Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Republican Monopoly On Values?

In today’s Washington Post, George Will asks the question “Just who is a values voter?” The phrase has certainly become a media codeword for social conservatives, but, by its terms, is meaningless. Absent the outright purchase of votes as is often alleged by any side of the aisle during elections season, the act of selecting a candidate or deciding on a referendum is by definition an expression of the voter’s values.

Says Will:

An aggressively annoying new phrase in America's political lexicon is "values voters." It is used proudly by social conservatives, and carelessly by the media to denote such conservatives.

It is odd that some conservatives are eager to promote the semantic vanity of the phrase "values voters." And it is odder still that the media are cooperating with those conservatives.

Conservatives should be wary of the idea that when they talk about, say, tax cuts and limited government -- about things other than abortion, gay marriage, religion in the public square and similar issues -- they are engaging in values-free discourse. And by ratifying the social conservatives' monopoly of the label "values voters," the media are furthering the fiction that these voters are somehow more morally awake than others.

Today's liberal agenda includes preservation, even expansion, of the welfare state in its current configuration in order to strengthen an egalitarian ethic of common provision. Liberals favor taxes and other measures to produce a more equal distribution of income. They may value equality indiscriminately, but they vote their values.

So why has the label so persistently adhered to social conservatives? To some extent, the label works so well because social conservatives have gainfully framed their politics as morally superior. The conservative revolution, begun by Reagan and solidified with the wild success of Contract with America, derived its success by casting itself as a counterpoint to the ineffectual largesse of liberal spending on issues promoted by the misguided idealism of the left. Like it or not, exit polls conducted during the 2004 elections revealed that 22% of voters listed “moral values” as their primary issue in selecting a candidate . Of these, 80% voted for Bush. Of course, this data does not necessarily reveal that Bush supporters have a monopoly on moral values. Surely voters who selected multilateralism, or any other hot button issue in the campaign, did vote their morals. It does show, however, the wild success the right has had in casting themselves as morally superior to a sizeable segment of the American population. (Or at least the segment of the American population that votes. Rather than assume that those who choose not to vote are morally inferior to voters, I will be charitable and consider that a moral choice as well.)

But you cannot blame Republican genius (e.g., Messrs. Atwater and Rove) at framing issues for the success of this label. Even Bill Clinton had to position himself on the center-right of the Democratic political spectrum, and much of his success derived from the strategy of triangulating White House policy with the liberal mainstream of his party. Welfare reform and the Defense of Marriage Act, the premier acts of triangulation, were geared specifically to presenting his presidency as a counterpoint to two issues that have traditionally been the bulwark of the Democratic party: using government revenue to solve social ills and promotion of gender politics.

The success of the label also points to the right’s ability to promote its agenda as proactive and concrete. The Democrats seem to have settled into the role of an opposition party, but have failed make the final leap that allows an opposition party’s transition into a governing party. That the party has failed to produce a concrete agenda is a common Republican charge and one often repeated by Democrats too. To some extent, this can be blamed on the lackluster, or even the absence of, party leadership. The party selected Howard Dean as their chairman, and he has thus far failed to beat Republican fundraising success. That such a capability was even touted as a primary selling point the party rank-and-file, is even more telling. Where is the ideological leadership? Dean was a little-known candidate who marked his turf with his ideas, often espoused quite loudly, but it is abundantly apparent that he did not convince the mainstream of his own party to select him for his ideas.

At the end of the day, the left’s failure can be read as either a fundamental shift in the political realities of the United States—that today’s voter does see the right’s agenda as morally superior to the lefts, or it can be read as the left’s failure to counter an effective Republican message machine. The mid-term elections are coming up, but they may not be the best indicator of the reality on the ground. Mid-term voters are notorious for punishing the party in charge. A better gauge of reality would be the 2008 elections. The left will have a real chance to both formulate a sellable platform and a chance for someone—anyone—to assert leadership of a headless party.

