Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why do Jews Vote for Democrats: Part 2

American's Worst Rabbi today attempts to explain why Jews vote for Democrat. He gives seven reasons, each of which I will address in turn. In this installment, we'll deal with the claim that Jews vote Democrats because they were brainwashed by FDR. [Other installments can be found here.]

We join Pruzansky already in progress...

Secondly, Jews have been enamored with the Democratic Party since the days of FDR, who nurtured the identity politics that Barack Obama has perfected – appealing to a variety of different groups rather than to Americans as a whole.

Romney tried the same trick. (He went after rich white people, and disregarded everyone else.) So has just about every other candidate who has ever run for president. There's nothing improper about targeting your appeals.

FDR won a landslide second-term victory in 1936 even though the economy worsened on his watch (higher unemployment, steep drop in earnings)

Just where does Pruzansky get his facts?!?!?  Unemployment fell dramatically during FDR's first term! When he took office unemployment was at almost 25 percent. By the end of 1936 unemployment had fallen to 16.9 percent!! Is Pruzansky now in the business of merely making stuff up??

because he blamed Herbert Hoover for everything (familiar ring, that)

FDR's 1932 campaign was certainly an all out attack on Hoover's failed, depression-causing policies. But is that how FDR ran in 1936? I did not know that, and nothing I can find on Google confirms it. Given how Pruzansky lies about the unemployment numbers, my hunch is he lied about this as well.

and patched together a coalition of interest groups – farmers, labor unions, Jews and women – that would be sufficient for victory.

Which is what every president tries to do. They supported FDR because they liked his policies, however, which is perfectly appropriate. 

But it is not just that FDR created the modern welfare state but that he also cultivated Jewish support. For the first time in US history, an American president surrounded himself with Jews – Frankfurter, Rosenman, Baruch, et al. An unprecedented 15% of Roosevelt’s executive appointments were Jews. 


That shattered the brick wall that the WASP establishment had erected around the levers of power, and forever endeared him to Jews. 

A good thing, right?

Of course, none of that symbolism

Sorry, symbolism? Exactly what is "symbolic" about giving qualified people high-ranking jobs without taking their ethnicity into account? Or is the rabbi suggesting the Jews FDR appointed were not qualified for the jobs they were given? (Symbolism, by the way, is wearing a flag pin, or keeping an Israeli flag in your office, without ever meeting with an Israeli organization. This is typical GOP behavior. When has Pruzansky ever denounced this?)

mattered when the Holocaust came, and FDR did little to help the Jews of Europe and much to thwart immigration, rescue and relief efforts. 

This is the standard stuff, all of it debunked by recent scholarship. I'll leave it you, dear readers, to decide if Pruzansky neglects to cite these findings out of ignorance or because he approves of any slander that encourages people to vote Republican.

Indeed, FDR remained a hero to most Jews notwithstanding his pathetic record on Jewish issues – even famously refusing to meet a delegation of Rabbis who came to plead for assistance to the beleaguered European Jews being systematically exterminated by the Nazis.

This is revisionist history, that omits salient facts.  It isn't hard to find all sorts of examples of the president meeting with Rabbis and other Jewish leaders. This, for example, took me about five seconds to locate, and there is much more of the same. And even if you can find what to criticize, well... as a friend put it: The whole building was burning, and he was working assiduously to extinguish the flames. If he succeeds the whole building is saved. Is it really fair to fault him for neglecting to focus special attention on one small room?"

That disconnect – between rhetoric and reality – has persisted until today. Truman was rightly lauded for recognizing the nascent State of Israel in 1948 – after much hesitation – but Thomas E. Dewey was on record even before as supportive of Jewish national rights. JFK openly threatened Israel over its Dimona reactor, LBJ pressured Israel not to open fire in 1967 despite the Arab provocations that led to the Six-Day War, and it is now crystal clear how Jimmy Carter felt about the Jews and about Israel. 

HAHAHA Do you see what he's doing here -- and where he's failing? Though Pruz is trying desperately to paint the Democratic presidents as horrible on Israel -- especially when compared to the Republicans (more on that below) he can't seem to find anything bad to say about Carter's presidency. Sure, there's plenty to say about Jimmy Carter and Israel after his presidency ended, but what did Carter do to Israel when he was president? Pruzansky won't - and, tellingly, can't - say

(Others too. Former Israeli diplomat Naphtali Lavie wrote in his memoirs of the stridency and harshness with which then-VP Walter Mondale – so-called “friend of Israel” – dealt with Israel before and during the Camp David summit, leading Israel’s FM Moshe Dayan to comment: “Isn’t he supposed to be a friend of Israel? With friends like him, who needs enemies.” Similar backstage accounts elsewhere expose the current VP Joe Biden as antagonistic to Israel during negotiations as well while he was a Senator.)

Conversely, presidents as diverse as Nixon, Reagan and Bush II were immensely supportive of Israel, and at critical times.

Reagan sold AWACS to the Saudis and called in reporters to listen to him berate Begin after the attack on the Iraqi reactor.  Its been said by people smarter than I that today's Congress would impeach Reagen for how he treated Israel. Reagen also visited Nazi war criminology graves at Bitberg. Bush II was the first president to speak publicly of a two state solution, and sent Condie Rice to demand a building freeze in Jerusalem. And Nixon -Nixon! - was caught on tape spouting anti-Semitic remarks  My point here is not to play Pruzansky's game in attempting to determine which party loves Israel more, but to point out how deceptive and dishonest his omissions are.

That their records were not “perfect” – whose is, and how would we even define perfect? – and that we can quibble about a policy decision here and there is a cogent reminder to the American-Jewish community that these men were, after all, presidents of the United States, not prime ministers of Israel. At times, the interests of America and Israel will diverge; that is natural and understandable, and America will also produce presidents like Eisenhower or Bush I, or Obama, for that matter, who were less sympathetic to Israel, and a Clinton who tended to be more sympathetic despite some ugly moments. But Nixon made historically important decisions (e.g., the re-supply of Israel’s armaments during the worst period of the Yom Kippur War, and over Kissinger’s strong objections) and Reagan and Bush II were preternaturally well-disposed to Jews and Israel.

Reports of Obama's dislike for Israel are grossly exaggerated  and, as argued laboriously on this blog, based on not much more than FOX lies. I agree Bush II seemed to like Jews (for all the wrong reasons) but supporting Likud policies, is not quite the same as supporting Israel.

Nevertheless, the curious love affair between Jews and Democrats that began with FDR has not ended. Today, it is trapped in a time warp. Jews contort themselves like pretzels to try to pretend that today’s Democrat party is the same as the party of yesteryear. But today’s Democrats head governments in which funds are handed down not to assist people short-term but to sew up their votes long-term, in which the inclusion in the party platform of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and G-d Himself was roundly booed,

And yet, both were ultimately included in the platform. Remember?

 and about which polls widely show that support for Israel among Democrats is well below 50% and among Republicans well over 70%. Facts are stubborn things.

I'm not aware of any such poll. Are you? Pruzansky might have linked his post to it, but he didn't  What does that tell you?  I'll leave you with this. If Democrat voters hate Israel so much, just why do Democratic politicians show Israel so much support? The whole thesis of this piece is that Democrats suck because the pander. Ok, so why don't they pander to all those Democrats who allegedly told the mystery poll that they hate Israel?  

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