Thursday, May 18, 2006

Welcome to Just Another Jewish Conspiracy!

Welcome to Just Another Jewish Conspiracy!

For our maiden post, we thought it would be a good idea to let our readers know what to expect and to introduce ourselves. Given the somewhat fragmented presentation of political debate and punditry in the J-Blogosphere, we thought it would be a good idea to create a blog authored by several bloggers representing diverse viewpoints.

Our commitment is to maintain a quality level of analysis and an avoidance of the hit-and-run style of commentary that is the scourge of political blogs. People on the left and the right can agree on at least one thing—political discourse in this country is as polarized as ever. Therefore, we are also committed to maintaining an atmosphere of comity, both amongst each other and towards viewpoints with which we disagree. Hopefully this won’t take the fun out of arguing on the internet that we have all come to love.

And now to the Jewish part. Just as our politics are different, so are our hashkafic outlooks. All of us take our Jewish identities seriously and while religion should not make or break an argument over policy, it is simply impossible to separate our religious experiences from our view on life, love, and politics.

Finally, as part of our commitment to presenting differing viewpoints, we hope that you will submit guest posts on issues we miss , on aspects we may not have covered, or if you wish to present an alternative viewpoint. All we ask is that your post be well-thought out, well-written, respectful, and polite.

-Just Another Jewish Conspiracy


Anonymous KEJ said...

Congratulations. Happy to see it finally came to fruition. I can't help but admire this line of the inagural post. I must say it got me by suprise.

"People on the left and the right can agree on at least one thing—political discourse in this country is as polarized as ever"

Is that not a bit too progressive?

5/18/2006 9:14 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Oooh, this gonna be goood!

5/18/2006 9:33 PM  
Blogger respondingtojblogs said...

Is that not a bit too progressive?

How so? You're question is a bit cryptic, but I'll take a swing at it. The current atmosphere in politics is such that the two sides are unable to reach compromises that have held previously. Witness the judicial nominee battle and all this domestic intelligence gathering business.

I suppose you would want me to say that only one size is doing the polarizing--the left. That may be correct, or it may not be, but it definitely takes two to polarize.

5/18/2006 9:42 PM  
Anonymous kej said...

It definitely takes two to polarize. However, in this case those who complain about polarization, is the left, because they are not in power. It's rare to find a Republican lawmaker discussing the polarization on the hill.

So when a center-to right blogger such as yourself takes a line from the liberal textbook, well it took me by surprise.

That is not to say that dems have not been sidelined, because they have been. The point is though; at least going into the 04 elections, the democratic message was not the one American voters sympathized with, at least when choosing their Members of Congress (we can debate the Presidency). Why then should Republicans care about polarizing dems if ultimately it won't make a difference to pushing the Republican agenda. I would say though, and I think its fairly obvious that the Bush Republicans have dropped the ball on quite a few issues, Dubai and Immigration immediately come to mind, alienating value voters and/or conservatives, which may invigorate the Democratic base, and Republicans might be overshadowed by a frustrated and complacent conservative base, who probably place domestic security over value issues.

5/19/2006 12:17 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

It's rare to find a Republican lawmaker discussing the polarization on the hill.

As another center-right blogger, I'd have to admit this isn't quite true. Bush himself has spoken about it a few times, I believe.

Shoot - gotta run. Surprised you didn't mention Bush blowing it on spending...

5/19/2006 5:56 PM  
Anonymous kej said...


Yes, Bush has mentioned it a couple of times, but I was referring to lawmakers, Members of Congress, not the President. If you are bored one day spend a couple of hours watching C-Span’s coverage of the House and Senate floor proceedings and you will see that Democrats are, with little exception, the ones discussing the polarization (interestingly enough the more liberal they are the more they complain about polarization, not sure why that is).

Republican MCs rarely bring up polarization, because they for the most part control what goes on, even with more controversial votes, like the Nov. Budget Reconciliation vote, CAFTA, and ANWR drilling (Just as a side, its interesting that Republicans in the Senate haven’t been able to muster enough pro-drilling votes, one would assume that this late in the President’s term they would have been able to beat the environmentalists on this issue, but that’s for another time). In those cases, Republican Members do not mention Democratic polarization, but attack Republican dissidents for listening to “the democratic campaign of misinformation” and at least under “The Hammer” would penalize wayward Members.

As far as Bush on spending, you definitely are right, sometimes it seems that he talks more about spending than Clinton did, but there are streaks of redemption for him. As was evident in the last spending bill passed by the Senate, which was something like $10 billon above what Bush requested and what the House passed, Bush said something to the effect that he “won’t sign anything above what he asked for”. The bill is headed for conference now, but it will be interesting to see that if at the end it is still significantly higher than what the President requested whether he’ll issue his first presidential veto over it, I am guessing not. But it is still something to see him threaten, even if it is meaningless.

5/20/2006 10:45 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

If you are bored one day spend a couple of hours watching C-Span’s coverage of the House and Senate floor proceedings

I'm never that bored. :)

Re: Bush - yes, it was the first good step he's taken to curtail spending.

Re: Polarization - could be. Honestly, I ignore the bantering/complaining of Congress most of the time, because they rarely do anything about it. Unless it's an outrageous claim, it's not worth paying attention to. Therefore, from my POV, I hear Bush discuss polarization on occasion, which is from the right. That was all I was saying.

5/20/2006 11:04 PM  
Anonymous kej said...


C-Span can be very exciting sometime the debates on civil liberties and Iraq can get very heated, but more than just partisan bickering which in of itself is funny to see (though it never gets to the physical fights that happen in the Kenesset which probably win the gold as far as legislative fights go), arguments for both sides of the issue are articulated very well. Other than that there is probably little redemptive value to it, unless you count it as being the most kosher cable channel.

Regarding Bush, it could be that I just have a tough time seeing him as actually speaking for Republicans. But hey that’s just me and I guess the left would take issue with that characterization of Bush.

5/20/2006 11:24 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

KEJ - I should note I don't have cable, anyway. :)

5/21/2006 12:47 AM  
Anonymous kej said...


just fyi it is streaming on the internet at c-span dot org. The Beis Medrash is a better choice though :)

5/21/2006 10:09 AM  
Blogger blueenclave said...

Outstanding! The J-blogosphere needed this.

5/21/2006 2:26 PM  
Blogger YMedad said...

So, you twice "thought it would be a good idea". Like that's why we have Two Tablets of the Law for, when Moses asked how much the Torah would cost and found out it was free, he asked for two. Well, as long as you don't drop anything realy important, it so far reads like a good idea.

5/21/2006 3:25 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

KEJ - Thanks. :)

BE - We thought so.

YMedad - Heh. Hey, to be fair, that was written at like 4am...

5/21/2006 8:07 PM  
Blogger Eugene Weixel said...

This should be interesting. I'll be dropping by from time to time leaving comments. You all are welcome to come by my place too.

5/30/2006 6:46 AM  
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