November 1, 2012

Thoughts for Ed Koch...

Why Are Prominent Obama Critics Alan Dershowitz, Ed Koch, and Haim Saban Now Endorsing the President? – Tablet Magazine:

...But it may be that these pro-Israel democrats [such as Koch, Dershowitz and Saban] are playing a longer game with a far-seeing strategy. If Dershowitz and the rest were to leave the fold, the Democratic Party could shift policies, and possibly quite rapidly. That is, perhaps they’re embracing Obama for the sake of the party—and so Israel continues to have support on both sides of the aisle.

Even before the founding of the Jewish state, the U.S.-Israel relationship has been based on strong bipartisan support. As I wrote in May, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s late father Benzion pioneered this consensus, lobbying both sides of the aisle. AIPAC, of course, has institutionalized it, ensuring that the Jewish state has devoted friends everywhere on Capitol Hill.

Without that broad agreement—that Israel is a valuable strategic partner in a region of vital U.S. interest, and a friend with whom America has shared values and principles—the relationship would be buffeted by all of Washington’s various political winds. By sticking with Obama in spite of all, Dershowitz and others are arguably protecting the bipartisan nature of the relationship, and at an especially vulnerable time....

I hadn't thought of that, but it makes a lot of sense. And though it seems impossible right now, the Dems may start to return to sanity after a decade or two in the wilderness. Not the same people, but younger people who can still re-think.

...Like many pro-Israel Democrats, Koch is still reeling from the chaos that broke out at the Democratic National Convention when Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had to call for a floor vote three times to include recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the party’s platform. “Nobody,” said Koch, “has adequately explained to me how the boos for God and Israel at the Democratic convention were louder than the cheers. How can that be?”...

Well, ahem, I could explain it to you, Ed. But you probably don't want to know. The Dem party has become the home of the many people in our world for whom meaning and belief have drained away. They are nihilists--they believe in nothing. Nothing greater than themselves. And, as I've explained before, when you come to that place, you will be very afraid. Perhaps not consciously, but deep down you know that "yourself" is a cruel and dangerous god.

And you will strive for some place of comfort. For a world where you will not be reminded of painful realities. You will not want to be reminded of what you have lost, and where you are now. You will hate anything that resembles belief. Because they symbolize God. The real decisions of the world are based on symbols. (Then later the conscious mind invents some malarky to explain the decision post hoc.)

So what are the symbols? You can SEE them all around, if only you will open your eyes. Besides God and the Jews and the Church, they are America and Israel. There are personal firearms and our military, both symbolizing believing in something enough to fight for it. Manliness fits in there too, also symbolizing God and country. It's no wonder there's a "war on men." I could go on and on. But it's getting late. (And I'm busy helping my son get ready for his monthly Army Reserve duty tomorrow. I feel like I'm striking a tiny blow against nothingness and lefty sappiness.)

"Nemo Me Impune Lacesset" (No one wounds me with impunity)

. Posted by John Weidner at November 1, 2012 8:46 PM

It sounds like a dumb strategy to me. I don't see how it prevents the shift of support for Israel from shifting entirely to the GOP. In fact, it may accelerate it when it's seen that Obama's policies and the scene at the convention won't break Jewish support. Why not go all out at that point? Look how well African-Americans have done under Obama - think that's not enabled by their voting loyalty?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at November 1, 2012 10:14 PM

Good point.

African-Americans should, ideally, be ready to switch their votes to whichever party offers them the most stuff. (Assuming here the premises of big-governmental liberalism.)

They don't think that way, and neither do Jews. And American Jews are not unified in supporting Israel. So guys like Koch are peanut buttering-over the cracks, and hoping no one wants to call their bluff. (Mixed metaphor, sorry.)

Posted by: John Weidner at November 2, 2012 9:41 AM

I think this article is indicative of someone in deep denial. He doesn't want to admit that Koch et. al. are willing to sell out Israel to either party loyalty or maintaining their social status, so he invents this "deep plan". Just like those people who thought Obama failed the first debate as part of some deep, clever plan. Both are equally believable to me.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at November 2, 2012 5:20 PM

Though not pertinent to your last post, I thought Kaiser's blog worth sharing. I occasionally need to see what the other side thinks.

Posted by: Richard Magner at November 4, 2012 6:23 AM

That's interesting stuff, but not very persuasive to me. It will be interesting to see what happens to Silver's prognostications on Tuesday. All of kaiser's "Why can't people be rational and scientific and agree with me" stuff? Phooey. I don't buy it.

Something that struck me:

"...What we are fighting for now are the most important legacies of the Great Society and its aftermath under Richard Nixon. These include Social Security payments that retirees can actually live on (a Nixon legacy)..."

SS was originally just a safety net against total destitution, and was NOT intended to be a retirement plan. Kaiser ignores this. But the real elephant in the room that everybody ignores is that no one re-thought. The program was changed, but no one conjectured that perhaps its structure ought to change too. And its finances.

Posted by: John Weidner at November 4, 2012 4:21 PM
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