Endnote (Courtesy of Ezzie):

This article is a perfect way in which to start off this blog. It behooves us to recognize that those who do disagree with us do not do so because they do not have values; rather, they do not share the same values as we do. Or perhaps they do share those values – but they feel that the best way to achieve or protect those values is not the same as our own. Our discussions must be predicated on this understanding and recognition of each other’s values. Our purpose is to see where are values overlap and where they differ, and in what ways we can reach a compromise when it is the latter.

35 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning:

First of all I wish you much success with this new blog.

You chose a great topic, one that is super important and really defines the Jewish vote in America.

As an Orthodox Jew "values" take center stage in life. Our values are defined as anything which keeps us true to our belief in G-d and the truth of his Torah.

That being said, where a political candidate stands on domestic issues has a direct impact on my support. Being pro-Israel is not enough. Super-Important, but still not enough.

Republican support of Israel is not so much a values issue as a strategic foreign policy issue.

Values as defined by each person will usually play the largest role in helping decide who to vote for. And that is where Rove's genious kicks in. My Dad was a staunch Democrat because that was the party that most fit his values. Today the Democrats have values but they are dominted by the far-left. They define Gay rights as a value where conservatives like myself say the only values on the Gay rights issue is non-descrimination. But descrimination is NEVER good so its not really a Gay issue. Gay Marriage is a direct attack on religious freedom which the Constitution defends (Of not from).

On the flip side, gun control is a good value the Democrats do support. I have never held a gun in my hand and I ray I never will. the gun control advocates are NOT seeking to deprive us of the right to bear arms, only to seriously limit who gets their hands on them. Does anyone on the right really believe that guns belong in the hands of criminals?

I can go through all the issues ( Maybe I will someday :) ) and we will come to the conclusion that values are important to both sides. What George will missed is that values became a Republican moniker because they have the values that most Americans agree with.

Best of luck,
MP
Republican Jew

Anonymous this time cuz I forgot my password.

5/18/2006 9:26 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Great comment, and good point about Republicans sharing more values with the general public. More to say, but have to run at the moment...

5/18/2006 10:48 AM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

What George will missed is that values became a Republican moniker because they have the values that most Americans agree with.

I'm not sure that's true.

Abortion: A large majority favor legal abortion in cases of rape or danger to the mother. A majority favor legal abortion early in the pregnancy.

Gay rights: A majority favor legal civil unions.

Health care: A large majority favors a more universal healthcare system.

Stem cell research: A majority supports it.

The majority of the people are to the right of those on the far left (by definition), but they pretty much agree with most prominent Democratic politicians on domestic issues. They disagree with prominent Republican politicians (such as the President) on these issues.

5/18/2006 12:19 PM  
Blogger swurgle said...

Let's see...

Lying
Torture
Fearmongering
Disregard for the Constitution
Environmental degradation
Tax cuts for millionaires while everyone else gets bupkis

We'll see in November whether republicans have the values most Americans agree with...

Good luck on the new blog.

5/18/2006 1:58 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

JA: Abortion: A large majority favor legal abortion in cases of rape or danger to the mother. A majority favor legal abortion early in the pregnancy.

The same majority is also against abortions after the first trimester, save those situations. This actually isn't as much of a R/D issue; Roe v. Wade is simply poor law. I was contemplating a post on this particular subject, so I'll hold off for now.

Gay rights: A majority favor legal civil unions.

I'm not sure about that one. But Republicans aren't necessarily against that, either.

Health care: A large majority favors a more universal healthcare system.

That's a very different issue, more to do with economics. Until there's a way for it to make sense economically, it won't happen. But if there is a way (MA is trying), I think everyone on both sides will go for it.

Stem cell research: A majority supports it.

I don't think most people know enough about it.

The majority of the people are to the right of those on the far left (by definition), but they pretty much agree with most prominent Democratic politicians on domestic issues. They disagree with prominent Republican politicians (such as the President) on these issues.

I don't think that's true. The President isn't against all abortions, he's not against civil marriages, and he's not against the idea of UHC. Most prominent politicians are no different.

5/18/2006 2:35 PM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

So Ezzie, exactly which values do a majority of the people side with the Republicans on?

