As the Tea Party wave sweeps across the nation’s political waters, Jewish Republicans are increasingly worried that the movement could wash away their hopes of winning over Jewish voters — even as leaders of the insurgency talk about expanded outreach to minorities, including Jews.Just read the article.
"The idea of the Tea Parties scares the hell out of the Jewish community, and I can’t tell you it’s unjustifiable in some cases,” said Fred Zeidman, a longtime Jewish Republican leader in Texas. “There are some candidates out there that are clearly unqualified; whether or not that hurts us, we just don’t know.”
So unqualified that the Republican Jewish Coalition, the central address for Jewish GOP activists, will not support some high-profile Republican candidates with Tea Party connections, starting with Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell.
Republican sources insist the problem is one of perception and media spin focusing on a handful of candidates with less-than-stellar credentials and a penchant for sometimes outrageous statements.[...]
“The Tea Party movement gives a public face to the fact that all moderation has been driven out of the Republican Party of today,” said David Harris, president of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC). “Inevitably, that just further drives away Jewish support.”[...]
Jews tend to be “rational, policy-oriented voters,” said Colby College political scientist L. Sandy Maisel, “and the Tea Party candidates generally do not fit into that category. It’s very clear Jews don’t go for anti-intellectual politics, which is what we’re seeing in a lot of states.”
On Israel, some Tea Party candidates have made strong statements of support, and there’s little evidence of hostility to the Jewish state in the emerging movement.
But the Tea Parties are overwhelmingly domestic in focus, with hints of traditional American isolationism — not surprising in a nation that’s been at war for the past nine years. Opposition to all foreign aid is a strong undercurrent in some campaigns, most notably the Senate campaign of GOP nominee Rand Paul in Kentucky.[...]
If the Tea Party continues to advance as a force in the GOP, “even many Jews who have moved in the direction of the Republicans will shift back to the Democrats,” said Colby College’s Maisel.
When I worked on reaching out to Jews in Florida during the 2008 [Obama] campaign, the single most effective communications strategy we had was talking to people about Sarah Palin,” said Mik Moore, public policy director for the Jewish Funds for Justice (and a Jewish Week board member). “She represented everything Jewish voters don’t like in terms of her qualifications for the job, her anti-intellectualism, her railing against ‘coastal elites’ as not being real Americans. And she is now widely seen as one of the leaders of the Tea Party.”[...]
While conceding that some Tea Party Republicans will get little Jewish support, he denied that that the insurgent movement will cut into Jewish Republican votes except in a few instances — including the Delaware and Kentucky Senate races where the RJC has taken the unusual step of refusing to endorse Tea Party-affiliated GOP nominees who he said are “clearly out of the mainstream.”
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Jewish Republicans afraid of Tea Party...
This article brings music to my ears. Why? It shows that Jewish Republicans are scared of the Tea Party uprising that is taking place within the Republican Party.