It’s fair to say Republicans were wrong about the efficacy of President Obama’s job creating (and/or saving) policies. Alas, my humble realization has nothing to do with CNN’s infallible fact-checker of truthiness, but is rather a result of last week’s elections.
Republicans Bob Turner in New York and Mark Amodei of Nevada clearly owe their new jobs in Congress to the policies of the President.
As conservatives, it’s important that we recognize Obama’s landmark achievement by reaching across the aisle and giving credit where credit is due.
In less than three years, the President was remarkably able to turn voters against him in New York’s 9th district, which he won handedly in 2008.
This is no middle-of-the-road, swing-voting, moderate district we’re dealing with, but one where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 3-to-1. In fact, this upset makes Turner the first Republican to hold the seat since Andrew Petersen’s short-lived victory of 1923.
Obama doesn’t deserve all the credit for Turner’s victory, however. The district has a large number of Orthodox and Russian Jews who didn’t approve of Assemblyman David Weprin’s voting history; in particular, the Democratic candidate’s vote to legalize gay marriage didn’t sit too well with the electorate.
One poll station in Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay, a heavily Jewish area, even recorded 69 percent support for Turner, the L.A. Times reports.
Weprin, who is himself a member of the Jewish Orthodox community, was castigated by Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein. According to City Hall, Rabbi Wallerstein told voters that Weprin’s support of gay marriage “defied Jewish law and betrayed our values.”
His vote, coupled with his affiliation to the party largely blamed for the slow economic recovery, helped Turner coast to victory.
But the factor that had a greatest influence on this election was undoubtedly Obama’s lukewarm support for Israel, which led many Democrats, including former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, to support the Republican.
A few years ago, Koch gave a speech in which he stated, “I have no hesitation in crossing party lines when I think America’s interests demand that I cross party lines.” And he did just that with his endorsement of the Republican, which stemmed from a strong rejection of the President’s Middle Eastern policy.
President Obama’s perceived lack of support is due in large part to his suggestion that Israel return to the 1967 border, which was quickly rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.“The 1967 lines which are both indefensible and which would leave major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria beyond those lines,” Netanyahu said.
To Mayor Koch and many others in the Jewish community, this was unacceptable. According to Politico, Koch had one message for Obama: “Mr. President, Mr. President, listen to us!”
For many, this race is seen as a harbinger for the 2012 Presidential Election. If a Republican can win in on an anti-Obama message in deep-blue New York City, how much more difficult could it be to defeat Barack Obama in a nation-wide election?
Although leftists like Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz may try to spin reality by claiming that the 9th district is actually “A very difficult district for Democrats,” most of the rank and file party members realize the significance of Turner’s victory.
The election sparked “Democratic fears,” according to Politico. Shortly following the closing of the polls, Democratic donors and strategists described their mood as “awful.” One source went on to say that, “[Democrats] feel betrayed, disappointed, furious, disgusted, [and] hopeless.”
I could say that the tears of leftists don’t bring me joy, but that wouldn’t be very honest. The once seemingly invincible President is beginning to look beatable, which means there may yet be a viable future for this country.
It could be the case, however, that the New York election means only that Jewish voters are finally leaving the Democratic Party, which they’ve been loyal members of since the days of FDR. This may seem to be inconsequential considering their small numbers, but it should be noted that they tend to vote and donate money at a higher rate than the average citizen; they’ve also historically supported Democrats heavily as a group, second only to Blacks.
They also make up a significant portion of the population of Florida, a swing state which went to Obama in 2008. Regardless, it’s hopeful to see the Jewish voting bloc finally separating themselves from an 80 year alliance to a party that harbors less support for Israel than its opposition.
If anything, perhaps this is center-right country that strongly supports Israel is finally waking up to the fact that President Obama is no moderate, and that his vision conflicts with that of the average American citizen.