5/18/2006 2:50 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

The reverse extremes. Most people do not think that gay marriage should be legal and equivalent to a normal marriage. Most people don't think that all abortion should be legal. Most people don't want a socialistic economy. (Etc.)

It's an interesting question, because essentially people reject *both* extremes - so why do more lean Republican?

Perhaps a post on this would be good, but it could be one of a few answers:

a) The extreme left is more powerful than the extreme right. People are more concerned that a Democratic President/Congress would carry out extremist policies than a Republican one because of that.

b) People view the extremes on the left as worse than the ones on the right. For example, even though people do not want to discriminate against homosexuals, they still may not be comfortable with the idea of their being equal in terms of marriage, particularly if they're religious.

c) People will lean more to the right on abortion simply because the laws currently are to the extreme left, which people are uncomfortable with - again, particularly if they're religious.

5/18/2006 4:09 PM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

The reverse extremes. Most people do not think that gay marriage should be legal and equivalent to a normal marriage. Most people don't think that all abortion should be legal. Most people don't want a socialistic economy. (Etc.)

Agreed. But the Democrats in power are farther from the far left than the Republicans in power are from the far right.

It's an interesting question, because essentially people reject *both* extremes - so why do more lean Republican?

I think it's a framing issue. People who support universal health care do so because of implicit rather than explicit values. There's no book or authority they can point to which states explicitly that it is immoral to deprive people of health care. However, there is a book that people can point to that says gay men are an abomination and a Pope that people can point to that says abortion is sinful.

a) The extreme left is more powerful than the extreme right. People are more concerned that a Democratic President/Congress would carry out extremist policies than a Republican one because of that.

Ezzie. Come on. :-) Bush rode to two elections largely on the strength of the Christian (far) right. Every election cycle, they throw some red meat to the far right to get votes. Democrats run to the center. Clinton was a centrist. Gore was a centrist. Lieberman was a conservative. Kerry was probably farther to the left, but tried to hide it.

People view the extremes on the left as worse than the ones on the right. For example, even though people do not want to discriminate against homosexuals, they still may not be comfortable with the idea of their being equal in terms of marriage, particularly if they're religious.

That might be. Change is scary. When people are scared, they look for black-and-white answers.

People will lean more to the right on abortion simply because the laws currently are to the extreme left, which people are uncomfortable with - again, particularly if they're religious.

You might be right here, too. But if Roe v. Wade is overturned and abortion gets banned in a bunch of states, there will be a huge backlash against "pro-life" Republicans.

5/18/2006 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Atheist:
Why do you sound so testy? Suppose, just suppose your wrong about November, and the GOP maintains its control of congress, will you then agree we indeed promote the values agreed upon by most Americans?
If you would agree, why cant the last 6 congressional elections prove that the majority of Americans hold our values to be in line with theirs.
As to your specific issues please allow me to comment.
Abortion: We do NOT seek to overturn Roe v. Wade for the exact reasons you mention. We are opposed to the disregard to life as presented by those favoring abortion on demand. I might be oversimplifying but this sums up the abortion issue.
Gay Rights: Every human needs to be respected and not be discriminated against. Something you cant understand as a so called Atheist is that Homosexual relations are a sin. We as humans need to understand that all people sin, even us haughty, waspy conservatives. (I can call myself a wasp if you can call yourself an Atheist :) ) We cannot hate the sinner nor discriminate against them. What gay rights activists seek to do is promote a lifestyle where nothing is sin and no one needs to be told what to do. You obviously choose to follow this ideal as you choose to believe (yes Atheism is a belief) as you do.
Stem cell research: I know little of it so I definitely do not oppose it. What little I know has strictly come from the right, so I will wait to decide after reading all opinions and as many facts as possible.

Swurgle, this may not be easy but try to actually communicate not throw words without a backbone. The words are the towline of Liberals everywhere.
If you care, I'll give you my opinion of them.

Lying: I'm not sure exactly what you mean but if you are referring to WMD's, it is MY humble opinion that that did exist. Saddam said so, the UN said so, President Clinton said so as did 3 Congress'. How about the lie that we went to war for oil! You seen the results??? Huccum I gotsta pay so much now if we got Iraq's oil Momma?

