Obama Reaches Out to Jewish Voters

The Chicago Tribune reports Barack Obama is returning his attention to Jewish voters:

Jewish voters are near the top of the list of voting blocs Obama will have to reach out to as he turns to the general election. From appearances in synagogues to meetings with Jewish groups and even an interview with an Israeli newspaper, Obama's courtship shows some signs of paying off, with a recent Gallup Poll suggesting Obama leading Sen. John McCain 61 percent to 32 percent among Jewish voters.

...Still, Obama's lead among Jewish voters is a smaller margin than other Democratic nominees have enjoyed. And doubts about Obama's stands on Jewish issues and Israel stubbornly persist in segments of the community, in part due to methodical campaigns against him by his conservative critics.

The article barely mentions Hillary Clinton's greater support among Jewish voters even though it reports that while only 2% of the population is Jewish, the Jewish vote is important in "classic swing states" like Florida and New Jersey, both of which Hillary won. [More...]

As to Hillary vs. Obama in the primaries,

With all this, Obama has received significant Jewish support in the Democratic primaries. In Pennsylvania, Sen. Hillary Clinton outpolled Obama 62 percent to 38 percent among Jews, but in Massachusetts he edged her 52 percent to 48 percent. In a recent nationwide Gallup Poll, Jewish voters preferred Clinton to Obama 50 percent to 43 percent, a notable but hardly overwhelming margin.

The article mentions many concerns Jewish voters have with Obama. One concern that I've written about a few times is his "friendship with controversial figures as Palestinian activist Rashid Khalidi." Khalidi is a scholar and professor and some dispute he is an "activist" but even so, there are concerns. See here and here and here. On his shifting positions in Illinois politics, see here.

Some other criticisms:

"He speaks with extraordinarily empty platitudes about the Middle East," said Herbert London, president of the conservative Hudson Institute, who is Jewish. Of Obama's openness to talking with dictators, London is contemptuous: "That is almost child's play. It is adolescent talk you might hear from a 14-year-old."

...Some have complained that Obama is getting foreign policy advice from experts such as Robert Malley and Zbigniew Brzezinski, who are seen as less friendly to Israel, though Obama's campaign says the two are merely among hundreds of people who have offered counsel. Earlier this month, Malley severed his ties to the Obama campaign.

From a New York legislator:

"Since we don't have a lifetime of experience with him, we need to know who he is, this man who has suddenly come on the scene, who is very exciting, a good speaker and handles himself beautifully," said New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind. "We don't want to be fooled by these things that at the end of the day don't matter that much."

Obama supporters say his support for Israel is top-notch. It may be, but it has increased since he decided to run for national office in 2004 and sought and accepted the support of billionaires like the Crown family.

Crown and his wife, Paula Crown, are members of Obama's National Finance Committee and have raised more than $200,000 for the Obama campaign, according to a list of fundraisers posted on Obama's campaign website.

From the New York Times:

[H]e empathized with the views of his Palestinian friends before adroitly courting the city’s politically potent Jewish community.

The article says the Dems don't need to worry about Obama's losing the Jewish vote to McCain:

Jews have not favored the Republican nominee over the Democrat since 1920, and that was because 38 percent of Jews went even further left and voted for Socialist Eugene Debs. In the 2004 election, Democrat John Kerry won 76 percent of the Jewish vote.

If the Democrats really cared about the Jewish vote, why wouldn't they be raising with superdelegates the fact that Hillary's support with them is solid and proven.

Instead, we get news article that barely mentions her except for a few statistics and give no details on her positions on Israel.

Has the media declared this race over? Seems like it.

Comments now closed.

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    You Know His Numbers May Be Up Slightly, (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:40:32 PM EST
    but I don't think they will stay there.  The Jewish voting bloc will not be easily duped.  Let's see if Hamas continues their praise of all things obama.

    Hard, innit? (5.00 / 0) (#209)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:13:30 PM EST
    It's really hard to see him as the protector of the Jews and of Israel when he wouldn't even stand up for them in his own church.  

    Their skepticism is understandable.


    This all seems to be so foolish as we have (5.00 / 7) (#11)
    by athyrio on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:48:03 PM EST
    the picture perfect candidate that scores on all things Democratic, but we have to instead try to push a candidate that barely has his bonefides on anything...like trying to push the step sisters big foot into Cinderella's slipper....LOL...

    Perfect metaphor... (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by masslib on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:52:05 PM EST
    Obama, the step-sister candidate.  LOL

    Speak for yourself (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by dianem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:52:26 PM EST
    I'm not pushing Obama. I won't vote for McCain, but I'm working very hard to not care too much about this election. I get too involved emotionally in these things, and I really would like to not freak out when we lose this time. I just don't think Obama should win. I'm not even sure he should, even though I can't believe I'm saying that (I'm a long-time blind Dem supporter).

    I don't think Obama "could" win (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by dianem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:53:36 PM EST
    I didn't mean to write "should" twice. Talk about Freudian slips. I read over this comment and didn't notice until it posted.

    Today's electoral count says he s/couldn't win! (5.00 / 0) (#175)
    by itsadryheat on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:01:56 PM EST
    At electoral-vote.com they run an electoral college delegate map on all three candidates, updated daily as the new data comes in.

    In the Obama/McCain match-up today: With 270 votes neede to elect a President

    Obama - 237     McCain - 290

    In the Clinton/ McCain match-up today

    Clinton - 279   McCain 242

    According to this data, we have a choice of Presidents.

     We can either have McCain, by nominating Obama.

    Or we can have Clinton and the Presidency.

    It's not too late to decide which we would prefer.  McCain or Clinton.  hmmmmm


    I learnedc (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:51:52 PM EST
    my lesson in 2004: Don't get too emotionally involved. If Obama's the nominee, I'll be an independent. If he loses, it'll be fine with me. I actually hope he loses because I think he would be a worse President than McCain.

    2004 vs. 2008 - same but different (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Dr Molly on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:11:55 PM EST
    In 2004, I also became very emotionally invested, and then was devastated - because of Kerry's loss, yes, but more importantly, because of what I learned about a lot of people and what they were willing to do, say, and tolerate in order to tear someone down and win.

    In 2008, everything is starting to feel the same to me, but this time the people that I'm learning about are democrats, not republicans. So this is worse.

    I think you're right about learning to not get too involved. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.


    It's interesting (none / 0) (#107)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:01:48 PM EST
    that in 2004 everything that was said about the GOP ended up being true: Bush is beholden to the fundamentalists and the big money interests. In 2008 it seems that the stuff the GOP has been yelling about looks true: Dems are weak and the party is full of college professors and their students who have sway over everything.

    It is interesting (5.00 / 0) (#122)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:37:22 PM EST
    and one can only wonder what they see when they look at the country they are trying to create.

    Say What? (none / 0) (#163)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:38:40 PM EST
    We seem to be living in parallel universes. Where I live, nothing that the GOP says looks true. Iraq is a quagmire, the economy is a mess and gas is almost $4 a gallon. As a result, Republicans have taken significant losses in three very red Congressional special elections in the last six weeks. The Dems look strong and are getting stronger. 2008 is going to be a banner year for the party.

    I'm talking (5.00 / 0) (#168)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:44:46 PM EST
    about what the GOP says about Dems in general:
    They're effette, wimpy, clueless and elitist. Obama meets all those descriptions.

    The congressional elections don't mean jack when it comes to Obama vs. McCain. I've heard this time and again in previous years. In previous years they had no predictive value as to what was going to happen in Nov.

    Consindering that Childers threw Obama under the bus and ran over him, I would think that if he's at the top of the ticket then we had better hope that the lower ticket candidates are able to separate themselves from them. Besides, Childers agrees with the GOP on lots of issues.


    To the Contrary (none / 0) (#174)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:00:14 PM EST
    There is no evidence whatsoever that the GOP criticism to which you refer will gain any traction with voters this year. The Congressional speicial elections mean a great deal. Such races have historically proven to be harbingers of things to come. Do you not recall the election of Richard Vander Veen in 1974 to Gerry Ford's seat that foreshadowed Democratic gains in the wake of Watergate? I remember it well. And we are witnessing a similar political environment. Childers's opponent tried to hang Obama around his neck to no avail. The voters rejected such tactics and Childers proved victorious. This will be a great year for Democrats.

    I didn't get invested, although I did (none / 0) (#133)
    by FlaDemFem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:54:11 PM EST
    send money and vote for him, by absentee ballot in PA. We had just moved to FL, but when we got our driver's licenses, the DMV had a glitch and we were not automatically registered to vote as we had requested on the form. So, in a panic, we sent for the absentee ballots and voted the whole card, then sent them back overnight mail to make sure they got there in plenty of time. But I knew then it was a failed campaign, Kerry just never caught fire and I knew the American public would stick with the known quantity since we were in the middle of the war, etc. I hoped they wouldn't go with Bush, but I had a feeling they would. Of course, if Katrina had shown up a year earlier, Bush would have been toast. But she didn't, and he wasn't. Sigh.

    Do you think (none / 0) (#170)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:47:46 PM EST
    Obama will be toast against McCain in Nov. if he's the nominee? I do. I think with a war still going on, that the voters won't trust Obama on national security and since he isn't making a case to vote for him based on the economy, then I think people will say "well, at least McCain will keep us safe."

