B After The Fact

Friday, October 31, 2008

Is It Good For The Jews? Some More Random Thoughts

An ad was run by a group of Jewish Republicans in Pennsylvania warning us against voting for Obama. They warned us Jews to remember "the lessons of the 30s and the 40s."

I am not 100% sure about what lessons they are talking about. In the last post, I assumed that they were talking about the centrality of Israel to Jewish life, and the need to respond --even overrespond -- to any dangers to Israel.

However, the set of lessons that I always take from the 30s and the 40s is that if someone writes his own campaign biography -- for example, Mein Kampf -- and says that the point of his existence is to murder all the Jews, you have to take that person at his word.

When so-called conservative radioheads and cable commentators complain that "our country" is being taken over by "those people", it's simply an act of free speech. Rush Limbaugh is always the first to tell you that the only purpose of his radio program is to generate revenues.

However, when a candidate for Vice President tells you that she is happy to be in the "Real America", you have to take her at her word. When she is talking about the "real America", she doesn't mean my fat Jewish ass. She doesn't mean my daughter from Asia, or my sister-in-law from Haiti, or my 3 Haitian-Jewish nephews or their respective families.

When a candidate for President tells you that his opponent want to "spread the wealth" and "approves messages" implying that Barack Obama is a "socialist", it says here that the point is that tax breaks are all well and good -- so long as those tax breaks go to Joe The Plumber -- and other real Americans. Tax breaks that go to other people -- not real Americans -- are just socialist redistribution to underserving "others".

When the Republican National Committee runs advertising deploring "Hollywood values", I am always like -- opposed to what? Back in the 30s and the 40s, the Jews from Pennsylvania will recall, Americans were a little more honest about what they were talking about. The Hays Office was established to censor movies. In the words of one important supporter (I can't recall, maybe even Hays himself), the point was to have the Catholics sensor the Jews to make sure the Protestants didn't see anything they weren't supposed to see.

As if there wasn't a problem in the world -- no war, no racism, no slavery, no sex, no violence, no children in factories and on farms seeing life to the fullest -- until the unfortunate day that some Jew put out a movie.

The problem with the nomination of Sarah Palin is not that she is unqualified. She has shown herself to be a very able politician. Her only flaw is that she has no interest in things that do not concern her directly . The situation in Israel, and the situation of people who are not "real Americans" did not really impact her life as the Governor of Alaska. She is interested in those things now, you can be sure.

I am a party of one, I know, but Sarah Palin is as qualifed to be President -- today -- as George Bush is qualified -- today.

She is more qualified than Bush, it seems to me, since after a short life of having nothing handed to her, she finds herself, at the age of 44, as one of the most powerful people in the Republican Party.

Only problem with Palin so far is that in playing Nixon to John McCain's Eisenhower, she has spent the only 7 weeks we have known her spewing nothing but bile and hatred.

And the lesson of the 30s and the 40s is that you have to take her at her word.

The lesson is that you can not let someone get so close to power without knowing what her real opinion is on anything. The only thing we really know about her is that she runs a socialist state where the principal resource is owned by the government, and that she can cut a good licensing deal with the oil companies. She sends out royalty checks to real Americans.

We also know that she is a marvelous stump speaker, 8-10-12 hours a day. On-script, and off-script. (Can you imagine Bush off-script for more than 30 seconds?). And we know that Governor Palin can easily stoke a crowd into shouting "socialist" "Muslim" "terrorist"and "kill him".

You can't let someone that unknown get that close to power. Especially, when her President is so old -- not because 72 is 0ld -- but because being a POW survivor, cancer survivor, up-24-hours-a-day for 2 straight years will make you old.

So the choice winds up being between Zionism and Judaism. And its tough.

4 years ago, with Bush in the White House, a man with no racist tendencies, I understood the Zionists' worries and factored them in. Even though I could not pull the lever for Bush, I understood the revulsion towards John Kerry.

But now.

The lesson of the 30s and the 40s for me is that the oldest, most cosmopolitan Jewish population in Europe was crushed in the blink of an eye.

Most likely, time will prove me wrong about Sarah Palin. But not before Election Day. Until then, I can only go with what I know.

What I know is that Palin is the force that has unleashed all those pent-up Southern frustrations about the 60s -- both the 1960s and the 1860s.