Torture: Abu Gharib was a horrible incident and there was not a single member of the GOP in the House nor Senate that did not express his/her horror. Guantanemo? Your a fool if you believe for one minute that the detainees are treated FAR better than they were by their own Al-Qaeda leaders and certainly far better than they deserve.

Fearmongering: So you oppose Dean, Pelosi and Gore as well. Glad we could agree.

Disregard for the Constitution: You mean like repressing the voices of the MAJORITY of Americans? That’s what the Democrats did by not allowing the Senate to vote by their filibuster.

Environmental degradation: Name ONE country that has stricter environmental laws than America! Perhaps your friend Mexico would actually pretend to be Liberal. Also, ever wonder why it is that the blue states emit over 80% of the pollution in this country? Ever wonder why if the world is billions of years old as the Evolutionists claim, do we not see the fallacy of Gore's claims that 2005 was the "hottest year in history". Personally I think it was in the year 1,000,295,722 BCE.

Tax cuts for millionaires while everyone else gets bupkis: Ignorance causes you to get bupkis. I barely make enough to get by and I benefited from the President's tax cuts. Supposing your "quality statement" is true, the idea is that if you give tax breaks to the wealthy, we at the bottom benefit because it stimulates the economy. It's called the trickle down effect as promoted by President Reagan.

As I said, please try to think and use the G-d granted talents of your brain before flinging words like cheap rubber.

Man you got ME all worked up, now I'm beginning to sound like Mr. Atheist.

MP
Republican Jew

5/18/2006 7:14 PM  
Blogger jewishrepublican said...

Sorry just got my loggin info.

I previously signed as:
MP
Republican Jew
Anonymous this time cuz I forgot my password.
and as:
MP
Republican Jew

Thanks,
MP

PS: Hey Ezzie!
I'm really happy to see so many comments. Keep up the good work.

5/18/2006 7:21 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Argh. I started writing a comment, but it got lost...

5/18/2006 8:01 PM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

Why do you sound so testy?

I certainly didn't mean to. That would be a horrible way to start off our new, civil blog. :-)

Suppose, just suppose your wrong about November, and the GOP maintains its control of congress, will you then agree we indeed promote the values agreed upon by most Americans?

We were talking about current domestic issues. Republicans in the past have won by campaigning on issues like tax cuts, which people tend to favor, and foreign policy. The recent Republican hegemony can be seen as backlash against the previous Democratic House which was seen as corrupt and wasteful. Now that the Republicans have proven to be even worse, I'm pretty sure they will be ousted.

Abortion: We do NOT seek to overturn Roe v. Wade for the exact reasons you mention.

I'm not sure who you are referring to by "we," but I would wager that most of the religious right do very much want to overturn Roe.

We are opposed to the disregard to life as presented by those favoring abortion on demand.

Most prominent Democrats want to limit, but not criminalize, abortions as well. However, they believe that the woman's right to not carry an unwanted fetus for nine months in some cases supercedes a fetus's right to be incubated in her body.

Something you cant understand as a so called Atheist is that Homosexual relations are a sin.

Should the U.S. government be in the business of making all "sins" illegal? Should it be illegal to take the name of God in vain? Or to make graven images? How about violating the Sabbath? Or masturbating?

What gay rights activists seek to do is promote a lifestyle where nothing is sin and no one needs to be told what to do.

What gay rights activists seek is the same rights as everyone else, no more and no less. They do NOT seek to force a Rabbi, for example, to perform gay marriages, or to force straight people to marry people of the same sex. They just want to marry the consenting adult of their choosing.

5/18/2006 8:10 PM  
Blogger swurgle said...

Jewish Republican - You sound a bit testy - perhaps even a bit defensive about those Republican values that you claim a majority of American's support.

How'd you spend your $42 tax break? Did you buy a tank of gasoline?

5/18/2006 8:21 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Agreed. But the Democrats in power are farther from the far left than the Republicans in power are from the far right.