    Ga6th (none / 0) (#172)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:50:39 PM EST
    I agree with you totally.  Fear is a great motivator, and Obama is a complete unknown who refuses to define himself.  People underestimate what a strong opponent McCain is, too.  They think the ge will be a cakewalk, that it'll be all smiles and handshakes instead of knives and daggers.

    Time and time again, Americans have shown that they want their leader to appear strong and decisive.  There is no room for equivocation when the economy, our international reputation and our military is on the line.


    Not this Time (none / 0) (#176)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:04:26 PM EST
    The fear card will no longer play. It is spent. People are most afraid of the continuation of the failed policies of the Bush administration. Therefore, McCain is toast. He represents the past. Obama represents the future. A new day will dawn. We will turn the page.

    He has to get the nomination first. (5.00 / 0) (#183)
    by FlaDemFem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:23:50 PM EST
    and McCain can fall back on his maverick stance. The one that the GOP used against him for being too liberal. He is a smart politician and Obama is going to be dissected by the GOP in the GE. He doesn't have the spine or the balls for a knock-down drag out fight. McCain will make mincemeat of him. Easily.

    talking point blah blah blah (none / 0) (#179)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:09:57 PM EST
    What number on your talking (none / 0) (#180)
    by zfran on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:16:08 PM EST
    points is that statement?

    That would work... if McCain were Bush (none / 0) (#185)
    by dianem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:37:11 PM EST
    He's not. He has a solid reputation as a moderate who hates Bush and only puts up with him for the welfare of the Party. The far right hates McCain. Moderates love him. If they had picked just about anybody else, or if we had picked anybody else, Democrats would be in the oval office come January. But they didn't, and we didn't. It's going to be painfully close.

    hey! It isn't over yet! (5.00 / 2) (#191)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:50:47 PM EST
    Not by a long-shot.

    You are right about McCain.  Those who think he'll be easy to beat are dreaming.


    Troublesome Advisors (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:07:32 PM EST
    Stephanie Powers (former Foreign Policy advisor) interview at Berkeley:

    What we don't need is some kind of early warning mechanism there, what we need is a willingness to put something on the line in helping the situation. Putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import; it may more crucially mean sacrificing--or investing, I think, more than sacrificing--billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel's military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing the billions of dollars it would probably take, also, to support what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence. Because it seems to me at this stage (and this is true of actual genocides as well, and not just major human rights abuses, which were seen there), you have to go in as if you're serious, you have to put something on the line.

    Unfortunately, imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful. It's a terrible thing to do, it's fundamentally undemocratic. But, sadly, we don't just have a democracy here either, we have a liberal democracy. There are certain sets of principles that guide our policy, or that are meant to, anyway. It's essential that some set of principles becomes the benchmark, rather than a deference to [leaders] who are fundamentally politically destined to destroy the lives of their own people. And by that I mean what Tom Friedman has called "Sharafat" [Sharon-Arafat]. I do think in that sense, both political leaders have been dreadfully irresponsible. And, unfortunately, it does require external intervention.... Any intervention is going to come under fierce criticism. But we have to think about lesser evils, especially when the human stakes are becoming ever more pronounced.  Link

    Advisors, even former advisors, recommending military intervention in Israel might not be the way to win hearts and minds.

    That's Samantha Powers (none / 0) (#60)
    by HelenK on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:07:02 PM EST
    who wrote a prize-winning book about the history of genocide. She is on the side of the angels and regular people.

    It may be time to impose the two-state solution because it won't happen on its own and this situation poisons our attempts to fight terrorism in the musim world, hard to have the moral high-ground when we support Israel NO MATTER WHAT they do.


    You advocating another war in the middle east? (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:31:19 PM EST
    Smanatha Powers may be on the side of the angels in your opinion, but she's also an academic and woefully ignorant of the probable consequences of her angelic  advice.  Frankly, this is pure neo-con thinking.  Cheney would be proud.

    How are we supposed to militarily impose a solution on Israel, without a fight?  That's just too stupid for words.


    I totally agree ... (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by Inky on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:37:57 PM EST
    and you are not the first person to point out the affinity between the thinking of Samantha Power and that of the neocons. Stephen Holmes years ago wrote an excellent book review of her genocide book, A Problem From Hell, that also points this out:

    But the most eye-catching feature of `A Problem from Hell' is Power's palpable frustration with multilateralism and legalism. An important clue to this aspect of her thinking is the approval with which she cites Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, two unilateralist hawks associated with the current Bush Administration. During the 1990s, they both urged US military intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo outside the framework of the UN and contrary to its Charter. Power thinks they were perfectly right. The Rwanda debacle was partly a result of UN dithering and incoherence. Indeed, the UN's credibility had earlier been severely damaged on the streets of Mogadishu. In the 1990s, therefore, human rights advocates did not speak deferentially about the UN. On the contrary. Uncertain of their mandate in Rwanda and focused on self-protection, the hapless Blue Helmets allowed themselves to be disarmed before ten of their number were brutally murdered. Referring to the passivity of the US as the catastrophe unfolded in Rwanda, Power remarks: `The United States could also have acted without the UN's blessing, as it would do five years later in Kosovo.' Formulated more pungently, acting decisively sometimes requires a great power to extricate itself from the hopeless mishmash of multilateralism. ...


    [T]he proponents of humanitarian intervention, in the 1990s, were among multilateralism's least forgiving critics. Power writes in this spirit. Clinton embraced `consultation', she tells us, whenever his Administration lacked a clear policy of its own. In that sense, too, multilateralism is a sign of weakness. When it comes to atrocities, she implies, the US should simply have told its allies what it was going to do. From the same perspective, she also comments unflatteringly on the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal. The tribunal was initially established, she correctly explains, in order to avoid taking military action. In emergency situations, more generally, legalism can prove as debilitating as multilateralism. Due process can get in the way of an adequate response to genocide. We need to move swiftly and flexibly against the worst international villains even if this means unleashing lethal force on the basis of hearsay testimony and circumstantial evidence: `an authoritative diagnosis of genocide would be impossible to make during the Serb campaign of terror.' Indeed, pre-emptive deployment of troops on the basis of clues collected by operatives in the field might be the only way to stave off a Rwanda-style massacre. The very idea of a war against genocide probably implies a relaxed attitude towards mens rea: `Proving intent to exterminate an entire people would usually be impossible until the bulk of the group had already been wiped out.' Careful observance of procedural niceties will impede any speedy response to an unfolding massacre.

    Deference to public opinion is equally inappropriate, Power continues, especially when the electorate is self-absorbed, parochial and fixated on body-bags. One wonders if her lack of sympathy with the widely reported public aversion to military casualties might have anything to do with the infrequent human contact between human rights activists and the families of the grunts who would be asked to die to uphold vaguely worded international laws. In any case, she also suggests that chronically reticent military should be rolled over by morally attuned civilian leaders in order to confront wicked forces in the world. Faced with humanitarian atrocities in distant lands, any American official or citizen who claims to see shades of grey or two sides of the story, or who claims not to know exactly what is happening in the interior of a distant country, is probably feigning ignorance to deflect calls for action and to get the US off the hook. Some of those who declare murderous situations inside closed societies to be indecipherable by distant foreign observers are simply liars, while others are accomplices to genocide. If Power does not say exactly this, she comes close.


    Frankly, I've come to believe that the main reason Obama recruited Power was that she, like Jim Cooper, was a critic of the Clinton administration.


    Thanks for the long excerpt (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:06:50 PM EST
    I have a hard time disagreeing with Power's fundamental point, which is that we err way too often on the side of caution in these situations.  I thought the Kosovo intervention was correct but belated.  I thought and still think we should have acted on Rwanda.

    But drawing the line on when and where to intervene militarily in other countries' messes is totally unclear and it needs major, major public dialogue.  The idea of "imposing" a two-state solution on Israel via military force is, of course, completely insane.

    We need people like Power making the case for less caution-- but from the outside of government.  Let her lead a big noisy public pressure movement.  I'd probably join.  But keep her the heck away from any actual authority to do anything or even advise anything.


    You're probably right (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:06:57 PM EST
    about Power and Cooper.  Certainly Cooper was a critic of the Clinton Admin but he was also just a tool of the insurance industry in the '90s.  Power I think is like a lot of idealists in that they think the US can correct all the world's problems.  They just fail to take into account the consequences, sometimes unintentional and long lasting, of the potential actions.  There is a lot to be said for practicing realpolitick.

    It's not that simple. (none / 0) (#86)
    by HelenK on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:12:09 PM EST
    An international or American presence during the time the two-state solution is implemented, in order to be sure it happens peacefully, is more like what it would look like.

    Not advocating a war with Israel, no no no, that is not what this is about.

    But how exactly do you keep the extremists on both sides from sabotaging it without a neutral force keeping the peace?

    the only other solution is to kill all of one side and that is no solutuion, or status quo which is just awful


    What you do, if you're not a neo-con actor (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:18:50 PM EST
    is realize that the USA cannot solve the world's problems and militarily stay the hell out of it.  We can help by being more of an honest broker in negotiations and, only if asked, helping with the settlement.  Anything else is aggression on another sovereign nation.

    Last I Heard Israel Was A Sovereign Country (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:33:45 PM EST
    Do you really think that Israel will agree to foreign troops on their soil? I don't. Powers didn't sound like she thought so either. The only other alternative is to occupy the county.



    then there will never be an end (none / 0) (#137)
    by HelenK on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:08:14 PM EST
    to this conflict.

