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Comments on McCain and the Jewish Vote:

Comments for that post aren't working, and I don't seem to be able to fix it. So, if you want to comment, you can do so here.

UPDATE: The short version of my previous post is, Bush got around 25% of the Jewish vote in 2004. There are reasons to believe that McCain will be more popular among Jews than was Bush, and that Obama will be less popular than was Kerry. Therefore, one can expect McCain to do better than Bush among Jewish voters. Please read the prior post for details before commenting.

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jtmckee (mail):
As I was watching the dbate tween hillary and obama last night I was reminded of the scene in jerry maquire when cuba gooding was hollering at tom cuise " say I love the black man"
the jewish vote is not a monolithic bunch of ingoramuses.
2.27.2008 5:51pm
Justin (mail):
Outside of Florida, is the Jewish vote worth anything in this election? Even in Florida, Obama's real concern is his inability to attract Hispanics, not Jews.
2.27.2008 5:54pm
CaseyL (mail):
My best guess is that McCain starts with a base of 25-30% of the Jewish vote


Say what? 25-30%??

I seem to recall that the Democrats got, oh, about 87% of the Jewish vote back in '04.

Dude, I got news for you. There are really not that many Jews who treat all US elections as plebecites on Israel. Most of us care a lot more about what goes on in these here United States, and care a lot more about what a President proposes to do here.

And I'd venture to say that, even among Jews who worry about the effect of US policy on Israel, most have probably figured out that making unending war in the Arab world isn't really doing Israel any favors.
2.27.2008 6:02pm
Oren:
More than that, I'd say that the range of positions on Israel held by mainstream candidates (and certainly all 3 currently in the race) is exceedingly narrow. Aside from the extreme left and extreme right (e.g. Cynthia McKinney and Ron Paul), I can't think of any politician whose fundamental policy towards Israel differs in any significant degree.
2.27.2008 6:21pm
Cornellian (mail):
Outside of Florida, is the Jewish vote worth anything in this election? Even in Florida, Obama's real concern is his inability to attract Hispanics, not Jews.

It's not as if the Democrats need to rely on the Jewish vote to win New York and California.
2.27.2008 6:41pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Casey L, "Dude," did you actually read the previous post? Because your comments don't reflect it. Let's start again. Bush, who starts with a host of negatives for Jewish voters, got around 25% of the Jewish vote in '04, though some put it closer to 20%. As I pointed out, McCain has the same positives among Jews, and fewer cultural and policy position negatives. Obama has no attributes that would make him superior to Kerry among Jews, but has some attributes that are additional negatives, the most damaging of which, in my opinion, will turn out to be his association with Rev. Wright.

So what's your beef with my post? That you don't think Jews should vote for McCain? Not responsive.
2.27.2008 6:43pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Make that "will be more attractive than Kerry."
2.27.2008 6:44pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois all will be in play and all have substantial Jewish populations. I also don't think that we can assume that an Obama-McCain matchup will replicate the red state-blue state divide of the Bush years.
2.27.2008 7:03pm
Asher Steinberg (mail):
You didn't stop to think, though, that Republicans are less popular today than in 2004. Back then, Iraq wasn't considered a bust, and the economy was doing much better. Some of that 25-30% may not be willing to vote for McCain or any Republican today. My guess is that the Farrakhan/Wright issue will, at best, cancel out the votes that McCain loses vis-a-vis Bush. Don't forget that, while Obama may have a Jewish problem, he is a a lot more appealing of a candidate than Kerry in many ways. Ultimately I think Obama actually outpolls Kerry among Jews, though only by a couple points, while overall, he'll probably beat Kerry's numbers by quite a bit.
2.27.2008 7:05pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
I can't say this for sure, but I get the feeling that a lot of the buzz going around the Jewish community regarding Obama is going to eventually backfire. I have a few reasons for thinking this:

1. When voters actually hear Obama, they like him. He comes across as inclusive, likeable, and inspiring. The people impugning him are thinking this is going to be like Jesse Jackson with "Hymietown", but Jesse Jackson was a divisive figure to begin with. Obama is not. It is easy to make anti-Semitism charges stick against Jackson, Sharpton, Farrakhan, et al. But I don't think they will stick against Obama.

2. Obama is right that a lot of these slings and arrows reflect a pro-Likud outlook that many Jewish voters don't share. Obama's views are broadly consistent with the views of many liberal and moderate Jews, as well as many Jews who don't take a maximalist position in the Israel-Palestinian dispute.

3. Obama is clearly the victim of so many unfair and racist attacks that it sort of tars everyone attacking him and turns him into something of a Teflon candidate. The moment people start talking about Obama and his positions relating to Jewish voters and Israel, a lot of people are going to start thinking in the back of their mind about people who claim that Obama is a Muslim, talk about his studies in a Madrassa, overemphasize his middle name, etc.
2.27.2008 7:07pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Asher, that's a fair point, and the real test of my hypothesis will be on a relative, not absolute, basis. If it's an Obama blowout, McCain will struggle to reach Bush's totals with any group. I don't think it will be--the Dems haven't won the popular or electoral vote without a southerner at the top of the ticket since 1960. Doesn't mean they won't this time, but nominating a very liberal New Yorker or Midwesterner against a moderate Republican certainly isn't the path to a blowout.
2.27.2008 7:09pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Oh, and Dilan and Asher, most recent poll I saw shows that 43% of Americans said they won't vote for Obama under any circumstances, much higher than McCain, not that much lower than Clinton, and inconsistent with either an expected blowout or the idea that everyone loves Obama.
2.27.2008 7:12pm
Tek Jansen:
DB: "Illinois will be in play"
2.27.2008 7:17pm
yankev (mail):
This may be a first. Though I oppose Obama -- in large part because of what he does want to do in this country (socialize medicine, appoint judges who will ignore the law out, expand the role of government, increase taxes -- all of which IMO will hurt the economy and threaten liberty) as well as his foreign policy, which I consider dangerously naive and irresponsible -- I agree with Dilan Esper on all 3 points.
2.27.2008 7:22pm
Tek Jansen:
Based on exit polls from 2006, self-identified Jews made up 3% of the vote in Ohio, 5% of the vote in Pennsylvania, 4% of the vote in Florida, and 2% of the vote in Illinois.
2.27.2008 7:26pm
yankev (mail):
As to McCain and pro-life -- I have always been puzzled that easy access to abortion has somehow become a "Jewish issue", given the Torah's very limited permission to abort only when the mother's life (or equivalent severe and permanent injury) are at stake, and even then only until emergence of the head (or, if I remember correctly, and I may not, the major part of the body, which ever comes first.)