I don't think that's true. Dean is the DNC Head; Kerry has written on Kos; Kennedy is far to the left. Even Hilary was far to the left until she started portraying herself as a "moderate" for '08.

Ezzie. Come on. :-) Bush rode to two elections largely on the strength of the Christian (far) right. Every election cycle, they throw some red meat to the far right to get votes. Democrats run to the center. Clinton was a centrist. Gore was a centrist. Lieberman was a conservative. Kerry was probably farther to the left, but tried to hide it.

Untrue. Bush's support from the far right was not significantly greater than any other Republican; he won by picking up the middle and by taking small bites from the black & Hispanic votes. And the Democratic Party has shifted further and further to the left - Clinton was somewhat centrist, but Gore less so (listen to some of his current rhetoric). Kerry was even further down the line, and he had trouble beating Dean (who was the fringe's pick) until Dean went nuts.

But if Roe v. Wade is overturned and abortion gets banned in a bunch of states, there will be a huge backlash against "pro-life" Republicans.

That depends on how strict the laws are. If they leave the standard exceptions, I think people will be very happy.

5/18/2006 9:05 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

The recent Republican hegemony can be seen as backlash against the previous Democratic House which was seen as corrupt and wasteful. Now that the Republicans have proven to be even worse, I'm pretty sure they will be ousted.

Well, no*, simply because the Democrats haven't proven to be much better. Furthermore, most of the corruption claimed against the adminstration has proven to be false or misconstrued as time passes.

The worst trait of this administration has probably been its wasteful spending - but just in time, they're finally doing something about. Furthermore, they'll point (rightfully) to the extra revenue the tax cuts led to, the steadily growing economy, and the Dems' obstruction of fixing Soc. Security as more important than the extra $50-100 billion or so they burn a year.

* - not worse than any other midterm election. They would be expected to lose seats because they're in power. If they don't lose more than 2-3 seats, it's meaningless. If they hold par, it's a huge slap in the face to Democrats.

5/18/2006 9:10 PM  
Blogger jewishrepublican said...

Dear Atheist:

I agree, (gasp!) we should be civil and I as you hope this blog takes off.

What you are doing is basically what George Will said: the left too have values.

As to November, I was mistakenly responding to you when it was Mr. Single Syllable who made the comment. By the way, being a staunch republican does not make me a fool for everything the party does. I loved Tom Delay for the way he unabashedly supported Israel. If it turns out he's guilty as charged then I can no longer support him. The influence scandal currently in congress is not exclusively Republican. Charlie Rangel has a pretty heavy hand in his Indian ties.

On abortion I was clearly referring to myself as a member of the religious right. Agudath Israel which is as right as they come (they don’t admit it) has filed a friend of the court brief in support of Roe v. Wade. As I originally stated, I follow my Rabbinic leaders and adhere to their words. Agudath Israel is headed by a group of Rabbi's who are definitely right wing. Yet we support Roe.
If Democrats as you say "want to limit not criminalize" abortion, why haven't we heard from them? Which Democrat would vote to ban partial birth abortion. The human child would by then have completed its incubation!

As to Gay rights, you make comments that are indeed in support of my claim. Rights need to be protected. No the U.S. government should not be in the business of making all "sins" illegal. But should they promote them? Discrimination would be to disallow a person who is a sinner, from doing what other types of sinners do. A thief is allowed to marry so why not the homosexual. The answer is GAYS CAN MARRY! A gay man can marry any woman he chooses to. Not to allow this would in my eyes be discrimination. What the gay man wants is to do more than or different than we are allowed to do.

The obvious next issue is the definition of marriage. If we allow the government (the same government you want mixing out of what sins we can commit) to define marriage to include gays then the government now WOULD force my Synagogue to allow them adoption (supposing my synagogue had such a service). Read up on Catholic Charities of Massachusetts who had to stop adoption services because they we threatened by the state with the loss of their tax exempt status. So now the gov't IS telling me how to worship. Hence my earlier comment about the constitutional right to freedom OF religion (not from).