    What everyone has been doing up til now, decade after decade, has not worked. The Israelis try to negotiate but no one can control every extremist, so one idiot bombs something and the Israelis end the negotitation immediatly, and another decade goes by.

    It just might be time to think out of the box. And we give them about 4billion a year for their military, every bomb they drop has America's name on it, so I actually think we have something to say about how they act. Or we can cut them off and they can continue this stand-off forever.


    Now what you're saying is more reasonable (none / 0) (#151)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:24:33 PM EST
    I have no problem with using our economic relations with Israel, or any other nation, to further our own goals.  One of those goals would of necessity be a more peaceful Middle East.  Even in this case, we need to be an honest broker and fair to all sides.

    As far as no solution ever, well so long as one nutcase can kill a potential deal, you're right.  But in mature negotiations, where even a modicum of trust has been established, that one nutcase would be denounced by both sides and the deal would go forward.  For that to happen, we need the right actors on all sides.  I expect that will occur one day.


    Sorry I Don't Think A Military Occupation Of (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:39:14 PM EST
    Israel is a particurly good idea or one that the angels would encourage. Of course, if Obama wants to take this idea out on the campaign trail, he is welcome to do so. I would prefer he did it before he becomes the official nominee.

    What's really scary is that we don't know (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:45:12 PM EST
    enough about Obama's core views.  He might well have something this idiotic in mind.  If so, I wish he'd tell us about it now.

    Another Reason I Don't Trust Obama (5.00 / 6) (#75)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:50:58 PM EST
    is the people he choses to associate with and his advisors. His lack of experience will necessitate him leaning heavily on his advisors and I'm not confident that he is knowledgeable enough about various subjects to know when they might be leading him and the country in the wrong direction.

    when is the last time that happened? (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by DJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:52:05 PM EST
    oh yeah

    This is the only question you should ask: (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:28:21 PM EST
    What happens if the United States waffles on its support of Israel?

    Iran, etc, attack Israel.  Israel counter attacks with a nuke as an act of last resort.  Israel exists no more, millions of Jews are massacred.  Again.  While America stands by.

    Why is this even a debate?  It is a moral imperative for the US to assure the Middle East-and the world-that any attack on Israel will be seen as an attack on the United States.

    Pogroms, genocide, ethnic cleansing...when it happens in Darfur, it is an international tragedy.  When it will happen in Israel without our protection, it's open for debate. Ah, yes, why not risk the lives of the few Jews we have left in this world after the Holocaust as an academic exercise?  It seems to be a liberal luxury to not only forget the sins of our past, but to advocate history repeating itself.


    Kathy, I love you to death (none / 0) (#142)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:13:44 PM EST
    but this really seems to me a strawman argument.  I'm not aware of any serious politician, certainly not any of the three presidential candidates, who are waffling on support of Israel in the core way you suggest.  There is no such debate, as far as I've ever heard.

    And realistically, Iran isn't going to attack Israel, with nukes or anything else.  They have never shown actual military belligerence in any direction, and they know full well the U.S. would come down on them like a hammer, whether the U.S. proclaims publicly in advance that it would do that or not.


    I enjoy your posts, too (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:29:03 PM EST
    but we won't see eye to eye on this.  Israel will nuke back, but it'll be retaliation rather than prevention.  The hatred of Jews knows no logic.  It has been going on for...ever.  

    The problem with Obama on this issue is the same problem on every issue: where he stands is not clear.  I repeat: equivocation on his part on this particular issues is horrifying in its consequences.  If certain enemies see any reluctance on the part of the US to protect Israel, then they will attack.  This is not about land or territory; it is about hatred.

    The fact that we're nearly up to 200 comments on this thread proves the point: Obama's position is too nuanced.


    Really? (none / 0) (#166)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:44:03 PM EST
    I challenge the notion that the number of comments on this thread in any way reflects upon Obama's positions on Israel. To suggest otherwise borders on silliness in the extreme.

    She also called (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:14:57 PM EST
    a US presidential candiate a "monster".  Said this while being interviewed in a foreign land. Not the kind of angel I want involved in my foreign policy.

    lady, you don't impose anything in the (none / 0) (#152)
    by hellothere on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:24:34 PM EST
    middle east. that is beyond naive.

    The bolded comments (none / 0) (#205)
    by befuddled on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:00:32 PM EST
    don't bother me so much as this one in the middle:

    it may more crucially mean sacrificing--or investing, I think, more than sacrificing--billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel's military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing the billions of dollars it would probably take,

    I only know what's in this excerpt. Isn't she proposing that instead of supporting Israel, we give all the money to the new Palestine state that we are going to impose on Israel? Isn't that something the Jews would tend to disapprove of?


    Imposing a solution? (none / 0) (#215)
    by ricosuave on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:33:54 AM EST
    How do you impose a solution without deciding what that solutions should be?  Would Powers kick the Israelis out of Jerusalem?  Would she forcibly kick Israeli settlers out of the West Bank?  Would she remove all Palestinians from within whatever borders of Israel she proposes?  What would she do with Golan?  Would Israel lose its (alleged) nukes?  Where is the border with Lebanon to be drawn?  Is Gaza independent (she says "two-state" so I guess not?  What level of armament is allowed for the Palestinian states?

    The reason for the conflict is because the two (or more) sides can't agree on the answers to these questions (which is why it is called a "conflict").  Saying we will "impose a solution" is a naive way of saying that these questions don't matter and that can devise a simple middle path that everyone will accept.  It is the kind of hubris that led us to believe we could tear down and rebuild Iraq (or 1950's Iran, or 1980s Nicaragua and Honduras and Guatemala, or 1970's Chile or 1904 Cuba) and that we would be greeted with flowers.


    And, she was a virtual unknown for those (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:19:38 PM EST
    8 years as our First Lady.

    Every single time he says something that is intended to ignore the Clinton presidency, I find him less tolerable.

    Bill Clinton campaigned in Louisville, and MSM will ignore that, as well since he again pointed out she's not out of the race.

    Obama still needs to do something w/his church (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Exeter on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:24:21 PM EST
    There is no getting around that Obama belongs to a very extreme church with its own anti-Israel views and, in addition, it has very close ties to the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan. He either needs to have a meeting with church leadership and get some sort or guarantee or he needs to quit. If he doesn't, it will make an already bad situation, much, much worse.

    Totally up to him! (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Fabian on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:59:56 PM EST
    Unfortunately, AFAIK, that is also the ONLY church that Obama has belonged to.  He learned Wright's version of Christianity only.  I am not a fan of BLT and it certainly doesn't fit someone who styles himself a "Uniter".

    Red meat for the right wing.


    Lotsa luck..... (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Mrwirez on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:25:59 PM EST
    With the Hamas endorsement    ; )

    I really don't see the voter base to win. AA's, college kids, and web heads...??? Ask the over 50 crowd, the blue collar workers, the rural/suburban people? He is gonna be crushed. Other than the web heads and very liberal voters, the rest are unreliable voters. It has been proven.

    I would reject the McGovern endorsement too.

    Well, his base seems to have been strong enough (1.50 / 4) (#52)
    by NvlAv8r on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:58:15 PM EST
    If Sen Clinton has such a strong base, why is she trailing in all the agreed-upon metrics (total votes, pledged delegates, states won)?  It is because of this that Sen Obama is having the steady stream of superdelegates go his way (how many has he had since Super Tuesday and how many has she had).  

    Either she has been unable to mobilize her base to beat him, or her base is not enough to get the nomination.

    I'm guessing those SDs see something in all the number crunching.


    I think the Super Ds (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:18:05 PM EST
    edorsing Obama  wish to be on the side that wins the nomination and has the $$.

    yeah, those lemmings do like to travel (5.00 / 0) (#153)
    by hellothere on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:25:44 PM EST

    states won? (5.00 / 5) (#71)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:41:47 PM EST
    Since when are states won a metric, except in Obamaland?  As for total vote, let's see where that stands after Puerto Rico votes.

    Super Ds want to get their hands on his fundraising list, that pretty obvious.


    Agree Entirely... (none / 0) (#80)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:00:31 PM EST
    ...on states won. The same is true of popular vote. The only metric that counts for more than a talking point is DELEGATES -- both pledged and superdelegates. The popular vote in Puerto Rico -- which has no electoral votes in November -- has no bearing on the race whatsoever.

    Do you count the pledged (none / 0) (#82)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:01:38 PM EST
    delegates of PR, Amer. Somoa, and Guam?  

    Sure (none / 0) (#90)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:16:12 PM EST
    As I understand Democratic Party rules, those territories each get a few delegates in Denver. But the popular vote in those places has no value in the nominating process other than as a talking point that could theoretically influence superdelegates. And I don't think the outcome of the popular vote in Puerto Rico is going to mean much to SDs when Puerto Rico has no electoral votes in the fall. Demonstrating political strength in a place without voters ain't a winning argument. Anyone who tries to make that argument is desperately grasping at straws.

    So Obama's wins in all those little red states (none / 0) (#93)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:21:18 PM EST
    don't mean anything?  You know, those states that will never go blue in November  :-)

    Not at All... (1.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:30:08 PM EST
    Those victories in red states are important. You might not understand -- being an independent, not a Democrat ;) -- but such victories are important to building a long-term Democratic majority. Building the party in those states helps in down ballot races this year, setting the stage for Democrats to turn those red states to purple and then to blue in the future. With the far-sighted visionary leadership of Barack Obama, we are about to witness the birth of a new progressive era.