I realize that most American Jews don't particular care what the Torah says on this issue, but it is surprising to see a view that is 180 degrees opposite touted as "the" official position of Jewish voters and organizations.
2.27.2008 7:30pm
yankev (mail):
As to McCain and pro-life -- I have always been puzzled that easy access to abortion has somehow become a "Jewish issue", given the Torah's very limited permission to abort only when the mother's life (or equivalent severe and permanent injury) are at stake, and even then only until emergence of the head (or, if I remember correctly, and I may not, the major part of the body, which ever comes first.)

I realize that most American Jews don't particularly care what the Torah says on this issue, but it is surprising to see a view that is 180 degrees opposite touted as "the" official position of Jewish voters and organizations.
2.27.2008 7:30pm
CaseyL (mail):
Bush, who starts with a host of negatives for Jewish voters, got around 25% of the Jewish vote in '04, though some put it closer to 20%. As I pointed out, McCain has the same positives among Jews, and fewer cultural and policy position negatives.


Quite aside from what's already been pointed out - i.e., that the political zeitgeist in 2004 was very different from what it is now in 2008 - you're overlooking McCain's own problems with the American Jewish Community. He's described the US as a "Christian" nation, and stated that the founders intended for it to be a "Christian" nation. And one of his advisors is an apocalypticist, who believes that reviving the state of Israel is little more than a necessary precondition to the Second Coming. These are not positions Jews find palatable.
2.27.2008 7:43pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
Dilan Esper nails it. I've said similar things here in previous threads, but Esper says it better.

So go ahead, keep trying to smear Obama, Bernstein. I look forward to his swearing in.
2.27.2008 7:55pm
John (mail):
There are two issues here: anti-semitism and the protection of Israel. I don't have any idea about Obama and anti-semitism, although he has close ties to obvious anti-semites, such as his "mentor" and minister. However, on the question of Israel, he seems decidedly less enthusiastic a protector than McCain, if only in the choice of his advisers (including Zbigniew Brzezinsk).

However, I am Jewish and am always dismayed by how little attention my Jewish friends give to the Israel question. They are almost embarrassed to be seen supporting anyone other than the most liberal candidate, regardless of his views on Jewish questions. I kid them by saying that no group seems so committed to its own destruction as the Jews.

So I am predicting the usual liberal/conservative/moderate split of Jews--weakness on these issues by Obama (or McCain) won't have much effect.
2.27.2008 8:12pm
Left-Right-Left-Right:
Doesn't mean they won't this time, but nominating a very liberal New Yorker or Midwesterner against a moderate Republican certainly isn't the path to a blowout.

Who told you McCain is a moderate? Are the promise of war with Iran and continuing a disastrous and never-ending war in Iraq "moderate" positions?

And by "very liberal New Yorker," who are you talking about? Jerry Nadler? What has Hillary done that is "very liberal"? Or are you following media perception here as well?
2.27.2008 8:15pm
DG:
CaseyL, I don't think most Jews care if a Christian is an apocalypticist. Its a logical fallacy to care - if you are a Jew, and don't believe in the apocalyse, then its just a story. Who cares what part Israel plays in someone else's eschatology? Thanks, by the way, I've been looking to use the word "eschatology" for some time.

I will probably vote for McCain. Not because of abortion (although I am pro-choice) or Israel, but for national security reasons. I also think Obama is dangerously left wing on economic issues and will wreck the economy.
2.27.2008 8:16pm
David Yashar (mail):
I agree with John that many American Jews almost purposely avoid caring about Israel. However, those Jews are usually found on the liberal side of politics and McCain wouldn't get their votes anyway. What we're talking about is a small slice (moderate Jewish voters) of a small slice (all Jewish voters). However, because this will probably be another close election, and because this small slice is located in crucial states, Obama/Israel factor looms disproportionately large.
2.27.2008 8:28pm
DCP:

The Jewish fence vote? What is that like 0.2% of the voting populace? From a pure numbers perspective, I doubt this would garner any serious strategy concerns, even in battleground states.

Financial contributions might be a different story. I'm guessing that Jewish capital spent in the political process significantly outweighs their 1-2% population representation.
2.27.2008 8:36pm
Ugh (mail):
TPM is giving its usual propaganda.

Next we'll be hearing about how George W. Bush supposedly "held hands" with the leader of the state that brought us, and still whole-heartedly supports, Wahhabism. Pshaw.
2.27.2008 8:57pm
BT:
My prediction is that Illinois will not be in play for the R's this election regardless of who the candidate is or how the Jewish vote goes due to Obama's favorite son status and his overall popularity here. You can bet the black vote will be at historic highs and they out number Jews by some margin here. Also Illinois has been trending D for some time and for all intents and purposes the Republican party here is a joke and offers no credible opposition to the D's. Final vote tally in Illinois come November? Obama 2,890,000, McCain 1. (me).
2.27.2008 9:09pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
OK, mea culpa on Illinois.
2.27.2008 9:16pm
Jacob (mail):
...[Bush's] elite WASP upbringing (Jews don't like to vote for people who remind them of people who kept their parents out of their neighborhoods, schools, and country clubs)...
I'm not sure a lot of Bernstein's factors had any influence in 2004. If they did, though, how does this one not also apply to John Kerry, too? And isn't it going to be a nonfactor with Obama (in Bernstein's world, shouldn't it be at least one thing Obama has going for him that Kerry didn't)?

I really wish I knew people who'd actually bet money that every variable broke Kerry's way in 2004 and that none of them will break Obama's way in 2008. I'd be happy for my financial prospects.
2.27.2008 9:19pm
ERH:
Althouse's post on Obama shows just why they'll lose this fall. Instead of attacking Obama on real policy issues they project on to him all of their deep dark fears of what liberals stand for.
2.27.2008 9:21pm
ERH:
Althouse's post on Obama shows just why they'll lose this fall. Instead of attacking Obama on real policy issues they project on to him all of their deep dark fears of what liberals stand for.
2.27.2008 9:21pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Jacob, you realize of course that Kerry was a practicing Catholic, of Jewish ancestry, and with a Jewish brother?
2.27.2008 9:22pm
stevelaudig (mail):
does anyone draw a distinction between the "Jewish" vote and the "Israeli" vote?
2.27.2008 9:25pm
cvt:
Bush got about 25% of the Jewish vote in 2004, but that was up from 19% in 2000, according to this data.