What I know is that John McCain says that Sarah Palin is the best choice because she stirs up the passion of the base.

You have to take McCain at his word. And with McCain even more so than with most, because McCain's feeling for something is always stronger than the words he uses to describe it.

Me too. In the end it comes down to my feeling. And my feeling is that on the Jewish/ Zionist borderline -- on where we are now in this Obama/ McCain decision -- the Zionist response is to move to Israel.

I go with the Jewish response where it is incumbent upon the Jew to be a good citizen of the country in which he finds himself. In the United States, it means to vote for the candidate that will give him the most freedom within the United States.

The candidate most likely to assume that he is a "real" American.

And that person -- by default -- is Barack Obama.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yeah. But Is He Good For The Jews? -- Some Random Thoughts

Some Pennsylvania Jewish Republican group ran an ad/ did a mailing warning us Jews not to vote for Obama. "Beware of the errors of the 30s and 40s", the ad supposedly says. Similar less incendiary ads are all over the Jewish press. They outnumber the pro-Obama ads.

Ari Fleischer is campaigning in swing states and warning us that Barack Obama is little more than a 21st-century Jimmy Carter.

People who I know and respect are being told by other people I know and respect that Barack Obama is a Muslim. Their Rabbi stands up and says it, and nobody is going to ask the Rabbi for documented proof.

Barack Obama can hang around with William Ayres and Bernadette Dohrn all he'd like. A couple of old hippies don't scare me. Unfortunately, it seems that Obama has abandoned them for the likes of Zbigniew Brezinski. That scares me a lot. No good can come to Israel if Obama's ear is filled with that sort of misinformed, ineffective bile.

In 1980, after 4 years of Jimmy Carter, I voted for John Anderson. Reagan won New York State by less than the number of people who voted for John Anderson. I never regretted it.

4 years ago, John Kerry proposed a summit of all parties interested in the Middle East. The participants were supposed to take a vote on the future status of Israel. I said then, on this blog, that under the circumstances, though I could not vote for Bush, I could not blame a Jew who saw things some other way.

This time is different.

No American President has been a better friend to Israel than George W. Bush. Its almost like having a member of Likud in the White House.

Despite all the good intentions, what do we have to show for it?

a. The two-state solution, long the dream of anti-Zionists everywhere, now exists. Hamas is in Gaza, thanks to Bush's insistence on elections. I do not believe new elections are scheduled. Fatah is in Palestine. I am awaiting details of how these two states intend to absorb Israel.

b. The War against Hezbollah (and Syria) in Lebanon ended in a stalemate. Israel was shown not to be as strong, relatively speaking, as some of us thought. It would have made a difference perhaps, if Israel had a few more weeks. But the Americans were not in a position to help Israel with that.

c. Every day that Dick Cheney has been in power is a day that Iran has gotten stronger. Rumours abound that sometime after Election Day but before Inauguration Day, either Israel or the United States will take out/ damage Iran's nuclear capabilities. I have no idea how to sort out all the conflicting information.

d. Today we learn that the United States assassinated a top Al-Qaeda in Syria over the weekend. It was the first time the U.S. admitted (or allowed to leak) direct actions in Syria.

It goes without saying that Barack Obama is not going to tolerate Israel bombing Iran, or making prolonged incursions into Lebanon, or building walls to keep terrorists out.

However, there is really not much that says that John McCain is going to tolerate Israel doing that either.

The truth is that we are not likely to see George Bush's like again, at least in that respect. I have not followed the news as closely as I might, but hopefully Israel understood all along that Bush only represented a break-in-the-action, and not some sort of long-term change in human nature.

And even George Bush mentions final status negotiations for Jerusalem from time to time. And George Bush was behind the notion of making Tony Blair a sort of super-ambassador to Middle East peace. And Tony Blair sees himself as an honest broker. If there all these people on one side, and only a few on the other side, well don't you have to take that into account?

Sort of like John Kerry? And no, I don't think that John Kerry can polish Tony Blair's shoes. I am just saying that times change. Or maybe they go in circles.

But McCain continuing Bush's policies? Why would you think that?

Yeah, there is all that P.R. that McCain was going to nominate Joe Leiberman to be his Vice President. Except that he didn't. He didn't even nominate anyone like Joe Leiberman.

