Skip to comments.Is Rush right on the Left?
Posted on 11/05/2008 12:22:51 PM PST by I still care
If the exit polls are accurate, it looks like the Republican Jewish realignment will have to wait for yet another election.
For months, Barack Obama struggled with Jewish undecideds, and McCain supporters predicted their candidate might win close to 40 percent of Jewish voters. Instead, polls show Obama winning about 78 percent of the Jewish vote against 22 percent for McCain.
To understand why, its worth consulting no less a political analyst than Rush Limbaugh.
The conservative talkster recently chatted with a McCain supporter from Michigan who identified herself as Jewish. She asked Rush why her Democratic coreligionists werent as concerned as she about Obamas associations with Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers.
Limbaugh responded that the Jewish vote is emotional, not rational. Liberals and Democrats are Democrats and liberals first. Thats the only explanation for this, said Limbaugh, adding, And no matter what you tell them factually, theyre going to reject it because their attachment to all their things politically are actually emotional.
Normally I'd assume that more Jews vote Democratic because their values and the policies they support are more in line with the Lefts than the Rights. As long as there are clear splits between the parties on major issues like abortion and tax policy, isnt it rational to vote for the party you agree with?
And yet, a new survey by the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner seems to bolster Limbaugh.
The survey, led by sociologist Steven M. Cohen, confirms that when it comes to health care, government largesse, and defense, to name three issues, Jews political values incline them to support Obama.
And yet (and heres where Limbaugh is on to something) the survey also suggests that the Jewish affinity for the Democrats cannot be well-explained by their differences in political values.
In fact, they are more liberal and more Democratic than their values would statistically predict.
To put it another way, other cohorts with similar demographics and positions on the issues vote for Republicans in greater numbers.
So whats with the Jews?
Its all about political identity, according to Cohen and his team.
People like to think of themselves as totally rational and driven by carefully considered values, they write. In fact, Jews in the upcoming election also respond to their identities. In their case, they will be reflecting their long-held, multi-generation attachment to the liberal camp in America, and to the Democratic Party.
In other words, my father was a Democrat, my grandfather was a Democrat .
Or, as Limbaugh says, emotional attachment and the Democrat Party or liberalism comes first.
Of course, a Jewish Democrat might argue that such loyalty was earned in the course of party history. By this theory, Jews were attracted to the Democrats not just on specific issues, but thanks to Democratic attitudes that seemed more hospitable to the Jewish majority in the 20th century.
Such Jewish Democrats may well remember the paleoconservatives and their anti- Semitism. Or the isolationists who opposed FDR and Americas entry into World War II in the coded, and not-so-coded, language of Jew-baiting. While academics debate if FDR could have done more to halt the Shoa, bubbes and zaydas tell stories of how he surrounded himself with Jewish advisers when Jews were struggling for a toe-hold in corporate and academic life.
Fast forward to Pat Buchanan, an anti- Semite whose cultural war speech at the 1992 Republican convention prompted Molly Ivins to quip that it sounded better in the original German. Or the last few Republican presidential conventions, notable for their lack of black or brown faces. Most Jews may be white, but they still consider themselves a minority.
This obviously selective history suggests why many undecided Jews came back to Obama after getting to know Sarah Palin. According to a slew of interviews, her attacks on elites educated, urban, active in academia and the media did not go down well with Jewish voters who are disproportionately well-educated, clustered in the big cities, and over-represented in academia and the media. "Main Street." "Real America." For folks whose ancestors came through Ellis Island, Palin's rhetoric sounded like a like a political "no vacancy" sign.
As the New York Times conservative, and Jewish, columnist David Brooks lamented, the Republican Party has lost the educated class by sins of commission by telling members of that class to go away.
Jewish Republicans deny the Palin factor or say that it pales next to what should be a Jewish priority: defending Israel and defeating Islamism. On these counts, they say, Republicans are the Jews best friends, while the Democrats, with a Jimmy Carterish wing that is hostile to Israel, are becoming increasingly bad news.
GOP optimists are also placing their chips on an actuarial solution: Indeed, an Oct. 23 analysis of Gallup polls, reported in the Forward, had Obama winning 74 percent of Jews aged 55 and over, compared to only 67 percent of those under 35.
But if Rush is right, Republicans have their work cut out for them. So long as Republicans send mixed cultural signals, and Democrats continue to pledge fealty to Israel, changing the Jewish vote will be like turning a battleship. There are powerful historical currents still pulling it in one direction.
One of the reasons Rush is so great is his instinctual abilty to analyze what is going on in the electorate. He's got a great gut.