Bush was an incumbent and the war in Iraq was more popular then. McCain won't have the same advantages that Bush had in 2004. It seems to me that McCain is more likely to get about the same level of support from Jewish voters that Bush got in 2000, 19%, rather than the 25% that Bush got in 2004.
2.27.2008 9:27pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
I believe the "Israeli vote" will be divided among Netanyahu, Olmert, and Barak (Ehud, not Obama) next election.
2.27.2008 9:27pm
Ugh (mail):

does anyone draw a distinction between the "Jewish" vote and the "Israeli" vote?


That would be anti-semitic, so no.
2.27.2008 9:29pm
Stash:
I think DB leaves out one important aspect of the question, and, that is, Obama will agressively, and, I think, effectively campaign for Jewish votes. He has overcome supposed demographic barriers before.

He will give numerous assurances on Israel, but, probably equally important, he will be given very high marks for standing up to antisemitism in the Black community--as he did when he chided a Black audience for anti-semitism (and homophobia). And, on an emotional level, his debate answer that he would not be standing there were it not for Jewish civil rights workers who put their lives on the line in the 1960s will move a lot of people. When was the last time you heard a "Black leader" give the Jewish community its "props" for the prominent role it played in the civil rights movement without any ifs, ands or buts? In short, I think that if Obama uses his considerable political gift to campaign for the Jewish vote, he can do a lot to offset questions raised about some "secret agenda" and questionable associations.

It also seems plausible that given his popularity among Blacks and progressives generally, he could be effective in delegimatizing in these communities at least the more illegitimate criticisms of Israel and "the Lobby." In the debate, I think, he implied as much. Jews could very well see this (combined with assurances on Israel) as a very positive thing. See interesting Haaretz article that touches on this.

In this context, I note that his indirect mentor, Harold Washington (David Axelrod ran his reelection campaign), had good success in wooing the Chicago Jewish community notwithstanding his solicited and unsolicited support of some of the usual suspects in the Chicago Black community. And that is one reason why I personally do not put much stock in the guilt-by-association trope. The "six degrees of separation" in Chicago "progressive politics" is going to associate just about anybody from that milieu with unsavory characters. In Washington's administration, there were occasional nasty peeps by these types, but those folks were gone by the next morning and never heard from again.

True, Obama's choice of churches was voluntary, so he has got some 'splaining to do, but I suspect that, like Republican candidates who make the pilgramage to Bob Jones the choice was more about political connections/constituents than political agreement.
2.27.2008 9:31pm
Stash:
Two more things:

1. I think Martin Peretz is quite influential among pro-Israel democrats, and his support and defense of Obama means a lot.

2. What if Obama emulates Bush 2000 and names his Secretary of State during the campaign to deflect the foreign policy experience and "anti-Israel" issues? A move like that might very well keep the democratic Jewish vote at traditional levels.
2.27.2008 9:38pm
yankev (mail):

Jacob, you realize of course that Kerry was a practicing Catholic, of Jewish ancestry, and with a Jewish brother?
If by "Jewish", you mean born gentile and converted in a ceremony requiring little in the way of belief, conviction or the abandonment of previous religious views and practices, and not recognized by Conservative Judaism or Halacha.

I always found it curious that Jews were supposed to flock to Kerry upon learning that his Jewish grandfather so detested the Jewish faith that he abandoned it for Catholicism.
2.27.2008 9:46pm
Stash:
Oops. Here is the Haaretz link.
2.27.2008 9:47pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Stash, I think you make good points.

Yankev, calm down. I was just pointing out that Jacob's idea that Kerry was from a traditional wealthy WASP background like W is absurd.
2.27.2008 9:49pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Bush was a vocal Protestant, so the Jews didn't vote for him.
But in 1980, they voted for Carter.
Differences on Israel...they voted for Carter instead of Reagan.
Not calculating.
2.27.2008 10:18pm
Gaius Marius:
This is all a moot point since McCain is not a natural born citizen.
2.27.2008 10:37pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Aubrey, you are ignoring baselines.
2.27.2008 10:52pm
Oren:
given the Torah's very limited permission to abort only when the mother's life (or equivalent severe and permanent injury) are at stake
Once again, Yankev, you have taken an extreme position and represented it as the universally accepted interpretation of our faith. Judaism is not monolithic and we (thankfully) do not have a Pope to make binding pronouncements on us. The RA/USCJ, while taking a relatively nuanced view on abortion as a whole, has repeatedly affirmed the complete inapplicability of secular law to abortion (here, near the bottom).

I have no desire to argue the theological merits of abortion or revisit the scorn you heaped on the Conservative movement last time this came up. I only mean to add this that non-Jews be aware that the vast majority (2/3rds of Jews can be characterized as Conservative or further left) do not subscribe to the particular interpretation of the Torah you've mentioned.
2.27.2008 11:07pm
Oren:
I should add that I don't consider the RA/USCJ to be any sort of a binding authority on saying intepretating Judaism. Their views, however, are largely representative of what the vast majority of centrist Jews believe and is therefore of considerable descriptive value.
2.27.2008 11:35pm
Oren:
Kindly strike the word "saying" from the first sentence of my previous post.
2.27.2008 11:38pm
Stash:
Okay, one more thing on Obama. I don't recall any other presidential candidate making an explicitly religious appeal to Jews. But Obama did just that by citing tikkun olam--"repairing the world" in his debate response. Again, I think this was very savvy politics of a type I do not see McCain able to match in kind. I believe that this is yet another sign that Obama will not concede the Jewish democratic base without a fight.