No. McCain nominated Sarah Palin.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Is Obama a Socialist?

I hear people say that Obama is a socialist.

If its true, it is hard to imagine what Obama will need to do once he gets into office.

The government has "spread the wealth" by giving the Secretary of the Treasury the power to spread a lot of money, some say $850 billion, some say more. He has already given quite a bit of it to the banks. The lying liberal media says that this money is to be used to help the banks generate more loans. However, the Treasury Secretary has admitted that he did not give the money to the banks with any pre-conditions. Maybe the banks will spread the wealth around by giving out more executive bonuses.

The government took over Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, and it may now own your mortgage. The person who holds your mortgage can pretty much tell you where to live. Socialists do that. Bush did that.

The government now owns your bank, and can deny you the small business loan you need to get ahead in this world. They could probably deny you the right to take your money out. Socialists do that. Bush did that.

The government can eavesdrop on your conversations, and on this e-mail exchange, for any reason at all. Bush did that. The lying liberal media complains that the law says that they can only eavesdrop on you if they suspect that you committed illegal activities. Nope. Under the Patriot Act and the Military Commission Act, and the revised NSA the government can do what it wants. And can enlist the phone companies and the internet companies to help out. Socialists do that. Bush did that.

The government can take you away in the middle of the night, say that you do not have the proper papers to establish your American citizenship, label you an enemy combattent, and can detain you indefinitely in Cuba, Iraq or more likely, Eastern Europe. Socialists do that. Bush did that.

Wherever they can take you, they can torture you. In the 3rd debate and in a speech yesterday, Barack Obama again congratulated McCain for opposing torture tactics that were supposed to be in the Military Commissions Act. No. McCain opposed those tactics when he went on Letterman and Oprah. But when it came time to twist arms in the backroom, he made sure that all those torture tactics remained in the law. Only socialists and communists and Nazis torture. And George Bush. Thanks for the help, John. I guess torture is only wrong when you get tortured.

Bush did not raise your taxes. Instead, he borrowed all this money from China. One day, China will decide it wants its money back, and we will not be able to pay them. Then we will be even more in debt to the socialists than we are now.

Remember when we owed the Saudi Arabians so much money that Bush 41 was forced to fight a war to pay back the debt? Remember when we couldn't go into Iraq and get Saddam then because the Saudis didn't want us to?

Who do you think we'll have to fight a war against to pay back our debt to China? What actions will we not be able to take for fear of offending our partners? Remember how Bush spoke out against human rights violations at the Olympics? Oh, sorry, that didn't happen. The President of the United States is not allowed to speak truth to Communist China.

Heckuva job, Bushie! See you at Red Square!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Surrender (Revised)

Who thought Joe Biden would be the one to cry?

Sarah Palin is a rock star.

I admit it.

She's doing great in the debate.

It is clear that no one who has been following events can possibly defend John McCain.

So --- you nominate Sarah Palin.

She just makes things up, and no one can accuse her of lying.

Is she aware of what she is saying?

It won't matter too much after she becomes President, I guess.

I Have A Nasty Thought About Sarah Palin

I bet that what they are rehearsing in Arizona is the moment in tonight's Vice Presidential debate when Sarah "checks-out".

She'll either tear up or cry, or shout, or clam up, or walk off the stage entirely.

Then the post-debate will be completely about whether Sarah's behavior was justified, and whether whatever Biden or Gwen Ifell or the cameraman did was truly worth Sarah's reaction.

And the answer is -- of course it will be, because it will reinforce her support to her base, and it will mean that the actual answers she gives will be meaningless.

My own take is

(a) that the McCain campaign nominated -- HER, and not some Eliza Doolittle before the Ball. They should just let her say whatever she wants to say.

(b) after watching the interviews, and reading her responses to things, Sarah Palin is, at this moment, way better informed than George W. Bush is, at this moment, 7 1/2 years into his Presidency.

(c) It makes no difference. We all talk about Dan Quayle. In the Vice-Presidential debate 20 years ago, even members of the Quayle family admitted that Dan had got his ass kicked. Didn't change a single vote.

McCain will still be our President come January. Palin will be our President sometime soon after that.

Sarah Palin is the ManCheneyan candidate. And when the time comes, she will ask Dick Cheney what to do, and she will do it.