Thanks for helping me think this through.

MP

5/19/2006 12:18 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

If we allow the government (the same government you want mixing out of what sins we can commit) to define marriage to include gays then the government now WOULD force my Synagogue to allow them adoption (supposing my synagogue had such a service). Read up on Catholic Charities of Massachusetts who had to stop adoption services because they we threatened by the state with the loss of their tax exempt status. So now the gov't IS telling me how to worship.

Interesting point.

5/19/2006 8:59 AM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

MP:

On abortion I was clearly referring to myself as a member of the religious right. Agudath Israel which is as right as they come (they don’t admit it) has filed a friend of the court brief in support of Roe v. Wade.

Interesting. I wasn't aware that people on the religious right support Roe.

If Democrats as you say "want to limit not criminalize" abortion, why haven't we heard from them? Which Democrat would vote to ban partial birth abortion.

They want to limit abortions through providing education, health care, and support, not through criminalization. If a woman knows she can support a baby, she's more likely to have it. If more young people use birth control, they won't need abortions, either. Abortions went down significantly during Clinton's terms.

The obvious next issue is the definition of marriage. If we allow the government (the same government you want mixing out of what sins we can commit) to define marriage to include gays then the government now WOULD force my Synagogue to allow them adoption (supposing my synagogue had such a service).

Interesting point. But how is this different from, for example, intermarriage? Wouldn't your synagogue be forced to allow adoption to intermarried couples? Should intermarriage be illegal?

Thanks for helping me think this through.

Thank you for some interesting points. :-)

5/19/2006 9:28 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

I wasn't aware that people on the religious right support Roe.

Quite common. They think it's better than all abortions, even death of mother, being illegal.

5/19/2006 10:24 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

But how is this different from, for example, intermarriage? Wouldn't your synagogue be forced to allow adoption to intermarried couples? Should intermarriage be illegal?

I could see a difference: A Jewish synagogue might not have to help a couple that is not Jewish adopt a child; but a gay couple that consists of two Jews would be.

5/19/2006 10:25 AM  
Blogger Nephtuli said...

I honestly don't see the adoption example in Mass as a problem. Religious groups could just get an exception for marriages that go against the tenets of their religion. I think the courts would uphold that exception as a permissable accomadation.

5/19/2006 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JA:

Just to be clear on Agudath Israel's brief, the reason for its opinion is clearly to allow abortions in Halachically allowed cases, The concern being that if Hallacha allowed an abortion and the state doesn't, a mother's life could be in jeopardy.
I love what you are saying about providing alternatives to pregnant mothers to help prevent such a drastic decision. Again it is only abortion on demand that so strongly opposed.

As to intermarriage, I'm Hungarian while my wife Polish. If that's allowed then intermarriage is totally acceptable.
Seriously though, if intermarriage you speak of inter-faith, then obviously the faiths leaders decide who can and can't marry. If those leaders decissions are unacceptable, then you have a problem with that faith. If by intermarriage you mean race, why should that be a problem. I know of more than one black Jew who married a white Jew. Again as far as the government is concerned it should only be about a man and a woman.

Shabbat Shalom
MP

5/19/2006 12:35 PM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

Ezzie, Nephtuli,

I don't see why a synagogue would be required any more to help a gay couple adopt than they would an inter-faith couple.

5/20/2006 10:32 PM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

er, I mean ezzie and MP

5/20/2006 10:32 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

JA - I do, slightly. One is not Jewish; the other is not following the laws of the synagogue, but could complain that many other members don't follow some laws either.

5/20/2006 11:01 PM  
Blogger jewishrepublican said...

Good Morning Folks:

Here's my pre-coffee two cents.

Perhaps Republicans shouldn't or don't have a monopoly on values. Other Democrat issues which cause the masses discomfort may however drive these masses to follow the Republican self portrayal as the values party.

Some of these issues may be values issues themselves, while others not. We all discussed abortion. I still believe that if more prominent Democrats publicly say they oppose abortion on demand but also oppose its criminalization, then less people would flock to the values oriented Republicans.