Given the above, and Obama's other multi-dimensional appeals to Jews I point out in my earlier posts, if all McCain can muster is the one-dimensional notion that (notwithstanding Obama's statements to the contrary), he is more solid in defense of Israel, I think the baseline Repbulican gain in the Jewish vote will be marginal at best.
2.27.2008 11:46pm
Houston Lawyer:
Given American Blacks' hostility to Jews, as shown by Jesse Jackson a few years back, and Obama's church's affility for Farrakahn, I think some Jewish voters may give pause before voting for him. Whether these issues will overcome traditional Jewish affinity for liberal polititians is anyone's guess.
2.28.2008 12:13am
Asher Steinberg (mail):
David, regarding Southerners vs. Midwesterners, it's true that they haven't won with a Midwesterner since Harry Truman. But they've only tried three times, and look at the circumstances in those elections. In 1984, Reagan was more or less destined to win by a landslide. 1972 puzzles me a bit because Vietnam should've hurt Nixon a lot more than it did, but McGovern was seen as such a liberal that he didn't have a chance. Then in 1968, you have Humphrey. Vietnam was perceived as the Democrats' fault, and you had massive race riots and assassinations going on, which of course favored Nixon. And he still almost lost. Besides, Obama doesn't need to carry any southern states besides, maybe, Florida. So why should his not being a southerner change anything? The assumption would have to be that even non-southerners prefer southern Democrats, which would be odd. They may prefer them to Massachusetts Democrats, but I doubt they prefer them to Illinois ones.
2.28.2008 12:24am
Jacob (mail):
Jacob, you realize of course that Kerry was a practicing Catholic, of Jewish ancestry, and with a Jewish brother?
Of course. But I also remember coverage of Kerry as the Old Money/Country Club candidate. That he wasn't actually a Protestant didn't temper this (maybe because he wasn't fully embraced by the Roman Catholic community, but I honestly don't know). I also remember his Jewish heritage being "broken" as a news story multiple times during the campaign, with the following discussion usually focusing on the possibility that he was either denying/hiding his heritage or shamefully ignorant of it. I'm not sure it actually turned anyone off him, but I can't imagine it helped him in any way with any demographic. More importantly though, I don't know how anyone can recall the narratives of that election (including aspects like these) and come away thinking that the President was the one thought of as "elitist."
2.28.2008 12:32am
Oren:
Given American Blacks' hostility to Jews, as shown by Jesse Jackson a few years back, and Obama's church's affility for Farrakahn, I think some Jewish voters may give pause before voting for him.
Jesse Jackson is not the emperor of black people (with apologies to South Park).
2.28.2008 12:56am
Christopher Cooke (mail):
To Gaius: Please, let's not talk about "unnatural" born citizens, and what that entails, on this family-oriented blog.

Obama will win a large percentage of the jewish vote because (a) he is not anti-semitic nor anti-Israel; (b) he is a winner and (c) he is a classic Kennedy type of liberal who most liberal Jewish people support and who will make them and other white people feel good about voting for him (kind of affirms that they aren't racist and that America is not so racist any more).

This is "feel good" and inspirational aspect of his candidacy is what is causing Hillary/Bill fits. They don't know how to combat it.

John McCain is the best candidate for the Republicans but he is looking a lot like Bob Dole (old, tired, under-funded), and he will probably do no better than Dole did against Bill. Certainly, no one is voting for McCain because of his novel ideas about policy issues (he has few). He, like Dole, is the "experience" candidate.
2.28.2008 1:13am
Liberaltarian:
So yes, Obama did not explicitly say that he does reject Farrakhan the person, nor did he even say he denounces Farrahkan the person. Obama tried to keep it to denouncing Farrakhan's views, and eventually ratcheted it up to rejecting Farrakhan's views.

That's his style. Obama is not running a campaign that is about attacking people. Farrakhan probably has some good qualities. Stalin probably had some good qualities. Godwin certainly had good qualities. Obama is a nuanced, careful speaker, and it's amazing that he has managed to use that to great effect, since the prevailing usage of the English language favors short, direct statements. He rejects Farrakhan's views that deserve to be rejected, but would presumably embrace Farrakhan's love of puppies, or whatever warm fuzzy things unfortunately keep Farrakhan going.

Just what, precisely, is wrong with hating the sin but loving the sinner?
2.28.2008 1:21am
Oren:
Just what, precisely, is wrong with hating the sin but loving the sinner?
It sounds like something Jesus would do?
2.28.2008 1:35am
Stash:
Houston Lawyer:

Er, painting with a slightly broad brush there. Might as well say that "given Republicans' hostility to Jews as shown by Richard Nixon,Pat Buchannon and James Baker's remarks a few years back..."

True, there is the famous ADL study (though criticized on methodology) suggesting that blacks are more likely than whites to harbor antisemetic viewpoints, and what was once a close relationship (MLK was pro-Zionist) has broken down in the face of the academic and radical left's love affair with Palestinians, but I do not think that Jews reject individual black candidates for that reason, nor do blacks refuse to vote for Jewish democrats on that basis--at least in large numbers. I think, for example, Senators Feinstein and Feingold do quite well in the Black community. Obama rolled up huge numbers in Illinois, and my own Jewish U.S. Rep. strongly supports him.

You are on firmer ground with the issue of Obama's Pastor, which in the long run could cause more problems than the easier stuff of his advisors (he seems to have an equal number of pro-Israel advisors who are actually closer to him) and his no-brainer denunciation of Farrakhan. So far though, and unless he gaffes badly on the issue, I think the problem will be manageable. I suspect some marginal loss, but most of the Jews claiming inexcusable offense are already Republicans/self-identified conservatives long-ago convinced that Democrats will betray Israel, but unable to convince most Jews otherwise to date, and some Jewish Hillary supporters, who have a long time to reconsider pulling the lever for McCain, whatever they say now in their pique.
2.28.2008 1:39am
Oren:
Stash, why stop there? "Given Jews hostility to Jews as shown by Woody Allen, Mel Brooks .. . . "
2.28.2008 2:09am
DavidBernstein (mail):
"So why should his not being a southerner change anything?" I can speculate, but I won't. Fact is, Dems have a lot of trouble when no southerner at the top of the ticket.
2.28.2008 4:04am
LM (mail):

Stash, why stop there? "Given Jews hostility to Jews as shown by Woody Allen, Mel Brooks .. . . "

... or Mel Brooks' hostility to Mel Brooks as shown by his observation, "We mock what we become."
2.28.2008 4:32am
Perry:
>reflect a pro-Likud outlook that many Jewish voters
> don't share.

Likud has been out of power for more than 2 years. And their policies are a distant memory now that Israel has withdrawn from Gaza and is getting rocketed from there daily.