    It's interesting (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Dr Molly on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:34:44 PM EST
    Everyone, including me, loved this 50-state strategy so much for exactly the reasons you say, but now I'm wondering:  the cost that has been exacted during this primary, with so many groups alienated from the party - will it all just equal out now btw new democrats and those that drop out?

    60-state strategy appar. doesn't (none / 0) (#101)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:37:07 PM EST
    cover sure-Republican Congressional districts.  No party funding for the Dem. candidate, at least in So CA.  

    50-state strategy (none / 0) (#130)
    by pie on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:50:52 PM EST
    Isn't that a joke...

    Howard, you are disappointing me.


    "the birth of a new progressive era" (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by nycstray on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:56:32 PM EST
    is this the new talking point?

    Not That I Know of (none / 0) (#169)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:47:41 PM EST
    I speak only for myself.

    You must be joking (5.00 / 1) (#206)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:01:35 PM EST
    I see absolutely nothing to indicate that BHO thinks beyond getting this nomination.  In fact, he's done some things that will be counterproductive for the GE, in order to secure the nomination.

    He's not a vision kind of guy.


    New progressive era? (none / 0) (#182)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:17:56 PM EST
    If that's what you're looking for, you should vote for John McCain.  McCain is after all a Teddy Roosevelt republican and his presidency  wrought the original progressive movement.

    Ironic that trust busting and regulation of big business go back to the GOP.


    John McCain is Not a Progressive (none / 0) (#188)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:44:10 PM EST
    He is a modern day Bush Republican. Embrace him if your conscience permits.

    Hilarious (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by pie on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:48:38 PM EST
    but such victories are important to building a long-term Democratic majority.


    The Obama campaign is bleeding voters.  No, hemorrhaging them.  

    Hillay will go all the way to the convention for this reason.


    I don't think he realizes (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:08:08 PM EST
    just how dippy that statement was  :-)  Oh yes, build a long-term majority in Utah and Idaho.  HaHa.

    Ah... (none / 0) (#186)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:41:36 PM EST
    ye of little faith or imagination. The 51-49 political world known in the Clinton-Bush Era is about to be eclipsed by a new order, with progressive Dems enjoying a new 60-40 majority.

    Heh (none / 0) (#197)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:43:49 PM EST
    sure.  right after you convert all the little people to the magic that is Obama.  You ought to put down the Kool-Aid.  New order my a-s.

    Imagination and faith (none / 0) (#216)
    by ricosuave on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:21:59 AM EST
    That's where the 60-40 number resides--in imagination.  It's certainly not in reality.  He doesn't even have those numbers among Democrats, yet Obama supporters think he will get 60% among the general voting population.  He will magically do better among the general public than FDR, JFK, and Clinton--not to mention Nixon and Reagan.  The only modern president that I can find who hit that level of support in his first election was LBJ, and his first election was really a re-elect.

    Despite the unpopularity of Bush and the GOP right now, the country is still sharply divided.  Absolutely nothing in Obama's past shows that he can (or will) rise above these divisions to win an election with broad support, and nothing in his record shows he has taken risks to stand up for anything.  Just about everyone who is going to join the "movement" and vote for him probably already has, and he still has less people voting for him than Hillary.

    The Obama campaign has already given up on several states for the general election.  It's time to stop pretending he will win big red states like Texas and Georgia.  His campaign can't even put together a list of states they can win to reach 270 electoral votes in November.  60% majority talk is just too far from reality, and is the kind of wishful thinking that is going to put McCain in the whitehouse.


    Bleeding Voters? (none / 0) (#190)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:46:58 PM EST
    Explain that to the 72,000 who turned out to see Sen. Obama in Oregon today. Has Sen. Clinton inspired a gathering half that size this electoral season?

    Voters (none / 0) (#193)
    by Iphie on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:57:20 PM EST
    not rally attendees.

    we might not understand. how (none / 0) (#154)
    by hellothere on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:26:53 PM EST
    terribly kind of you to inform us uninformed folks about these things!

    According to tthe rulez, you're correct (none / 0) (#89)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:15:09 PM EST
    but since the poaching of a Clinton pledged delegate by Obama this week, those are kind of out the window.  At the end of the primaries, I expect Obama to lead in delegates and Clinton to lead in popular vote.  At that point, they both have a case to make to the super d's.  One will win and the other not, that's the way it works.

    If Hillary wins, I'm happy and go on supporting her.  If Obama wins, my tepid support for McCain becomes full blown and it's on the the general election.

    Oh, I'm not a democrat I'm an independent.


    And if Obama has it all wrapped up (5.00 / 0) (#145)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:16:22 PM EST
    why is his "steady stream" of SDs so puny?  You'd think they'd be trampling each other in the rush to get on board.

    But they're not.


    She is not trailing (none / 0) (#208)
    by miriam on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:11:31 PM EST
    in the big states, where she's won hundreds of thousands of votes.  Obama has won caucuses in red states with a comparatively small amount of votes, which has amassed him far too many delegates to be fair and equitable.  Under a just system she would already be the nominee.  And then there are Michigan and Florida.  The DNC and its outlandishly stupid method of counting votes and voters has made an absolute travesty out of this primary election.  If Obama is handed the nomination, Clinton and her supporters have every right to consider themselves cheated.  And America will be the biggest loser.

    I don't care about (none / 0) (#111)
    by Iphie on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:08:40 PM EST
    the Hamas "endorsement." I'm not going to be manipulated by anyone trying to play on people's fear of terrorism, whether they be the terrorists themselves or members of our own government. I do, however, care that one of his advisers was meeting with Hamas. That is a far greater transgression in my mind, and even if the media is ignoring that situation now, I have no doubt it will make a comeback in the GE.

    I think Jewish voters may come around but (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by bjorn on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:26:25 PM EST
    not until it gets closer to the GE and probably only after Clinton convinces them to vote for Obama.  I don't know how she does it.  She is a true team player because I know she will fight to help him get elected, if he lets her.  I live in AZ so I feel right now that I will vote the down ticket and write in Clinton. McCain will take AZ anyway.  Maybe it is just because I am so pissed about how the media is not only dissing Clinton but totally ignoring Obama's problems.  Also, she will get no credit when she campaigns for him.  I just feel sick at the thought of it all right now.

    Maybe The State Borders Got Redrawn When Obama (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:32:33 PM EST
    added the other 57 states.

    the topic here is (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Jeralyn on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:06:12 PM EST
    Obama and the Jewish vote. Please post off topic comments on an open thread.

    My apologies; I went OT above (none / 0) (#160)
    by Cream City on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:34:55 PM EST
    before I saw this necessary reminder; please feel free to delete my comments up there . . . because this is a terrific thread and teaching me a lot about Obama on this very serious issue of Israel, close to my heart and that of my neighbors.  I'm in a neighborhood with many recent Russian Jewish immigrants and an orthodox synagogue, and the very informed commenters here are helping me understand not only more about Israel but more about the sentiments on my own block about this campaign.

    Two state vs. One State vs. current mess (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Christy1947 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:19:55 PM EST
    The problem all American candidates have is that there is no current support here among any class of voters for any one practical solution.
       -A one state solution results immediately in Jews being outpopulated in that state which means the end of an expressly Jewish state. Sixty years of the current mess has produced a much larger Palestinian population than existed in 1948, and you can't simply tell all of the refugees that they will be refugees forever to suit your other goals. As it is, there are in Israel vacant  Israeli Arab villages held vacant for sixty years, lest their reoccupation by the persons who once lived there rekindles other 'give me my land back' claims to places now populated by Israeli Jews, some of whom live next door to their former land. Under all three solutions, the right of return to the disputed land by refugees  elsewhere since 1948 and what happens with the Dome of the Rock/site of Second Temple and the claims of both sides to a capital in Jerusalem are presently insoluble as there are Never factions on both.
       -A two state solution only works if both of the two states each  have  a fair share of the resources necessary to survive and a viable means of going forward, now missing. The West Bank settlement movement has complicated that endlessly by settling where the water and the fields are and then demanding their claim to the lands given them by God be recognized and defended over against any claims of any kind of any Palestinian.
        -The current mess is unstable and unlikely to be maintainable for much longer, owing to populations of refugees in places like Lebanon which have been radicalized by Hezbollah and other organizations, which now seek to destabilize the neighbors as a way of gaining a launching pad for plans against Israel. A  religious 'reformation' in Islam  seeking to go back to fundamentals, and a tradition dating to the Crusades of rejecting invaders does not help.
    Nor does US meddling, such as in trying to thwart a mostly-done peace deal which Israel on its own is working on with Syria which involves the Golan Heights, another place full of Israeli 'settlers,' which Bush is resisting.
       Bush has promised already the impossible, a peace treaty by Christmas.  
       I have not seen much of anything from either McCain nor Clinton which will move off option 3, although neither has any notion other than endless 'support of Israel.' At least Obama is thinking on the issue of some sort of parity of rights as human beings for Palestinians, without getting into the religious promises argument which only faith can deal with.
       The current NYT reporting and opinions on the occasion of Israeli Independence Day indicates a gap between Israelis and Americans not related to the Evangelicals as it is.
       Anybody here got anything better.

    If he is doing this, it would behoove him (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:27:39 PM EST
    to say so...

    Obama is thinking on the issue of some sort of parity of rights as human beings for Palestinians

    So far that hasn't happened.  I think all 3 candidates are thinking of parity of rights.  The issue is getting there.