“Found this article and felt it interesting. They postulate Sarah is the cause of the Jews voting Obama; I don’t believe it. If anything, Sarah did more good than harm.”
They want to be rid of Sarah. Sarah has an ancestor who was Jewish. I bet Obama doesn’t.
Somebody explain this to me like I’m a six year old.
What would be a ‘educated, Jewish’ person’s objection to Sarah Palin?
I’ve got a Masters degree from the Michigan, the Harvard of the Midwest (so they like to say), but a prestigious school nonetheless.
What’s with the intelligentsia? I’m sorry, but continuing to put ELITES from either party is killing this country.
The problem with American Jews is that they just don’t care.
If radical islam wins at the end of the day, Jews will be the first to disappear.
If Israel collapses, Judaism will end up.
But Jews in America are not that religious and they really don’t care. They refused Palin’s support in a anti-Iran rally to please to Democrats, even as Iran is threatening for the next Holocaust.
Stop hoping to get the Jewish vote. American Jews doesn’t deserve to be defended.
The only Jews who really stand by the free world live in Israel. And they are firm allies of the GOP.
Great! If we had the Jews, we would have only lost 51% to
The 0bama campaign was scared to death of Palin. She represents everything they hate, and she connected with too many people. They want to blame McCains loss on her, and repeat it, and repeat it, and repeat it, and repeat it, and repeat it, and repeat it, and repeat it, until people believe it. They don’t want to see her in 012 in any capacity.
I think this is very interesting, too. I have many Jewish friends who have seen the light and vote with me! I also have many who still vote for the most liberal person on the ballot despite being business owners, successful professionals, parents, homeowners,etc that get hosed in Dem administrations. My brother is married to a Jew and although still considering himself to be Presbyterian, is liberal as heck. He is a lawyer and “argues for a living” in his words but he can never give me a straight answer on his candidates. He always tried to change the subject like “Well, what about when Bush...”. I tried and tried to get him to give me one ONE accomplishment of BHO that qualified him for POTUS and he bobbed and weaved and never did.
WHAT WAS RUSH SAYING TODAY ABOUT TAKING OUR 401’KS AND INVESTING THEM INTO BONDS????
I used to support Israel. It appears that American Jews do not. So, I no longer give a flying fickle finger about Israel. They can take a flying leap.
I believe Sarah did hurt the Jewish vote. (note: I am not Jewish, so just take this has my opinion and nothing else.)
Jews have been persecuted by Christians for centuries, and have a deep seated fear of anyone that claims a strong Christian faith. There are two flavors of Christianity today as far as Jews should be concered. One they should be afraid of, and the other they shouldn’t.
Those that believe in “replacement theology” (basicly Israel has been replaced by the Chrisitan church), which constitutes the majorty of Christian denominations, can be very hostile towards Jews, and I can’t blame Jews for being afraid of them.
Evangelicals/fundamentalist/literalist on the other hand (who take the statment that God blesses those that bless Israel and curse those that curse Israel, and beleive that God’s promises to Israel still hold today) are not a threat to either Jews or Israel. They are in fact Israe’s (and Jews) strongest supporters.
Palin is clearly out of the evangelical camp.
The irony is that most Jews, get it backwards. They fear evangelicals the most and more liberal Christian denominations (which tend to adhere to replacement theology) the least.
I don’t blame Jews for being afraid of Christians, but it would do both sides good to do a better job of explaining which Christians are their friends and which aren’t.
Joke's on them.
How Jews vote will not be an issue in future elections allowed by the Obamistas.
Basically, when O-scum-a gives Jerusalem to the A-rabs or the terrorists start attacking along with Iran with nukes on Israel and Jews start to die, I want the Jews here to keep their mouths shut. They voted for him. He will do nothing about the terrorists. They are him. They are his family. They are his religion. Israel Jews supported McCain/Palin. American Jews went for O-scum-a by 78% to 22.
Now that he knows that he'll probably open a vein or two letting out the offending Jewish corpuscles.
mmmmm... OK. My experience jibes with that view. There is one notable exception... Christians seem to make Jews -- even secular Jews -- nervous. Perhaps I should have said especially secular Jews. From my perspective it seems pretty irrational.
I love Sarah (indeed, I voted for McCain only because of Sarah), but she certainly did drive away JINOs.
Orthodox Jews, who are secure in their beliefs, had no problem with her.
Liberal American Jews are suicidal, masochistic, painfully stupid, or all three. When their dear leader sends them off to their deaths in exchange for not Ahmadinejad not nuking NYC or LA, I will not defend them. I will defend the 22% who saw through this, though.
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