Monday, October 15, 2012
The twisted values of American Jews
Caroline Glick below documents the political irrationality of American Jews (70% of them, anyway) but doesn't really understand it. One explanation is that Jews and Democrats share a hatred of Christians. Leftists hate a rival religion and most Jews cannot forgive or forget Christian persecution of their ancestors.
The main explanation that I see, however, is that Jews tend to be emotionally needy. They hunger and thirst after at least the appearance of righteousness. And Leftism slakes that thirst. It makes Jews (and others) feel good about themselves. And most Jews no longer get a belief in their own righteousness from their now mostly forgotten religion. Even if they go to shul, what they hear will usually have little in common with the god of Exodus. But in the Torah and the prophets the Israelites were much condemned for whoring after false gods so not much has changed
Decades ago, the sociographer Milton Himmelfarb coined the aphorism that "American Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans." And his words ring as true today as ever. Surveys show that roughly 70 percent of American Jews intend to cast their ballots for President Barack Obama's reelection next month.
Himmelfarb's quip indicated that American Jews abjure their economic interests in favor of their liberal values. Certainly it is true that for American Jews to vote for Obama next month they must act against their economic interests.
Obama's economic policies have taken a huge toll on the economic fortunes of American Jews who invest disproportionately in the stock market. His nationalization of the college loan business has given universities impetus to raise tuition rates still further, thus dooming more young American Jews to start their adult lives under a mountain of debt. And it isn't at all clear how they will be able to pay off this debt since under Obama half of recent college graduates cannot find jobs.
Obama's gutting of Medicare to pay for Obamacare has harmed the medical choices for older Jewish Americans.
His war on tax deductions for charitable contributions has placed synagogues, Jewish schools and nursing homes in financial jeopardy.
So with economics ruled out as a reason to support Obama we are left with American-Jewish values.
But is Obama really advancing those values? What are those values anyway? Well, there's civil liberties.
American Jews like those. But Obama doesn't.
Take freedom of speech. Obama is the most hostile president to freedom of speech in recent memory. He has advocated implementing the so-called "fairness doctrine" for radio to stifle the free speech of his political opponents on talk radio.
He has sought to undermine the freedom of the Internet through federal regulations and intimidation of Internet companies such as Google.
He has made repeated and outspoken attempts to intimidate individuals, groups and businesses including Google to bar freedom of speech as relates to criticism of Islam. He has purged the lexicon of the federal government of all terms necessary to describe jihad, Islamic radicalism and terrorism, and so made it impossible for federal employees to examine, investigate, discuss or understand the nature of the greatest national security threat facing the US.
Then there is the cause of good governance. American Jews like that.
But here, too, Obama fails to live up to liberal values of clean politics. Every day seems to bring with it another scandal related to the Obama administration.
This week we learned that the Obama campaign is illegally soliciting funds from foreigners.
According to a report published by the Government Accountability Institute, some 20% of visitors to the Obama campaign's fund-raising site "my.barackobama.com" are foreigners, barred by US law from contributing to political campaigns. So, too, the Obama.com website was registered by Robert Roche, a US businessman living in Shanghai with ties to Chinese state-owned companies. Roche is an Obama campaign bundler. Sixty-eight percent of the traffic on the site comes from foreign users. Obama.com is currently managed by a Palestinian rights activist in Maine.
Finally, there is the cause of Israel and US-Israel relations that American Jews are assumed to care about.
After the fiasco at the Democratic National Convention when the widespread antipathy for Israel raging in the Democratic Party was broadcast on primetime television, the Obama administration has stopped even trying to hide its contempt for the Jewish state and its American Jewish supporters.
Whereas the US refused to walk out of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's obscene address to the UN General Assembly last month, US Ambassador Susan Rice chose to absent herself entirely from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's address before the body.
Adding insult to injury, last week Obama appointed Salam al-Marayati to represent the US at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's annual 10-day human rights conference. Marayati is the founder and executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. As Robert Spencer recalled this week, on September 11, 2001, Marayati gave an interview to a Los Angeles radio station accusing Israel of being responsible for the jihadist attacks on the US.
He is an outspoken supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah. And Obama appointed him to represent America at a major human rights conference.