People who still drone on about the "Likudniks" just demonstrate thay they are an autopilot and have no real understanding of what is happening
2.28.2008 5:44am
Perry:
>I believe the "Israeli vote" will be divided among
> Netanyahu, Olmert, and Barak (Ehud, not Obama) next
> election

Imagine the American equivalent of that: a choice between Dubya, Kerry, and Bill Clinton.
2.28.2008 5:52am
LM (mail):
Wouldn't it be more like, Bush, Bush, Carter?
2.28.2008 7:09am
Bretzky (mail):
It's just a hunch, but I don't think the 2008 election is going to be all that different from '04. I do expect Obama to win, but not by a huge margin. The states that I expect to flip to the Democrats in '08 are Ohio, Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, and Missouri. The only state that I can see flipping to the Republicans in '08 is New Hampshire.

The overwhelming issue in this election will be, as it is in every election, the economy. The average American voter doesn't really pay attention to what goes on outside America's borders, and, in my opinion, Iraq isn't a big enough deal to most Americans for it to outweigh in importance the economy and jobs in who they'll vote for.

As such, Obama flips some voters in Ohio and Missouri because of the weak economy, which always gets tied wround the neck of the party in the White House. And McCain is advocating the exact positions that voters are inclined to reject this time around: more free trade and spending cuts; while Obama is promising to increase protectionism and to stick it to the rich--always popular policies in a weak economy.

As far as the Jewish American vote goes, I see about a 20-80 split between McCain and Obama. Even if McCain manages to make it 50-50, it won't matter much as Jewish Americans are a consequential portion of the population in only New York, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and California. All the states besides Florida are too heavily Democratic for a Jewish movement to McCain to alter the outcome, and Bush won Florida in '04, so any increase in McCain's Jewish vote there wouldn't be significant unless he lost some of the other demographics that Bush carried in the state in '04 (e.g., Cuban Americans, evangelicals, active military, etc.), which I don't see happening.

The real wild cards I see in this election are the under-30 and over-70 demographics. Will the under-30s actually come out and vote their numbers and will the over-70s disproportionately go with McCain because of Obama's race? We'll see in November.
2.28.2008 8:42am
Happyshooter:
I think either Hill or Obama sweeps the jewish vote. Hill knows how to get that support, as during her senate run when she discovered her jewish blood and gave contracts to Israel.

Obama knows how to talk to people of different races, and is a real switch from the standard dem black pol who usually harbors anti-jew leanings personally or in his hangers-on. I suspect jews will see this as a chance to reunite the jews and blacks in the dem party under one man, and will flock to him.
2.28.2008 9:37am
JB:
"fact is, Dems have a lot of trouble without a southerner at the top of the ticket"

Oh, like in 2004, when John Edwards swept them to victory? I know, type a and type b errors, but still. Southern Democrat =/= victory. There are lots of other factors.

Identity politics has been a major part of the Democrat strategy for a long time, but it's not part of Obama's, and this is where Bernstein's calculation goes wrong.
2.28.2008 10:03am
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Obama will get about 80% of the Jewish vote. The Orthodox will vote for McCain but few others.

Now, in 2012, 40-50% will vote for the GOP candidate after the Obama policies in the Mideast play out. Just like Carter.
2.28.2008 10:10am
Tony Tutins (mail):

does anyone draw a distinction between the "Jewish" vote and the "Israeli" vote?

Rabbi Michael Lerner, for one.
2.28.2008 10:23am
PLR:
I don't think McCain is going to say anything between now and November that's going to stem the Obama tide among Jewish voters. He's not an intellectual, he's not a particularly good speaker, and just spouting the same old lines he hears from his advisors isn't going to impress the highly educated Jewish voters.

I disagree with the suggestion that there is no difference among the three main candidates on Israel. McCain is surrounded by the adoring neoconservatives, and there's every reason to think he will continue the absurd policies of Bush II toward the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

I would expect Obama to be pro-Israel, but to revert to the more even-handed policies of Bush I, which would be a welcome change. As for Clinton, she's probably in between like she always is.
2.28.2008 10:56am
DavidBernstein (mail):
JB, the president, not the veep, is at the top of the ticket.
2.28.2008 11:49am
Ubu Walker (mail):
Oh, this is rich. According to November 2007 national exit poll, congressional Democrats won 87 percent of the Jewish vote while only 12 percent of Jews voted Republican. Republicans have irretrievably lost the Jewish vote and are in constant denial about it. Source: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0107/2563.html
2.28.2008 11:58am
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Likud has been out of power for more than 2 years. And their policies are a distant memory now that Israel has withdrawn from Gaza and is getting rocketed from there daily. People who still drone on about the "Likudniks" just demonstrate thay they are an autopilot and have no real understanding of what is happening

Perry, I have plenty of understanding of what is happening. The current Israeli government, which is not Likud, is certainly skeptical of the peace process, but is also willing to continue to talk and does not renounce the goal of a two state solution with a willing Palestinian partner.

The reason I said that a lot of the criticism of Obama and his advisors as insufficiently pro-Israel is a Likud outlook is because Obama, in the main, basically adopts the Kadima position on the Palestinian conflict. He wants the parties to continue to talk, he thinks Israel is justified in taking steps against Palestinian terrorism unless and until there is some sort of enforceable agreement, and he is skeptical that any such agreement can be reached right now due to Palestinian terrorism and the rise of Hamas.

What Obama's critics seem to be upset about is that he and his advisors still think it is important for the Israelis to continue to talk to the Palestinians. That's an approximation of the Likud viewpoint, not the Kadima viewpoint-- that you simply can't trust these people, one must soundly defeat the Palestinians militarily, and there's no point in a peace process at all. Whatever the merits of that position, it is not held by the vast majority of American Jews, who still hold out the goal (despite being very wary of the Palestinians) that there might be a 2 state solution and believing that goal is, at least in the abstract, worth pursuing.

So my guess is Obama's critics aren't going to be able to score very many points with most of the Jewish community on these issues (and the people these points do resonate with probably weren't going to vote Democratic in any event).
2.28.2008 1:02pm
yankev (mail):

Once again, Yankev, you have taken an extreme position and represented it as the universally accepted interpretation of our faith. Judaism is not monolithic and we (thankfully) do not have a Pope to make binding pronouncements on us.
Oren, what you categorize as "extreme" is the position of Orthodox Judaism. I hasten to agree with you that we do not have a Pope. But we do have a Shulchan Aruch, a written Torah and an Oral Torah (of which the Talmud and its partial codification in the Shulchan Aruch is a major part). The oral and written Torah limit abortion in pretty much the way that I have summarized.