The same is true on some foreign policy issues. As I stated in my original post "Being pro-Israel is not enough. Super-Important, but still not enough." While this is true, I am horrified at how the left has become so anti-Israel and sometimes (only sometimes, for now) anti-Semitic. The bastion of the left is unfortunately academia. The anti-Jew marches in Berkeley are largely only criticized by the Republicans. I could probably type for several hours straight on cases of unabashed anti-Israel bias coming from the left.

Now while most secularized Americans are liberals, I think this open display of hostility could drive these liberals towards the right. Once they identify themselves a little more with the right, they may have to begin a rationalization of their own for "changing ideal" and betraying their upbringing. The perfect safety net becomes values. Ask a new member of the right who feels abandoned by the left why the sudden shift and most will say "values". They are afraid to say the other reasons, at least out loud, but values become an easier bridge to explain at the next cocktail party.

Perhaps Zell Miller said it best at the 2004 GOP convention. "I have not abandoned the Democratic Party, they have abandoned me”. He still is entrenched in the FDR mold as was my father. The far left's domination of the Democratic party has forced loads of people to the right and helped create the monopoly on values the Republicans do indeed now hold.

Man I gotta get some coffee. :)

MP

5/22/2006 8:01 AM  
Blogger jewishrepublican said...

CORRECTION:

secularized JEWISH Americans

5/22/2006 8:03 AM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'how the left has become so anti-Israel'

You can count on your fingers the number of truly anti-Israel elected officials on the left. The anti-Israel academics have little or no influence where it matters.

5/22/2006 12:52 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

I think he was referring to the people, not the elected officials.

5/22/2006 12:57 PM  
Blogger jewishrepublican said...

Charlie:

Noam Chomsky, Phyllis Bennis, Mitchell Plitnick (proud Berkeley alum), Simona Sharoni, Joseph Massad, Steve Niva and Norman Finkelstein are all a MAJOR part of the left intelligentsia (an oxymoron if ever there was one). Without discussing it's merits as there are none, all of the aforementioned are major backers of the American version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion or the Mearsheimer/Walt report.

While you suggest they have little or no influence, please let me demonstrate otherwise. Ok, we all know Chomsky's a whacko, but how about Phyllis Bennis writing no less than six books on foreign policy and having a strong influence on the resignation of UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday. That is quite influential.

The now infamous Joseph Massad actually wrote the following (available at COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY'S website): "It is often pointed out by Zionists and their supporters that holocaust denial in the Arab world is the major evidence for "Arab anti-Semitism". I have written elsewhere how any Arab or Palestinian who denies the Jewish holocaust falls into the Zionist logic. While holocaust denial in the West is indeed one of the strongest manifestations of anti-Semitism, most Arabs who deny the holocaust deny it for political not racist reasons."

I can go on for a while but google is starting to complain about my right wing conspiracies.

Academia carries HUGE influence. The minds of the most vocal element of society are poisoned by the left before they even have the chance to learn for themselves which side to take.

As to elected officials, I would suggest that of all members of Congress Cynthia McKinney is probably one of the most vocal. The overwhelming majority of blacks in America consider her a role model. Where do you think Kucinich and Murtha stand? Murtha actually heads a campaign to further Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Palestine!!! That’s just congress!!! Have you ever heard the local Democrats on the NY City Council? I can go for a while but google……………..

Gotta run,
MP

5/22/2006 6:37 PM  
Blogger jewishrepublican said...

heywhatheppened? wheredeverybodygo?

Ah! I know, Al Gore scared everyone into hiding. I know where I'm headed. The theatre! Yup! I'm gonna sell gas masks to theatergoers. Heck, once they see his propoganda they'll be ready to spend away.

Here's a review I enjoyed:
Politics in a democracy is the art of making hard choices. And all political choices are difficult. If they weren't, they wouldn't rise to the level of the political. No one has to drum up a hard-won majority to condemn terrorism or to memorialize its victims - at least not if it doesn't cost anything.