American Jewish Democratic partisans have taken a leading role in blocking dissenting voices from their midst.
For instance, this past May B'nai Emet Congregation in Boca Raton, Florida, invited Amb. Susan Rice to address the congregation. Synagogue officials not only rejected offers to have Rice debate opponents of Obama's treatment of Israel. They barred community members known for their opposition to Obama from attending the speech. For these synagogue officials, the idea that their partisan prejudice might be challenged was simply unacceptable.
For 70% of American Jews, party loyalty trumps all of their conceivable rational interests. For them, partisan loyalty is more important than facts. They do not want to use independent judgment. They just want to be Democrats.
The destructive folly of class war
A government not worthy of respect
If you’re like me you’re tired of a trillion dollars in so-called stimulus spending that went to mob-connected asphalt contractors rather than the pockets of working families who own businesses and pay taxes and do all the working and dreaming in this country.
If you’re like me, you’re tired of a $2.6 million program that teaches Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly while unemployment soars across the country.
If you’re like me, you're tired of an arrogant federal government which pays out $47 billion in fraudulent claims in Medicare every year while they lecture the rest of us about healthcare economics.
If you are like me, you’re tired of the US Postal service wasting $30 million on a program that pays 1100 employees to do nothing. Yes, today, the US Post Office sat 1100 employees in empty rooms, as they do every day, and literally paid them to do nothing. They can’t play cards; they can’t watch TV, in fact they can’t do anything at all. To the tune of $30 million per year.
Yet this very same federal government comes to us now and proposes to manage our healthcare, our retirement, the education of our children, the auto industry, the oil industry, pharmaceuticals, the mortgage industry and lectures the American people that they are under-regulated.
If you’re a middle American like me, from the grassroots, I bet you know someone who owns their own business; if you’re like me you probably know someone who has paid employees of that business on time every week, but hasn’t been able to pay themselves a dime. Yet these very same people who provide half the new jobs in our economy, who have lost money over the last few years, still owe the government tens of thousands of dollars in taxes every year. People wonder where our jobs have gone? They’ve been crushed by a system that doesn’t honor job creation; by a system that doesn’t honor liberty; a system that gives no respect.
And if you are like most of the voters I speak to, you are tired of insiders from Washington and Wall Street on both sides of the aisle, and their wasteful spending schemes that don’t even propose to solve the very issues facing Main Street and working families.
Let’s suppose global warming is real; I don’t think it is, but let’s say it's so for the sake of argument. Show me please how the Renewable Electricity Standard-- which will cost American families $1800 per year-- please show me how it’s going to lower the earth’s temperature. They can’t because the Renewable Electricity Standard wasn’t created to combat global warming and it won’t lower the earth’s temperature.
Ok, so let’s suppose the issue is carbon emission; that carbon is really bad and we have to get it out of our atmosphere. Show me please how the Renewable Electricity Standard is going to reduce the amount of carbon in our atmosphere. They can’t. It wasn’t designed to do that and it won’t do that.
The government doesn't write legislation with solutions in mind, but rather with power and control of your very lives. And it is inside of your lives where you will wrestle back that control.
I’m often reminded that it’s with readers just like you where many of the seminal events of our country happened. It’s in rooms just like you’re in right now that a small group of patriots in Massachusetts planned the Boston Tea Party; it’s in groups just like you are a part of today that was born the Mayflower Compact; it’s in the free association of our citizens, for the common good and with common respect, that the greatness and goodness of our country will always be found.
We have all these new tools available for citizens to communicate that just a few years ago we didn’t have. A few years ago readers wouldn’t have been as energized and as informed because we didn’t have the ability to communicate as we do now. We have been so fractured and fragmented all around the country and around the nation that we feel like we can’t do anything, that Washington is so big and out of touch that we can’t do anything.
In fact, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Now is the time we really do have the opportunity. For the first time in our history ordinary citizens have the ability to communicate with one another over the heads of the media in publications like Townhall. We are networked on social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter that expose us to thousands of people for free.
But when I was growing up there were three TV stations and two newspapers in every town that decided what the news was. There were probably a dozen people in any town that picked our news for us. Those days are over.