    The NYT article on Obama (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:30:50 PM EST
    in IL mentioned Obama's work with Palestinian rights groups in IL as an example of his ability to bridge divides between people with different ides on the same subject.  But, from what I've read, Obama abandoned the Palestinian rights groups when he started courting the Jewish vote.

    Another example of "love the one (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by zfran on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:33:41 PM EST
    you're with"...taking the position of those around you to appease.

    Re Palestinian rights group in IL (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Christy1947 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:25:46 PM EST
    My understanding of that was that the Palestinians involved were immigrants settled in Chicago, and that the help related to helping them settle in as new immigrants IN CHICAGO. I'm not sure that's on point to a sensible Holy Land policy, but that is my understanding.

    Is this why the (none / 0) (#129)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:49:21 PM EST
    Gaza has groups of people who gather at the internet cafes to try and sway American voters to go with Obama?

    Excellent summary (none / 0) (#128)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:48:59 PM EST
    of the major issues.

    Your conclusion, however, is (sorry) all wet.  In this case, we have a pretty strong Clintonian record go look to.  I applaud Obama's occasionally expressed concern for the Palestinians, but I have zero confidence in his will or his competence to do anything useful about it.  McCain is totally a lost cause on the issue, I agree.

    Whatever Clinton's campaign rhetoric may be, we know where she's coming from and what her approach would be when it got down to brass tacks.  And personally, I think her much maligned "nuclear umbrella" idea for all states in the Middle East is a giant step that could be the beginning of a breakthrough with the Arab states.


    Agreed, and (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:47:25 PM EST
    the Palestinians believe Obama will make it right for them.

    We don't know enough, and he has no record for us to judge the honesty, of Obama's thinking on this region of the world.

    I'd like to know if he ever really even thought about Israel and Palestine prior to the primary.

    As to this: (4.66 / 3) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:33:00 PM EST
    If the Democrats really cared about the Jewish vote, why wouldn't they be raising with superdelegates the fact that Hillary's support with them is solid and proven.

    Probably the same reasons Charles Blow cited yesterday in his NYT opinion pieced as to why Obama won't need votes from Appalachia.  He's got other votes.   We shall see, I guess.  

    The list of alienated groups (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:58:43 PM EST
    just amazes me for this high flying newbie who can say anything about anyone.

    I would think the Republicans are itching to get the Gaza internet cafe groups who are stumping in the cyber world for Obama because they believe he is the one who will make things right by them.

    He didn't choose his friends and associates well in his climb to this ambitious goal.

    Cokie Roberts published why Obama is the weaker candidate in the Jewish World Review.


    The Charles Blow (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Grace on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:59:26 PM EST
    article was interesting but showed faulty logic to me.  

    I couldn't understand the point of showing that Democrats didn't win the Appalachia area in 2000 and 2004.  The Democratic candidate didn't win the General Election in those two years either.  So, logically, looking at the maps, a candidate MUST WIN Appalachia in order to become president.


    Blow's oped was ridiculous. (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by rise hillary rise on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:06:18 PM EST
    this is the response I sent yesterday:

    Dear Mr. Blow;
    I am puzzled by your May 17 OpEd piece "Skirting Appalachia." Perhaps a few paragraphs were left out or struck by your editor?
    You seem to take it as a given that Barack Obama would win Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, without explaining how this might happen-despite the fact that he lost all three primaries by significant margins. Not to mention actively blocked strategies to seat Florida's delegation. Likewise your apparent conclusion that were Sen. Clinton to drop out of the race, the Democratic Party would simply unite around Obama as the nominee. This sort of magical thinking seems congruent with a lot of what the Obama (and now McCain) campaigns are promoting: lots of bright shiny futures without any mention of how we're going to get there. This type of substance-free, rah-rah, "trust me" argument is eerily reminiscent of the 2000 campaign of George W. Bush. We all know how well that turned out.

    I think that your thinking readers deserve better. Better a thoughtful analysis of the reasons for Sen. Obama's losses in Appalachia, with or without a strategy for winning over those voters, than a fluff piece like this one. Obama's weaknesses are a lot bigger than just blue collar folks (the traditional Democratic base) and as this campaign has gone on, positions have hardened significantly-in a lot of ways that don't look good for him if he is the nominee.


    Superb (none / 0) (#114)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:18:15 PM EST
    Clear, pithy, short.  Bravo (or Brava, depending...)

    We did a bit of research on Chas. Blow (none / 0) (#143)
    by Cream City on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:14:37 PM EST
    here after his first incoherent piece for the Times; maybe you missed it . . . but a check of the staff listing informs us that he is a graphic artist, not a journalist there.  

    His graphics, those maps of Appalachia, were pretty, though.  So his graphics arts training was good.

    Math, history, poli sci, journalism training . . . not so much. :-)


    Haven't you noticed (4.66 / 3) (#3)
    by ajain on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:33:32 PM EST
    All the morning talking heads ignored or mocked Clinton for staying in the race.

    This is different... how? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by dianem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:47:08 PM EST
    They've been mocking Clinton for decades. Why stop now?

    Very irritated when that (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:03:18 PM EST
    Bob Schrum made fun of her on Meet the Press. He's a Democrat, for heaven sake.

    It's pretty clear that the only democrats who will be expected to fix the division that Obama has created are the Clinton supporters.


    Bingo (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Lou Grinzo on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:27:42 PM EST
    "It's pretty clear that the only democrats who will be expected to fix the division that Obama has created are the Clinton supporters."

    This is the crux of the mess, in my opinion.  If the Clinton supporters do anything less than fall into line perfectly behind Obama and he loses the GE, then we all know where the blame will be for that loss.  And if their support is conspicuously less than 100% and he should somehow win without them, then he's well on his way to reshaping the Dem. party, but not in a way that most people (even many Obama supporters, I suspect) would be happy with.


    There is an easy fix. Elect Hillary in Denver. (none / 0) (#162)
    by itsadryheat on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:37:27 PM EST
    If he crowns himself on Tuesday, he will convince a whole lot of people that there is something very wrong with going through due process.  

    Why can't he wait for the vote to take place and be counted and recorded and final in Denver before claiming that he is the nominee of the Democratic Party?

     What is the rush?  Why risk alienating so, so many people and driving off so many rank and file general election voters?

    You can feel the backlash forming as more and more women are saying that this is too much.  This disrespectful, aggressive push to get Hillary out or to make people think she's out, is not sitting well with 3/4 of the people by Pew's new poll.  And that is somehow Hillary's fault?

     Obama has not won the nomination and, if he doesn't clean up his program by tomorrow night and stop trying to strongarm a win, it won't be just mainly women who are too upset to select him for their President.


    The Democratic party leaders (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:57:46 PM EST
    in my very honest observation are a bunch of cats.

    Oh, no they are too (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by FlaDemFem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:26:04 PM EST
    stupid to be cats. Cats are smart, the DNC isn't.

    My cats concur (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by nycstray on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:58:56 PM EST
    They are also willing to go so far as to say the dog is also smarter than the DNC  ;)

    I have a cat that looks just like (none / 0) (#146)
    by Cream City on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:19:00 PM EST
    Donna Brazile.  Seriously, this is a very scary-looking cat, but very imposing (almost 20 pounds).  And very dominating and noisy.  But the noise that comes out of him sounds like Jon Stewart doing Dick Cheney.  

    The combination, with Cheney's voice coming out of Brazile, is a bit upsetting to have around the house.  But my kids won't let me get rid of the nasty beasty.  Maybe I could send him to the DNC or CNN so Donna could achieve her dream of dominating two places at once?

    Oh, that's right, she already does.  What does Dean do, anyway?


    And I ought to add, this is not the smart cat (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Cream City on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:23:28 PM EST
    in the house.  Just gets his way by bullying -- sometimes.  But the two-month-old female kitten already has figured out how to fake him out, outwitting the nasty beasty entirely.  I take that as a feline omen that Brazile-like bullying won't  work outwit a female with brains . . . like a certain candidate who's the cat's meow.:-)

    That would be the cat's meow!!! (none / 0) (#149)
    by zfran on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:23:42 PM EST
    He won't reach out to (4.66 / 3) (#5)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:35:28 PM EST
    1 'hard-working white' (racists)

    2 typical white women (granny types)

    3.people who live in Appalachia (we don't need no touristers anyhow)

    Don't forget Hispanics... (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by dianem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:49:59 PM EST
    Who hate black people. And older voter's who can't accept change. And Floridians and residents of Michigan, who deserve to be punished for the "crimes" of their state Party leaders. And rural people, who are avowed right-wingers because they are bitter about being poor and oppressed.

    FL Democrats are punished (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Josey on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:52:17 PM EST
    for tricks played by the GOP legislature.

    Hispanics hate black people? (1.00 / 2) (#195)
    by Seth90212 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:23:48 PM EST
    You think you're bonding with Hispanics by saying that? I know Hispanics who'll beat the crap out of you for saying that.

    Look, your candidate had every advantage but she managed to lose. Calling Hispanics a bunch of racists or calling Obama a racist won't put Hillary over the top. I am so happy that people like you represent only a fraction of Clinton supporters. The overwhelming majority are not so embittered and delusional.

    If Obama is so weak how did he manage to beat a vastly stronger, better known opponent who started out with a 100+ SD advantage? Obama has demonstrated every single measure of strength farsightedness. Hillary, on the other hand, has been a study in mismanagement and incompetence. As an example, she's gone through about 10 different slogans since Iowa. What serious candidate does that?

