconds. But net immigration is expected to add one person every 25 seconds. The result, the bureau predicts, will be an increase in the total population of one person every 12 seconds.

-CQ Today Midday Update [12/29/2003]