Ryan’s Benghazi Surprise
The irony of ironies: The Biden-Ryan debate was more about foreign policy than the economy and jobs. And yet another irony: Paul Ryan, an expert on all things fiscal, revealed a much better knowledge base of foreign policy than anyone thought existed. Shows how smart and well-rounded he really is.
In fact, Ryan’s Benghazi slam, right out of the chute, won him the debate. This terrorist attack is going to be a huge presidential-race issue. Americans are furious at the Obama-Biden-Clinton stupidity and mismanagement surrounding the tragic Benghazi deaths. They are enraged at the Benghazi cover-up. Ryan accused Biden of malfeasance in every aspect of this tragedy. It was a tremendous body slam right from the start.
And Biden mislead everyone with a string of falsehoods. He said the administration did not have complete intelligence at the start of the crisis. But we now know they did have sufficient intelligence to realize that the killing of Ambassador Stevens and three others had nothing to do with spontaneous reactions to a YouTube video, and that it was a planned al-Qaeda attack.
Then Biden denied that the State Department asked the White House for stronger Benghazi security and was turned down on several occasions. But we know this to be true from various sources. We even know that State Department officials saw the Benghazi attack in real time. These untruths will dog Biden on the campaign trail.
The Benghazi round clearly went to Ryan. And later in the debate, when the discussion turned to Afghanistan, Iran, and Syria, Ryan went toe-to-toe with Biden, the supposed foreign-policy expert. He was every bit Biden’s equal and more, which is one of the surprising outcomes of this debate. The confidence factor in young Paul Ryan will rise as a result.
On the economy, not surprisingly, Biden adopted Obama’s redistributionist, tax-the-rich, go-after-the-millionaires approach. Ryan, the free-market capitalist, pounded hard for Mitt Romney’s tax-reform plan, which would lower tax rates across-the-board, provide new incentives for growth, and put limits on special deductions in order to balance-out revenues.
A clear choice emerged: Biden is for a government-directed economy. He blathered on about a non-existent, $5 trillion Romney tax cut for the rich, which Ryan easily parried. Heck, even the Brookings institute has pulled back from that charge. Biden also proudly touted a $1 trillion tax hike on successful earners. Now there’s a great idea to solve the worst economic and jobs recovery in modern times.
Ryan, in contrast, came out for free-enterprise, rewarding success, and creating opportunity, growth, and jobs. He was the candidate for lower tax rates, increased take-home pay for the middle class, and incentivizing investment and risk-taking for successful entrepreneurs.
However, Ryan should have said what Romney said a week ago: There will be a strict dollar cap on special tax deductions, probably a $20,000 limit that will be even lower for top earners who get a marginal tax-rate cut. This would have been a good specific to include in the tax-reform argument. It’s a huge revenue-raiser, at lower tax rates.
On the other hand, Ryan echoed a key Romney point: Obama’s leadership failure. Obama failed last year to get a grand-design deal, as chronicled in Bob Woodward’s book, The Price of Politics. This year, Obama was too busy campaigning and appearing on daytime TV to hash something out with John Boehner and the Republicans to avoid the recessionary fiscal tax cliff.
Ryan also emphasized Romney’s successful bi-partisanship point: A Romney administration will be willing to reach across the aisle to get a grand-design package of spending reduction, pro-growth tax reform, and entitlement reform, exactly where Obama failed. Actually, I think the Romney bi-partisanship offer is big reason why the Romney-Ryan ticket is doing so well in the polls, particularly among undecideds and independents. These people want to see the parties work together to get these problems solved before America goes bankrupt and lapses into permanent, European-like stagflation.
Another key point: Obama has yet to provide a real reason why he should be reelected, and Biden failed completely to construct one. What is Obama’s raison d’être for reelection? No one knows. Including Barack Obama.
Finally, there was Biden’s snarky smile. His demeanor during the debate was very off-putting. It was like he was forcing his aggressiveness, attempting to make up for Obama’s lack of it a week ago. The fierce grins, the Ryan put-downs, the interruptions, the inappropriate laughter -- it really hurt Biden.
But the big point is this: Mitt Romney’s march to the White House continues, and it was helped mightily by Paul Ryan on Thursday night.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 7:33 PM