    Obama obviously has put together a better coalition than Clinton. The primary season is designed to weed out the weak so that only the strongest is left standing. Only in alternative universe of sections of the Internet is the losing candidate considered the stronger GE choice.


    Seth you are suffering from premature nomination (none / 0) (#196)
    by Linda on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:39:51 PM EST

    Senator Obama is not the nominee yet.  If he is to be the nominee it will happen in August.

    Clinton is not taking this to the convention (none / 0) (#199)
    by Seth90212 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:46:33 PM EST
    and if she tries the SD's and party elders will put a stop to it. If she tries even her senate seat in NY will be in jeopardy.

    This all ends by mid-June.


    BS like you know anything at all (none / 0) (#201)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:48:52 PM EST
    about it.  Pathetic.

    By the way (none / 0) (#202)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:51:10 PM EST
    name the party elder who can stop it!  

    It's done by SD endorsements giving Obama (none / 0) (#203)
    by Seth90212 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:57:23 PM EST
    2025 and the nomination. Once Obama has 2025 everyone will call it, including the media which wants to get on with the GE. The notion that this is going to the convention is a farce. Clinton is not suicidal. Even if she were it's not in her hands. There are mechanisms in place to end it and it will be ended by the second week of June.

    You've been hanging around with too many (none / 0) (#200)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:48:06 PM EST
    other Obama supporters, where the hate freely flows.  Don't you recognize snark when you see it?  Guess not.  

    You do have Premature Nomination Syndrome as well.  Good luck.


    Nice try (1.00 / 1) (#204)
    by Seth90212 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:59:59 PM EST
    The poster clearly wanted to communicate that Hispanics hate black people, among a bunch of other nonsense he/she posted.

    I will be here to remind you (none / 0) (#207)
    by Seth90212 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:03:16 PM EST
    of this dialogue when Hillary drops out. It may not even go to June. She may drop out this month.

    Every advantage? (none / 0) (#211)
    by miriam on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:26:01 PM EST
    Surely you jest.  Can you imagine what the current results would be if the media had treated Hillary as it has treated Obama?  Or even if it had remained neutral?  And the tragi-comic aspects of this is that Obama supporters think he's deserving of the fawning adulation he's received.  Well, just wait....

    There is another conventional wisdom (none / 0) (#214)
    by Seth90212 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:36:57 PM EST
    that Hillary has been coddled this election season. I think she's been evicerated in parts of the blogosphere. But the MSM, by and large, has treated her with kid gloves imo.

    Pretty much (4.50 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:31:47 PM EST
    I think even Mondale broke 65% of the Jewish vote. But I think Obama will have to do two things to improve his numbers: 1) drop the messianic quasi-religious tone of his candidacy (this will be hard, and he might refuse); and 2) emphasize McCain's relationship with the extreme religious right.

    Hillary, of course, would have nothing in particular to prove with Jews.

    I believe no Dem has been elected since (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by masslib on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:43:07 PM EST
    Woodrow Wilson without hitting at least the high 60's in the Jewish vote.

    Also, they keep saying he doesn't poll that far behind Hillary in the Jewish vote, but exits polls don't bear that out.  interesting.


    The extreme religious right (3.00 / 1) (#40)
    by HelenK on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:40:19 PM EST
    is Zionist in its support of God's chosen, so not a problem.

    They NEED Israel to trigger the apocalypse, so they defend israel's existance as part of God's plan for the Second Coming.

    they then throw jews into a firery pit or something, but they need them til then


    Yes, I know--but (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:06:57 PM EST
    furthermore that is the group that believes in the Great Beast whose number is 666.  I can guarantee, I think, that if members of the Obamanation* continue to talk about Hope and Change and the One who will bring them, sooner or later the fundamentalists will start to wonder if Obama is the AntiChrist who will seduce and then enslave the world.

    *my fabled NYC repub friends today were laughing over that word, which they heard on TV today for the first time.  Gee--even I did not get it from reading it only!


    I am pretty sure he is already (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by HelenK on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:14:24 PM EST
    considered the anti-christ by many here!  :)

    I was an end-times christian at one point so I am well-versed in the end times and I bet Obama is seriously being considered!


    As a non-believer in Revelations, (none / 0) (#110)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:07:10 PM EST
    that scares me; could I be wrong?  Where is something I could wear for protection?  We don't go in for crosses at my church.

    Sorry, you're behind the times (none / 0) (#103)
    by befuddled on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:47:51 PM EST
    :) There's a not-totally-serious website called obamaistheantichrist, some of the items are clearly humorous and some are for the hardcore true believers, as I recall.

    Oops (none / 0) (#104)
    by befuddled on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:52:19 PM EST
    That wasn't the right address. This is it:

    [digs out protective holy symbols]


    American Jews hate the religious right (none / 0) (#45)
    by andgarden on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:49:29 PM EST
    Really? (none / 0) (#56)
    by HelenK on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:00:17 PM EST
    Which American Jews? All of them?

    Wish it weren't true but I think both sides use the other for political strength.


    Do you know any? (none / 0) (#97)
    by andgarden on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:33:07 PM EST
    American Jews, by and large, are very suspicious of anyone who wants to merge church and state. Believe it or not, Israel is not central.

    I really wouldn't make such sweeping statements. (none / 0) (#108)
    by Iphie on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:02:16 PM EST
    Church and state separation is very important, but it is one issue and it is by no means a Jewish issue -- there are millions of Americans who would go to the mat over this issue, not just Jews. Israel is very different, both because it is not directly about our own government, but also because of the personal, emotional and psychological ties to it that many Jews feel. These are two very different issues, and they are by no means mutually exclusive.

    I'm not sure how you get to the understanding that support of Israel is central or not, but it is pretty damn important. Currently, Obama talks the talk about Israel, but as with so many things, it is easy to imagine that this is yet another example of Obama tailoring his rhetoric to the situation because he needs to, not necessarily because it reflects his true beliefs.

    I don't feel I can trust Obama's word on Israel in much the same way I don't feel I can trust his word on reproductive rights, or universal healthcare or any of a number of other issues.

    And reproductive rights, btw, is another issue that Jewish voters tend to feel very strongly about -- there are many reasons that Jews may be uncomfortable about Obama -- but to say that Israel is not a central concern is just wrong.


    You misread me (none / 0) (#109)
    by andgarden on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:03:42 PM EST
    I said that McCain's position on Church-State was a reason to mistrust HIM.

    I understood what you (none / 0) (#138)
    by Iphie on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:09:29 PM EST
    were saying about McCain. What I was commenting on was your contention that Israel is not central. I believe that it is. Even if McCain were to truly try to merge church and state, he would have a much more difficult time of it if for no other reason than he would need to enlist the help of the other branches of government to do so. On the other hand, a president can order military intervention all on his or her own. In terms of balancing the two, I don't think most people believe that we're in any real danger of McCain establishing a theocracy -- a more immediate concern for American Jews is the relationship of Israel and the U.S.

    Church-State and McCain (none / 0) (#144)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:15:43 PM EST
    It's only during his panderfest for the nomination that McCain has had any issues with this.  He'll get back to his normal episcopalian self for the general election.  Since he's always been more-or-less a Teddy Roosevelt republican, I doubt it's a worry.

    McCain (none / 0) (#189)
    by befuddled on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:46:28 PM EST
    He's a Baptist.

    only for the last couple of years (none / 0) (#198)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:45:24 PM EST
    in the pandering phase.  He was an episcopalian for far longer and his family are all still episcopalian.  FWIW.

    Not for the Jews I know (none / 0) (#150)
    by andgarden on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:24:04 PM EST
    YMMV, of course.

    I agree with RalphB (none / 0) (#158)
    by Iphie on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:31:33 PM EST
    on this one. McCain needs the wingers now but that's about as far as it goes.

    It comes down to why (none / 0) (#164)
    by andgarden on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:38:57 PM EST
    Jews remain so fundamentally Democratic. They know that, whatever McCain actually believes, he is owned by the American bigot base, just like Bush was. Or do you think he'll be getting the bulk of his Electoral College Votes from New York and Maryland?

    Bush appointed judges with a world view to which most American Jews are allergic. You can take it to the bank that McCain will too. Obama, should he be the nominee, will win a majority of the Jewish vote against McCain. It's just a question of how overwhelming that majority will be.


    In terms of (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by Iphie on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:05:02 PM EST
    the "bigot base," as has been noted elsewhere on this thread, Evangelical Christians are huge supporters of Israel. (It has also been discussed the reasons for this, and and how it can be problematic -- so I won't go into it again.) So, if the part of the bigot base that you are referring to is anti-Semitic (which is not an unreasonable assumption), whatever their wishes, they are not going to manage to outflank the Zionist Christians -- they are not going to see their anti-Semitism rewarded in terms of policy.

    Obama just had to fire an advisor who was meeting with Hamas. That is a topic of greater discussion right now amongst many, many Jews than anything about McCain. McCain is a known quantity, Obama is not. The things that we continue to learn about Obama are not reassuring, not only to Jews, but to many other reliably Democratic groups.


    Are you claiming that Obama (none / 0) (#181)
    by andgarden on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:17:27 PM EST
    will not get a majority of Jewish votes in November? Do you have some evidence for that?