I agree that RA on behalf of the USCJ take a different position. I do not understand where they claim the Torah authority to do so, and this forum is not the place for that discussion. I think you will agree that it would not be the first time that the RA has permitted something that the written Torah appears to prohibit. (Among other things, marriage of a Cohen to a convert comes to mind.)

Perhaps the CJ has changed. I know that I went to Hebrew School and post-Bar Mitzvah education at a CJ congregation, and joined a very active CJ congregation while in law school, under the very dynamic Rabbi Arnold Goodman, may he be well. R.Goodman later became president of the RA and was a proponent of permitting a Cohen to marry a convert. In fact, I was a witness (aid) when he married a Cohen friend of mine to a girl who had converted for the expressed purpose of marrying him. It was my experience during the time that I was CJ (through about the age of 31 or 32) that the average CJ member that I encountered did not especially know or care what position the RA took on anything, so long as it did not cause them personal inconvenience. There were of course exceptions, but they were few, and your experience may be different. But it would take some convincing before I am willing to believe that the RA's position on much of anything can be attributed to the average person who self-identifies as CJ, except by coincedence. If you feel that this observation is scornful, I assure you it is not -- it is simply based on personal observation and interaction with other Jews in numerous cities and states.
2.28.2008 1:37pm
Ralph Phelan (mail):
And that is one reason why I personally do not put much stock in the guilt-by-association trope. The "six degrees of separation" in Chicago "progressive politics" is going to associate just about anybody from that milieu with unsavory characters.

I suppose if you're from Chicago you're used to this &discount it.

I'm not from Chicago, I'm not used to it, and I find it a good reason to vote against anyone associated with that mileu.

J. Wright, Ayers &Dorne, Rezko ... any one of those associations alone wouldn't be a killer problem. But the cumulative effect is rather off-putting.
2.28.2008 2:17pm
Davidbernstein (mail):
UBU, the year Reagan got 40% of the Jewish vote, I doubt Republican candidates for Congress got even 12% of the Jewish vote. If you don't understand why the dynamics are different in Congressional races, you shouldn't bother.
2.28.2008 2:40pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

Ayers &Dorne,... any one of those associations alone wouldn't be a killer problem. But the cumulative effect is rather off-putting.

Tenured law professors are that off-putting? NU is still a top school, even if their graduates don't excel on the California Bar exam.
2.28.2008 3:22pm
Ralph Phelan (mail):
"Tenured law professors are that off-putting?"

When they're unrepentant former terrorists? Hell yes!

Many things that seem normal in academia or "Chicago progressive politics" look quite bizarre and unpleasant to the rest of the populace.
2.28.2008 3:33pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Do I get that Tony Tutins is pee-pshawing Dohrn and Ayers?
2.28.2008 3:49pm
Oren:
Oren, what you categorize as "extreme" is the position of Orthodox Judaism. I hasten to agree with you that we do not have a Pope. But we do have a Shulchan Aruch, a written Torah and an Oral Torah (of which the Talmud and its partial codification in the Shulchan Aruch is a major part). The oral and written Torah limit abortion in pretty much the way that I have summarized.
Orthodox Judaism (and those more conservative) is indeed further right than the vast majority of Jews (at least 2/3rds).

Furthermore, neither the Shulchan Aruch, the Talmud or any of the other rabbinic teachings are binding documents. There is no support anywhere in the Torah for the proposition that Karos (or anyone else) has the authority to definitively interpret the Torah. This is by no means an attempt to denigrate these documents - quite to the contrary I think their value to the faith increases insofar we see their power as persuasive rather than dogmatic. That does mean, however, that insofar as their views are no longer persuasive, modern Jews are empowered to change the faith.

I think you will agree that it would not be the first time that the RA has permitted something that the written Torah appears to prohibit.
What the written Torah prohibits or does not prohibit is a personal judgment best left to each Jewish community and individual. You need not accept anyone else's interpretation as correct but if you want other to respect your positions, some reciprocity is in kind.

I apologize for the scorn comment. It was out of place but represents my frustration over the two (related) issues I've stated (binding vs persuasive oral tradition and presumptive statement of what the Torah does or does not require).

As far as the CJ official bodies are concerned, I take them as a barometer of the general feeling of mainstream Judaism. At the very minimum, you have to admit that the Conservative position is closest politically to the mainstream Jewish position - that regardless of our religious attitudes towards abortion, the state ought not to interfere in that essentially personal decision. Such a position does not in any way diminish the respect for potential life (IMO) but rather affirms that, in a free society, such ethical decisions are beyond the purview of the state*.

From what I've read, Goodman has a very even temperament and seems like someone I would be honored to study under. It's funny sometimes how some people move away from the faith and some people think the faith has moved away from them (this is rather universal). Hopefully this doesn't bode ill as the end of all common ground.

_______________________________________________
*Exodus would seem to suggest that killing a fetus is a civil, not criminal matter and therefore not analogous to the Christian position that life begins at conception. Again, in my personal opinion, a combination of birth control and personal responsibility ought to negate the need for most abortions. Both the biblical interpretation and policy preference, however, are ancillary to my point and I don't want to get into an argument over them. Hence, the footnoting of them.
2.28.2008 4:04pm
yankev (mail):
Oren, I hope we are not taking this thread to far afield. I would be foolish not to agree that the majority of Jews today are not Orthodox. And that the single major point of disagreement between Jews who are Orthodox and those who are not is the over the question of what is and is not binding, and who is and is not authorized to make those determinations. Orthodox Judaism does consider the decisions of the sages as report in the Talmud to be binding, based on the biblical command to obey the Judges that are in your day. The challenges, of course, are in determining what the Talmud's decision is on a given issue (and this is where the Sh. Aruch is helpful), and how to apply that to a given situation that may not be on all 4s with the situation the Talmud discusses. Not to mention the disagreement as to who qualifies as a Judge.


As far as the CJ official bodies are concerned, I take them as a barometer of the general feeling of mainstream Judaism.
If by mainstream Judaism, you mean the CJ movement and the sentiments of at the very least a plurality of the American Jewish community, then yes, I certainly agree with you.

