The recent special election in New York’s Ninth Congressional District saw 70 year-old Bob Turner, a former cable TV executive and a Roman Catholic conservative Republican handily defeating Democrat David Weprin for the seat vacated by ex-Congressjerk Anthony D. “How do you like my abs” Weiner. Turner is the first Republican to represent this district, which is almost half-Jewish, in more than 90 years.
Tea Party types are elated because they see this as “sending a message to the president.” Even former Big Apple mayor Ed Koch endorsed Turner: Koch wanted to send Obama a message about his policies on Israel. All of this has resulted in a number of articles, blogs and rants on Obama’s alleged “loss of the Jewish vote.”
If the “Jewish vote” has to do with what’s going on in Israel, I don’t get it. The so-called “Black vote” and ‘Latino vote” like the “Women’s vote” are connected to the perceived or actual treatment of those groups in this country. We may, in fact vote for or against a candidate because we wish to attack or support the candidate’s expressed views on our particular group inasmuch as those views might threaten the quality of our lives in America. But if the many sub-groups in the heterogeneous population we call Americans starts to vote based on foreign government policies, we are all in trouble.
Should Episcopalians vote based on US relations with Britain or the Church of England? Should Italian-Americans and all the other Catholic-Americans vote based on US relations with Rome and the Vatican? How logical is this?
I’d like to know who Ed Koch will vote for if not Obama come the presidential elections. If he’s concerned about the president’s call for an ultimate resolution to the endless Palestinian-Israeli wars and some recognition that the Palestinians, after all, have been displaced from lands they have occupied for centuries, then how worried is Koch about all the Republican candidates who don’t even roll Jews into their “Christian” vision for America? Does Koch think Born-Again Rick Perry or Mormon Mitt Romney—now considered the “front runners--” are going to embrace the Jewish ethic and Israeli view more than any Democrat?
I am as disappointed with Obama as many who voted for him are, but until we have a truly viable opponent who, on balance, has a better plan and/or record regarding the nation’s future, I’m sticking with the guy that brought me to the dance.
I respectfully suggest Ed Koch and other misguided voters in New York’s Ninth District have sent a message alright, and that message is that their loyalty to another country is more important to them than their concern for America’s unemployed, elders, children and those in need of health care subsidies—whose equivalents in Israel are all well taken care of by the Israeli government, with the help of American aid.
Image from wikicommons- public domain