    He is clearly weaker than Hillary in that constituency, but the evidence we have now is that he is stronger than McCain, likely for the reasons I have listed.

    If you have some polling data to the contrary, I'd like to see it.


    I'm not claiming anything. (none / 0) (#192)
    by Iphie on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:55:05 PM EST
    I am saying that I believe that Obama has problems with Jewish voters, and I don't believe those problems are going to go away after the primary ends. Just like he has problems with women that I don't think are going to go away after the primary ends. John Kerry received 77% of the Jewish vote; Obama may get a majority, but nothing like what Kerry, Gore or Clinton got.

    The Solomon Project did an in-depth analysis Jewish voters in the last presidential election. When they broke the vote down by age and gender, they found that Jewish women voted for Kerry by a huge percentage. Obama now has problems with both women and Jews -- he's giving us reasons to distrust him from both angles and I do not believe that he is likely to get anywhere near the support that Kerry got. Will he still get a majority of the Jewish vote? Sure. Will that be enough? I don't know, but added to the corrosion of support from other groups -- he has problems.

    The report notes that one relatively strong Republican subgroup among Jews includes Jewish men under 30 years of age, who voted 35 percent for Bush in one survey. The report found that the strongest Democratic subgroups included Jewish women who were 60 years of age or older (who voted 90 percent for Kerry) and Jewish women under 30 years of age (who voted 88 percent for Kerry).

    I am married to one (none / 0) (#140)
    by HelenK on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:10:59 PM EST
    and I live in NYC. Hubby is  a writer and in the pretty jewish media biz.

    So, yeah, I know more than a few!!


    75,000 Turned out for Obama in Portland, Oregon (1.50 / 2) (#113)
    by 1jane on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:16:54 PM EST
    this afternoon 5/18 and I'm certain a substantial number turning out are Jewish. Mrs. Clinton canceled a televised town hall meeting on one of the Portland major stations yesterday. Today one county where Bill and Chelsea are speaking in Oregon instructed their Hillary supporters not to attend but phone bank for Hillary in OR and Kentucy instead.

    thanks, 1jane (5.00 / 5) (#119)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:31:19 PM EST
    I see that Clinton is yet again humiliated and has surely lost except for her being too selfish to step aside.  Thank you for letting us know, and good on you for spotting all those Jews in that massive crowd.  Must've been hard with the throng.  We appreciate your intrepid reporting.

    Your work here is done.


    Humiliated? (none / 0) (#131)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:52:37 PM EST
    Why do you say that Sen. Clinton has been humiliated? Because Sen. Obama drew a crowd of 75000? Is that the fault of Sen. Obama?

    That was pure snark on Kathy's part :-) (none / 0) (#139)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:09:58 PM EST
    snark as snark can be (none / 0) (#159)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:31:46 PM EST
    and complete and total boredom with The Obamatrol that is 1jane.  Is there someone we can write to and ask for her to be taken off the rotating schedule?  The tediousness is such that my jaw is beginning to ache from yawning.

    We should try and put in a request (none / 0) (#167)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:44:13 PM EST
    at Obama Master Control to get better Obamatrols.  :-)  Though I must admit that some of the Obama supporters here are OK with me.

    Pew Research: 72% say don't crown Obama now. (none / 0) (#147)
    by itsadryheat on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:20:35 PM EST
    New Pew Redearch Survey done this week says :

     Only 20% of the people think that the media and Obama are right to be claiming his victory.

      72% don't think it is appropriate behavior. Is that what you call "humiliating?")

     During the week 85% had heard a lot of the debate    over whether on not Hillary should leave the race.

     Only 22% were following American Idol

     Only 11% were following Jenna's wedding.

    3 out of 4 Democrats, Republicans and Independents want the race to continue.

    Stay, Hillary!

    Pew Research Survey


    Self-humiliating for Obama maybe. (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by RalphB on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:31:00 PM EST
    I get the PR reason for trying to be the "nominee" before your time and it might have worked before Bush did this in 2000.  But since Bush 2000 is the comparator, I expect any coronations will fall flat with rank and file voters.

    Sounds like buyers' remorse. (5.00 / 1) (#213)
    by miriam on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:35:42 PM EST
    She had a town hall Fri night (none / 0) (#125)
    by nycstray on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:44:44 PM EST
    are you sure about your information? What are your sources?

    She revised her schedule for an extra day (none / 0) (#141)
    by Cream City on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:11:52 PM EST
    in Kentucky, I read some days ago, so not news.

    But another town hall on tv?  Sounds odd, after the other one for Oregon the other day, which got a great reception per papers there that I read.


    Has he renounced and rejected his (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:35:22 PM EST
    support in IL,including fundraising, for Palestian causes?  Must he?  

    Yes, I think he must renounce (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:06:16 PM EST
    Our support of Israel is imperative.  If we do not stand with them, and for them, then they will be no more.  The inaction of the United States prior to entering WWII is one of the most shameful periods of our history. No one here need be reminded of what happened then.

    We cannot equivocate on this matter.  Israel must be under the umbrella of protection the United States military affords.  The message must be loud and clear; unfortunately, these are two traits Obama is not known for.


    This one's for you, Kathy: (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:18:04 PM EST
    Most Democratic voters in Oregon live in the cities, such as Portland, with conservative voters concentrated in the rural east and south. Voters are more likely to be tertiary educated and to have chosen Oregon because of its liberal attitudes. Kentucky is rural, more religious, and conservative.  (Portland OR newspaper; emphasis added.)

    are you trying to make me go on (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:33:23 PM EST
    blood pressure medication?  "Tertiary educated?"  Are you f-ing kidding me?

    I have three post-high school (none / 0) (#134)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:05:04 PM EST
    graduation degees.  Does that mean I am "tertiary-educated"?  Or that I went to elementary, high school, and college?  

    Here's Wiki, complete (none / 0) (#161)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:35:37 PM EST
    with a dated photo of a tertiary classroom.



    okay, you are killing me (none / 0) (#171)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:48:20 PM EST
    I bet a lotta lawyers here will be surprised to hear that they must'a earned their fancy degrees from vocational schools.

    I mean, how elitist can these folks get?  (I suppose the last laugh comes when one of those Liberal Elites calls some tertiarilly educated schmoe to unclog their toilet and has to pay triple overtime because it's the weekend and they can't wait till Monday because they've suddenly realized that, yes indeed, their sh*t really does stink...)


    Kathy is so right about this (none / 0) (#47)
    by angie on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:52:37 PM EST
    and I don't care what anyone wants to say about Israel's tactics and Palestine yada yada yada -- the presence of Israel is the very balance of power in keeping peace in the Middle East. It is imperative that the US stands strongly with Israel for its own good, our own good and the world's own good.

    I don't think he needs to renounce. (none / 0) (#74)
    by jfung79 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:47:33 PM EST
    He just needs to be clear on what his position is going forward.  He can't have it both ways, trying to get support from everyone by telling them what they want to hear.  I think there is a lot of merit in the Palestinian cause and I think the US being one-sided for Israel in the Middle East is a big mistake.  But Obama needs to take a clear position either way.

    as an ex-NY'er (4.00 / 4) (#12)
    by karen for Clinton on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:49:39 PM EST
    who lived there for 47 years, Hillary would get the Jewish vote in very high percentages.

    Obama should not be trusted in regards to Israel.

    Where there is smoke there is fire and he's had a very troubling history of saying whatever it takes to get voters of certain demographics.

    Without detailing them here, it is obvious from many Jewish sites I've visited that there are too many ties to anti-Israel factions in his life.

    trust? (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by noholib on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:55:25 PM EST
    "Where there is smoke there is fire and he's had a very troubling history of saying whatever it takes to get voters of certain demographics."

    This is a larger problem with Senator Obama than the question of Jewish voters and his views on Israel.  We don't know enough about Senator Obama's core views and values on a host of issues.  How to trust what one does not know?


    I don't think it is just liberals... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Alec82 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:59:22 PM EST
    ...my cousin's husband is a pilot for the military and he detests Israel's policies towards the Palestinians.  Since we once argued about whether Senator McCarthy was an American hero I tend to doubt his leftist bona fides. We got into an argument over Israel a few years ago, after he compared its policies to the Nazis.  

     I certainly wouldn't go that far, but when you look at Israel's policies it is pretty clear they are playing the colonial game.  


    If we do not support Israel (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:11:18 PM EST
    there will be no Israel.  Withdrawing our support, or indicating a lack of serious support, would mean genocide like we have not seen in nearly 70 years.

    It is morally imperative that we stand with them.  We can talk about peace, we can negotiate treaties, but nothing will stop the enemies of Israel if we do not stand in their way.  Military might is all they respond to.


    That's what it comes down to for me (none / 0) (#29)
    by dianem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:19:11 PM EST
    You believe in Israels right to exist as a state or you don't. If we deny them autonomy and stop defending them, they will be obliterated. I don't want that. There has to be a better option. The Arab nations have been using the Palestinians as pawns to be sacrificed to try to weaken Israel. Israel has sometimes over-reacted, but they are fighting for their nation.

    Ditto; ever since reading the remarkable (none / 0) (#165)
    by Cream City on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:40:47 PM EST
    book "O! Jerusalem" about the birth of the Israeli state despite the horrifyingly abrupt withdrawal of the west, I've tried to keep educating myself on this.  But everything I've read ever since still brings home the main point that, sadly, it must be a strongly militarized country.  Because it is surrounded by strongly militarized and warlike countries and still lacks access to requisite resources for survival in its own lands.  I don't know that we here, in such a sizeable country and on a continent of such comparative peace, can comprehend Israel's situation.  