But Americans regard politics as curiously shameful and like to be told that the choices are not hard - or ought not to be. Hence the acrimony and bitterness which have crept into our political life. Because we pretend that the choices are easy, we feel entitled, when out of power, to criticize the people making those choices as morons, incompetents - or something more sinister - for making the wrong decisions.

Nothing illustrates these propositions more clearly than the global warming "debate," which is the ostensible subject of Davis Guggenheim's "An Inconvenient Truth." Of course, there is no debate here, not even a residual slick on the surface. As with most documentaries these days, the film is pure propaganda from end to end.

Its real subject is Al Gore, the man who, as he puts it, "used to be the next president of the United States." We see him strutting and preening before an adoring audience, like the college professor he was intended by nature to be, dazzling the impressionable not only with his charts and graphs, his high-tech wizardry and self-deprecating humor, but also with his personal authenticity.

Once again, as when he was in politics, he offers up the affecting stories of his own suffering. Poor soul, his eyes are red as fire from weeping. Once again we are reminded of his sister's death of cancer and his son's near-fatal car accident. To these tragedies is now added what we are meant to see as his undeserved loss of the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000.

"That was a hard blow," he says, "but you make the best of it." He has made the best of it by taking his global warming show on the road - and the electronic map lights up with the cities all over the world where he has given what we are meant to see as the same presentation he is giving here, now, to us.

Even funnier than the frequent shots of Mr. Gore's handsome but shadowed face turned broodingly in three-quarters profile with eyes downcast are the shots of him wheeling his lonely suitcase through weirdly empty airports. Imagine the pathos! He has to carry his own bag!

But most of the film finds him before the world's most dazzling power-point presentation as he shows, seemingly irrefutably, that the world is heading for climatological disaster.

I am not a scientist and am unqualified to offer an opinion on the science which he uses to prove his point. It sounds as persuasive to me as it was meant to sound. But I do know that, even if we accept that the science of man-made global warming is air-tight, there are only three questions about it that matter, politically speaking.

They are these: How much of a difference in the worldwide rise of atmospheric and oceanic temperatures can we make by our political choices? What are the choices available to us? And how much will those choices cost us?

The former vice president deals with none of these questions in any serious way. Instead, he adopts the currently fashionable technique - which is unfortunately not limited to cinematic entertainments - of simply ridiculing the choices of the morons in power.

Do you suppose it's merely coincidental that millions of others join the speaker in believing that he should be sitting where the "moron-in-chief" sits?

As to how much of a difference we can make, he gives us none of the science on that point. Bjørn Lomborg's calculation that the implementation of the Kyoto accords, the great shibboleth of the global-warming lobby, would only postpone the temperature rise over the next century by six years may be wrong, but Mr. Gore never mentions that calculation, let alone demonstrates its error. Presumably, his performance has been so winning that he doesn't have to.

Similarly, the only choices he mentions are marginally political ones. We can make a difference, he says, by buying more energy efficient light bulbs or recycling. We could also raise the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency standards for car manufacturers. But how much of a difference these things would make is not mentioned. Nor are the choices that would make the biggest difference, a carbon tax and the construction of new nuclear power-generating plants.

Most importantly, the question of cost is treated with a scandalous lack of seriousness. Indeed, the very idea that there could be any cost, any trade-off between American or world prosperity and an environmentally clear conscience is described as a "false choice."

Handsome Mr. Gore at his most engaging stands grinning before a comic graphic of a scale. On one side of the scale are piled up gold bars, on the other side - planet earth. Would we sell our whole planet for any number of bars of gold? Of course not! Where would we live? See how easy it all is? You'd have to be stupid not to understand it.

Talk about false choices! This is just another way of saying what he says at the beginning of the film: that global warming is a moral, not a political matter.

No, Al. It may or may not be moral, but it is undeniably political as well. What to spend on trying to delay the rise in world temperatures is not only a true choice but an inescapable one - or rather, one which is escapable only by dishonestly ignoring it in favor of mere posturing.


A Convenient Lie, BY JAMES BOWMAN

Movies, NY Sun May 26, 2006

5/26/2006 9:45 AM  
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