Rabbi Goodman is an amazing man, and I looked forward to his discussions of the Parsha each Saturday morning, which were much more like a law school socratic dialogue than the sermons I had grown up with.


What the written Torah prohibits or does not prohibit is a personal judgment best left to each Jewish community and individual.
This may be the position of CJ today. I do not think it was the position of CJ as late as 1982. To me, this position would appear to contradict numerous provisions of the written Torah.


*Exodus would seem to suggest that killing a fetus is a civil, not criminal matter and therefore not analogous to the Christian position that life begins at conception.
Yes and no. The Sages learn that there is a Biblical requirmenrt that a non-Jewish society execute a Noahide who performs an abortion. As you point out, this is a theology sidetrack that is probably best discussed elsewhere.
2.28.2008 4:44pm
ejo:
I would say the argument above is getting a bit esoteric as the prevailing religion of american jews seems to be leftism/liberalism. If there is some evidence that jews are somehow more spiritually in tune than other groups, I haven't seen it (other than the assumption, usually from the left, that you are more seriously religious, spiritual or sophisticated if your religion is something other than christianity). I hate to say it but I think he would get a majority jewish vote if he named Farrakhan as his VP, let alone merely having him as a political backer. That the left is getting more and more anti-semitic while still getting the jewish vote is a more interesting topic than this one.
2.28.2008 4:49pm
LM (mail):
Oren and Yankev,

I assume you've heard the story of the Jew discovered years after shipwrecking on a remote, unpopulated island. Before leaving he insists on showing his rescuers the major accomplishment of his exile: two ornate but identical synagogues he's built side-by-side from materials scavenged on the island. When they ask, "Why two?" he says, "That one I doven in, and that other one I wouldn't be caught dead in."
2.28.2008 5:31pm
DG:
I think alot of the folks here are plain wrong. I look at my in-laws as a microcosm - they are typically straight-line democratic baby-boomer Jewish voters. Not this time. They would have voted for Hillary in a split second, but they are going to "hold their nose" and vote for McCain because they are worried Obama is too extreme. Israel is one issue, although free trade is a very big deal, as is national security in general. I don't know they've ever voted for a republican before.

If Obama was a BIll Clinton-style centrist, he would be unbeatable, but he is not.
2.28.2008 5:54pm
LM (mail):
DG,

I think they're outliers, but we'll see soon enough.
2.28.2008 6:00pm
JosephSlater (mail):
LM:

My dad told me that story/joke on a number of occasions.

DG:

Time will tell, but I hang out with a lot of typical straight-line Dem. baby boomer Jews and not one has even whispered an iota of concern about Obama in the ways you describe.
2.28.2008 6:14pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

Do I get that Tony Tutins is pee-pshawing Dohrn and Ayers?

They have achieved respectability, how ever undeserved, because their respective employers have placed them in prominent positions in the world of a Law Lecturer like Obama. Their meeting reflects more on the universities than on Obama.

Plus in Chicago you never know who you're going to meet. I was introduced a couple of years ago to an affable white-haired man who turned out to have been a respected judge, till Operation Greylord housed him for a number of years at taxpayer expense.
2.28.2008 7:22pm
davod:
"and (McCain) just spouting the same old lines he hears from his advisors isn't going to impress the highly educated Jewish voters"

So what am I to assume from this statement:

a. only lesser educated Jews will vote for McCain, and

b. Obama's views will not be those of his earthly advisors, but, more appropriately, those handed down from the heavens.
2.29.2008 6:03am
Ralph Phelan (mail):
They have achieved respectability, how ever undeserved, because their respective employers have placed them in prominent positions in the world of a Law Lecturer like Obama. Their meeting reflects more on the universities than on Obama.

Those of us not from the university mileu are still bothered by Ayers. That he's accepted in academia does not raise my opinion of him, it lowers my opinion of academia.

If Obama's defense for associating with terrorists is "I was hanging with a crowd that considers terrorists OK" I think it's gonna backfire.
2.29.2008 7:56am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Ralph.
Nope. Those who think terrorists are bad are already going to vote republican. Dems have based the national security piece of the campaign on the presumption that if Bush was against it, it can't be all that bad.
I'd doubt this will change more than a handful of votes, even if Obama comes out and says, "I don't see the problem."
2.29.2008 8:35am
Ralph Phelan (mail):
Those who think terrorists are bad are already going to vote republican.

If that were true the Democratic party would be out of business.

Most Democrats and Independents think terrorists are "bad." They might not think terrorists are as big a problem as the Republicans do. They might think terrorists are a solved problem, and it's time for the troops to pack up and go home. They might think terrorists are a problem best solved by "nice guy" means like diplomacy, understanding root causes in poverty, etc., etc.

But outside of academia and "Chicago progressive politics," very few Americans actually like terrorists.
2.29.2008 9:42am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Ralph.
I dunno. See Dohrn and Ayers.
See a Law and Order episode where Jack is kind of sympathetic to a female bomber person who got caught many years later. "You don't know how it was,", he says to one of the skinny, interchangeable female assistant lawyers who wanted to hang the b* for her murders.

Anyway, you don't have to LIKE terrorists. You just have to hate Bush enough to favor whatever he dislikes. IOW, terrorists are less bad than Bush. There's your half.
Now, if you've got the time and the acquaintances--I have neither--ask those who favor Obama if they'd change their vote if he said, "I don't see the problem."
As with the left, when forced to lie and say they don't think commies are good, they follow it up by saying anticommies are worse.
2.29.2008 10:34am
Ralph Phelan (mail):
Richard -

Re: Law &Order.

OK, add Hollywood to academia and the MSM as one of the hyperliberal zones where "no enemies to the Left" still applies. And these are zones that are going to go 99% Democrat/1% Nader anyway.

The battle's for the voters of the middle - some of them centrists, some just not paying attention yet.