    I don't like their poliicies, either (none / 0) (#27)
    by dianem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:16:36 PM EST
    I think they have pushed back too hard. But I can recognize that they are acting the way they are because they feel trapped, not because they wish to dominate the Palestinians. Every time they lessen the restrictions on the Palestinians, the terrorists use it as an opportunity to unleash horrors on Israelis. I can imagine how the U.S., or any nation, would react if people were bombing school buses and restaurants repeatedly. It's a difficult situation, and understanding it requires an understanding of the history of the region which many people have not bothered to learn. In all honesty, I only have the briefest familiarity with it myself - but I know enough to know that Israel is not the only bad guy in this drama.

    Certainly... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Alec82 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:33:08 PM EST
    ...but they have been more than a little two-faced about how they portray themselves.  As have the Palestinians, of course, but then again they don't have AIPAC to speak for them here.

     For me their economic subjugation of Palestine is very troubling.  They aren't really interested in a two state solution, they're just using it as PR to continue doing what they've been doing for decades now.  The ever-shifting security barrier being exhibit A.  

     I support Israel, but we need a firmer hand with them.  They've been damaging our credibility for decades now.


    I agree with you. (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Fabian on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:48:41 PM EST
    Israel should probably draw new boundaries that maximize their national security and preserve their economic survival and then sell that to their people and the other nations.  

    But instead they do things like build settlements, and then declare they must defend those settlers which then gives them a claim on the territory, rinse and repeat.

    That really peeved me when I found out what Israel was doing.  It was essentially an illegal, under the table land grab.  I believe the UN told them to stop, and it has had little effect.

    I don't think there are any honorable actors left in the Israel/Palestine disaster.  


    No, there aren't any honorable actors... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Alec82 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:58:17 PM EST
    ...kind of hard to defend people who applaud suicide bombers.

     Israel, though, purports to be above it all.  That just pisses me off.


    Israel does its dirty deeds (none / 0) (#61)
    by Fabian on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:12:16 PM EST
    using economic means.  (among others)

    Remember how fired up some people got about the Iraqi embargo?  Cut off people's incomes, take away their jobs, control what goods can flow into a territory and you can do a lot damage and cause a lot of suffering.  It's less dramatic than a bombing, but it can be just as effective.  

    Like I said, no honorable actors.


    Do you realize how condescending (none / 0) (#39)
    by bjorn on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:36:18 PM EST
    this sounds?  Have you ever been to Israel or spent time there?  

    That response is ridiculous (1.00 / 1) (#65)
    by cymro on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:24:51 PM EST
    I'd guess that there are many countries in the world where most posters here have never spent time (Tibet, Burma, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, to name just a few) but that does not prevent us from following the news and forming valid opinions.

    Your response is typical of the problem that arises in all discussion of Israel's actions relative to Palestine. There is a vocal Israeli lobby in the US that continually dismisses and deflects any criticism of Israel and justifies their every action with arguments like the ones being put forward in this thread. These apologists completely ignore the fact that the Palestinians have a legitimate grievance dating back to 1948, and have been trying ever since to negotiate a compromise with a state that believes in expansionism and bullying as the only effective approach to diplomacy.

    I have no personal reason to support either side in this conflict, but it's impossible to view the situation in an unbiased way without noticing that Israel's actions and mindset in the middle east mirror those of the US on a global scale. So I guess if you like to see the US playing the role of big brother and throwing its weight around, then you will not see anything amiss in Israel's behavior. But don't try to insist that others are not entitled to analyze the evidence and reach conclusions that disagree with yours.


    I am not trying to tell anyone (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by bjorn on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:41:48 PM EST
    what they can or cannot analyze.  Obviously, on any given topic some people are going to know more than others, and no matter how much one knows they are still entitled to their opinion.  If you want to criticize the U.S. that is fine with me because we can be bullies with the best of them sometimes. Iraq has proved that more than anything else.  We invaded a country that had done nothing to us.  Criticizing Israel without knowing how close everyone there is to death every day, a country that is defending itself, is something quite different. Again, I am not saying they are perfect.  I am just trying to point out that we are not in their shoes.

    Nope... (none / 0) (#41)
    by Alec82 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:41:09 PM EST
    ...but I worked on a state department project for economic law reform in the Palestinian territories after my first year of law school.  I stand by my comment.

    I have no problem if you want (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by bjorn on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:46:17 PM EST
    to represent the Palestian POV, but you talk about Israel like it is some inanimate object and we need to take control of it.  This is a very complicated problem and I think everyone knows it could have been solved long ago if the Arab countries had wanted to solve it.  But they have used Palestine to promote and push their hatred of Israel.  

    Palestinian POV? (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Alec82 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:55:47 PM EST
    I think you need to be careful there.

    I think everyone knows it could have been solved long ago if the Arab countries had wanted to solve it.

     AIPAC knows this, certainly.  If you wish to repeat their talking points fine.  Do not be so arrogant as to presume we all buy that line.

     I agree that it is complicated, but what Israel is doing, as far as policy goes, is horrible.  Recognizing that is not representing the Palestinian point of view.


    I should not have used the word (none / 0) (#57)
    by bjorn on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:03:47 PM EST
    "everyone" - you get one for pointing that out.  But I don't think most people understand how close these countries are and how relatively tiny the land is that we are talking about....I am talking about the land that is the buffer area.  Is Israel perfect, no...neither are we.  I just think we need to let the people in Israel decide the policy that protects them best.

    The whole P/I mess (none / 0) (#48)
    by Fabian on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:52:41 PM EST
    is supported on all sides by massive infusions of cash.  That's a lot of US taxpayer dollars supporting Israel.  Not just "defending" but literally supporting.

    I've always wondered what would happen economically to the region if all the third parties suspended their funding.  What is the natural economic capacity of the area?  


    Fabian, (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Iphie on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:25:45 PM EST
    do you know how much of your taxpayer dollars are going to support the Arab countries that surround Israel?

    As Jeralyn has already noted, this thread is about Obama and Jewish American voters -- so I don't want to get to far O/T here, but the situation in Israel is considerably more complicated than your comments reflect.

    And I would ask both you and Alec82, since he knows so much about the economic subjugation of the Palestinians, what about Palestinians that live in the surrounding Arab countries? What is their economic situation like? If your concern is truly about the Palestinians, then surely you must be well-versed and have opinions about their treatment in states like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait and even Iraq.


    Undoubtedly true (none / 0) (#123)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:39:02 PM EST
    but the reality is that the Palestinian people have been screwed by all sides in the process, Israel and the Arab states, and even their own leadership.

    I don't know if it's solvable, but hard-line "Israel right or wrong" isn't going to solve it, for sure.  Israel would be vastly safer if the Palestinian problem were significantly ameliorated.  No clue how to do that, but it's a festering sore that will keep Israel from ever being safe as long as it's allowed to continue.

    The Clintons know this.  Barack knows this but is unlikely to be competent to do anything about it.  McCain doesn't know it.


    It's called the Palestinian State (none / 0) (#58)
    by zfran on Sun May 18, 2008 at 05:04:00 PM EST
    not Palestine!

    the media is not alone in (none / 0) (#24)
    by cy street on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:08:33 PM EST
    its declaration.  john edwards made the same observation earlier in the week and he is not alone, think biden, dodd, richardson, all former nominees.

    withstanding these points of view, i support clinton's continuation of her campaign till the last vote is cast.  at this point, the presumption will be confirmed even more decisively than would be the case with her early departure.

    meanwhile, the seeds of collaboration are being sewn between the two campaigns and mcbush is about to have the bare knuckles of both to deal with.

    campaigns do not equal voters. (none / 0) (#36)
    by nycstray on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:32:14 PM EST
    What impact will Lieberman's support of (none / 0) (#37)
    by LibOne on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:32:36 PM EST
    McCain have?  Will Jewish support transfer to McCain if Obama's support of Israel is perceived as weak?

    I Think That Lieberman's Biggest Benefit (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:51:18 PM EST
    to McCain is his networking system within the community. He can distribute negative information more effectively than someone outside of the community.

    tribune today (none / 0) (#99)
    by Jlvngstn on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:34:28 PM EST
    has an excellent article on the sexism by MSM directed towards Hillary. If you get a chance to read it, it is pretty darned good.

    Link? (none / 0) (#106)
    by nell on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:00:34 PM EST
    Link? :) (none / 0) (#112)
    by nycstray on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:10:05 PM EST
    Not kidding (none / 0) (#124)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:40:45 PM EST
    That's what he said.

    Do we have any polling at all (none / 0) (#132)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:52:47 PM EST
    on what Jewish voters' resistance to Obama consists of?  It should be a natural constituency for him based on socioeconomics.  But there are more sticking points, I would think, than simply Israel.

    i think bush's recent speech in (none / 0) (#157)
    by hellothere on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:31:22 PM EST
    israel is part of the repub's plan to define obama before the general. it sounds to me like they are right on time.

    Another Clinton Demographic (none / 0) (#194)
    by kaleidescope on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:19:21 PM EST
    Clinton is much more popular among women who graduated from Wellesley in the late sixties than is Obama.  This is a crucial swing demographic.

    Comments now closed (none / 0) (#212)
    by Jeralyn on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:33:55 PM EST