Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Republicans Got Shellacked

OK, by now that's pretty obvious. If Montana and Virginia hold up, the Democrats will control both the House and the Senate. I'm actually happy that the Democrats got the House (although the margin is a little disconcerting) but Democrats controlling the Senate will make it much more difficult for the President to nominate reasonable judges and that's something to be afraid of.

Why did the Republicans get hit so hard? I think there are two major reasons: Iraq and corruption. Iraq is all over the news and every day we hear how the country is falling into civil war, how the region is becoming more unstable, how American power in the region is waning, and how the war is making us less safe. The average American doesn't care about spreading democracy in the Middle East or about ousting dictators. Americans want to know they are safe and that the wars we wage will be successes. Iraq certainly doesn't appear to be one.

Corruption is obvious. Even if Joe Schmo can't name his Congressman, he understands kickbacks and bribes. And he wants his representative to represent him and not some guy with deep pockets.

I think the key point is that most voters are woefully uninformed and vote based on intuition, party identification, ads on TV, or a specific issue. How many Americans care about limited government or big deficits? How many understand the difference between an originalist and moralist? How many care?

They want to know they are safe (and at this point they already feel like they are because we haven't had an attack on US soil in years). They want to see less of their income going to the government. Some care about abortion, others about minimum wage. Very few care about both. Some vote Democrat because their family always has. Some vote for Republicans because the Democrats seem soft on terror. The list goes on.

Democrats want to claim this election was about repudiating Bush's policies. Conservatives want to claim the election was not about that. I think both are wrong. Americans don't know or care about Bush's policies on Social Security, immigration, and free trade. What they care about is whether their representatives are being bribed and if America is stuck in another Vietnam. The Republican party failed to deliver and honestly, I don't see the Democrats being much better.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Arab Zionist in America?

The Jewish Week reports on the recent visit of Imam Omar Abu Namous of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York to an Orthodox synagogue. He is reported to have "stunned" the Jews there by saying,

“Why shouldn’t Israel agree to a one-state solution and incorporate the West Bank and Gaza into that state? There would be two administrations, one for Jewish affairs and one for Christian and Muslim affairs. No one will take a Jewish person’s property and [Palestinian refugees] will not return to Haifa and Jaffa.”

The article reports that this was not received favorably. But isn't the dream of Religious Zionists to have one state between the Jordan and the Meditteranean? Aren't monotheists permitted by Torah law to live in Eretz Yisrael by accepting the Noachide laws? Don't Moslems (according to almost all opinions) and Christians (according to many opinions) have the staus of monotheists? And aren't non-Jewish monotheists supposed to set up their own courts under the Noachide laws?

In this particular encounter, it was the orthodox Rabbi who supported a "two state solution" -- dividing the Land of Israel. Could it be that an Arab Muslim is more Zionist?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Jewish Press -- a Democratic paper?

Did anyone notice the Jewish Press list of endorsements for this coming Tuesday's election? The paper, which endorsed Republicans George W. Bush and Mike Bloomberg, and often takes right wing positions on many issues, gave endorsements to (if I count correctly) 4 Democrats and no Republicans in statewide elections, 32 Democrats and no Republicans in State Assembly races, 3 Democrats and 1 Republicans (Martin Goldin) in State Senate races, and 8 Democrats and a single Republican (Peter King) in races for the U.S. House of Representatives. The paper also endorsed Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Democrat running for re-election as an Independent, in his race.

If I count correctly, that is 47-2 in favor of Democrats if you don't count Lieberman.

So at least one loud and influential voice in the Orthodox Jewish community agrees that Democrats are on the right side regarding Jewish issues.