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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Maybe Republicans are only interested in Jewish money and not in Jewish votes

Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In this position, he was responsible for developing and guiding strategy on Capitol Hill to secure military and economic aid for Israel and strengthen US-Israel relations. He also advocates solidly Democratic.

In this article, he accepts at face value the validity of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) 2012 Jewish Values survey, a survey I have critiqued several times on this blog. Based on the survey results, he concludes that the Republicans are a one-issue party when it comes to American Jews: All Israel, all the time. He says that they are out of touch with the Jewish mainstream on other issues like 'social equality' and abortion.

But he saves his most astute observation for last (Hat Tip: Didi Remez via Twitter).
For decades Republican operatives have been predicting a “sea change” as Jews make an exodus from the Democratic Party. There’s no evidence it is going to happen this year, either. So why do they keep trying? Republicans feel compelled to tighten their embrace of Israel because they have so few other issues on which to appeal to Jewish voters. Perhaps their real objective isn’t Jewish voters but single-issue, pro-Israel givers with deep pockets, like the Sheldon Adelsons. They’ve historically been far more successful at raising Jewish money than Jewish votes, and that is the real name of the game.
Reality is that Jews are a very small percentage of the United States' population, and have far more influence in most jurisdictions via donations than via votes. I have said many times that President Obama's attempts not to appear overtly hostile to Israel before November 6 are the result of his desire to keep the Jewish money flowing from people like Haim Saban. Both parties recognize it: Without their outsized financial donations, no one would care what American Jews think. Perhaps the Republicans are behaving wisely by appealing to the Adelson's of the world.

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At 2:48 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

The people who talk about Jewish votes in the U.S. are absurd, except in some local races. The reality: 6-7 million Jews among 320+ million Americans. And a bunch of those Jews would be disqualified by the Israeli govt Rabbis as even actually being Jewish at all. The donations and some leadership influence are what the Jews bring to the table. And you won't know whether you have gotten through to Jews from the conservative side. The peer pressure is enormous in the Jewish community, not to mention the coercive business communities in these blue areas, to be registered as Democrats. But, the good news is that the secret ballot means that U.S. Jews can (at least now, still) walk into the voting booth as a registered Dem and vote Republican across the board. Join in retrieving the best system ever invented for diverse residents to live long and prosper in... the U.S. Constitution. I find the assertion of Jewish intelligence to be overblown when so many are willing to throw out the opportunity system without so much as a look back... just to be "fair". OMG. I feel like we need a Torah story about this... turning to salt by NOT looking around and finding gratitude and energy to help others, rather than hostility.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Bloomfield has a point. If Republicans want to appeal to Jewish liberal voters, the Republican Party must become liberal.
Admittedly there are strongly pro Israel Jewish liberals, they are not mythical like the unicorn. they are however becoming as rare as the Javan rhino.
Jews that send their kids to DAy Schools/yeshivas, visit Israel regularly, send their kids to Israel to study, become olim etc are the Jews that either vote Republican or are swing voters.
according to the poll only 5% prioritized Israel in their voting. I suppose a poll of American Jews in 1944 would put saving Easter European Jewry at 5%.As the ortho community grows and the liberal Beinart types marry out , we will see a gradual upswing in Jews voting Republican.

At 2:17 AM, Blogger Captain.H said...

"He also advocates solidly Democratic."

OK, so we know where Bloomfield's coming from, hardly a dispassionately objective viewpoint.

"Based on the survey results, he concludes that the Republicans are a one-issue party when it comes to American Jews: All Israel, all the time. He says that they are out of touch with the Jewish mainstream on other issues like 'social equality' and abortion."

No, the Republicans aren't Democrats.

At 11:57 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

If you guys want to hear a daily dose of Jewish Republican thought (Constitutional Conservative! It isn't all about the D.C. go-along-to-get-along Republicans), listen (FREE!) every day to Mark Levin. Read his books. He does history that isn't taught in America anymore. Donate to his Landmark Legal Foundation, which takes on many lawless, unconstitutional forays by the U.S. govt. He is a perfect example of "the world is a narrow bridge and the most important thing is not to be afraid." I would have thrown in the towel and moved to the mountains some time back if it weren't for the guidance of Mark Levin. He knows all about these marcuse marxist people and faces them down daily. Many others of us are trying to do that, also. Vote them out.



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