I don't think the center is gonna like Obama's friends &associates.
2.29.2008 11:06am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Ralph.
Yeah, Hollywood has some stinkers. But Law and Order seems to go on and on and on. Selling ads. Somebody likes that stuff.
But, as a producer of the old Cagney and Lacey series said of having rich white guys as the only villains they're the only group that doesn't write us outraged letters.
How many centrists do you think there really are?
2.29.2008 11:37am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Not so long ago, Rabbi Daniel Lapin (Toward Tradition) remarked that the Jews' attitude toward conservative Christians called into question the idea of Jewish intelligence.
Who would you rather have supporting Israel, a politician pandering to a few tenths of a point swing votes, or somebody who thinks God wants him to?
And who were the Righteous in Europe? Mostly Christians.
And if the shit hit the fan, who would you expect to hide you, a liberal ontheonehandontheotherhand who'd nuanced his way around any conflict his whole life, or a conservative Christian who supports the Second Amendment?

The only way conservative Christians can be considered anti-Semitic is if Muslims vandalizing synagogues are instantly and impersonally changed to Baptists.
2.29.2008 12:11pm
Stash:
Richard Aubrey:

Well, I am not thrilled with any politician who holds a position based entirely on pandering, whether to the Jewish or the conservative Christian vote. A politician ought to support Israel on strategic and moral grounds.

I am pleased that conservative Christians give politicians an additional incentive to do the right thing, though I am not pleased with their reasons for doing so. Personally, I receive the philo-semitism like the missionary about whose health the cannibal is entirely too solicitous. I appreciate the current assistance, but am not thrilled with the motivation for the long term. Let's dream for a moment, and hypothesize a viable peace settlement that does not satisfy Christian theological concerns. Whence the conservative Christian support then? Jimmy Carter's lefty born-again view already faults Israel for being insufficiently devout.

In short, I'll take the support, even welcome it, but it still leaves me with some discomfort. Just as a celebrity probably prefers the company of people who like him for himself as opposed to his fans who idealize him, I prefer support from those who support Israel for what it is, as opposed to what it means to Christian theology. Devout fandom can produce stalkers as well as box-office success. I'll take the box office success, but will be careful at fan events.

As for the "who do you want" question, I do not know that Wallenberg and Schindler were particularly devout or religiously motivated. I think it is a mistake to beleive that brave, decent and moral people do not exist across a large spectrum of religious and political beliefs. And the opposite assumption would also be a mistake. The Devil can quote scripture, and, for example, slavery was subject to much Biblical justification by sincere Christains. Huck Finn knew he was being a sinner when he helped Jim escape, but he did it anyway. Those are the type of people I would depend on.
2.29.2008 4:04pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Stash. Wallenberg and Schindler are two individuals.
The former was protected by diplomatic immunity--it was the Russians who got him, remember--and the latter was not.
But most of the Righteous were just folks, except for being gutsy as hell. See Corrie ten Boom. There was an entire village in France--name escapes me--which did a hell of a job. I read about it to find out how where they buried the bodies of the inevitable spoilers, but there were apparently none. They all spoke, afterwards, as did most of the Righteous, of their religious duty.
Other conservative Christians just think supporting Israel is the right thing to do--that includes me--and I hope that, while hiding the American version of the Franks will not come to my lot, nor that running an escape organization will not be testing my management skills, I will be as brave as the Righteous.
If, however, you want to justify Rabbi Lapin's point, I could probably find somebody else to shove into my root cellar.
2.29.2008 4:55pm
Chimaxx (mail):
It would seem to me that McCain's recent public coziness with pastor John Hagee--who advocates a US attack on Iran so that a united Arab-Russian coalition will destroy Israel, leading to Armageddon and the return of Christ--pretty much neutralizes Obama's two-degrees-of-separation problem with Farrakhan.
2.29.2008 6:48pm
LM (mail):
Chimaxx,

It would seem to me that McCain's recent public coziness with pastor John Hagee--who advocates a US attack on Iran so that a united Arab-Russian coalition will destroy Israel, leading to Armageddon and the return of Christ--pretty much neutralizes Obama's two-degrees-of-separation problem with Farrakhan.

Richard Aubrey's Chimaxx,

I LUVVVV terrorists.
2.29.2008 7:16pm
Stash:
Richard Aubrey:

No doubt genuine religious belief often spurs people to do good things. But, not to go all Christopher Hitchens on you, it does not always work that way. I would be very impressed, for example, with stories of gun-toting evangelicals rescuing blacks from lynching parties, but it appears that was not a common event. See, e.g. The Protestant Churches and Lynching, 1919-1939

Of course abolitionism itself was also based on religious principle. I think that for the decent and moral, there is more than enough in religion to support any good and courageous act--admittedly, often with religion providing courage part. I am glad that you think it is just the right thing to do. That support, as opposed to the end-of-the-world religious reasons articulated by some, does not in any way discomfort me.

So, I hope your offer of sanctuary in case of an American pogrom remains open. But if not, I will make other arrangements.
2.29.2008 9:02pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Stash. You are going to have to find lots and lots of liberal protestants and atheists among the Righteous to support your position.
Meantime, have you any friends who are a bit less confrontational? It might be a long forced acquaintance.
3.1.2008 10:45am
Michael Livingston (mail) (www):
I hope DB is right, I'm not sure. Many Jews are now educated to believe that Judaism means "Tikkun Olam" (repairing world) which they translate as voting for liberal Democrats. For these people I am not sure any argument will matter. For those who make Israel a central concern I think more than half will vote for McCain. The real question is then , how many such people are still out there?
3.1.2008 7:05pm
LM (mail):
Michael,

I don't have an opinion of how the numbers will break down, but there are at least two middle positions you didn't spell out. One is that of the generally pro-Obama Jews who make Israel a central concern, and believe that the only navigable path to Israel's security is via the formation of a Palestinian state. That's the position I used to hold. Which leaves the "I don't pretend any more to have the remotest clue what will or won't work in the Middle East, so though there's no issue outside of America's direct interests that concerns me more than Israel, I'm voting for Obama on other grounds" Jews, of which there's at least one.
3.1.2008 11:09pm
Oren:
<blockquote> The only way conservative Christians can be considered anti-Semitic is if Muslims vandalizing synagogues are instantly and impersonally changed to Baptists. </blockquote > Falwell was quite the antisemite:<blockquote>
The Jews are returning to their land of unbelief. They are spiritually blind and desperately in need of their Messiah and Savior. — Jerry Falwell

In a church in Kingsport, Falwell told an enthusiastic audience that the Antichrist was alive, walking around somewhere, and was a male Jew.</blockquote>
3.2.2008 11:57pm
Oren:
^^ don't know why it mucked up my blockquotes, they appear to be syntactically correct.
3.2.2008 11:58pm