The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Two Things

Two things are pretty much guaranteed every time the President gives a foreign policy speech on the Arab-Israeli conflict: (1) he will backtrack (I know, the operative word is “clarify”) his remarks after the hard-left ideological nature of his biases surface, and (2) his myriad supporters will work very, very hard to convince us all that (a) he was brave to confront the problem directly and (b) his support among the Jewish community is as solid as ever.

In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Joseph Sargent does yeoman’s work to argue part 2b above. Using a tone that can only be characterized as whistling through the cemetery, Sargent writes:
The claim that Obama is on the verge of losing crucial Jewish support is at this point a Golden Oldie of sorts. Back in 2008 — after Obama said that “nobody’s suffering more than the Palestinian people,” and after Obama suggested he’d be open to unconditional talks with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for the destruction of Israel — there were reams of stories about how McCain would be able to make successful inroads with this core Democratic constituency. In the end, according to exit polls, Obama won around 78 percent of the Jewish vote.

Sargent’s wishful thinking is actually amusing and at the same time insulting to Jewish voters.

Jewish voters have had a lot of time to think about the President’s hard left view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, his distain for Israeli leaders (who the media conveniently characterize as far-right), about his long-time association with people (think: the Reverend Wright) who are blatantly anti-Semitic and anti-Israel, about his close advisors like Samantha Power who have had a long and virulent anti-Israel stance, about his continual attempts to draw moral equivalence between apartment buildings in Jerusalem and terrorist rocket attacks by the Palestinians, about his selective memory when it comes to the Palestinians rejection of Israel's right to exist and their inculcation of anti-Semitic hatred in their schools. A lot of time to think -- and reconsider.

The political reality is simple. There's only one state where Jewish voters matter in 2012, and that's Florida. In fact, there's only one part of Florida where Jewish voters matter, and that's in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. If Obama loses support in those counties, Florida swings red.

And after this speech (if anecdotal evidence means anything), Jewish voters in those three counties have taken their true-blue blinders off and are now aware that the President is more transparently sympathetic to the Palestinians than any U.S. President in history, including Jimmy Carter!

Sure, following item 1 in the first paragraph, President Obama has now backtracked at AIPAC, telling us all what a great supporter of the Jewish state he really is and how his speech was mischaracterized by his opponents. All in an effort to shore up eroding support that Mr. Sargent claims doesn’t exist.

We just had dinner with a typical true-blue Democrat couple in South Florida -- party donors, activists for Democrat candidates, the typical M.O. And you know what, Mr. Sargent, they've had it. No money this time, and no vote in 2012. And they're not alone. Not by a long shot. They’ve had enough time to think and the “idea” of Obama just doesn’t match up with the deeds of the man.

Jewish Florida Democrats -- with the exception of mindless partisans like Debbie Wasserman Schultz -- are beginning to realize that hope and change don't make for particularly effective foreign policy. So go ahead, Mr. Sargent, whistle through the cemetery. If Obama doesn't win Florida, he's toast.